Stephen Stills’ ‘Live at Berkeley 1971’ Album Shines With David Crosby Duets

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A previously unissued live 1971 concert from Stephen Stills’ first U.S. solo tour has been released, reminding us what a superb talent he has been in the various stages of his career. Stephen Stills Live at Berkeley 1971 arrived on April 28, 2023, via Omnivore Recordings, on CD and as a 2-LP set. Among the outstanding album’s highlights are two guest appearances by David Crosby. Listen to their beautiful duet on “The Lee Shore” below, along with a performance of Stills’ biggest solo hit, “Love the One You’re With,” the lead single from his debut self-titled 1970 studio album, the seamless medley of “49 Bye-Byes” (from the Crosby, Stills & Nash album) together with his iconic “For What It’s Worth,” and many other tracks.

The album draws from a pair of concerts held at the Berkeley Community Theater on Aug. 20-21, 1971 as Stills, just 26 at the time, embarked on his tour, opening each show with an intimate acoustic first set, and closing each night with a riveting electric set featuring the Memphis Horns. Crosby also joins him on vocals and guitar for “You Don’t Have To Cry.”

Days earlier, Stills had headlined the Forum in Los Angeles. He had released his second solo album in late June. “The intimacy of the Berkeley Community Theater seemed to serve as a focal point between the audience and the energy surrounding the social climate of the day,” says Stills. “It was my first tour as a solo artist, and these shows were raucous and unrestrained, captured here in these recordings.”

From the February announcement: These recordings find Stills at peak performance in both vocal delivery and musicianship, effortlessly incorporating alternate instrumentation on his instantly recognizable tracks, including the medley of “49 Bye Byes” and “For What It’s Worth” (from Buffalo Springfield) unexpectedly played on piano.

And another great performance from the acoustic set…

Hand-picked by Stills from his personal archives, this album captures timeless and era defining performances. Fans who were lucky enough to catch his historic debut trek, dubbed “The Memphis Horns Tour,” were treated to the balladeer, the raving troubadour, the acoustic bluesman, the soul driver, and by far the most passionate music maker, as heard on “Lean on Me.”

Backed by a loyal cast of friends, including his usual steady rhythm section–drummer Dallas Taylor and bassist Calvin “Fuzzy” Samuels–along with keyboardist Paul Harris, guitarist Steve Fromholz, and percussionist Joe Lala, these Northern California shows were one of the most unique and intimate stops on the tour.

Stephen Stills Live at Berkeley 1971 Tracklist

Love The One You’re With
Do For The Others
Jesus Gave Love Away For Free
You Don’t Have To Cry (with David Crosby)
The Lee Shore (with David Crosby)
Word Games
Sugar Babe
49 Bye-Byes/For What It’s Worth
Black Queen
Know You’ve Got To Run
Bluebird Revisited
Lean On Me
Band Introduction
Ecology Song

Related: Our Album Rewind of Stills’ 2-LP Manassas, released in 1972

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3 Comments so far

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  1. Bob Sled
    #1 Bob Sled 25 March, 2023, 13:24

    It’s great to hear his voice in such great shape and command; he was certainly at the top of his game in songwriting and performance. I’ve read that Chris Hillman was quite derisive about this group and told Stills which apparently planted the seeds for Manassas.

    I saw this tour in Oklahoma City and it was great.

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  2. JayBird64
    #2 JayBird64 19 April, 2023, 11:51

    I can’t wait to play it on my turntable. Vinyl is the only way to hear this. Congratulations Stephen!!!!

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  3. Jas
    #3 Jas 29 April, 2023, 02:23

    I just saw him last weekend at the Greek Theatre in L.A. It was a benefit concert he put on to raise money for autism.

    Also on the stage were Joe Walsh and Neil Young. Stephen had previously said he doesn’t want to go.on tour again because his voice is shot from so many years of singing. Still it was a thrill to see him and hear him play tunes from Buffalo Springfield and CSN. Plus Nash also did a tribute to Croz with them playing Gueneviere.

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