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Thursday, May 25, 2023

Stephen Stills Live At Berkeley 1971 - Album Visualizer + Reviews

Stephen Stills Live At Berkeley 1971  
( Order now.  Please shop locally & independently. But if you can't, we appreciate your supporting Thrasher's Wheat by clicking this link. Thank you!!!))


Stephen Stills Live At Berkeley 1971 album dropped last month and many folks have been asking "why wasn't this released sooner? Amazing."  

With a guest appearance by David Crosby,  Berkeley 1971 is a 14-track collection of previously unreleased era-defining live performances from that tour recorded over two nights at the Berkeley Community Theater in Berkeley, CA, on August 20 and 21, 1971.

In the summer of 1971, Stephen Stills embarked on his first solo tour supporting his second album, opening each show with a solo-acoustic first set and closing each night with a riveting electric one. This historic debut trek, dubbed “The Memphis Horns Tour,” found Stills at peak performance.

Those in attendance at the Northern California shows were treated to one of the most unique and special of the tour. The collection, which opens with Stills’ biggest hit, “Love the One You’re With,” the first single unveiled from the album, features a set list of instantly recognizable songs, including a seamless medley of “49 Bye Byes and “For What It’s Worth, unexpectedly played on piano. David Crosby appears on “You Don’t Have To Cry” and “The Lee Shore.”

“The intimacy of the Berkeley Community Theater seemed to serve as a focal point between the audience and the energy surrounding the social climate of the day,” offers Stills. “It was my first tour as a solo artist and these shows were raucous and unrestrained, captured here in these recordings.”

Backed by The Memphis Horns, along with a cast of Stills’ friends, including Dallas Taylor (drums); Calvin “Fuzzy” Samuels (bass); Paul Harris (keyboards); Steve Fromholz (guitar); and Joe Lala (percussion), the original recording was produced by Stills and recorded by Bill Halverson. This historical reissue was produced by Kevin McCormick and Stephen Stills.

From a review on  The Old Grey Cat:

Anyway, the first thing one notices upon pressing play on the archival Live at Berkeley 1971 is that the 14-track set features pristine sound. There’s no hiss or moss, in other words. It’s well-mixed, with the clarity transporting the listener—or this listener, at any rate—to the Berkeley Community Theater in Berkeley, CA, in August 1971, where Stills and band closed out their two-month tour in support of Stephen Stills 2 with concerts on the 20th and 21st. The sets for both shows, a la those from the rest of the tour, veered from acoustic to electric to brassy, and featured past favorites from Buffalo Springfield, CSN/Y and his first solo LP in addition to a healthy assortment of new songs.

Live at Berkeley isn’t a complete performance from either night, however, or—a la Bruce Springsteen’s No Nukes collection from a few years back—a best-of-breed approximation of the same. Rather, it’s an abridged presentation that strips away songs such as “Rock and Roll Woman,” “Questions,” “Go Back Home” and “Fishes & Scorpions” in order to fit the remainder onto two LPs. Yet, to quote from a song he released a half-dozen years later, “It’s no matter. No distance. It’s the ride.” Aside from a few bumps in the road, aka the brassy “Cherokee” and “Bluebird Revisited,” it’s excellent. (To quote the Oakland Tribune’s Doris G. Worsham from her review, which appeared in the newspaper’s August 25th edition, “The last thing on earth the Stills concert needed was a set of horns.”)

One highlight: the piano-only rendition of “Sugar Babe,” a Stills 2 track that resonates even more in the stripped-down presentation. Another highlight: the future Manassas track of the still-timely “Jesus Gave Love Away for Free.” The rendition of “Black Queen” is killer, too.

Here's a video review by our pal Davy over on Davy's Cinema Flicks & Music Picks:

Stephen Stills Live At Berkeley 1971 tracklisting:

Side One

1. Love The One You’re With

2. Do For The Others

3. Jesus Gave Love Away For Free

4. You Don’t Have To Cry (with David Crosby)

5. The Lee Shore (with David Crosby)

Side Two

1. Word Game

2. Sugar Babe

3. 49 Bye-Byes/For What It’s Worth

Side Three

1. Black Queen

2. Know You’ve Got To Run

3. Bluebird Revisited

4. Lean On Me

Side Four

1. Cherokee

2. Band Introductions

3. Ecology Song

Stephen Stills Live At Berkeley 1971 (Full Album Visualizer)


Stephen Stills Live At Berkeley 1971 is now available for order.  (Please shop locally & independently. But if you can't, we appreciate your supporting Thrasher's Wheat by clicking this link. Thank you!!!)

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At 5/25/2023 09:02:00 PM, Blogger Dan Swan said...

I sampled the first five songs on YouTube Music and found the performances uncharacteristically rushed , and it felt like cocaine was running the show. I gave up after those first five songs, feeling like I could definitely live without this release. I saw Stephen with Manassas in Portland Oregon, and the first set was absolutely outstanding. Then they took a short break and Stills came back out alone for an acoustic set. Unfortunately, he was beyond waisted, and couldn’t form complete sentences. After several attempts to actually sing a song, people began to boo, and Stephen got belligerent. We left the show disappointed several minutes later.

Peace 🙏


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