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.