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l to r: David Crosby, Graham Nash, Stephen Stills, Neil Young

Genre: rock > folk

Formed: 1968

Where: Laurel Canyon, CA

The Players:


Crosby, Stills & Nash: Crosby, Stills & Nash (1969) Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young: Déjà Vu (1970) Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young: 4 Way Street (live: 1971) Crosby, Stills & Nash: CSN (1977) Crosby, Stills & Nash: Daylight Again (1982) Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young: American Dream (1988) Crosby, Stills & Nash: Live It Up (1990) Crosby, Stills & Nash: After the Storm (1994) Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young: Looking Forward (1999)


Check out and


Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee

Crosby, Stills, & Nash
(& sometimes Young)
“Crosby, Stills & Nash have remained America's longest-running experiment in vocal harmony and social relevance.” RH Their “musical partnership…was…one of the most successful touring and recording acts of the late '60s, '70s, and early ‘80s.” WR “The trio brought harmony to the forefront of popular music with their unique three-part vocal blend. A low-key supergroup, they emphasized singing and songwriting above all, and their example contributed to the evolution of the singer/songwriter movement in the Seventies.” RH “With the colorful, contrasting nature of the members' characters and their connection to the political and cultural upheavals of the time – it was the only American-based band to approach the overall societal impact of the Beatles.” WR

“They met in 1968 on the sociable Los Angeles music scene, with Cass Elliot of the Mamas and the Papas making the introductions.” RH “The group was a second marriage for all the participants.” WR “David Crosby sang and played rhythm guitar with the Byrds. Stephen Stills was a mainstay of Buffalo Springfield. Nash provided the high harmonies that helped make pop sensations of Britain’s Hollies.” RH “The resulting trio, however, sounded like none of its predecessors and was characterized by a unique vocal blend and a musical approach that ranged from acoustic folk to melodic pop to hard rock.” WR

“CSN's debut album, released in 1969, was perfectly in tune with the times, and the group was an instant hit.” WR “With their glistening three-part harmonies, Still's instrumental virtuosity and the trio's inspired songwriting-which spoke the language of the counterculture both in personal and political terms-Crosby, & and Nash quickly attained the stature of a masterwork, yielding such classics as Suite: Judy Blue Eyes (written for and about Judy Collins), Wooden Ships and Long Time Gone.” RH “Their unmistakable vocal blend was described in Rolling Stone's review of their first album as ‘warm and full, with a built-in kineticism produced by three good voices emerging asynchronously on the same phrase with rich, complementary harmonies.’ Particularly on their classic first album, CSN helped steer rock to a more contemplative, song-oriented place, and they made reference to what they did (owing to the frequent use of acoustic instruments) as ‘wooden music.’ In so doing, they helped pave the way for the success of kindred spirits like Joni Mitchell, James Taylor and Jackson Browne.” RH

“By the time of their first tour, which included the Woodstock festival, they had added Young, also a veteran of Buffalo Springfield, who maintained a solo career.” WR The Woodstock festival was only “their second public performance. A half-dozen songs from their set appear on the 'Woodstock' (1970) and 'Woodstock Two' (1971) concert soundtracks.” RH

“The first CSNY album, Déjà Vu, was a chart-topping hit in 1970.” WR It was “a more eclectic and electric endeavor in which the group expanded with the addition of [not only] Neil Young…[but] the rhythm section of Dallas Taylor and Greg Reeves.” RH

“Shortly after its release, CSNY recorded Ohio, a song written by Young in response to the killing of four students at Kent State University by National Guardsmen during an antiwar protest. Of the political content that marked many of their songs, Nash has said: ‘In speaking for ourselves, [listeners] recognized that we were speaking for them, too.’” RH

“Performing acoustic and electric sets highlighted by guitar duels between Stills and Young and the foursome's affecting harmonies, Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young became a major concert attraction…However, their internal chemistry proved too volatile to last” RH and “the group split acrimoniously after a summer tour.” WR

“Their malleable live show was documented on 4 Way Street,” RH “a live double album issued after the breakup, [which] was another number one hit.” WR “Showcasing the group's range and versatility, it includes group performances and solo spots.” RH

“The quartet regrouped in 1974 to undertake rock's first stadium tour” RH “without releasing a new record. Nevertheless, the compilation So Far became their third straight number one.” WR

During the ‘70s, “each member…pursued a solo career, and Crosby and Nash teamed up as a duo…, but Crosby, Stills & Nash…[was their] artistic home base for the three of them.” RH They “re-formed without Young in 1977 for the album CSN, another giant hit” WR that “yielded a Top Ten hit in Nash's Just a Song Before I Go.” RH "It remains Crosby, Stills & Nash's highest-charting single.” RH

“They followed with Daylight Again in 1982” which “produced another Nash-penned hit, Wasted on the Way. Its subject was the band's combative chemistry. ‘We have wasted an enormous amount of time on petty issues that should never have kept us from making music,’ Nash opined in the liner notes from the box set CSN.” RH

“By then Crosby was in the throes of drug addiction and increasing legal problems. He was in jail in 1985-1986, but cleaned up and returned to action, with the result that CSNY reunited for…American Dream, in 1988.” WR “Recorded at Neil Young’s California ranch studio, it is the second studio album by the CSNY foursome, appearing 18 years after Déjà Vu.” RH

“CSN followed with Live It Up in 1990, and though that album was a commercial disappointment, the trio remained a popular live act.” WR In 1991, the released “CSN, a four-disc, 78-track box set containing much unreleased material.” RH

“Crosby, Stills & Nash return to the scene of an early triumph, performing at the Woodstock '94 festival. This year is the 25th anniversary of both Crosby, Stills and Nash's formation and the original Woodstock festival.” RH The trio then “embarked on a 25th anniversary tour in the summer of 1994 and released a new album, After the Storm.” WR

On May 6, 1997, “James Taylor inducts Crosby, Stills and Nash into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame at a ceremony in Cleveland.” RH

“The trio again reunited with Young for 1999's Looking Forward, followed in 2000 by their CSNY2K tour.” WR “Some 30 years after Crosby, Stills & Nash, Graham Nash could forthrightly say, ‘We still have it. We still mean it. It’s not for the money. It never was. It's for the music.’” RH

“‘They used to say we were speaking for our generation, and I think that it's still true,’ Crosby noted. ‘You hear a lot of music these days about rage and frustration and anger, but not much about hope and love and forward motion. That's what we want to continue to stand up for.’” RH

Biography Sources:

Last updated February 19, 2010.