Whistling Down the Wire

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Whistling Down the Wire
Studio album by
ReleasedJune 25, 1976
LabelABC Records (1976)
MCA Records (2000)
ProducerDavid Crosby, Graham Nash, Stephen Barncard
Crosby & Nash chronology
Wind on the Water
Whistling Down the Wire
Crosby-Nash Live
Professional ratings
Review scores

Whistling Down the Wire is the third album by Crosby & Nash, released on ABC Records in 1976, the second of the duo's three-album deal with ABC Records. Cassette and 8-track tape versions of the album were distributed by Atlantic Records, to which Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young were signed. It peaked at No. 26 on the Billboard 200 album chart and was certified gold by the RIAA.[2][3] Two singles were released from the album, "Out of the Darkness" and "Spotlight," of which only the first charted on the Billboard Hot 100, peaking at #89.[4]


in the summer and fall of 1975, after the success of their previous album, David Crosby and Graham Nash took the band that played on the album out on tour. In the course of recording sessions for this album, both were invited to add vocals to a project by Stephen Stills and Neil Young that would become that pair's only duo album to date, Long May You Run credited to the Stills-Young Band. What could have been a potential CSNY reunion got torpedoed after Nash and Crosby left Miami to finish the sessions for what would become Whistling Down the Wire, and Young and Stills reacted by removing the duo's vocals and other contributions from the master tapes.[5] Crosby and Nash vowed never to work with either again. They toured again to support this album in 1976, but by the end of the year reunited with Stills for the second CSN trio album, released in 1977. That album would successfully reactivate the trio on a more or less permanent basis, and there would not be a new Crosby & Nash studio album for another 28 years.


As on their previous two albums, the instrumental backing was provided by the group of session musicians known as The Section, here consisting of keyboardist Craig Doerge, guitarist Danny Kortchmar, and drummer Russell Kunkel, along with multi-instrumentalist David Lindley and bassist Tim Drummond and known as 'The Mighty Jitters' when on tour with the duo. Many tracks for this album, including "Time After Time," "J.B.'s Blues," and "Marguerita" were left over from the sessions for Wind on the Water.[6] The song Mutiny is a reference to the Mutiny Hotel in Miami, a noted hotspot in the 1970s.[7]

Both this album and its predecessor exemplify the sub-genre of soft rock prevalent in much of mid-1970s popular music. With two gold albums in a row, the duo's success on records had outstripped that of their former partner Stills, whose only gold album certification among his most recent five albums had been the one in tandem with Young.[8] Yet, when the opportunity arose, the pair agreed to join up with Stills and continue as Crosby, Stills, and Nash.

Sessions took place at Rudy Recorders in San Francisco, and the Sound Lab in Los Angeles. Whistling Down the Wire was reissued for compact disc on January 11, 2000, on MCA Records. It was made available again as part of MCA's new manufacture on-demand process.

Track listing[edit]

Side one[edit]

1."Spotlight"Graham Nash, Danny Kortchmar2:51
2."Broken Bird"David Crosby, Nash2:44
3."Time After Time"Crosby2:32
4."Dancer" (instrumental)Crosby4:50

Side two[edit]

1."J.B.'s Blues"Nash2:41
3."Taken at All"Crosby, Nash3:07
4."Foolish Man"Crosby4:29
5."Out of the Darkness"Crosby, Nash, Craig Doerge4:24


Additional personnel

Production personnel



Region Certification Certified units/sales
United States (RIAA)[17] Gold 500,000^

^ Shipments figures based on certification alone.


Date City Country Venue
23 May 1976 Anaheim United States Anaheim Convention Center
6 August 1976 Concord Concord Pavilion
12 August 1976 Los Angeles Greek Theater
18 August 1976 Illinois Southern Illinois University
20 August 1976 Troy Pine Knob
21 August 1976
22 August 1976 Akron Blossom Music Center
24 August 1976 Pittsburgh Syria Mosque
25 August 1976 Philadelphia Temple Music
27 August 1976 Holmdel Garden State Art Center
28 August 1976
3 September 1976 Lenox Tanglewood Music Center
4 September 1976 Rochester Community War Memorial
8 September 1976 New York City Central Park
9 September 1976
10 September 1976
11 September 1976
16 September 1976 Edinburgh United Kingdom Edinburgh Playhouse
17 September 1976 Manchester Free Trade Hall
22 September 1976 Amsterdam Netherlands Jaap Edenhal
23 September 1976 Eppelheim Germany Rhein-Neckar-Hall
28 September 1976 London United Kingdom Hammersmith Odeon
22 October 1976 Springfield United States
26 November 1976 Anaheim Anaheim Convention Center
1 December 1976 Tokyo Japan Budokan
1 December 1976
12 December 1976 Osaka Festival Hall

External links[edit]


  1. ^ Allmusic review
  2. ^ Billboard David Crosby chart history retrieved 11 April 2018
  3. ^ RIAA database retrieved 11 April 2018
  4. ^ Whistling Down the Wire MCA 088 112 032-2, 2000 reissue, liner notes.
  5. ^ Zimmer, Dave, and Diltz, Henry. Crosby Stills & Nash: The Authorized Biography, St. Martin’s Press, 1984. ISBN 0-312-17660-0, p. 185.
  6. ^ Whistling 2000 reissue liner notes.
  7. ^ "Graham Nash opens up about Crosby, Spotify, Joni and why he's curious; he's in Broward soon". The Miami Herald. Miami, Florida. 10 March 2022. p. 6C/7C. Retrieved 7 May 2022 – via Newspapers.com.
  8. ^ RIAA database retrieved 11 April 2018
  9. ^ a b c "Stephen Stills". Billboard. Retrieved 5 July 2020.
  10. ^ Canada, Library and Archives (16 April 2013). "The RPM story". www.bac-lac.gc.ca. Retrieved 5 July 2020.
  11. ^ Hung, Steffen. "Stephen Stills - Stephen Stills". hitparade.ch. Retrieved 5 July 2020.
  12. ^ "Hit Parade Italia - ALBUM 1976". www.hitparadeitalia.it. Retrieved 24 December 2020.
  13. ^ "CASH BOX MAGAZINE: Music and coin machine magazine 1942 to 1996". worldradiohistory.com. Retrieved 5 July 2020.
  14. ^ "RECORD WORLD MAGAZINE: 1942 to 1982". worldradiohistory.com. Retrieved 5 July 2020.
  15. ^ "CASH BOX MAGAZINE: Music and coin machine magazine 1942 to 1996". worldradiohistory.com. Retrieved 5 July 2020.
  16. ^ a b "RECORD WORLD MAGAZINE: 1942 to 1982". worldradiohistory.com. Retrieved 5 July 2020.
  17. ^ "American album certifications – David Crosby & Graham Nash – WHISTLING DOWN THE WIRE". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved 9 June 2016.
  18. ^ "Crosby Stills & Nash Concerts". www.geocities.ws. Retrieved 19 August 2018.