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From the book 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die.

If I Could Only Remember My Name

David Crosby

1971

Buy At Rough Trade
If I Could Only Remember My Name
Album Summary

If I Could Only Remember My Name is the debut solo album by American singer-songwriter David Crosby, released in February 1971 on Atlantic Records. A number of guest musicians appear on the record, including Graham Nash, Neil Young, Joni Mitchell, and members of Jefferson Airplane, Santana, and the Grateful Dead. The ensemble was given the informal moniker of The Planet Earth Rock and Roll Orchestra. It was one of four high-profile albums (all charting within the top fifteen) released by each member of Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young in the wake of their chart-topping Déjà Vu album, along with After the Gold Rush (Neil Young, September 1970), Stephen Stills (Stephen Stills, November 1970) and Songs for Beginners (Graham Nash, May 1971). It peaked at No. 12 on the Billboard Top LPs chart and earned a RIAA gold record certification in the United States.

Wikipedia

Rating

3.06

Votes

11348

Genres

  • Country
  • Folk
  • Rock
  • Psychedelic Rock
  • Singer Songwriter

Reviews

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Thu Mar 25 2021
1

White men with weak voices who huddle in the "Let's jam to the blues" bit of the rock spectrum have to work harder for my attention. David Crosby (not the same as Bill Cosby it turns out - I had to check) comes across so up his own arse that he either doesn't know or doesn't care, which is probably why so many of his moany vespers disappear before taking on a recognisable form. Song With No Words sounds like self-parody (though the coda's all right) and What Are Their Names sounds like a half-baked intro to a longer song which is due to start at 4:14 but finishes there instead. My question isn't can he play (answer: yes) but why is he playing? Verdict: I could have died without hearing this album.

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Sat Dec 12 2020
5

This list of collaborators on this album is wild: multiple members of each of Jefferson Airplane, The Grateful Dead, and Santana, plus the entire CSNY crew, and of course Joni Mitchell. Three of the nine songs are instrumentals, one of them (Cowboy Movie) reads like it was written by a mental patient, and the rest offer little in the way of lyrical complexity. It sounds incredible, though, and not only is the sound enough to overcome all of that, it feels like a feature rather than a bug. One of my favorite albums so far. Best track: What Are Their Names

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Fri Oct 09 2020
5

Loved this! Wish I had discovered this years ago!

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Sat Apr 03 2021
5

Great Overall album, mystical and enjoyable songs, setting a great mood

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Mon Feb 01 2021
5

Amazing. Ahead of its time, soothing and energizing

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Wed Sep 08 2021
5

Really fun - Croz is a hell of a singer. Cowboy Movie wouldn't seem out of place as a gritty, choppy cut on a Neil Young platter, whilst Traction In the Rain almost has an iridescent quality to its beauty. I also liked the final tracks, eschewing words for voice and mood. Amongst the best albums this app has so far offered unto us.

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Wed May 04 2022
5

This is a great album...jazzy atmospheric, beautiful harmonies and unusual song structures. Thecstar of the show for me is Cowboy Movie an 8 minute epic with a gorgeous melody and soaring guitar and lyrics as epic as the title implies. But there are great songs throughout this excellent album. 5 🌟

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Thu Jan 21 2021
4

Holy star studded cast, Batman! You've got, Neil Young, Joni Mitchell and The Grateful Dead all putting their fingers in the pie and it's wonderful. Moody, full throated and bluesy as all get out. Smooth as a drive on an empty interstate in the southwest. I figured out something that was bugging me, the vocals for "Cinder and Smoke" by Iron and Wine are clearly derived from "Tamalpais High (around 3)" and boy that's a good thing.

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Thu Mar 11 2021
3

I have an old used copy of this on vinyl so I do like it well enough, but listening to it in the context of 1001 greatest albums is kinda baffling to me. I like Cowboy Movie the most by far. It's basically a grateful dead track with a different singer when you look at the lineup. Other than that I like the strangely intense vocal harmony work on the last two tracks but honestly I feel like this is a fairly weak and very loosely constructed album. Kinda just sounds like high quality jam recordings on most of it.

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Thu Jun 16 2022
5

I've been a Neil Young, Byrds and CSNY fan for so long... I'm almost ashamed that I didn't pay attention to this album before. From the second song, I already felt at home. The nosy, imperfect and magnificent guitar, the divine vocal harmonies, the subtleties brought by each musician. A very pleasant listen and I hope to find this vinyl record very soon!

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Mon Jul 05 2021
2

lol just what this list needed, more folk rock. There really is no excuse for the sheer number of albums in this genre and time period, let alone shit this idiot was personally involved in. If you believed this list, music as we know it wouldn't exist without David Crosby. Somehow, these boring, meandering half-country, half-psychedelic stoner jams are essential listening that I'm not allowed to die before I hear them. Fuckin' lol. 1 point grudgingly given for not being the absolute worst thing I've ever heard, 1 point for only running half an hour. 2/5.

