BY LEE ZIMMERMAN
It’s about time. Being the last of the famous foursome that comprises Crosby Stills Nash and Young to release an anthology of his own speaks to the fact that Stephen Stills is a bit of procrastinator. After all, it was 14 years between 2005’s lackluster Man Alive and the studio album that preceded it. And seven years later, there’s no new solo album in sight. It’s even more telling still that Graham Nash and Joel Bernstein had to compile this compendium for him. Compounding that consternation is the fact that this is, after all, the same Stephen Stills who wrote all those timeless songs immortalized by the likes of Buffalo Springfield, Crosby, Stills and Nash, Manassas and Stills himself.
Fortunately, when Nash and Bernstein assembled this jumbo four-CD set, they not only opted to include the more familiar career highlights, but also an ample sampling of B-sides, live tracks and unreleased offerings for added enticement. That’s a good move; given that Buffalo Springfield and CSNY material has been continually recycled over the years, a piano demo of a relatively obscure track like “Four Days Gone” and an unexpected take on Crosby’s “Lee Shore” bolsters interest overall. Likewise, an archival recording of Stills’ performing an original composition called “Travelin’” for a 1962 Voice of America radio session, and a heretofore unreleased guitar workout with Jimi Hendrix on the obliquely titled “No-Name Jam” up the ante as well. Add a well-stocked collection of superior songs worth a revisit (“Love the One You’re With,” “It Doesn’t Matter,” “Change Partners”) and a booklet brimming over with photos, commentary and thorough annotation, and Carry On becomes the true box set bonanza every fan and follower would hope for.
DOWNLOAD: “It Doesn’t Matter,” “The Lee Shore,” “No-Name Jam”