Audio Fidelity, the premiere audiophile imprint, has set December 6 for its release of 24 Karat Gold CD versions of Crosby, Stills & Nash’s 1969 debut albumCROSBY, STILLS & NASH, and Gary Wright’s 1975 THE DREAM WEAVER, it was announced by Marshall Blonstein, president of the label. The albums, which enjoyed a combined tenure of 182 consecutive weeks on Billboard‘s chart, will be issued as numbered, limited editions that will be retired after each set’s initial run has sold out. Both will be available through online and brick-and-mortar retailers.
CROSBY, STILLS & NASH occupies a special place-both musically and historically-within the annals of American pop. Issued in May of 1969, the collection of close-harmony performances introduced one of rock’s most venerated supergroups, comprised of three creative coequal partners who had left their previous groups to form a more perfect union. The album became the record of the summer of ’69, garnering saturation airplay on the then-new FM radio format and spawning two Top-30 singles in Graham Nash’s “Marrakesh Express” and Stephen Stills’ paean to Judy Collins, “Suite: Judy Blue Eyes.” By the time the trio performed at the Woodstock Festival three months later, CROSBY, STILLS & NASH was a Top-10 album on its way to a 107-week stay on the charts.
Other highlights of the album include David Crosby’s bluesy “Long Time Gone,” Stills’ folk-rocking “49 Bye-Byes” and “Wooden Ships,” a sci-fi fantasy penned by Jefferson Airplane’s Paul Kantner with Crosby and Stills. Characteristically, Audio Fidelity has paid close attention to detail in its restoration of the disc-though at least one modification has been made. Part of the preparation of the reissue, explains Blonstein, “had to do with the ‘n’ in Nash’s song ‘Guinnevere.’ Since 1969, every vinyl, cassette and CD version of the album had it spelled with two n’s. But recently the group decided to take out the [historically inaccurate] extra ‘n.’ So our CD booklet, tray card and even the original LP labels now show the title with just the one ‘n.'”
Crosby, Stills & Nash retain their stature as a cornerstone act of Classic Rock radio and as progenitors of the singer-songwriter movement. Inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1997, the trio continues to tour and record more than four decades after the release of this landmark album.
Like Crosby, Stills & Nash, keyboardist-singer Gary Wright is often associated with a specific time and cultural place: the mid-1970s, when popular music was frequently experimenting and pushing boundaries and an unconventional track like “Dream Weaver” could ascend to Number 2 on the singles charts. American-born Wright released the spacey yet hook-filled THE DREAM WEAVER in June of 1975, after serving time with British rockers Spooky Tooth and contributing to George Harrison’s All Things Must Pass.
Wright not only composed and sings all the songs on THE DREAM WEAVER, he provides the bulk of the instrumentation, playing organ and electric piano, Moog synthesizer and other keyboards on the largely guitar-less album. The title track was issued in January of 1976 and quickly became a hit, to be followed in April by the funk-infused “My Love Is Alive” (which also rose to No.2 on Billboard‘s song survey). A third charting single, the more uptempo “Made to Love You,” came out that September. THE DREAM WEAVER stayed on the charts for 75 consecutive weeks, and while Wright went on to record more long-players, it remains his biggest seller and among a handful of releases that will forever conjure memories of the mid-’70s for rock aficionados of a certain age. The title cut has been featured in such films as Wayne’s World and Toy Story 3.
Founded in 2002, Audio Fidelity specializes in deluxe reissues of classic popular-music recordings for the audiophile and collector markets. The Camarillo, California-based label is best known for its 24-Karat Gold CDs and its 180-gram virgin-vinyl album editions, as well as a line of popular DVD titles. Audio Fidelity emerged out of the pioneering DCC Compact Classics label that its founder, music-industry veteran Marshall Blonstein, started in 1986, following his tenure as president of Island Records and co-founder of Ode Records (where he helped make Carole King’s Tapestry one of the best-selling albums of all time and built the cult-film franchises The Rocky Horror Picture Show and Cheech & Chong’s Up in Smoke).
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