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Tue Mar 30 2021
5

It knows how to balance hard hitting lyrics and songs with calm tunes and vocals, switching it's tempo right as you're going at the right pace. A really well put together thought out album. I fucking love these kind of albums, everything comes together beautifully and comes to it's full fruition within the context of the album.

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Thu Jan 21 2021
5

Wow - didn't know this album existed - but it underscores what a critical part of CSN sound Croz actually was - and likely an important foil to Stills.

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Fri Mar 05 2021
5

Just amazing loved every second of this album

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Thu Dec 02 2021
5

Jerry. Pedal steel Excellent. All of the albums to come out of the PERRO recording sessions are pretty good to outstanding, and this is an outstanding one..

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Sun Mar 13 2022
5

This is one of, if not THE underrated classic of the 1970s. It’s basically Crosby stills Nash and Young without stills plus the Grateful Dead plus Jefferson airplane. I even think Greg Rolie and a few other Santana guys are on this thing too. It’s fucking amazing!

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Thu Mar 17 2022
5

Good lord this made me want to drink beer in the sun.

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Sun May 08 2022
5

Lovely -- and how have I not heard this before?

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Thu Jun 30 2022
5

Great album to get lost in on a sunny morning, floated in it.

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Fri Sep 16 2022
5

Awesome! So much of the CSNY sound is here.

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Mon Oct 10 2022
5

a sublime album. absolutely love it

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Sun Dec 04 2022
5

I've never listened to this one before. Some of the songs are unplayable on Spotify, presumably due to the contributions of Joni Mitchell and/or Neil Young, so I'll have to find it elsewhere! I'm a big fan of Joni and Neil, but don't know much of the other CSNY members' work. Had a listen on YouTube -wow I can't believe I haven't heard this before. So many great artists on one record, and the Grateful Dead too (having said that, this is much better than their solo album I was subjected to last week). The album flows really well together, and is very well produced for the most part. Lyrically, it maybe strays a bit to far into hippie-dippie territory, but given the political climate at the time, that's understandable. Overall a great find, I'll be listening to this again for sure.

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Fri Mar 12 2021
2

Production: 11/20 Songwriting: 8/20 Innovation: 7/20 Bangers: 0/20 Emotional response: 6/20 =32 tres boring I'm afraid

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Fri Apr 02 2021
2

This album is pretty disappointing. Inconsistent quality of songwriting, it feels more like this album is on the list for Crosby's reputation.

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Wed Jul 27 2022
2

Like a collection of rejected Neil Young B-sides. Rating: 2/5 Playlist track: Orleans Date listened: 26/07/22

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Thu Apr 08 2021
5

no conocía nada de mi tocayo pero que barbaro chinago

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Mon Jan 31 2022
5

Great -- angry at times and haunting at others, moody and a bit rough around the edges, but powerful across the board.

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Tue Oct 20 2020
4

Hard one to rate. It sound so hazy and loose in places, its hard to tell if they were trying. But when they lock into a groove or a good vocal line, it's magic. One of those albums that invented a template many others copied, and that no doubt sounded mind blowing at the time it was released, but I'm not sure this is really an album someone who's not already a big CSNY fan really needs to hear in 2021.

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Thu Jul 15 2021
1

This album cover is hilarious. Just needed to state that right off the bat. The familiarity of Crosby's voice is nice/pleasing to those of us old enough to have heard CSN so often on the radio, but I'm finding this a bit aimless. "Cowboy Song" as the second track...an 8-minute jam over two chords...seems a poor choice here, if not just a poor song. Once "Tamalpais High" kicks in though, those *harmonies* start right away - that's what we came for. But ... that's all that song delivers - almost literally - David just thought "yeah that's enough here" :D "Laughing" is a little more constructed but unimaginative, and the rest of the album sort of peters out. I know each of the CSNY members released solo albums in the aftermath of their classic "Deja Vu" and probably wanted to establish their own voice, no pun intended. But listening to this even while acknowledging DC's best asset (his gorgeous harmony construction) is still strong here it's hard not to think that Crosby needed the rest of his sometime-bandmates to help him put together anything resembling memorable songs. This ends up just being a half-hour of often nice sounding notes. If I could only remember any of them. mostly because it should have been better but it's just trash.... 2/10 1 star.

