Between 1970 and 1972, Stephen Stills was busy playing with Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young, and working on a series of solo albums. In addition to all this activity he led the supergroup that appears on this stunning release. Originally a double album of four distinct sides, MANASSAS finds Stills and company (which includes friends and session musicians Chris Hillman, Dallas Taylor, and Al Perkins, among others) at the intersection of rock, folk, country, blues, and Latin flavors. Distinctive styles are noticeable song by song, yet the whole is a hodge-podge, and it is the strength and credibility of the mixture that makes MANASSAS such a great experience.
The first fourth of the album focuses on ’60s rock with Afro-Cuban overtones (imagine Buffalo Springfield sitting in with Santana), followed by a batch of country and bluegrass-oriented material (with Chris Hillman’s influence more strongly felt). The dreamy, swaying “It Doesn’t Matter” kicks off the third section, which has a folk-rock feel, replete with multi-part harmonies and chiming guitars. The final section brings things back to amped-up rock, wrapping up the set with the rootsy groove of “Blues Man,” a tribute to Jimi Hendrix. A rich and varied collection that is as sophisticated and complex as it is earthy and easy to listen to, MANASSAS is considered by many to be one of the great overlooked gems of the ’70s rock.
Track List of “Manassas” – Album by Stephen Stills:
1. Song Of Love