My Life In Mu­sic

The leg­endary singer-song­writer on his all-time favourites – in­cludes records by his “old lady” and a for­mer stalker

UNCUT - - News -

David Crosby

JONI MITCHELL Blue 1971

This is one of the best records I ever heard. I think I did hear it be­fore peo­ple heard it, but it’s just one of the best records any­body ever made. The songs… it’s Joni at the ab­so­lute peak of her pow­ers. She was my old lady and I did pro­duce her first record, so I was very close with her, but that doesn’t change the fact that she’s prob­a­bly the best singer-songwriter of our time, I don’t think there’s any ques­tion. This is prob­a­bly the best col­lec­tion of songs any­body ever put on a record.

THE BEA­TLES Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band 1967

This was big for me be­cause I was there in London when they were record­ing it, and I went sev­eral times to the stu­dio. I was the first per­son they played “A Day In The Life” for. I ab­so­lutely couldn’t be­lieve it – it got to that huge chord at the end and I went, “You can’t do that! What? How?” I was just stunned. But what re­ally im­pressed me was the writ­ing – the songs were stun­ningly good. “A Day In The Life” is an un­be­liev­able piece of work. I don’t know if any­body had done any­thing that they were doing be­fore.

WEATHER RE­PORT Heavy Weather 1977

I loved Weather Re­port and this one had some songs on it, par­tic­u­larly “A Re­mark You Made” [sings melody]… just a stun­ningly beau­ti­ful piece of mu­sic. Joe Zaw­inul was a beau­ti­ful player. He’s un­der­rated? Well, not with jazz play­ers. Ev­ery jazz player knows about him, that’s for sure. I lis­ten to a lot of jazz still – my cur­rent favourite is Snarky Puppy, I lis­ten to them a lot.

EN­SEM­BLE OF THE BUL­GAR­IAN REPUB­LIC with PHILIP KOUTEV Mu­sic Of Bul­garia 1966

This is prob­a­bly one of the great­est vo­cal records ever made. It’s the first one of these records and it’s ab­so­lutely stun­ning. It changed my life. They do a lot of stuff with vo­cals which no­body else does – it’s tra­di­tional folk mu­sic for them, but it’s so ad­vanced choral mu­sic that no-one else in the world can sing it. They’re very, very ad­vanced singers. They did things I’d never heard be­fore – and that, of course, was ab­so­lutely won­der­ful to me. A lot of stuff I’ve done sort of came from there.

MILES DAVIS Sketches Of Spain 1960

Why this one? Be­cause I’ve lis­tened to it so many times. It just en­tranced me [sings melody]. It’s bril­liant, man. It’s re­ally [Rodrigo’s] Con­certo Di Aran­juez, writ­ten for gui­tar, but it got revoiced by Gil Evans to be for mod­ern orches­tra and Miles played that gui­tar part on trum­pet. It’s a stun­ning piece of mu­sic. Mind you, Miles has got a dozen great records – Porgy & Bess, Kind Of Blue, end­less great records – but this one is the one I lis­ten to the most.

JAMES TAYLOR Go­rilla 1975

This is the one that “Mex­ico” and “Light­house” are on, and Nash and I sing on both of them. We loved it. James is a won­der­ful guy, one of my real he­roes. A gen­tle­man, an ab­so­lutely fan­tas­tic singer, writer and gui­tar player. A won­der­ful cat. I first met James a long, long time ago, prob­a­bly back when I was in The Byrds or some­thing. Way back! He’s one of the best cats I know in the busi­ness – his last al­bum was an ab­so­lute stun­ner of a record, too.

MICHAEL HEDGES Aerial Bound­aries 1984

He was prob­a­bly the best acous­tic gui­tar player of our times, and an ut­terly bril­liant com­poser. I learned prob­a­bly as much about tun­ings from him as I did from Joni, which is re­ally say­ing quite a bit. We knew each other very well, we wrote to­gether. He saw me in Mill Val­ley and he fol­lowed me to the 7-11. When I came out, he was on the edge of the door­way of his Volk­swa­gen bus play­ing “Aerial Bound­aries”, and I couldn’t be­lieve what I was hear­ing. It stopped me in my tracks – I went over and said, “Who the fuck are you?”

BON­NIE RAITT Nick Of Time 1989

Some of the peo­ple at Capi­tol were say­ing, “Get rid of her, she’s a drunk and she isn’t ever gonna be worth any­thing.” And then she straight­ened her­self out and she got four Gram­mys in one night for Nick Of Time. All of us who’d al­ways loved her were stand­ing and cheer­ing. She’s one of the great­est singers that ever lived, maybe my favourite. A fan­tas­tic gui­tar player. I like all of her records, but this one had a great bunch of songs on there, and I’m all about the songs. They’re more important than any­thing.

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