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Sunday, November 23, 2014

Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young's Unreleased LP "Human Highway" | Talk From The Rock Room:


In honor of the resurrection of the server for Human-Highway.org named CORTEZ, we bring you a detailed look at the unreleased Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young album "Human Highway". (We also recently took a look at the album "Human Highway" in our review of Unreleased Records by the World's Greatest Artists by Bruno MacDonald.)

From Talk From The Rock Room: Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young - "Human Highway" The Unreleased LP by Stephen Lewis:
In May of 1973 after an extended period of no music making, the group met in Hawaii for some rest, relaxation and to discuss and create a new LP. Unfortunately this LP would never come to fruition as the members moved on to solo projects before anything could be finished. The normal bickering and friction that comes from the meeting of the four powerful personalities reared its head during the LP's creation and things came to a screeching halt. Graham Nash is quoted as saying that the 'unfinished' LP would have been called 'Human Highway' and had ten tracks planned for it. The LP even had the artwork picked out which I have included in this blog, of a picture taken of the principals on their Hawaiian beach at dusk. Many of these songs were performed by the group at various performances, as well as ending up on future solo releases. But as a defined collection of officially released studio recordings, it was not to be.

Over the course of time the unreleased LP has grown in stature and legend. Some tracks have escaped through various releases, and some still remain hidden in the deep recesses of someones musical vault. What I have done in this weeks blog is recreate this 'lost' album based on what tracks are available, statements that have been made, and the information that has been leaked by various sources. On most of the studio versions I have included, Johnny Barbata and Tim Drummond are featured on drums and bass respectively (Little Blind Fish has Russ Kunkle on drums). Without anymore extended rumination, anticipated and speculated upon, I give you my version of the lost CSNY LP 'Human Highway'

In May of 1973 it had been three years since the release of the 'Deja Vu' album and the stars were in alignment for another attempt at a group LP. Neil Young had rocketed to super stardom with the release of his LP 'Harvest', and the other principal members Crosby, Stills, and Nash were in an era where they were all extremely prolific in their creativity and songwriting. After their planned meeting in Hawaii the group convened at Young's 'Broken Arrow' ranch to get their new tracks down on tape. Using sources such as David Zimmer's CSN biography, as well as various band member interviews, and the CSN box set liner notes the band repotedly recorded the following tracks, 'See the Changes', 'Prison Song', 'And So It Goes', 'Human Highway', 'Little Blind Fish' and 'Through My Sails". I have also taken the liberty to include the following songs to the list, based on the reunion concert that took place at a Stephen Stills and Manassas show in October of 1973, 'As I Come Of Age', 'New Mama', and 'Roll Another Number'. These tunes were preformed when Crosby, Nash and Young joined Stills unannounced for his acoustic set and played many of the tracks planned for 'Human Highway'. I believe that these songs were also in the running for the LP, based on their workout at this performance during the records formative stages. The songs I have listed total up to nine tunes for the hypothetical LP, which leaves room for one more song based on Nash's assertion of ten tracks.

This is honestly a guess on my part, but there are available choices of songs to fill that last slot. "Hawaiian Sunrise", an unreleased Young track fits the bill, and is somewhat an obvious choice because of its Hawaiian genesis, and subsequent performances by the group. David Crosby's 'Time After Time" is also a possibility due to its being composed around this time, and because of the lack of Crosby songs on the hypothetical LP. So for the case of representation I will include the Crosby song on my version of 'Human Highway'. The track listing I have created is based on my own feeling of flow and balance, there is obviously no way I can find the true proposed track listing, so it is what it is. Young's song 'Traces', Stills 'First Things First' as well as Nash's 'Another Sleep Song' are also candidates for slots on the album, but alas there are only ten hypothetical spots so these songs will remain on the bench. I believe this album could have the defining moment for the fragile super group, and it was a great joy digging into the possibilities for its creation. For experts on this topic who may ruminate about such things, I have steered away from the post 1974 tour recordings and have focused my constructed LP on tracks recorded in 1973 and early 1974. I am a wealth of rock knowledge (ha ha) but I am no expert, and my vault access is limited. I also realize that some folks may disagree with the 'Little Blind Fish' addition, but I believe regardless of its late 1974 recording date, it was a contender for the LP. I now present to you the 'rock room' version of CSNY 'Human Highway' side A.
Full track breakdown continues at Talk From The Rock Room: Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young - "Human Highway" The Unreleased LP by Stephen Lewis.

Also, see Unreleased Records by the World's Greatest Artists by Bruno MacDonald.

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6 Comments:

At 11/23/2014 04:57:00 PM, Blogger dickie said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

 
At 11/23/2014 05:38:00 PM, Blogger Babbo B. said...

Another reconstruction attempt, based on the 1973, 1974 and 1976 sessions: http://albumsthatneverwere.blogspot.com/2013/12/crosby-stills-nash-young-human-highway.html

 
At 11/24/2014 02:07:00 AM, Blogger dickie said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

 
At 11/24/2014 11:48:00 AM, Blogger Mother Nature on the Run said...

Explains why the Fillmore recordings are not part of the box set.

 
At 11/24/2014 12:22:00 PM, Blogger andrea1bianco said...

Through My Sails was recorded at the Broken Arrow Ranch on June 1974. Hawaiian Sunrise was written during the 1974 CSNY rehearsals, but not recorded (Special Deluxe). I think that See The Changes was rather a 1973-1974 recording. Vocals, guitars and likely bass June 1973, Russ Kunkel and Joe Lala overdubbed on June 1974. The song was a CSNY production like Through My Sails. Elliot Mazer engineered the 1973 sessions, Tim Mulligan likely the 1974 overdubs.
So Tired

 
At 11/25/2014 05:48:00 PM, Blogger Thrasher Wheat said...

@andrea1bianco - Thanks for the chronology and details. More importantly, will we ever hear a Human Highway release???

 

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