12/3/16 – Crosby Stills & Nash – Suite: Judy Blue Eyes – 1969

Crosby, Stills & Nash - Suite- Judy Blue Eyes single Cover 1969And here’s the song that Judy Collins inspired. The original version of Suite: Judy Blue Eyes was the opening track on the  Crosby, Stills Nash debut released in 1969. I have included a live version from somewhere in the seventies, featuring Stephen Stills on acoustic guitar dynamics. The album version of the song was (7.28), way too long and needed to be edited for a single. Somehow they managed to edit out three whole minutes making it (4.35). Suite: Judy Blue Eyes reached No.21 on the US chart in 1969, the album No.6 in the same year.

Stephen Stills famously played most of the instruments on the album, all the bass, the organ, the electric guitar and the acoustic guitar on his own songs as well as on Nash and Crosby’s songs. He’s an underrated guitarist and although he eventually lost his way as a singer/songwriter, there’s many albums after CSN that are worth investigating. Both Nash and Crosby also made worthy albums in the wake of CSN’s phenomenal success, both separately and together.

This blend of ex Hollies, ex Byrds and ex Buffalo Springfield voices proved that California based, seventies harmony bands weren’t just blandsmiths. (I think I just invented a new word).

One last thing, if you think editing three minutes out of a song is a feat, a tragedy or a necessity, think about this: The single version of In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida by Iron Butterfly (1968) was edited down from the album version (17.05) to a single version (2:52) cutting out 15 minutes!