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    Buffalo Springfield

    Buffalo Springfield Again 8 ( 1967 )
    Mr Soul / A Childs Claim To Fame / Everydays / Expecting To Fly / Bluebird / Hung Upside Down / Sad Memory / Good Time Boy / Rock & Roll Woman / Broken Arrow

    David Crosby of The Byrds was so impressed upon seeing Buffalo Springfield he wanted to join them. He sort of did ultimately, with the formation of Crosby Stills & Nash, and later Crosby, Stills, Nash And Young. Buffalo Springfield boasted three song-writers - Neil Young, Stephen Stills and Richie Furay. After the demise of Buffalo Springfield, each would go onto further their careers through solo work and other group work. The Neil Young led 'Mr Soul' opens the record with an insistent rhythm and distorted, psychedelic guitar parts. Loads of great guitar parts, actually, not just from Neil, but Richie and Steve as well. Richie Furay leads and wrote 'A Child's Claim To Fame' which is pure country rock. To put things into perspective, The Flying Burrito Brothers debut wouldn't be released until 1968. Well, that sound was being mined by a few groups around this time. Back to the particular song in question. Steve and Neil provide backing vocals, and very sweet the harmonized vocal work is too. It's a nice song, not too substantial, but certainly enjoyable. Stephen Stills writes and sings 'Everydays' sharing lead with Richie. It's a nicely mellow, slightly jazz influenced ( especially the Piano parts ) rock song into which Neil Young still manages to squeeze in some distorted guitar! Speaking of which, 'Expecting To Fly' is totally gorgeous and an indication for parts of Neils following solo career. It appears the track was created solo by Neil with help from producer Jack Nitsche on Piano and string arrangements. The production here is especially astute and makes good use of dynamics. The swirling, romantic strings over the top of Neils 'in the air' vocals works extremely well. Steve Stills gifts us with 'Bluebird' to wrap up the first half. Everyone plays guitar. The guitars are great, far better than the actual song, in fact. The vocals do have a certain grit and power. The whole performance is inspired and rescues the material totally.

    'Hung Upside Down' is enriched by a crystal clear, strong and powerful Stephen Stills vocal. The harmonies come in, the fuzz guitar - played by Stills himself rather than Neil this time. A great guitar solo or two. And, there you have it! Richie Furarys 'Sad Memory' is so laid back it barely exists. I suppose it works as part of the album overall, a respite from all the guitar for a while. A great example of Buffalo Springfield being able to transform any material arrives with the funk/soul of 'Good Time Boy'. The American Soul Train are credited with the songs arrangement, and they do a fine job on the horns as well. It's a great sounding song, especially instrumentally but the vocal work of Dewey Martin is rather buried beneath the horn and brass parts. To contrast, 'Rock & Roll Woman' is both great sounding AND a great song! Now, there's an idea!! Here we get the birth of Crosby Stills and Nash in a sense. David Crosby is credited with 'inspiration' and certainly helped out with the vocal harmony parts. Those harmony parts are of course utterly beautiful. Well, no surprises there if Mr Crosby was involved. We get some great guitar from Neil and Steve, especially. A wonderful song, what can I say? 'Broken Arrow' is another indication of Neil Young's solo career. It's another wonderful song from Neil. 'could you see them.....' sung in that way of his that makes your heart collapse. This song perhaps doesn't easily flow between it's different sections, but it's a small complaint when it sounds as good as it does. Around the five minute mark a shuffling Jazz part comes floating in. It sounds incongruous at first, later just makes you grin. And, the sound of a heart beat to close.

    With the strong individual talents of Stills and Young in particular, it's no surprise Buffalo Springfield didn't last very long as a grouping. There isn't any cohesive sound through this record, bar the fuzzy distorted guitars of Neil and sometimes Stephen. Still, it's a fine record. A great sounding record, even if not all of the songs are great material.

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    Readers Comments

    Rachel Cloud Rogers rcloudr@cox.net
    Great review of a great album! Thank you! Funny thing is, I was looking for lyrics to the song that is "so laid back it barely exists" -- "Sad Memory." Back then, anything with "major 7th" (also called Maj7 or M7) chords sounded "jazzy" and appealed a latent jazz interests in many of us. Of course Bluebird and Mr. Soul were total classics. EVen Neil Young was good then, although his vocals were still pretty abysmal. (Remember "Out of My MInd" from the 1st album? Amazing they let him sing it!)

    Buffalo Springfield was the best. I am looking for the words to "Sad Memory". Thank you for the opportunity to Email you. A big fan,Laura O"Neill Perlow

    this page last updated 4/11/07

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