If I Could Only Remember My Name
If I Could Only Remember My Name is the mostly fondly remembered record from the first wave of Crosby, Stills, and Nash solo albums, and was even a surprising inclusion on the Vatican’s official list of “The Top Ten Pop Albums Of All Time”, where it placed second behind The Beatles’ Revolver. As you’d expect from Crosby, it’s not particularly concerned with hooks – it’s loping and spacey. While Crosby’s distinctive rhythm guitar is prominent, his open arrangements give his guests plenty of room to breathe, and there are significant cameos from Jerry Garcia, Neil Young, and other West Coast musicians.
There are beautiful moments, like when Joni Mitchell’s voice joins Crosby’s on ‘Laughing’, or the stacked Crosby vocals in the closing ‘I’d Swear There Was Somebody There’. The loping, electric ‘Cowboy Movie’ is a thinly veiled account of Crosby, Stills, and Nash’s initial breakup over Nash and Stills’ mutual interest in Rita Coolidge – in the song Coolidge is referred to as The Raven, while Crosby is Fat Albert.
It took Crosby eighteen years to make a second solo album, which makes If I Could Only Remember My Name even more unique and interesting.