The 10 Essential Songs From David Crosby’s Career
MOUNTAIN VIEW, CA - OCTOBER 26: David Crosby of Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young performs as part of the 27th Annual Bridge School Benefit at Shoreline Amphitheatre on October 26, 2013 in Mountain View, California. (Photo by Tim Mosenfelder/Getty Images)
David Crosby’s contributions to rock, and music in general, cannot be stated enough. Aside from being the founding member of both the Byrds and Crosby, Stills & Nash, he also pursued a successful solo career. He wrote and co-wrote several classic hits, songs that have stood the test of time.
Let’s check out ten of his finest works:
Eight Miles High (The Byrds)
An influential song in the development of psychedelia and raga rock, they initially denied the drug references in the lyrics but Crosby later admitted that it was based on their own drug use. Rolling Stones guitarist Brian Jones actually contributed to this but he didn’t care for any credit.
Long Time Gone (Crosby, Stills & Nash)
Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young performed this at Woodstock Festival in 1969.
“It was written the night Bobby Kennedy was killed,” Crosby said. “I believed in him because he said he wanted to make some positive changes in America, and he hadn’t been bought and sold like Johnson and Nixon – cats who made their deals years ago with the special interests in this country in order to gain power.”
“I thought Bobby, like his brother, was a leader who had not made those deals,” he continued. “I was already angry about Jack Kennedy getting killed and it boiled over into this song when they got his brother, too.”
Guinnevere (Crosby, Stills & Nash)
Best known for its melody, it was originally featured on the trio’s critically acclaimed eponymous debut album. Crosby called it “a very unusual song” because “it’s in a very strange tuning (EBDGAD) with strange time signatures.” He also called it his “best song”.
Déjà Vu (Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young)
The title track of CSN’s first album with Neil Young, Crosby came up with song as he was riding on his friend’s sailboat.
“I’m one of those people who thinks we go round again,” he told The Guardian. “The Buddhists have got it right – it’s a wheel and we get on and get off. I think life energy gets recycled. That’s why I wrote Déjà Vu.”
Almost Cut My Hair (Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young)
It’s about hippies and the counterculture movement, and it became one of Crosby’s signature songs. Although he said that it “was the most juvenile set of lyrics”, he also admitted that “it has a certain emotional impact, there’s no question about that.”
Music Is Love
Featured on Crosby’s debut solo LP “If I Could Only Remember My Name”, it was co-written by Crosby’s former bandmates Young and Graham Nash.
Carry Me (Crosby and Nash)
It’s one of three singles released from the second album by Crosby & Nash, “Wind on the Water”. It’s a personal song to Crosby because it referenced the death of his mother.
Drive My Car
The opening track on Crosby’s second solo studio album “Oh Yes I Can”, it may not be his finest composition but it’s still pretty amazing.
A song from Crosby’s jazz-rock band CPR, it reflected his feelings on how Jim Morrison was portrayed in Oliver Stone’s biographical film “The Doors”. When asked about musicians who he thinks are “total hacks”, Morrison’s name came up. Crosby told SPIN magazine, “There are lots of people that I think are lame.”
Things We Do For Love
He teased his 2016 album with this track, and he called it “one of my best records ever.”