Presenting another entry in our extensive Listening in Depth series with advice on what to listen for as you critically evaluate your copy of Graham Nash / David Crosby.
Here are some albums currently on our site with similar Track by Track breakdowns.
This album has some of the BEST SOUND Crosby and Nash ever recorded, but you’d never know that listening to the average pressing. You need plenty of deliciously rich Tubey Magic if this music is going to work, and on that count this copy certainly delivers.
Bill Halverson was the engineer for this album, the man behind the first CSN album and many others.
We asked ourselves: Where in the world did all the midrange magic we were hearing on Graham Nash / David Crosby come from?
On a song like Where Will I Be the sound is so unbelievably transparent, open and intimate, it sounds like an outtake from David Crosby’s first album, one of the ten best sounding rock records ever made. How did Bill Halverson learn how to record as well as Stephen Barncard all of a sudden?
[We were very wrong to disparage Bill Halverson’s engineering skills and will be addressing our error soon.]
When you drop the needle on side one, you’ll know very quickly why we went so crazy for it — especially if you’ve been playing the kind of copies that we tend to run into, with veiled, hard, gritty voices — the kiss of death for a record that lives or dies by its vocal reproduction. (This is true for all CSN albums of course.)
This one is a whole different story, with wonderful clarity (listen to the acoustic guitar transients throughout) and silky sweet vocals.
It’s got the kind of weight down low and extension up top needed to give the midrange the space — the room, if you like — to present itself properly and not get lost in the mix.
The transparency is incredible, with richness and sweetness you have never heard on this album, guaranteed or your money back.
Side two is quite good. The vocals are not quite as clear and present, not as “breathy,” as they are on side one. We took a lot of points off for that; the rest of the sound is actually quite good.
This song would be right at home on Graham Nash’s first album, a desert island disc for me. This gets side one off to a great start.
Where Will I Be?
The best sound on side one, and a great test track. When the chorus of voices really starts pushing the meter, most copies will run into harmonic distortion trouble. Only the truly Hot Stampers manage to keep the loudest parts of the song clean and clear.
Listen for the attack of the snare; so many copies have that cardboardy drum sound we have to put up with on albums from this era, but the best ones get a nice crisp attack to the snare that really sells it.
Girl to Be on My Mind
The Wall Song
Love the music. The sound… uh, not so much. Heavy, heavy compression as befits a song mixed to sound good on AM radio.
Still, the best copies tend to minimize the distortion and maximize the sweetness and richness.