After David Crosby's release from prison, he reunited with Stephen Stills and Graham Nash for CSN tours in 1987 and 1988. The recording of the second CSNY studio album with Neil Young took place over the course of those years, but the quartet opted not to tour to promote it. The album was not terribly well received, with Stills viewing it as 'contrived.' In 1989, Stills and Young commenced tours with their own bands, while Crosby and Nash began work on what was to be a new Crosby & Nash record, Crosby also recording and issuing his second solo album Oh Yes I Can that same year. Stills regrouped with Crosby and Nash to perform at the fall of the Berlin Wall in late 1989, and the sessions for the new Crosby & Nash album evolved into the new Crosby, Stills & Nash one instead. Atlantic had encouraged the inclusion of Crosby into the Stills-Nash project that became Daylight Again back in 1981. Knowing that the trio billing had to date guaranteed platinum album sales, the label undoubtedly preferred Stills joining the Crosby-Nash sessions.
The album was recorded at numerous recording studios in Los Angeles. The majority was recorded at The Record Plant, although part of "Live It Up" began at the Home-Brew Studio in Ohio and was finished at the professional location. "If Anybody Had A Heart," "Arrows," and "After the Dolphin" were recorded at Devonshire Studios; "(Got to Keep) Open" was recorded at Capitol Studios.
The nominal leader of these recordings, Nash expressed misgivings about the sessions. In addition to feeling uncomfortable in a leadership position, he stated that "only once did we sing together on one mike. So in that sense, it was not really a true CSN record." Indeed, Live It Up has the fewest songwriting credits to members of the principal trio of any album in their catalogue. It received unfavorable reviews from professionals and fans alike. The band toured to promote the album in 1990, but none of these songs found a permanent place in the group's repertoire, with only "House of Broken Dreams" and "Yours and Mine" being performed a handful of times beyond the 1990 outing.
Stephen Stills — vocals; guitars on "Live It Up," "If Anybody Had A Heart," "Tomboy," "Haven't We Had Enough?," "(Got to Keep) Open," and "Straight Line" keyboards on "Tomboy"; bass on "(Got to Keep) Open"
Joe Vitale — drums; synthesizers on "Live It Up," "If Anybody Had A Heart," "Tomboy," "Yours and Mine," "(Got to Keep) Open," "House of Broken Dreams," "Arrows," and "After the Dolphin"; keyboards on ""Live It Up," "If Anybody Had A Heart," and "Yours and Mine"; organ on "After the Dolphin"; percussion on "Straight Line"
Craig Doerge — keyboards on "If Anybody Had A Heart," "Yours and Mine," "Straight Line," "House of Broken Dreams," "Arrows," and "After the Dolphin"
Bob Glaub — bass on "Tomboy," "Yours and Mine," "Straight Line," and "House of Broken Dreams"
Leland Sklar — bass on "If Anybody Had A Heart," "Arrows," and "After the Dolphin"