25 March 2014

Stephen Stills' "Manassas": "Both of Us (Bound to Lose)" (1972)

In the spring of 1972 perspective, Stephen Stills' band Manassas, Crosby and Nash, and Neil Young shared the Top Ten Billboard LP charts with three separate releases. During this record dominance by former members of the shattered supergroup, Rolling Stone found it "reassuring to know that Stills has some good music still inside him". (RS (109). Manassas stands by far as the best of what those artists released in '72. And with this record Stills expands on his original song structures.

Suite: Judy Blue Eyes established Steven Stills as a composer who could take three shorts songs about his ex-girlfriend and form an exquisite suite. On Manassas, each of the double albums four sides consist of a multi-song suite. Below is the track Both of Us (Bound to Lose) that closes the side one -- Suite: The Raven. On this track Stills not only gets to show off his harmony vocal prowess with Chris Hillman, but the song also closes with a fine latin rock movement powered by Joe Lala's percussion. Stills' deft electric lead guitar is on display throughout.

Yep, it was 1972.

(Manassas percussionist and Tampa native Joe Lala passed away this month. This one's in memory of you, Joe.)


Baluja said...

I had completely forgotten this gem, but as I was listening again, it occurred to me that I have probably written a dozen or more songs that were subconsciously molded by this one. The melody delivered within the first two lines is as strong a hook as there is in rock.

Paco Malo said...

I feel my mind is always building on what I've heard before -- and forgotten.

Thanks for your in-tune comment.