It was, at the time, one of the highest-grossing rock tours ever, grossing over 11 million dollars in an era when such figures were uncommon. Such success camouflaged the chaos behind the scenes — the bitter fights and feuds, the excess and indulgence that led to Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young pocketing about a half million dollars each, when all was said and done.
Big bucks were the reason the CSNY 1974 tour even existed. Efforts to record a new album in 1973, their first since 1970’s breakthrough Déjà Vu, collapsed but manager Elliot Roberts and promoter Bill Graham convinced the group to stage the first outdoor stadium tour in the summer of 1974, with the idea that CSNY would test-drive new material in concert, then record a new studio album in the fall, or maybe release a live record from the historic tour. Neither happened. The group cleaved in two upon the tour’s conclusion and the live tapes sat in the vaults until Graham Nash decided to assemble a box set of the tour just in time for its 40th anniversary in 2014. Nash and producer Joel Bernstein — the driving forces behind the excellent new millennial archival CSN reissues — culled the best moments from the nine recorded shows, sometimes cobbling together composites, then assembled the whole thing as a three-CD set designed to replicate the mammoth three-hour sets the quartet played in 1974. That very length indicates how there was room on the 1974 tour for every aspect of CSNY, giving space to sensitive folk, woolly electric guitar jams, hits, and unheard songs.
FLAC / LOSSLESS