This is a direct excerpt from UNCLE JOE'S RECORD GUIDE - AMERICANS, Volume One, Copyright (c) 1989 by J. Benson Unlimited. All rights reserved. Printed in the USA. No part of this book may be reproduced in any form or by any electronic means including information storage and retrieval systems without permission in writing from the publisher, except by a reviewer who may quote brief passages in a review.
Buffalo Springfield not only set the stage for CSN&Y and Poco, they also influenced every American musician throughout the late Sixties and early Seventies - from the Eagles to Lynyrd Skynyrd.
Buffalo Springfield emerged from the folk music boom of the early Sixties. Using a folk music-type of lyrical approach to rock & roll, combined with elements of country music, was very unusual in 1966 - the Byrds were the only successful band that previously came close. Buffalo Springfield's commercial success was minimal, with only one Top 10 single and no million-selling albums. It was the inspirational effect of the young band's intense live shows, lyrical treatments and guitar work that was immeasurable.
Buffalo Springfield's legacy proved to be their format of four accomplished vocalists with three guitarists. Their songwriting style combined reality-based lyrics with acoustic guitar under searing electric solos and intense interplay. They weren't afraid of stylistic experimentation, and, for a mid-Sixties American band, they had an unusual amount of control over their recordings.
Young wasn't even in the band all of the stormy year and a half they were together. When he and Stephen fought, Neil split. They both later blamed their problems on immaturity. Further clarifying the situation, Stills later said "We had too much fame and no money."
Buffalo Springfield Birth Dates
Richie Furay - 5/9/44Buffalo Springfield - Side One
Dewey Martin - 9/30/42
Jim Messina - 12/5/47
Bruce Palmer - 1946
Stephen Stills - 1/3/45
Neil Young - 11/12/45
Buffalo Springfield (16-16)
1st LP, released 12/66 - re-released 1/67. While Buffalo Springfield disbanded after making only two albums, and were never as commercially successful as hoped, they had considerable influence on American rock & roll. Their legacy proved to be their format and their songwriting style - four accomplished vocalists and three guitarists recording reality-based lyrics, acoustic guitars under searing electric solos and intense instrumental interplay.
After working together as the folk music Au Go Go Singers in New York, and briefly meeting Neil Young while on tour, guitarists Steven Stills and Richie Furay (pron. fur-RAY) spent a couple of months in early 1966 trying unsuccessfully to form a band in Los Angeles. In March, they literally ran into Canadians Neil Young and Bruce Palmer in a Hollywood traffic jam on Sunset Boulevard. The four immediately got together, and the first song Steve and Richie played for Neil and Bruce was an arrangement of Young's "Nowadays Clancy Can't Even Sing." When drummer Dewey Martin (who had also worked with Roy Orbison and Carl Perkins) was added to the line-up a couple weeks later, the band changed their name from Heroes to Buffalo Springfield - the brand name of a large bulldozer parked in front of their house on Fountain Avenue in Hollywood.
By the end of their first month together, Buffalo Springfield played an eight-song set before a large audience at the Los Angeles County Fairgrounds in San Bernardino. Life began to move very fast for the young band, which averaged 21 years of age. Before they began to record this album, Buffalo Springfield opened short tours for the Byrds and Johnny Rivers, and they even opened for the Rolling Stones at the Hollywood Bowl on July 25, 1966.
This debut album was quickly recorded live in the studio on a 4-track machine with little production input from the band. Managers Charles Green and Brian Stone (who had both worked with Sonny & Cher) handled the production, and totally missed the Springfield's live sound and energy. The band was so outraged with the inferior production job, that they fired Green and Stone three months after this album was released. Of the 12 songs on this album, Stills wrote seven and Young penned the rest. While Richie Furay didn't get any writing credits, he did sing lead on two of Neil's songs.
Just after the Buffalo Springfield album was released, the Sunset Strip riots in Hollywood inspired Stills to write "For What It's Worth." The record company immediately recalled the album, pulled the Stills song "Baby Don't Scold Me" from the line-up, substituted "For What Its Worth," then re-released the entire album. Although this album barely reached 80 on the American charts, the Top 10 success of "For What Its Worth" earned the Springfield a reputation as one of L.A.'s hottest young bands. That song, with its personal and understated (but very political lyrics), became one of the biggest rallying anthems for the youth movement of 1967.
As Buffalo Springfield began headlining concerts around the country, riots and drug busts followed in their wake. And soon, the same youthful spontaneity that gave their music so much punch, resulted in the inter-group friction that destroyed the band.
- "For What Its Worth was the Stephen Stills song inspired by the late 1966 Sunset Strip riots in Hollywood. When this song started climbing the charts (it eventually hit #7 in March 1967), the bands record company pulled the album, replaced the Stills song "Baby Dont Scold Me" with this track, then re-released the album.
- The Stills song "Go And Say Goodbye" was one of the first the band recorded. It was released as a single in August 1966.
- "Sit Down, I Think I Love You" was one of the first Stills compositions the band worked up.
- "Nowadays Clancy Cant Even Sing" was the Young song Stills and Furay had worked up before asking Neil to join their band. This track was used as the flipside of "Go And Say Goodbye."
- "Hot Dusty Roads" was another Stills song that had loneliness as its theme.
- The Stills song "Everybodys Wrong" was used as the flipside of the "Burned" single.
Buffalo Springfield - Side Two
- "Flying On The Ground Is Wrong" was a Neil Young composition that featured Richie Furay's lead vocals.
- The Young song "Burned" was released as a single in October 1966, but it didn't chart.
- "Do I Have To Come Right Out And Say It" was another Young composition sung by Furay - who did an outstanding job - with Neil on piano. This track was used as the flipside of "For What It's Worth."
- "Leave" was a Stills composition.
- "Out Of My Mind It" was written by Young.
- The Stills song "Pay The Price" was one of the first the band worked up in March 1966.