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Mon Dec 19 2022
5

Very good, need to listen several more times

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Mon Feb 13 2023
5

I tried to listen to this album on Spotify and realized that two of the songs were not available because they were cowritten by Neil Young. Neil Young is in the middle of his whiny little bitchpalooza about Joe Rogan and Spotify, so only those two songs are not available on the platform. I found a friend with a copy of the CD, and after listening to it, I realized that the two songs cowritten with Neil Young, Music is Love and What are Their Names, are the two weakest songs on the album, so really old Neil did Spotify a favor. The rest of the album is perfectly atmospheric and harmonious. The album with the two omitted songs is four stars and without, five stars. Thanks Neil.

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Wed Apr 19 2023
5

This album is so underrated. I love it, it’s in my top 100 of all time.

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Fri May 26 2023
5

Super chill, easy listening. Thanks for the introduction.

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Wed Aug 02 2023
5

There is a melancholy spirituality here that I was very touched by. This is gorgeous.

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Mon Aug 21 2023
5

This album is essentially a cross between the Grateful Dead and CSNY, with some Jorma and Joni thrown in for good measure. Ah to have been a fly on the wall for these recording sessions. After a cheesy first track, the rest of the album is excellent. My favorite is Tamalpais High, which features some quintessential harmonies by Crosby with sensational backing by Jerry, Phil, Kruetzman, and Jorma. I mean wow!

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Thu Aug 24 2023
5

This album deserves to be way better known, up there with his work with others

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Sun Sep 10 2023
5

Good listening dad rock. Will likely revisit at some point

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Thu Oct 05 2023
5

One of my favorite records. Just look at the people who played on this album. Pretty much all of the Grateful Dead and Jefferson Airplane. Very psychedelic with folk elements as well, not unlike the typical CSNY records.

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Sun Jan 14 2024
5

Probably my favourite album of the seemingly hundreds connected to the Byrds and their constituent members. The main reason to hate that UFC prick is the Neil Young ban means I can't easily stick this whole album on. I need to really sort myself out with a vinyl player again and buy this album. I am hugely hit and miss with Young but his two co-writing contribution here are both great. I imagine there's more of the record he's playing on but they're still available. Such a shame I only discovered this around Crosby's death early last year when my mate (a big Cros fan) sent it me. But that means its super fresh to me as well. Just superb from start to finish. The Byrdsy vocal harmonies are of course on show, as well as uber-laid back guitar, it's just bliss to me. Album cover captures the vibe superbly. Highlights, the second half of Cowboy Movie when it's really in it's stride, Laughing (obviously)

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Sun Jan 28 2024
5

Belíssima transformação da melancolia em força criativa.

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Wed Feb 21 2024
5

Reading some of the reviews from younger people, I worry for the future. Yes, Virginia, modern music owes a great deal to David Crosby and his contemporaries. NWA would never have said "Fuck the Police" if CSNY hadn't said "Fuck the National Guard" in 1970. Back to this album. Listening to it for the first time (and ashamed I missed it until now) I find myself hearing a bevy of familliar voices. "Is that...?" Yes. And Crosby blends flawlessly with all of them. The only fault in the album is it's just too short.

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Sun Mar 10 2024
5

I really enjoyed this album. I was feeling it for me it was perfect for today! Kate loves the album cover!

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Thu Mar 14 2024
5

Wow. What starts a soulful blues become an etherical, nearly timeless or at least Style-defining psych-folk album. Strong in its calmness I would‘ve never expected the music being so far away from the likes of his collabo-participations. Strongly recommend this! 4.7

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Fri Mar 29 2024
5

This was awesome. Loved the whole thing, especially Cowboy Movie.

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Wed Apr 17 2024
5

The man lived a lifetime of mess, but boy could he make music.

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Mon May 27 2024
5

An album of pictures in sound and moods. Opener 'Music is love' sounds like a stoned campfire sing along; 'Cowboy Movie' sounds like I'm wandering through the desert with a thirst; 'Tamalpais High' could be incidental music to a cool cult 70s movie. Meanwhile the gorgeous sun- kissed 'Laughing' sounds like the Byrds at their best while the jam 'What are their names' has some fine instrumental noodling. Then there's the stacked heavenly harmonies of 'Orleans', which are simply stunning. And surprisingly, given the background (the recent death of his girlfriend) this is an uplifting rather than a depressing listening experience: mystical and beautiful, if a bit disjointed.

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Sun Jun 16 2024
5

I can understand why this was met with confusion and hostility when it came out since it’s so different to what people would have expected from Crosby, but as an almost wordless expression of grief, I think it creates an incredible atmosphere.

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Wed Jun 09 2021
4

6/12 A real groover. Standout Tracks: Cowboy Movie, Song With No Words (Tree with No Leaves), Tamalpais High (At About 3), What Are Their Names, Traction in the Rain

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Mon Mar 08 2021
4

Pretty relaxing and lowkey. I liked biking to this one. 3.5 --> 4

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Fri Feb 19 2021
4

Pretty nice background music.

