Buffalo Springfield


Composed by Stephen Stills

Song Review by

Originally titled "The Ballad of the Bluebird," this Stephen Stills masterpiece was not only one of the Springfield's signature songs, it also became the centerpiece to the band's scorching live sets until the end of their brief career. Constructed around a bluegrass riff and several shifts in tempo, "Bluebird"'s sense of forward momentum is, in a word, devastating. Lyrically, it appears to be a slightly psychedelia-tinged array of emotions and revelations of nature and perception. That said, the piece also seems to be constructed as a vehicle for Stills and Young to weave their intense guitar tapestry around. One of Stills' first songs to use an alternate guitar tuning (D modal/"Mountain minor," according to Stills), it clearly shows he focused on the song's arrangement as it was being written, not just the end result of the song itself. Of course, Stills expanded these concepts throughout his early career, culminating in "Suite: Judy Blue Eyes" a couple of years later. Joe Walsh's James Gang did a fine cover of the song in 1969, but in the end, it's really a song that only Buffalo Springfield could properly record, and for good reason.

Appears On

Year Artist/Album Label Time AllMusic Rating
Buffalo Springfield Again 1967 Atlantic / Elektra 4:36
The Super Groups 1969
Various Artists
Buffalo Springfield [Collection] 1973 WEA 9:00
Classic Rock: 1966-1988 1991
Various Artists
Buffalo Springfield [Box Set] 2001 Atlantic / Rhino / Rhino Atlantic 4:28
Rhino Hi-Five: Buffalo Springfield, Vol. 1 2005 Atlantic / Rhino Atlantic 4:36
The Best of Buffalo Springfield: Retrospective 2007 Atlantic / Rhino 4:28
No Image 2013 Rhino 4:36
blue highlight denotes editor's pick