Saturday, January 10, 2015

Buffalo Springfield: For What It's Worth

Buffalo Springfield formed as a result of a famous chance meeting on the Sunset Strip between Neil Young and Steven Stills. After driving his 53’Pontiac hearse from Toronto to Los Angeles with his friend, bassist Bruce Palmer, Neil Young encountered Stills on that famous street. Stills was with his friend, singer and guitarist Ritchie Furay, at the time. Stills and Young had previously met in Toronto and instantly recognized each other. The four musicians stopped, chatted, and decided to form a band. Americans Stills and Furay and Canadians Young, Palmer, and drummer Dewey Martin would become famous as “Buffalo Springfield” in 1966.

Buffalo Springfield released their debut album, “Buffalo Springfield” in 1966 and found instant critical acclaim and popularity. Their music could best be described as folk-rock, but this talented assemblage of musicians played a variety of styles including folk, country, rock, and pop. “For what it’s Worth,” “Go and Say Goodbye,” Flying on The Ground Is Wrong,” and “Nowadays Clancy Can Even Sing” are all classic tracks from the debut album.

With their next effort, “Buffalo Springfield Again” (1967), the band would produce their masterpiece. This album was more consistent than the debut and featured more studio polish courtesy of producer Jack Nitzche. “Expecting to Fly” and “Broken Arrow,” two songs by Neil Young, are the albums’ highlights.

 The band would produce one more solid album, “Last Time Around” (1968), featuring outstanding tracks in “Kind Woman,” “One the Way Home,” and “I Am a Child” before disbanding.

Despite their brief run of just two years, Buffalo Springfield was a hugely influential band that spawned the solo careers of Young and Stills and future country-rock bands Poco, Manassas and Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young.