David Crosby’s solo debut revisited on 2-CD set featuring newly remastered audio and bonus material
I had a dream once where I was looking in my favorite record shop on Long Island looking for this deluxe edition of If Only I Could Remember My Name that may or may not have existed outside of my sleeping brain.
Turns out there was a deluxe edition of David Crosby’s indelible solo debut available for a brief spell around the holidays in 2006, but it was a CD/DVDA type deal with minimal bonus material. However, on October 15th, Rhino Records will in fact be finally releasing the deluxe edition of my dreams when this 50th anniversary version of Croz’s cosmic cowboy masterpiece–featuring members of the Grateful Dead, Jefferson Airplane and Santana, along with Graham Nash, Joni Mitchell and Neil Young among others–hits retail.
Included with the long-overdue remaster of Name from the original analog tapes, overseen by original album engineer Stephen Barncard with restoration and speed correction using Plangent Processes.
The second disc, meanwhile, uncovers nearly an hour of unreleased recordings from the making of If I Could Only Remember My Name. That includes the album’s first seeds, which Crosby planted on March 28, 1968 at Hollywood Recorders in Los Angeles. Together with producer Paul Rothchild, he recorded nascent versions of songs like “Tamalpais High (At About 3)” and more. Those tracks are joined by several unreleased session recordings, including “Coast Road,” “Dancer,” and an alternate version of “Cowboy Movie” that features Neil Young soloing instead of Garcia.
“The stories behind the creation of If I Could Only Remember My Name make clear that its uplifting and redemptive qualities were the result of a close-knit group of gifted players pulling one of their own back from the brink,” writes Steve Silberman, co-author of Skeleton Key: A Dictionary for Deadheads, in the liner notes for the 50th Anniversary Edition of IOICRMN. “He writesThe album’s edge was tempered in the fire of life-altering tragedy.”
AUDIO: David Crosby “Riff 1 [Demo]”
When Crosby started recording the album in 1970, he was grieving the death of his longtime girlfriend Christine Hinton, who was killed in a car accident a year earlier. At the time, Wally Heider Studios in San Francisco became a refuge for Crosby, who remembers Jerry Garcia showing up nearly every night. “There’d be that grin, and then that look in the eyes, and this fascination with the music,” Crosby recalls. “Easy, not forced, graceful, fun, ever-present. It was a kindness, I’m pretty sure. Jerry never said that, never even implied it. Just, ‘Hey, I heard you were doing something. What are you doing? Let’s do something.”
IF I COULD ONLY REMEMBER MY NAME: 50th ANNIVERSARY EDITION will be available on October 15 for $24.98. On the same day, the newly remastered version of the original album will be released on 180-gram vinyl for $24.98. The music will also be available from digital and streaming services the same day.
CD Track Listing
Disc One: Original Album
1. “Music Is Love”
2. “Cowboy Movie”
3. “Tamalpais High (At About 3)”
5. “What Are Their Names”
6. “Traction In The Rain”
7. “Song With No Words (Tree With No Leaves)”
9. “I’d Swear There Was Somebody Here”
10. “Kids And Dogs”
Disc Two: Bonus Tracks
1. “Riff 1” – Demo *
2. “Tamalpais High (At About 3)” – Demo *
3. “Kids And Dogs” – Demo *
4. “The Wall Song” – Demo *
5. “Games” – Demo *
6. “Laughing” – Demo *
7. “Song With No Words (Tree With No Leaves)” – Demo
8. “Where Will I Be” – Demo *
9. “Cowboy Movie” – Alternate Version *
10. “Bach Mode” – Pre-Critical Mass *
11. “Coast Road” *
12. “Dancer” *
13. “Fugue” *