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Songs for Beginners

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Editors’ Notes

The depth and intensity of Graham Nash's 1971 solo debut reflect the change that was coming at him from all angles, especially his break-up with Joni Mitchell — the muse of "Wounded Bird." But opening with "Military Madness" sets the tone with some politically charged sentiment seeping in from his earthy recordings with CSN&Y, though it also bounces on a catchier pop sensibility culled from Nash's tenure with the Hollies. "Chicago" reveals Nash's penchant for pulling a pop song out of subject matter as dark as the Chicago Eight's trial and the 1968 Democratic National Convention in much the same way that Neil Young did with the Kent State Massacre in CSN&Y's "Ohio." Young plays piano on the twangy "Man In the Mirror" and on "Better Days," a triumphant tune that celebrates finding one's confidence in desperate times. Other notable guests include Jerry Garcia, Rita Coolidge, David Crosby, Phil Lesh and some of the era's A-list studio guns. Nearly four decades after its release, this album is still so influential that artists like Bonnie “Prince” Billy, Vetiver, Brendan Benson and others have recorded covers for Be Yourself, a tribute to Songs For Beginners.

Customer Reviews

But not a beginner himself

Graham Nash's first solo project is a wonderful mix of songs of the singer/songwriter days of the 60s and 70s, expressing the hope that societal change for the better is possible. I bought the original LP (that's a long-playing vinyl record for those of you born after CDs became popular) when it first came out and fell in love with it. There is not a bad song in the bunch. Standouts are the heart-bearing "Simple Man" and "Sleep Song", a poignant tune of love, loss and hope. Also good are the two songs that received a fair amount of airplay at the time of its release: "Chicago" and "We Can Change the World". If you like Crosby, Stills and Nash's initial efforts, "Songs For Beginners" will be a welcome addition to your music library.

Just Listen.

Okay I am a young guy who has really explored music and quite honestly I have gone from genre to genre loving all of it... but honestly this album is amazing... It's honest and beautifully composed.. it's meaningful and well quite honestly it's catchy.... I like it more than I could ever really express... but simply it's... touching and deep.

itunes sucks

this is one of the best cds i have ever heard, and itunes labels graham nash as a one hit wonder, which is completely wrong. He has more than one hit; military madness, better days, simple man, chicage, i used to be a king, our house, and teach your children just to name a few.


Born: February 2, 1942 in Blackpool, England

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Graham Nash is one of the most durable musical figures to have emerged from the 1960s, both as a supporting musician and a star in his own right, and a key figure in both the British Invasion and the '70s singer/songwriter era that followed. As a harmony singer and sometime lead singer with the Hollies and Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, his voice is among the most familiar in two distinct eras and schools of rock music. Graham Nash was born in Manchester, England, and his musical future was determined...
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Songs for Beginners, Graham Nash
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