If I Could Only Remember My Name

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If I Could Only Remember My Name
Studio album by David Crosby
Released February 22, 1971
Recorded 1970-1971
Studio Wally Heiders
San Francisco, CA
Genre Rock
Length 37:04
Label Atlantic
Producer David Crosby
David Crosby chronology
If I Could Only Remember My Name
Oh Yes I Can
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 4.5/5 stars[1]
Robert Christgau D−[2]
Okayplayer (99/100)[3]
Rolling Stone 4/5 stars[4]

If I Could Only Remember My Name is the debut solo album by David Crosby, released in February 1971 on Atlantic Records. It was one of four high-profile albums released by each member of Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young in the wake of their chart-topping Déjà Vu album (along with Stephen Stills, Songs for Beginners, and After the Gold Rush). It peaked at #12 on the Billboard 200. It has been certified Gold by the RIAA for selling over 500,000 copies and has been in print continuously since its initial release. The album gained new recognition in 2010 when it was listed second on the Vatican's "Top 10 Pop Albums of All Time" as published in the official newspaper of the Holy See, L'Osservatore Romano.[5]


Many prominent musicians of that era appear on the record, including Nash, Young, Joni Mitchell, members of the Grateful Dead, Jefferson Airplane, and Santana. The ensemble was given the moniker of "The Great Planet Earth Rock and Roll Orchestra" by longtime Crosby associate Paul Kantner; many of the same musicians appeared on the latter's Blows Against The Empire, recorded concurrently with Crosby's album. The album also features the only recorded appearance of David Crosby's brother, Ethan Crosby.

Although the album garnered a share of prominent detractors—most notably Crosby's then-manager David Geffen and influential Village Voice rock critic Robert Christgau—and only a lukewarm review from Lester Bangs in Rolling Stone, it was a modest commercial success, ultimately peaking at #12 on the Billboard Top Pop Albums chart.[6][2][7] Two singles were taken from the album, "Music Is Love", which was released in April 1971 and peaked at #95 on the Billboard Hot 100,[6] and "Orleans" which was released in July 1971.[8] The album has gained in critical appreciation since its release.[1][4]

The album was released on compact disc on October 25, 1990, having been digitally remastered from the original master tapes, using the equipment and techniques of the day, by original engineer Stephen Barncard. A double-disc reissue appeared on November 6, 2006, with an audio disc remastered in HDCD, including a bonus track "Kids and Dogs," and a second DVD Audio disc of the original album remixed for 5.1 digital Surround Sound. Reviews of the most recent reissue place the album in the same influential company as the more baroque works of Nick Drake and Fairport Convention.[citation needed]


On 18 November 2013, Crosby appeared on an edition of the BBC Radio 4 programme Mastertapes, which was dedicated to the making of the album.[9] The following day, he took part in the programme's "B-side" edition, answering audience questions and performing songs from the album.[9]

Japanese musician Cornelius included it in his list of "10 Experimental Albums that Everyone Should Own."[10]

Track listing[edit]

Side one[edit]

No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "Music Is Love" David Crosby, Graham Nash, Neil Young 3:16
2. "Cowboy Movie" David Crosby 8:02
3. "Tamalpais High (at about 3)" David Crosby 3:29
4. "Laughing" David Crosby 5:20

Side two[edit]

No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "What Are Their Names" Crosby, Garcia, Lesh, Shrieve, Young 4:09
2. "Traction in the Rain" David Crosby 3:40
3. "Song with No Words (Tree with No Leaves)" David Crosby 5:53
4. "Orleans" traditional 1:56
5. "I'd Swear There Was Somebody Here" David Crosby 1:19

2006 reissue bonus track[edit]

No. Title Writer(s) Length
10. "Kids and Dogs" David Crosby 7:01




  1. ^ a b Swihart, Stanton. If I Could Only Remember My Name at AllMusic. Retrieved 10 March 2006.
  2. ^ a b Christgau, Robert. Robert Christgau "David Crosby > Consumer Guide Reviews" Check |url= value (help). Robert Christgau. Retrieved 27 May 2006. 
  3. ^ Okayplayer review
  4. ^ a b Sheffield, Rob (January 25, 2007). "If Only I Could Remember My Name - David Crosby > Album Reissue Review". Rolling Stone (1018). p. 75. Archived from the original on 14 January 2007. Retrieved 12 January 2007. 
  5. ^ Quinlan, Carrie (February 15, 2010). "Revealed: The Vatican's Favourite Bands", The Guardian
  6. ^ a b If Only I Could Remember My Name - David Crosby > Charts & Awards > Billboard Album at AllMusic. Retrieved 22 May 2006.
  7. ^ Bangs, Lester (April 15, 1971). "David Crosby If Only I Could Remember My Name > Album Review". Rolling Stone (80). Archived from the original on 4 March 2008. Retrieved 11 January 2007. 
  8. ^ If I Could Only Remember My Name at the Grateful Dead Family Discography
  9. ^ a b c "David Crosby". Mastertapes. November 18, 2013. BBC Radio 4. Retrieved January 18, 2014. 
  10. ^ Cornelius on the 10 Albums Everyone Needs to Hear

External links[edit]