Manassas – Stephen Stills and Friends

 

Rolling Stone Magazine posed the weekend question yesterday, What is your favorite double album? My answer was The Beatles (album), a.k.a. The White Album. 

 

I have added thoughts about other favorite double albums in my collection. The album Manassas from Stephen Still‘s band in the early 70s plays strongly in the music of our heart.

 

 

I’ve always found Manassas to be a pleasurable, well-flowing recording. What I love the most about Manassas is how the music gels as the four sides play out. The assembled musicians follow each other in a natural groove that builds into polyrhythms that envelop the listener.

 

Manassas has been relegated over time to the status of an overlooked and forgotten album in the annals of rock. The band was an intuitive, collaborative nucleus who knitted together cohesive sound. Along with the band members listed on the début album cover above, added people included Byron Berline (fiddle), Bill Wyman (bass) and Jerry Garcia (pedal steel guitar). Bill Wyman was reported as saying that he would have left the Stones to join Manassas.

 

I found an interesting video segment of Manassas on YouTube. Like many of the 70’s videos I have watched it was filmed and broadcast on Beat-Club for German television. It has held up well over time capturing the band live before Manassas was released in April 1972. I like witnessing Chris Hillman playing guitar and sharing vocals with Stephen Stills. There is a magic between that works effectively. My favorite song by Manassas is, “It Doesn’t Matter” which appears on the video.

 

 

 

 

 

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3 Replies to “Manassas – Stephen Stills and Friends”

  1. Great post and Manassas I agree is a first rate album somewhat overlooked. And thanks for that video link. I’ve always had an affinity for double albums, because I’m interested in hearing my favorite artists stretching out or doing a concept. Naming my #1 would be tough, but may have to go with “Quadrophenia”, though I’ll put in a good word for two from punk days, “London Calling” and “Zen Arcade.”

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