Crosby, Stills & Nash - Demos
Demos are often most interesting when the final version of a tune is an elaborate production and hearing the stripped-down origins are a revelation. Since so much of Crosby, Stills & Nash's output was acoustic-based folk-rock, there aren't many surprises in these early voice-and-guitar rough cuts of well-known group and solo songs like "Marrakesh Express," "Chicago," and "Love the One You're With." That said, this surprisingly clean-sounding collection features uniformly lovely takes on the songs and offers up a couple of obscure tracks, including Graham Nash's tender, romantic lullaby "Sleep Song." It's also a reminder of how gifted these three were as individual vocalists. Recurring band mate Neil Young pops up on the hippie-ish but charming "Music Is Love." The chief attraction for longtime fans who own all of these songs in other configurations is the "add your own harmonies" possibilities. Since many of the 12 tracks feature only the main author on vocals - which is indeed a striking difference on the densely harmonious "Déjà vu" - fans can take a pass at playing their favorite member of the supergroup. (Out now) SARAH RODMAN
Crosby, Stills & Nash play at the
ESSENTIAL "Sleep Song"