Stephen Stills - Live at Berkeley 1971

by Kevin Wierzbicki

Live at Berkeley 1971

This previously-unreleased live recording features 14 tracks culled from two shows that Stills performed at the intimate Berkeley Community Theater in late August of 1971. This was during his first solo tour, undertaken shortly after the release of Stephen Stills 2. After the tour Stephen would form Manassas and most of the members of that band---Al Perkins, Joe Lala, Dallas Taylor, Paul Harris and Calvin "Fuzzy" Samuels---act as his backing band here. Also appearing here are Steve Fromholz, Sidney George, the Memphis Horns and on two cuts, David Crosby. The first part of the set is acoustic and begins with the big hit "Love the One You're With," performed with Stills playing guitar accompanied only by a rhythm tapped out on congas by Lala. The quiet "Do for the Others" from Stephen's first solo album comes early in the set as does "Jesus Gave Love Away for Free," a cut that would appear on the first Manassas album in 1972. Crosby joins Stills for takes on the Crosby, Stills & Nash songs "You Don't Have to Cry" and "The Lee Shore," harmonizing on the former and taking the lead vocal on the latter. The protest song "Word Game" gives Stills, at the piano, a chance to show off his prowess with rapid fire vocals while "49 Bye-Byes" morphs into Stephen's Buffalo Springfield hit "For What it's Worth." Back playing acoustic guitar, Stephen performs "Black Queen," his "song about a card game," unaccompanied; he's also alone as he picks up the banjo for "Know You've Got to Run." The electric part of the show begins with "Bluebird Revisited" where the Memphis Horns also make their first appearance. The horns also play a prominent part on the soulful "Lean on Me" and favorite deep album groove "Cherokee" which also features George on flute. The final cut is another brass-filled number, "Ecology Song." A great snapshot in time, this live recording is a fine showcase of Stills' talent and will be welcomed by his legion of fans. Order is various formats including digital, vinyl and CD here.


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