I’m not a huge fan of Crosby, Stills, and Nash, but this song is one of the prettiest ever. CSN have had a rocky road over the years. Epic addictions, fistfights on stage, myriad permutations of individuals (Stills-Young, Crosby-Nash, CSNY, etc.), but they fucking nail it on this night.
Suite: Judy Blue Eyes is, of course, a love song to Judy Collins from Stephen Stills. It’s breathtaking, super hippy, and was omnipresent on the radio throughout the ’70’s and ’80’s. That said, it’s fucking beautiful.
This performance, from 2012, is noteworthy because CSN had not performed Suite: Judy Blue Eyes in years, because they’re old men now (legit in their 70’s old) and those high notes are brutal. To be truthful, I imagine it’s Stephen Stills who had the most trouble as David Crosby and Graham Nash seem to have kept their voices over the … holy shit… 48 year run that CSN has had.
Apparently either Stephen Stills’ voice was strong on this one night, or he worked on regaining range (maybe as simple as lifestyle changes), but in any case this performance is just sublime. Is that the word? Yes, I think so.
The purity of their tone in the harmonies during , “What have you got to lose?” is utter perfection. You needn’t be a fan of CSN to enjoy this. It’s beauty pure and simple, like a sunset, and Stills even throughs in a musical nod to George Harrison during the little guitar break before the doo doo doo part. It’s that Indian sounding bit. It’s the song Within You and Without You, off Sgt. Pepper. Good stuff.
Crosby, Stills, and Nash may rest on the laurels of their earlier work, but when it’s of such a high caliber as this, there’s no shame. Take a listen, really listen, and enjoy.
2 thoughts on “Listen to CSN Live 2012 – Suite Judy Blue Eyes”
Nash doesn’t seem to know where to stand. This is a great version. I’m listening to the audio while I work. I would say “sublime” is the correct word to describe the performance. Stills hit’s the high notes. I recently acquired a lot of Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young records, one being https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stephen_Stills_(album) His voice was always labored which added to it’s unique sound. Great find, Mark.
Graham Nash is awkward. Crosby is too massive to be anything but there, but her shines. Like Jerry in a way. His powerful voice is just incredible. Graham Nash … he moves like Davey Jones but his voice is the highest of them all, and he still nails it. He looks like a naked hot tub guy. Stephen Stills is immensely talented musically, for which he is not well known, because the man’s voice is something that should not be. It sounds ragged and weary almost always, except in his early 20’s, but it still has a strength, and a range that belies logic. It’s perfect and perfectly executed. I remember back in the 80’s, CSN played that shitty, echoey parking lot. After the gig Stephen Stills showed up at … some bar… I can’t remember. My buddy Kevin was there and Stills jammed with the band. Played Crossroads and apparently just wailed on guitar. Jimmy Page played on three songs on his Right By You album in the 80’s. end of lesson