David Crosby: If I Could Only Remember My Name (Hybrid SACD) Mobile Fidelity HiRES 96/24 2022 Release Date: 5/06/2022
No album personifies the relaxed, loose, albeit troubled early 1970s California aura like If I Could Only Remember My Name. Hallucinogenic, trippy, and akin to a foggy dream you want to last for hours, David Crosby's blissed-out solo debut transcends time and remains a key influence on the contemporary freak folk scene.
The unique set lingers as a beautiful convergence of spontaneity, collaboration, circumstance, and recording-studio acumen. From the slack acoustic underpinnings of the ragalike opener to the improvised 'cosmic skydrop' that serves as the closer, nothing in any artist's oeuvre orbits the same galaxy as the 1971 effort. This journey demands to be heard in full, an expressive adventure whose paths are lined with sublime harmonies, acoustic guitars, repeated chants, and tasteful percussion.Mastered from the original master tapes, Mobile Fidelity's hybrid SACD underlines the escapist peace of the music and brilliance of Stephen Barncard's engineering. Equally important, the reissues reveal Crosby's unsurpassed vocal performances and the inspired contributions of the illustrious Bay Area colleagues and friends that allow the record to function as an altered consciousness paean to community, harmony, and necessary emotional release. Listeners can now fully witness the notes seemingly dissolve into thin air, and perceive why Barncard cited the echo chamber at Wally Heider Recording as 'probably the best chamber I've used anywhere, anytime. It was magic.' The same can be said for these reference-grade versions.