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Thu Jan 21 2021
4

Did Crosby and Stills have a falling out during this time? Everyone and their mothers are on this except Stephen Stills

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Mon Feb 22 2021
4

Tttrriiiipppppyyyyy. "Decline of the hippy era" is becoming one of my favourite genres. Famous friends actually lift the album, when sometimes the opposite can happen. Lovely acoustic open string tone.

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Thu Mar 11 2021
4

I thought this was a very good album. Fun picking out Neil Young's voice singing harmony. I liked the simplicity of the acoustic guitar and almost tinny recording quality in some places. Was reading about him, did not realize he was in The Byrds, and interesting to hear about him hanging with Buffalo Springfield, sitting in for Neil Young at least once. Seems like there was a lot of intermingling between bands that resulted in a lot of music.

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Wed Apr 14 2021
4

Very good. Great harmonies. Not eternally memorable.

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Mon Mar 29 2021
4

Disco que demuestra que Crosby es el alma de lo que toque. Ya sean los Buffalo Springnfield o los CSN/Y) Pos 69, espíritu de Laurel Canyon, heroína...

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Sat Apr 03 2021
4

Well the GOATs are all here...what else can I say.

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Thu Apr 08 2021
4

Some nice classic rock, solos were jamming.

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Sat Feb 20 2021
4

Somewhat situational, but the western vibes are very enticing. Good road trip music

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Fri May 21 2021
4

Bluesy. Sounds like improv. 3 instrumentals

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Fri Mar 19 2021
4

I always think of David Crosby as some kind of Wilford Brimley type fat old guy. Like the quaker oats guy or something. This is really pretty good, and good to remember that he was a big deal back in the day, both solo and with Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young (or the variations thereof). Oh, I didn't realize Crosby as in the Byrds.

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Mon Apr 26 2021
4

Wonderful stuff, ably supported by some other amazing musicians - the early seventies were a golden period for music like this

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Mon Apr 26 2021
4

A gorgeous, layered soundscape. Perfect Sunday listen.

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Mon Apr 26 2021
4

I listened to this 4 times yesterday, but this just misses out on 5 stars. A fantastic album that I enjoyed immensely. It has an effortless flow and beautiful songs.

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Tue Apr 20 2021
4

David Crosby's debut solo album, If I Could Only Remember My Name is a one-shot wonder of dreamy but ominous California ambience. As it is, If I Could Only Remember My Name is a shambolic masterpiece, meandering but transcendentally so, full of frayed threads. Not only is it among the finest splinter albums out of the CSNY diaspora, it is one of the defining moments of hungover spirituality from the era.

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Tue Apr 27 2021
4

Franchement c'est assez cool Cowboy Movie est très bien. Il a une très jolie voix. Female Janis Joplin Tamalpais High (At about 3) est also superbe, elle fait penser à "A horse with no name" Song with no words très bien aussi Superbe album, ça tombe bien je commençais à manquer de motivation pour le challenge. Solide 8/10 + Orleans, une très jolie (courte) chanson sur la ville d'Orléans. seul défaut : peut-être qu'il finit vite, on reste sur notre faim.

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Fri Apr 09 2021
4

Second album with Neil Young on it, I swear everything that guys does is good

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Tue Jul 13 2021
4

just misses out on 5 stars. A fantastic album that I enjoyed immensely. It has an effortless flow and beautiful songs.

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Sat Jun 19 2021
4

This album kinda reminds me of the first few Paul McCartney solo albums, where it’s mostly just a lot of free flowing musical ideas and sparse lyrics while he tries out new things and directions. This album feels decidedly more somber or ethereal than any of those McCartney albums. I dig it! It’s got a cool vibe you can live in for 40 minutes.

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Tue Jun 29 2021
4

Loved this. No real songs, really, just a bunch of jams, but the vibe is perfect. Great guitar tone, too. Nonsense, but easy listening.

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Thu Jul 22 2021
4

You know? This is pretty good. I don't love it all but it has some good jams on it. Diggin Song with No Words. Overall four stars.

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Sat Jul 17 2021
4

Fleet foxes is just hipster David Crosby

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Tue Jun 15 2021
4

'Music is Love' sounded like something Tim Buckley would sing, 'Cowboy Movie's' autobiographical nature was refreshing, would want to get high to 'Tamalpais High' and spout fallacious philosophy, 'Laughing' pretty much summed up life 'Traction in the Rain' felt like poetry, 'Song with No Words' did indeed have no words, 'Orleans' and 'I'd Swear Somebody Was Here' were short, beautiful and majestic, loved them the most

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Thu Aug 26 2021
4

Weird concept album but some good licks

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Mon Aug 30 2021
4

Didn't know how much I would enjoy this until I read into it and gave it a listen. Great album made by some great artists

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