The Buffalo Springfield - Buffalo Springfield
Author: David Bowling
Dec 26, 2009
Stephen Stills began his musical journey as a folkie in the early to
mid sixties. His career took a dramatic turn when he and fellow
musician Richie Furay met or to be more exact collided with Neil
Young. His folk sensibilities would mesh with Young's rock leanings
to form the basis for one of the most creative bands in American music history.
The Buffalo Springfield, under the leadership of Stills, Young, and
the underrated Furay, would fuse rock and country music and leave
behind a legacy that reverberates to the present day. Bass player
Bruce Palmer and drummer Dewey Martin would complete the original lineup.
They would remain a functioning unit for only a little more than two
years, yet such was their talent level and respect, they would be
elected to The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame in 1997. The group spawned
the solo careers of Young and Stills, plus provided the foundation
for Poco and Crosby, Stills, Nash, and sometimes Young.
Buffalo Springfield's self-titled debut album was different than just
about everything else being produced in 1966. Originally released in
October to general disinterest by the American record buying public,
it was re-released in March 1967. The re-release featured the group's
big hit "For What Its Worth," enabling the album to become a
moderate commercial success.
Stephen Stills' "For What Its Worth" is two and a half minutes of
musical bliss. Its introductory guitar notes are still recognizable
over four decades after its initial release, and it remains the
perfect and eternal song of protest. It is not only a relic of the
sixties but is that rare song that has retained its relevancy over decades.
Neil Young wrote five of the album's tracks but only sings lead on
two as he lacked confidence in his vocal skills at that point in his
career. Richie Furay fills in on the other three. Still his song
writing ability is superb as "Flying On The Ground Is Wrong," "Do I
Have To Come Right Out And Say It," "Nowadays Clancy Can't Even
Sing," and "Burned" which does feature his vocal, are universally
excellent. Stills' contributions are more hit or miss. "Hot Dusty
Roads" is a nice country rock song, and "Sit Down I Love You" has
remained a part of his live act for years.
The album features the interplay of three excellent guitarists and
the clear harmonies of four wonderful voices that fit together well.
Buffalo Spingfield remains a remarkable debut and an important one
yet it was only the beginning as the best was yet to come.