Mr.Classic’s Classic Rock Pick of the Day Stephen Stills TreeTop Flyer

Stills Alone is an album released in 1991 by Stephen Stills. The album features Stills on acoustic and electric guitar, with minimal or no backing on the majority of the tracks. “Amazonia” features some percussion backing.

Contemporary singer/songwriter Ray Lamontagne has noted in interviews that track ten on this album, “Treetop Flyer,” is the song that convinced him to pursue a career in music.

“Isn’t It So” (Stills) – 3:14

“Everybody’s Talkin'” (Fred Neil) – 3:20

“Just Isn’t Like You” (Stills) – 2:01

“In My Life” (John Lennon, Paul McCartney) – 2:10

“Ballad of Hollis Brown” (Bob Dylan)– 3:30

“Singin’ Call” (Stills) – 2:20

“The Right Girl” (Stills/Pogue) – 2:54

“Blind Fiddler Medley” – 4:37

“The Blind Fiddler” (Trad.)

“Do For The Others” (Stills)

“Know You Got To Run” (Stills, John Hopkins)

“Amazonia” (Stills) – 2:28

“Treetop Flyer” (Stills) – 4:02

Talk about understatement — there’s Stephen Stills on the cover, acoustic guitar in hand, promising a personal singer/songwriter-type statement. And there is some of that — even a lot of that personal music-making — on Stephen Stills, but it’s all couched in astonishingly bold musical terms. Stephen Stills is top-heavy with 1970 sensibilities, to be sure, from the dedication to the memory of Jimi Hendrix to the now piggish-seeming message of “Love the One You’re With.” Yet, listening to this album three decades on, it’s still a jaw-dropping experience, the musical equal to Crosby, Stills & Nash or Déjà Vu, and only a shade less important than either of them. The mix of folk, blues (acoustic and electric), hard rock, and gospel is seamless, and the musicianship and the singing are all so there, in your face, that it just burns your brain (in the nicest, most benevolent possible way) even decades later. Recorded amid the breakup of Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, Stills’ first solo album was his effort to put together his own sound and, not surprisingly, it’s similar to a lot of stuff on the group’s two albums. But it’s also infinitely more personal, as well as harder and bluesier in many key spots; yet, it’s every bit as soft and as lyrical as the group in other spots, and all laced with a degree of yearning and urgency that far outstrips virtually anything he did with the group. “Love the One You’re With,” which started life as a phrase that Stills borrowed from Billy Preston at a party, is the song from this album that everybody knows, but it’s actually one of the lesser cuts here — not much more than a riff and an upbeat lyric and mood, albeit all of it infectious.

 

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