Saturday, February 2, 2013

Buffalo Springfield 'For What It's Worth' Atco 7" Single

I saw this come up on TradeMe but actually forgot to bid on it. A week or so later it popped back up, clearly unsold. It's clearly a case of a) limited appeal, b) it was overpriced or c) the serendipitous nature of record collecting meant that the cosmos knew that this should be in my collection.

Yes, 'For What It's Worth' (which is handily sub-titled on this release as, 'Stop, Hey What's That Sound') is arguably twee in the extreme (as are most '60's protest songs) but it represents the only popular single released by (The) Buffalo Springfield, whom have been tremendously influential on many bands that I've been into since.

In addition, the song marks the first major hit for Stephen Stills, whom was a major influence on me learning to play guitar.
My parents had many Crosby/Stills/Nash (aka CSN) (or iterations therein) LP's but didn't possess (and to my knowledge weren't familiar) with Buffalo Springfield until I advised my Father to buy a copy of the eponymous 1973 Atlantic compilation LP, (I sold it to him on the basis of the inclusion of 'For What It's Worth', which featured on a CSN live video which he had), which I then became fairly obsessive about.

We bought the LP in a rather fantastic record shop in Copenhagen, of which the name escapes me.

In particular, tracks that I repeatedly played were the 9 minute version of 'Bluebird' (about Judy Collins, as is 'Suite: Judy Blue Eyes' on CSN's first LP) and the Neil Young song, 'Out Of My Mind' which as maudlin as virtually any other song I own.

'Bluebird' was a major influence on me starting to experiment with alternate tunings, which led to a leap forward in my playing.
I also took probably more influence from CSN's first (eponymous LP) and the follow-up, Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young's 'Deja Vu' LP.
My favourite tracks from the first LP, include 'Helplessly Hoping', which I also bought as a 7" single.
For many years, I laboured under the misapprehension that the reverse of the LP features a picture of Neil Young, whom joined the band and played on the follow-up, 'Deja Vu'. I've subsequently learned that it's the drummer Dallas Taylor, whom aside from the three namesakes (Crosby, Stills & Nash) is the only other musician that plays on the record. (Indeed, Crosby & Nash's instrumental, rather than vocal, performances being minimal).
The follow up, 'Deja Vu' is (by my estimation) a bit more patchy but contains Neil Young's 'Helpless', which is an amazing piece of work. ('Deja Vu' is more of a band effort, with Nash's more populist offerings coming to the fore. I'm effectively a Stills fan more than a Crosby, Stills & Nash fan).
The most seventies photograph, ever?

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