Crosby & Nash / David Crosby / Graham Nash

Cowboy of Dream

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Issued by the European Success label, Crosby & Nash's Cowboy of Dream is nothing more or less than the duo's 1975 album Wind on the Water, albeit in inferior sound quality. (The legend "live recording" is erroneous.) Crosby & Nash were at their peak as a duo with this album. In the wake of the 1974 Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young reunion tour and an abortive attempt to make a CSNY studio album, Crosby & Nash committed themselves to their duo as their primary working unit rather than as one of several possible combinations. They left Atlantic Records, which had a vested interest in having them work with Stephen Stills and/or Neil Young, and signed to ABC Records. Employing a top-flight studio band that included guitarists David Lindley and Danny Kortchmar, keyboardist Craig Doerge, bassists Leland Sklar and Tim Drummond, and drummer Russell Kunkel, plus guests James Taylor, Carole King, and Jackson Browne, they used songs that had been earmarked for the CSNY project, such as "Homeward Through the Haze" and "Wind on the Water." Other songs, including the chart hit "Carry Me" and "Take the Money and Run" were just as good; for once, C&N were not saving their best material for CSNY. Crosby's songs were confessional, reflecting his doubts and fears, and he set them to his usual assortment of jazz chords and played them in odd timings. But the band was more than capable of handling such challenges, and they made the compositions sound more conventional than usual. Nash's songs seemed tinged with anger over the recent CSNY experience, particularly "Take the Money and Run" and "Cowboy of Dreams," and his political beliefs came out in "Fieldworker" (about migrant workers) and "Wind on the Water" (about the slaughter of whales). This was Crosby & Nash's best album.