CD Songs for Beginners (CD 7041324),
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Songs for Beginners
1. Military Madness
2. Better Days
3. Wounded Bird
4. I Used To Be a King
5. Be Yourself
6. Simple Man
7. Man In the Mirror
8. There's Only One
9. Sleep Song
11. We Can Change the World
Manufacturer Part Number (MPN): R27204
Larry Cox; Russ Gary; Bill Halverson
Personnel includes: Graham Nash (vocals, guitar, piano, organ, tambourine); Dorian Rudnytsky (cello); Seemon Posthuma (bass clarinet); Bobby Keys (saxophone); Joel Bernstein, Joe Yankee (piano); Calvin Samuels, Chris Ethridge (bass); Johnny Barbata, Dallas Taylor (drums); Pat Arnold, Vanetta Fields, Shirley Matthews, Clydie King, Dorothy Morrison (background vocals).
Recorded at Wally Heiders Studio III, Los Angeles and Studio "C", San Francisco.
Audio Remixer: Nathaniel Kunkel.
Recording information: Studio "C", San Francisco, CA; Wally Heider's Studio III, Los Angeles, CA.
Probably Graham Nash's most famous solo album--he never recorded as many solo projects as his CSN&Y cohorts, for some reason--1971's SONGS FOR BEGINNERS is the quintessential Graham Nash experience. The ex-Hollies frontman overdubs his distinctive harmonies over unfailingly pretty piano and guitar melodies, letting his pop instincts, which were always more finely attuned than those of his folkier chums, lead him.
Part protest songs--"Military Madness" and "Chicago" are as impassioned as Young's "Ohio"--and part singer-songwriter introspection, the songs are a uniformly strong lot. "Wounded Bird" and "Simple Man," among Nash's most beloved tunes, are highlights, but the lovely "Sleep Song" is among Nash's finest tunes ever. Jerry Garcia and Dave Mason are among the many heavy friends who make cameo appearances.
Rolling Stone (p.81) - 3.5 stars out of 5 -- "Alongside Neil Young's 'Ohio,' they remain the most potent political anthems in the Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young songbook."
Rolling Stone (7/22/71, p.36) - "...a sharp ear for melody, a pleasant voice that tends to grow on you, and a suprisingly restrained and beautiful production..."
Q (7/93, p.110) - 3 Stars - Good - "...Perhaps because of his Hollies background, Graham Nash was unusual among '70s singer/songwriters in appreciating the three-minute pop single...worth a listen..."
Dirty Linen (p.50) - "[The album] has a timeless feel due to the strength of the material....The album ended with the politically fueled 'Chicago/We Can Change the World,' songs that are still relevant today."
Mojo (Publisher) (p.117) - 4 stars out of 5 -- "SONGS FOR BEGINNERS is the sound of a gentle soul from northern England watching the LA lights go out....Songs of change and hope heavy with an unfathomable foreboding."
Record Collector (magazine) (p.99) - 4 stars out of 5 -- "[With] solid songwriting....Though it's possible to hear echoes and pre-figurings, the music is sufficiently different from his group work to be distinctive..."
Uncut (magazine) - 4 stars out of 5 -- "These are protest songs....It all sounds lovely."
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Atlantic (Label) R27204
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