R ecently, a chance meeting with a former Savage Encounter band mate brought about the issue of the revival of our old seventies band once again. The last edition of Savage Encounter ended in the late eighties with Leslie Lewis on guitar and by then there was nobody except me from the seventies set up left. It was ages since we had made music together and therefore, a reunion with Darryl Mendonsa, Barry Murray, Ralph Paes, Frederick Michael etc. was a welcome thought. The Encounter was always a tight band that played music that was both commercially and critically applauded. The harmonies from the singers in the band were one of its strongest qualities and I immediately starting thinking about the songs that we used to do at that time. The name of the group that is the subject of today's article came up repeatedly and after ages I started listening once again to the music of this seventies folk rock group. The genius of this group of musicians hit me like a ton of bricks and after ages, I was hooked all over again!
David Crosby, Stephen Stills, Graham Nash
& Neil Young all came from famous bands of the sixties.
The instant success of the first album had
already put the pressure of performing live on this studio-based collaboration.
But there was a hitch! They was an all round feeling that their sound lacked
the harder edge required to create exciting live shows that move the youth of
this world. Neil Young, a former member of Buffalo Springfield, who also
maintained a solo career and was a close friend, had that precise quality and
it was not long before he was invited to join this super group. The sound was
now complete and the band was ready to hit the road. Their very first tour
Super groups have this uncanny knack of breaking up just when it seems like it's too good to be true. Four super egos would surely be difficult to manage and the group split acrimoniously after a summer tour. This was a big blow to their fans like me who had to be satisfied with their live double album '4 Way Street' issued after the breakup. This was another major hit and the live electric guitar duels between the two masters, Stills and Young, were well documented on the 'electric' portion of the project. Later, the CD of this album was lengthened with more live material and released in 1992.
The band reformed many times later, with or without Young, and numerous albums and tours followed. They also embarked on a 25th anniversary tour in the summer of 1994 and released a new album, 'After The Storm.' The millennium saw them release "Looking Forward", the first new Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young release since 1988's "American Dream" and only the fourth album of the quartet's career, together with "Déjà vu" (1970) and the live "4-Way Street" (1971). The release of the aptly named "Looking Forward" was supported by major concerts in 2000, reuniting the foursome on tour for the first time since 1974. For me, it has always been a source of great amazement to watch this super group produce music of such impeccable quality and intensity year after year. Now I can only hope that I too can possess that incredible energy when I reach their age!