Upon its 1971 release, Crosby’s free-spirited debut was thoroughly bashed by critics – today, it’s a revered piece of Laurel Canyon post-psychedelia. Now on two CDs, it’s been expanded and sonically improved.
First, the original tapes have been restored with Plangent Processes, a digital/analog technology that corrects tape-speed flaws. The resulting tracks are warm and vivid, such as “Cowboy Movie,” with David’s vocal, Phil Lesh’s potent bass, and solos from Jerry Garcia, who brings a pervasive Grateful Dead influence. “Tamalpais High” sounds like a long-lost CSNY track, aided by Graham Nash’s harmonies and Jorma Kaukonen’s guitar.
In “What Are Their Names,” witness vocals from Crosby, Nash, Neil Young, Joni Mitchell, and Grace Slick, plus Garcia’s picking – a true supersession. The second CD of unreleased demos includes “Riff 1,” “Fugue,” and “Kids and Dogs,” capturing Crosby’s crisp, open-tuned acoustic – he’s a vastly underrated rhythm player – and mind-boggling vocals.
While other CSNY members had higher-charting solo releases, Remember My Name remains a stone-cold sleeper and precursor to the modern genre known as “freak folk.” Combined with a brilliant 2021 studio album (For Free) and documentary film, David Crosby is experiencing a surprise resurgence – at age 80.
This article originally appeared in VG’s January 2022 issue. All copyrights are by the author and Vintage Guitar magazine. Unauthorized replication or use is strictly prohibited.