May 22, 2014 8:50 AM ET
After years of rumors, premature announcements and even disagreements over what to call the thing, Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young are finally ready to release a box set of live recordings from their 1974 reunion tour. CSNY 1974 hits shelves on July 8th in a variety of formats, including a 3 CD/DVD set, a Pure Audio Blu-Ray (192kHz/24-bit) and a 16-track single CD. Many of the sets will have a 188-page booklet, and there will also be a limited edition set of 1,000 copies featuring a coffee table-sized book and six 180-gram 12” vinyl records. A pre-order of CSNY 1974 will be available next week on the band's website.
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The set was produced by Joel Bernstein and Graham Nash. "This is the most difficult project I've ever done in my recording life," Nash tells Rolling Stone. "That's largely because of other people's agendas and trying to please four people at the same time. It only took us a year to actually do the physical work, but it took three or four years to get that work together."
One issue they faced was Neil Young's intense focus on audio quality. "Neil Young, God bless his cotton socks, has always wanted the audio to get as close to the recording experience as possible," says Nash. "He wanted us to do it in 24/192, and that's what we did. Of course, that happened one-third of the way into the project, so we had to redo an awful lot of stuff. But it sounds totally amazing. There's 40 songs and they'll show people that we were a very, very decent rock band."
Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young's 1974 reunion trek was one of the most ambitious tours attempted up until that point. They played 30 shows at American arenas and stadiums as well as one gig at Wembley Stadium in London, with the group playing upwards of 40 songs over a four-hour period during some shows. "It was a very challenging tour," says Nash. "We tried to keep our spirits up and keep ourselves focused as a band, but with all the chaos going on and the distractions and the drugs, I'm amazed we got away with what we did, quite frankly."
Nine of the shows were professionally recorded on multi-track tapes. "We wanted the best performances of each song for this collection," says Nash. "So Joel and I listened to every single minute of the multi-track shows and chose the best. We'd take, say, the best performance of 'Almost Cut My Hair' and send it to David [Crosby] for his approval. We did the same with Stephen [Stills] and Neil."
STEVEN STILLS AT GONZO
|The Lost Broadcasts|
DVD - £9.99