SACD & Other Hi-Res Reviews

Crosby, Stills, Nash, & Young – CSNY 1974 – Live, Blu-ray+DVD (1974/2014)

Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young - the ultimate tour…

Published on August 19, 2014

Crosby, Stills, Nash, & Young – CSNY 1974 – Live, Blu-ray+DVD (1974/2014)

Crosby, Stills, Nash, & Young – CSNY 1974 – Live [TrackList follows], Blu-ray+DVD (1974/2014)

Performers: Crosby, Stills, Nay & Young + 3 backup musicians
Studio: Rhino BD2-541729 – Pure Audio Blu-Ray + DVD-video (2 Discs)
Video (on DVD): 1.78:1 for 16:9 color
Audio: PCM 2.0 (192K/24 bit)
Bonus DVD: Performances from two concerts at 480p
Length: Blu-ray – 196 min.; DVD – 43:11
Audio Rating: Blu-ray ****   DVD ***

(David Crosby, Stephen Stills, Graham Nash, Neil Young, with Tim Drummond (bass), Russ Kunkel (drums), and Joe Lala (percussion))

[Terrifically hard to know in what section to put this set since the audio quality of the Blu-ray is not really hi-res…Ed.]

When their egos were held in check, Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young were beyond a super group of folk rock artists. They were “the group.” The problem was that their “together” time was limited before personal issues and lack of group cohesion reared its ugly head. (Drug usage didn’t help matters.)

They attempted to record a new album in 1973, (their first since 1970’s Déjà Vu, and 1971 live compilation 4 Way Street), but were unable to complete the project. In 1974, their manager convinced them that there was big money to be made if they could put together an extended tour. Bill Graham would be the taskmaster, who could both put together the massive production needed as well as meet the group’s demands. The nine-week reunion tour of the U.S., Canada, and England (31 concerts) was set up and those lucky enough to experience the group at the height of their powers are probably still talking about the magic they witnessed. The rest of us were left bereft. That is until now!  Rhino has recently released 40 selections from ten separate concerts. Going for the gusto, this box set is available in several versions: 3 CDs+1 DVD, 1 Blu-ray+1 DVD, on LP, and on MP3 downloads.

Review of the Blu-ray/DVD version finds much to recommend. Though the audio is not of audiophile quality (and it is not multichannel), using the stereo mixes from 40 years ago, it still packs a punch. What was most amazing to me, is that I enjoyed the Bonus DVD of only eight tracks as much as the Pure Audio Blu-ray, even though the video was grainy and the color mix has problems with ghosting. The reason is that you experience the passion that the group brings to these eight songs and the harmonies that CSNY most exemplified is evident. Watching the group sing together on the old warhorse, “Our House” brought back so many memories. Though Crosby, Stills, and Nash have toured often, it is the addition of the excitement that Neil Young brings to the group that fully encompasses the dream and inspiration that the collective group brought to a generation.  More importantly, the reason to purchase this set of music is that their voices blend as well in 1974 as they ever did (or ever will…)

All of your favorite CSNY songs are here on the three sets they did, as well as some many listeners have never experienced: “Traces,” “Grave Concern,” “Love Art Blues,”

“Myth of Sisyphus” and several others. The group has always taken on social issues of the day (“Chicago,” “Ohio” etc.), and on this set we get to experience their take on farm workers and Richard Nixon on “Fieldworker” and “Goodbye Dick.” [I had no idea what Neil Young was singing about until I read that…Ed.]

Graham Nash and band photographer Joel Bernstein have done an outstanding job hand picking some of the best performances from the tour.

Selections were made from concerts at the Capital Centre (Landover, Michigan), Chicago Stadium, Wembley Stadium (London), Nassau County Coliseum (Hempstead, NY), and the San Francisco Civic Auditorium. The set list is a mixture of electric, acoustic, and then back to electric.

Although there are no extra features on the DVD, or any video on the Blu-ray, what sweetens the pot is a classy 186-page book with great photos, interviews with the band, and an extensive essay by Pete Long. In whatever format that meets your needs, fans of the group will find something to validate the purchase of a CSNY 1974 Live set.

TrackList:

First Set on audio-only Blu-ray:

Love the One You’re With, Wooden Ships, Immigration Man, Helpless, Carry Me, Johnny’s Garden, Traces, Grave Concern, On the Beach, Black Queen, Almost Cut My Hair

Second Set:

Change Partners, The Lee Shore, Only Love Can Break Your Heart, Our House, Fieldworker, Guinevere, Time After Time, Prison Song, Long May You Run, Goodbye Dick, Mellow My Mind, Old Man, Word Game, Myth of Sisyphus, Blackbird, Love Art Blues, Hawaiian Sunrise, Teach Your Children, Suite: Judy Blue Eyes

Third Set:

Déjà Vu, My Angel, Pre-Road Dawns, Don’t Be Denied, Revolution Blues, Military Madness, Long Time Gone, Pushed It Over the End, Chicago, Ohio

Bonus DVD:

Only Love Can Break Your Heart, Almost Cut My Hair, Grave Concern, Old Man, Johnny’s Garden, Our House, Déjà Vu, Pushed It Over the End

—Jeff Krow




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