Graham Nash :: Songs For Beginners (Reissue)

graham nash

songs-for-beginners.jpgIt is no secret to frequent AD readers that I am a huge fan of any project that contains a C S N or Y from the mid 1960s through the mid ’70s. Last week Rhino reissued what might be my favorite Graham Nash solo LP, 1971s Songs For Beginners. Besides being a great work in its own right, the album has always felt like a piece in a larger puzzle including the initial solo albums from his CSN&Y bandmates; which, I might add, are all stellar.

Production Notes: Recorded in Los Angeles and San Francisco, Nash made Songs For Beginners with a combination of kindred souls from both cities, including Crosby, CSNY touring drummer Johnny Barbata, original Flying Burrito Brothers bassist Chris Ethridge, singer Rita Coolidge, fiddler David Lindley, the Grateful Dead’s Jerry Garcia and Phil Lesh, and Neil Young, who is credited on the album as “Joe Yankee.”

The below video captures Nash and David Crosby performing “Simple Man” and “Marrakesh Express” recorded live at the BBC in 1970. The two had just wrapped up their Four Way Street summer tour with Stills and Young. “Simple Man,” written for Joni Mitchell, and featured on Songs For Beginners, was first performed live in 1970, at the Fillmore East in NYC, during opening night of Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young’s tour. The song is one of three tracks featured on his debut album regarding the end of his relationship with Mitchell. I’m giving a copy of the CD/DVD reissue away. Leave your name, email, and favorite CSNY related track below.

MP3: Graham Nash :: Better Days
MP3: Graham Nash :: Simple Man

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Graham Nash w/ David Crosby – Simple Man/Marrakesh Express (Live @ The BBC)

42 thoughts on “Graham Nash :: Songs For Beginners (Reissue)

  1. favorite CSNY or related track? wow, that’s tough. How about Revolution Blues, from On the Beach featuring Crosby on guitar as well as Rick Danko and Levon Helm. Chunkiest Neil groove ever, thank the rhythm section.

  2. I am a huge CS&Y fan as well. However, Graham Nash ruins it all for me. His songs are so weak. Our House makes me want to stick needles in my ear drums.

  3. Interesting – 1:08 into Better Days are the lyrics “”Now that you know it’s nowhere, What’s to stop you coming home”.

    A response to Neil Young’s Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere?

  4. I’d have to say Steven Still’s “49 Bye-Byes/America’s Children” off the 4 Way Street Album. It’s such a passionate version and sung so well over just piano. Plus his free-form poetry rap at the end is great, a real snapshot in time.

  5. Sorry, I couldn’t narrow it down to 1.

    C: “Almost Cut My Hair”
    S: “49 Bye Byes”
    N: “Chicago”
    Y: “Cortez the Killer”

  6. Fav CSNY tune – “One the Way Home”

    I know it’s Buffalo Springfield but I really dig the live 4 Way Street version. The vocal harmony and lead acoustic guitar is so freaking good.

  7. I’ll have to say the whole B side of On the Beach: songs On the Beach, Motion Pictures and Ambulance Blues will always churn the most.

    “You’re all just pissing in the wind, you don’t know it but you are.”

  8. The version of Joni Mitchell’s woodstock, in my opinion better than the original and i’m not used to say that.

  9. Good god that’s a huge question. I am really digging Stephen Stills Live at the moment so, I would have to say the last cut on the album..Word Game. Or….ANYTHING by Manassas. “Colorado” comes to mind.

  10. “Little Blind Fish” – which just so happens to be the only CSNY song all 4 members had a hand in writing the lyrics.

  11. Crosby: Triad
    Stills: Suite Judy Blue Eyes
    Nash: King Midas in Reverse
    Young: Cowgirl In The Sand

    Yeah, I love the 4-Way Street album. It’s perfect.

  12. While anticipating the release of the 5.1 format of “Songs For Beginners”, I stumbled across Graham doing “King Midas In Reverse” from the CSNY Fillmore East shows that I stood in line to get tickets for back in 1970, but, alas, they were sold out before I reached the ticket booth. The Hollies being Graham’s foundation, it was very cool to hear him reach back to his beginnings.

  13. Graham related? I love The Sllep Song and Another Sleep Song (from Wild Tales).

    And Wild Tales is a criminally underrated album.

  14. Graham related? I love The Sleep Song and Another Sleep Song (from Wild Tales).

    And Wild Tales is a criminally underrated album.

  15. my fav track has to be the Crosby sung “Lee Shore” which is on the 4 disc CSN box. Its so soothing and calm with the most gorgeous lyrics. I can just imagine being on their sailboat skimming arcross the water at sunset when I listen to it…

  16. Almost Cut My Hair is my favorite. The guitar stacatto bursts always bring me smile.
    Original vinyl rules!

  17. Since this is about Graham Nash’s “Songs for Beginners”…
    I have to say the whole LP… not any single song, or single
    from the album. I have a great memory associated with
    this song and listening to it on an empty snowy day with
    a friend that I had just met while this was playing at the bar
    … simply priceless. The LP is seamless, timeless and now
    coming back around again as the Democratic Convention
    recently ended and Peace and better times are hopefully
    ahead. This album is just as important and relevant now
    as it was back in 1971. Simple album. Graham’s best.

  18. …just because we getting close to an election: The Robert Kennedy inspired song “Long Time Gone” has been on my playlist lately.

  19. …just because we are getting close to an election: The Robert Kennedy inspired song “Long Time Gone” has been on my playlist lately.

  20. “Page 43” from “Graham Nash & David Crosby”. Crosby’s voice never sounded better

  21. ‘Songs ‘ held several favorites for me. I played Simple Man for a couple of years, loving its sentiment during those fragile days (personally and politically) but would have to cite ‘I Used To Be A King’ as my longtime favorite off the LP, probably because its sonics fit in well along side of Crosby’s ‘If Only…” LP and several of the cuts off ‘Deja Vu’ and THAT would be mostly because of Jerry Garcia’s stellar Pedal Steel work, always underated, even by himself. He may have been one of the most ‘unconsciously’ influential musicians ever.

  22. I just love Graham Nash. How delightful it was to get my hands on this wonderful re-release! It sounds wonderful, better than the I-Tunes version I had to settle for for a while. I agree about Wild Tales being criminally underrated, too.

    Second favorite to Nash today – Neil Young’s 2008 performance of ‘Only Love Can Break Your Heart’ on YouTube.

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