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Rock Hall Anniversary: Crosby, Stills & Nash’s Debut Album

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In 1968, a new supergroup had formed, with the three members spawning from three of the biggest groups of the 1960s. The group consisted of David Crosby of the Byrds, Stephen Stills of Buffalo Springfield (whose group also included member Neil Young), and Graham Nash of the Hollies. Together they became simply Crosby, Stills & Nash, and May 1969 brought the band’s debut album.

The album came around the time the charts was just beginning to be the dominated by the singer-songwriter movement, which would of course take over the early 1970s. Unlike the blues-based rock that was still heavily popular in the late 1960s, the album blended roots rock, folk, blues and even jazz. Yet it would also capture the ideology of the times, as songs like “Wooden Ships” and “Long Time Gone” focused on the turbulent moments of 1968, including the Vietnam War and the assassination of Robert F. Kennedy.

However the standout tracks on the album was the two top thirty hits, “Suite: Judy Blue Eyes”, which was written for singer Judy Collins, and “Marrakesh Express”. Crosby, Stills & Nash’s self-titled debut became a huge hit as well. It hit number six on the pop charts and sold over four million copies. In 2012, Rolling Stone ranked the album at number 262 on their list of the 500 Greatest Albums of All Time, and it also became noted for it’s influence, as it would help open the doors for the 1970’s “California” sound, and acts including the Eagles, Jackson Browne, and Fleetwood Mac (after 1974).