The Album List: #99- David Crosby “If Only I Could Remember My Name” (1971)


Sunshine and lollipops and rainbows... oh.

Sometimes an album comes along that surprises you. I’m not a huge fan of Crosby, Stills, Nash, and sometimes Young. This is despite the fact I am a huge fan of their earlier bands, and Neil Young is one of my favourite singer-songwriters of all time. I also thought David Crosby was the weakest link of them all. Then one day I sat down and listened to this record and realized that David Crosby was a frickin’ genius. A rumination about love and loss, written in the wake of his girlfriend’s death in a traffic accident, it is a masterpiece of darkened California melody and sweet vocal harmonies.

This is an album to sit and just listen to in a darkened room, alone, with lit candles and shut eyes. You must let the sadness and hope wash over you.  Whether it’s the jam band vibe of the opener “Music Is Love”, the extended country guitar piece “Cowboy Movie”,  and the sheer perfectness of “Laughing”, it is simply heartbreakingly beautiful as an album. The record is so impressive in its scope that the Vatican’s official paper, L’Osservatore Romano, named it number two after the Beatles Revolver on their top ten albums of all time list.

I admit, my favourite track is the haunting harmony fest that is “Orléans”. Just so stunning.

This album is one of my go to “I need to cry” records. In fact, I’m kind of misty eyed at the moment.

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2 thoughts on “The Album List: #99- David Crosby “If Only I Could Remember My Name” (1971)

  1. Proud to say I got this in the year of release, thanks (once again) to my older brother’s recommendation. It is overall gorgeous. Even the 8-min. “Cowboy Movie” still holds me. “Song with No Words (Tree with No Leaves)” still my favorite.

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