Thursday, November 4, 2021

Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young - Live at the Fillmore East, June 1970

A few weeks back, I posted a concert that was meant to gather up all the Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young (CSNY) live material from 1969 (other than Woodstock) that's in excellent sound quality. Here's basically the same idea, except for 1970. This is a big concert album - two and a half hours - that took a lot of effort to put together, so I hope you enjoy it.

CSNY was a volatile combination, consisting of four stars who had big egos and tended to use a lot of drugs. They broke up briefly in early May 1970. You can hear them talk about it some in their between song banter here. Then they would break up again in early July 1970, after the end of their short tour. Luckily, while they were still together, they decided to film and record their shows at the Fillmore East in New York City, from June 2nd to June 7th. 

Apparently as I write this in November 2021, there are plans afoot to put out a new release based on these Fillmore shows. But with the way CSNY aren't talking to each other anymore, who knows when or if that'll happen. This can tide you over until such a release hopefully makes this obsolete.

The Fillmore shows were the main raw material used in making the live album "Four Way Street," released in 1971. However, a few other concerts were used: three from the Forum in Los Angeles (June 26th through 28th) and one from the Auditorium Theatre in Chicago (July 5th). Luckily for my purposes, several of the Fillmore shows have emerged on bootleg with excellent soundboard quality. These are from the June 4th, 5th, and 6th shows. There doesn't seem to be any bootleg from June 2nd. There are bootlegs from June 3rd and June 7th, but they're audience recordings of only middling quality.

Due to what's available, I decided to base this mainly on the June 6th concert, since it was a particularly good one with particularly good sound quality, to my ears. But I've added in songs not played that night from the June 4th and 5th shows. 

But since they're so much overlap between this album and the official "Four Way Street" album, I wanted to make sure all the songs from that are here too. It turns out though that four of the songs from that album (including the bonus tracks) weren't even played during the Fillmore East run. Those seem to come from the Chicago show on July 5th (though one or two might have been from one of the Forum shows). There's no good bootleg of that show, so I've used the versions of those four songs from the "Four Way Street" album.

As I explained with my 1969 CSNY live album "The 1969 Big Sur Folk Festival and More," they've had a certain pattern to their concerts. The first set of the concert would be all acoustic. That would start with CSN doing a song or two without Young. Then Young would join them for a couple more songs. Then each of them would get a solo spot for a song or two. The four of them would come together briefly at the end of the solo set. Then all four of them would be together for the entire electric second set. 

I maintained this format. So I had, say, a solo acoustic Neil Young song, I knew to stick it in part of his solo portion of the acoustic set. The electric set didn't vary much, but the acoustic set did. As it happens, all of the songs from the electric set are from the June 6th concert that is the basis of this album. But I've bulked up the acoustic set with a bunch of extra songs from other concerts.

My main goal here was to make something that would merit repeated listenings. In addition to sticking to excellent sound quality, I did my best to trim the fat. That meant editing down the silences and guitar tunings between songs. CSNY were particularly chatty during this time period. There's talk before pretty much every song, sometimes for a couple of minutes. I tried to leave that stuff in, as I think it's interesting. I also did my best to boost the volume sometimes, because they didn't always speak closely into their microphones when talking.

By the way, on the subject of talking, at one point between songs, there's a mention of "wooden nickel," and then they talked for a little while about bootlegs. This is because by the time of this concert, a CSNY bootleg called "Wooden Nickel" had emerged and had sold a lot of copies, since there was no other live CSNY recordings available at the time. But, as they pointed out, it wasn't very good, mainly due to sound quality issues. The recording of the Fillmore shows and the release of "Four Way Street" later was essentially an effort to beat the bootleggers.

Another little point of clarity I want to mention is that at one point, Young mentioned the name "Halverson." That's reference to the fact that someone named Bill Halverson was recording the concerts to make a live album. So Young brought up Halverson's name as kind of a surprise joke, knowing that person was listening.

I hope that if and when an official Fillmore East box set comes out, they'll use at least one version of each song played at those shows. There are a couple that I couldn't include, because they were only played on the shows where there isn't a good recording. For instance, "Birds" was played on June 2nd only, and "Another Sleep Song" was played on June 7th only (and not bootlegged).

That said, there were a few particularly interesting and unique songs that I wanted to include that didn't have excellent sound quality. I did a lot of editing to bring them up to snuff, but one can only do so much. So I've included them merely as bonus tracks: "Bluebird," "Everybody's Been Burned," and "We Are Not Helpless." Although they don't sound great, I was able to use the sound editing programs Spleeter and X-Minus to make them sound better than they ever have before, in my opinion. For instance, both "Bluebird" and "Everybody's Been Burned" had big surges of applause at their starts when the audience recognized the songs. I was able to almost entirely eliminate those applause surges, and other crowd noise through the songs. By the way, each of those songs were only ever played once in concert by CSNY during that time period. 

01 talk (Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young)
02 Suite- Judy Blue Eyes (Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young)
03 talk (Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young)
04 Blackbird (Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young)
05 talk (Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young)
06 On the Way Home (Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young)
07 talk (Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young)
08 Teach Your Children (Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young)
09 talk (Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young)
10 Tell Me Why (Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young)
11 talk (Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young)
12 Triad (Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young)
13 talk (Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young)
14 Guinnevere (Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young)
15 talk (Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young)
16 Simple Man (Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young)
17 talk (Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young)
18 King Midas in Reverse (Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young)
19 talk (Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young)
20 talk (Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young)
21 Laughing (Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young)
22 talk (Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young)
23 The Lee Shore (Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young)
24 talk (Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young)
25 Man in the Mirror (Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young)
26 Chicago (Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young)
27 talk (Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young)
28 Right Between the Eyes (Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young)
29 The Loner - Cinnamon Girl - Down by the River (Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young)
30 talk (Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young)
31 Don't Let It Bring You Down (Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young)
32 Cowgirl in the Sand (Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young)
33 talk (Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young)
34 Black Queen (Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young)
35 4+20 (Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young)
36 49 Bye-Byes - For What It's Worth - America's Children (Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young)
37 talk (Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young)
38 Only Love Can Break Your Heart (Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young)
39 talk (Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young)
40 Love the One You're With [Edit] (Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young)
41 Pre-Road Dawns (Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young)
42 talk (Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young)
43 Long Time Gone (Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young)
44 talk (Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young)
45 Helplessly Hoping (Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young)
46 talk (Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young)
47 Ohio (Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young)
48 talk (Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young)
49 As I Come of Age (Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young)
50 talk (Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young)
51 Southern Man (Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young)
52 talk (Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young)
53 Carry On (Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young)
54 talk (Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young)
55 Woodstock (Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young)
56 talk (Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young)
57 Find the Cost of Freedom (Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young)

Bluebird [Edit] (Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young)
Everybody's Been Burned [Edit] (Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young)
We Are Not Helpless [Edit] (Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young)

The cover photo is actually taken from one of the June 1970 Fillmore shows, though I'm not sure which one. It looks a bit like a composite photo to me, as if the four of them were pasted in from different photos. For instance, Young is in blue lighting and the others are not. But that's the actual untouched photo.


  1. Very good concept for an album, thanks!

  2. In my humble opinion Paul, yours is the best music-related blog on the internet; luv your focus, dedication, and way of thinking about music, plus your expertise with tools that accomplish your goals, which happen to be in-sync with the listener's wishes.

    1. Wow, thanks! That's very high praise indeed. :)

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