A spiritual masterpiece drenched in trippy albeit realistic optimism and mellow vibes, David Crosby’s 1971 solo debut If I Could Only Remember My Name is a transcendent tour de force of thematic writing, engrossing storytelling, and extraordinary vocal performance. It remained the singer-songwriter’s sole release up until 1989, its stature only gaining in prominence and importance with time.
Indirectly taking the advice of Joe Cocker, Crosby got more than a little help from his friends on a record laced with intricate guitar melodies, acoustic accents, meditational elements, and Western flavors. The Grateful Dead’s Jerry Garcia, Mickey Hart, Bill Kreutzmann, and Phil Lesh, the Jefferson Airplane’s Paul Kantner and Jorma Kaukonen, and musical dignitaries Graham Nash, Joni Mitchell, and Neil Young are among the standouts that lend a hand.
While a product of its California environment, If I Could Only Remember My Name isn’t simply California dreaming. Undercurrents of uncertainty and worry inform the tunes, and Crosby has never sounded better—or more focused, passionate, or devoted. Add this to the list of essential 70s albums.
Mastered from the original analog tapes and pressed at Pallas in Germany, this stunning LP reissue sounds drop-dead gorgeous. Demonstrating that it’s stopping at nothing, Warner Bros. also reproduced the jackets and sleeves according to the specs of the originals, so that even the textures are faithful to what you would have held and felt in 1971. The results add up to the VERY BEST SOUNDING AND LOOKING PRESSING of If I Could Only Remember My Name ever released.
David Crosby, Jerry Garcia, Mickey Hart, Bill Kreutzmann, Phil Lesh, Paul Kantner, Jorma Kaukonen, Graham Nash, Joni Mitchell, Neil Young