Live It Up (Crosby, Stills & Nash album)

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Live It Up
CSN Live It Up.jpg
Studio album by
ReleasedJune 26, 1990
RecordedFebruary 1, 1986 - February 5, 1990
GenreRock
Length39:17
LabelAtlantic
ProducerCrosby, Stills & Nash
Joe Vitale, Stanley Johnston
Crosby, Stills and Nash chronology
American Dream
(1988)
Live It Up
(1990)
CSN (box set)
(1991)

Live It Up is the tenth album by Crosby, Stills & Nash, their fourth studio album in the trio configuration, released on Atlantic Records in 1990. It peaked at #57 on the Billboard 200 with current sales of 300,000. It is the first of their studio albums not to gain either a gold or platinum certification by the RIAA.[1] It was issued in all formats at the time (compact disc, cassette tape, and vinyl record) and was later released for streaming on Spotify and both streaming and download on Qobuz.

Background[edit]

After David Crosby's release from prison, he reunited with Stephen Stills and Graham Nash for CSN tours in 1987 and 1988.[2] 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 well received, and Stills viewed it as "contrived".[3] 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 his second solo album Oh Yes I Can that same year.[4] Stills regrouped with Crosby and Nash to perform at the collapse 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.[5] Atlantic had encouraged the inclusion of Crosby into the Stills–Nash project that became Daylight Again back in 1981.[6]

Recording[edit]

The album was recorded at several recording studios around Los Angeles, the majority 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 Records studios.

Nash, the nominal leader of these recordings, 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."[5]

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.[citation needed]

Reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
SourceRating
Allmusic1.5/5 stars[7]
Entertainment WeeklyC+[8]

Greg Sandow commented in Entertainment Weekly that Live it Up is dominated by tunes which are catchy but generic and mindless. He added that the songs "Yours and Mine", "Arrows", and in particular "After the Dolphin" offer genuine depth and meaning, but that the overall product is "a strangely bland album that only die-hard fans will love."[8]

Jeff Giles covered Live it Up in his retrospective series "Whoops!", assessing it as an embarrassingly failed attempt to marry the hippie sensibilities of Crosby, Stills & Nash's past with the glossy production values of the era in which the album was recorded. He cited its contemporary, Don Henley's The End of the Innocence, as a much more successful attempt at this combination.[9] In a retrospective review for Allmusic, William Ruhlmann praised both the band's singing and the performances of the session musicians, and argued that it is only a complete lack of good songs which makes Live it Up the weakest Crosby, Stills & Nash studio album.[7]

Track listing[edit]

Side one
No.TitleWriter(s)Lead VocalsLength
1."Live It Up"Joe VitaleNash3:54
2."If Anybody Had a Heart"John David Souther, Danny KortchmarNash4:28
3."Tomboy"Stephen StillsStills3:22
4."Haven't We Lost Enough?"Stephen Stills, Kevin CroninStills with Crosby & Nash3:06
5."Yours and Mine"Craig Doerge, David Crosby, Graham NashCrosby4:21
Side two
No.TitleWriter(s)Lead VocalsLength
1."(Got to Keep) Open"Stephen Stills, Graham NashStills4:40
2."Straight Line"Tony BeardNash3:12
3."House of Broken Dreams"Graham NashNash3:18
4."Arrows"Michael Hedges, David CrosbyCrosby3:51
5."After the Dolphin"Graham Nash, Craig DoergeNash5:05

Personnel[edit]

Additional personnel[edit]

  • Joe Vitaledrums; 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"
  • John David Souther – vocals on "If Anybody Had a Heart"
  • The Williams Family – vocals on "Live It Up"
  • Branford Marsalissoprano saxophone on "Yours and Mine" and "Arrows"
  • Mike Landau – guitar on "If Anybody Had a Heart" and "After the Dolphin"
  • Roger McGuinn – guitar on "If Anybody Had a Heart"
  • Peter Frampton— guitar solo on "Straight Line"
  • Bruce Hornsbypiano, accordion on "(Got to Keep) Open"
  • Tony Beard – percussion programming on "Yours and Mine"; electric guitar on "Straight Line"
  • Mike Fisher – percussion on "If Anybody Had a Heart" and "After the Dolphin"
  • Michito Sanchez – percussion on "Tomboy" and "(Got to Keep) Open"
  • Vince Charles – percussion on "Arrows"
  • Rand Wetherwax – sound design including radio broadcast voices of Simon Jones and Harry S. Truman on "After the Dolphin"

References[edit]

  1. ^ "RIAA - Soundscan". Greasylakes. Retrieved 23 December 2015.
  2. ^ Zimmer, Dave. Crosby, Stills & Nash The Biography. Da Capo Press 2000, ISBN 0-306-80974-5, p. 265.
  3. ^ Zimmer (2000), p. 266.
  4. ^ Zimmer (2000), pp. 267-268.
  5. ^ a b Zimmer (2000), p. 268.
  6. ^ Zimmer (2000), pp. 229.
  7. ^ a b Ruhlmann, William (2011). "Live It Up – Crosby, Stills & Nash | AllMusic". allmusic.com. Retrieved 26 July 2011.
  8. ^ a b Sandow, Greg (July 20, 1990). "Live it Up". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 30 December 2018.
  9. ^ Giles, Jeff (March 4, 2010). "Whoops!: Crosby, Stills & Nash, Live it Up". Pop Dose. Retrieved 30 December 2018.