Our Top 10 Crosby Stills & Nash Songs list takes a look at one of the most legendary groups in classic rock history. Sometimes known as CSN but more often defined as Crosby Stills & Nash, the group was very much a different band than the group that recorded and performed with Neil Young as Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young. The dynamics, the sound, the music, the spirit, the performances were very much different when Neil Young was in the band. We are not going to say which was better or argue anything about that point, we are only making the stance that there was a dramatic difference between the two groups for many reasons. It’s why we have created two separate top 10 lists on this website for the two configurations of theses very talented and legendary musicians and songwriters.
As a group, Crosby Stills & Nash released six studio albums together. As Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young the group released three studio albums, two lives albums and the greatest hits album So Far. There were also many compilations and box set released over the years. This Crosby Stills & Nash songs list will ONLY look at the material released on the six original Crosby Stills & Nash studio albums.
# 10 – Camera
Opening up our top 10 Crosby Stills & Nash songs list is this little known great tune from the bands very underrated album After The Storm. Released in 1994, the album showcased the three legendary musicians playing great, singing wonderfully and once again writing great songs. It was the groups best work since their 1977 CSN album. The song “Camera,” was written by David Crosby and Stephen Stills.
# 9 – Wasted On The Way
Continuing with our Top 10 Crosby, Stills & Nash Songs list we turn to the Daylight Again album. The album was released in 1982. The record employed a great deal of talent behind the scenes. On the record was The Eagles Timothy B. Schmit adding back vocals on six of the albums tracks. The golden voice of Art Garfunkel was also present on the record. Three of rock and roll greatest drummers of all time Joe Vitale, Russ Kunkel, and Jeff Porcaro played on the record. And we cant fail to mention so many of the other legendary players such as Danny Kortchmar, Mike Finnigan, Craig Doerge, Richard T. Bear, Jay Ferguson (Thunder Island), James Newton Howard (Elton John), George “Chocolate” Perry, Bob Glaub and the incredible bassist Leland Sklar (Jackson Browne, Bonnie Raitt, Carole King, Phil Collins, James Taylor etc…) It’s very telling that so many great musicians lined up to work with Crosby Stills & Nash on the Daylight Again album.
There were a few choice songs we wanted to pick to represent this album on our top 10 Crosby Stills & Nash songs list. In the end, we went with the album’s big hit entitled “Wasted On The Way.” The song was written by Graham Nash. The song proved to be very successful for the band as it became a top 10 hit on the Billboard Hot 100 peaking at number nine.
# 8 – Just A Song Before I Go
In 1977, Crosby Stills & Nash returned with what was basically their second studio album as a trio. It was the first album that Crosby Stills & Nash had recorded together since their debut album in 1969 entitled Crosby Stills & Nash. In between, the group had joined forces with Neil Young to record the Déjà Vu album and release their greatest hits package So Far along with the double live album Four Way Street. And of course there were all the solo albums by the members of the group along with different combinations of the three pairing up with each other.
“Just A Song Before I Go,” was released as the album’s first single. Interestingly, the song became the bands highest charting single of their career as it peaked at number seven on the Billboard Hot 100. The song was written by Graham Nash in less than a half hour according to an interview Nash had on the David Letterman Show.
# 7 – Southern Cross
“Southern Cross,” is the first of two Stephen Stills songs in a row on this top 10 Crosby Stills & Nash songs list. The song was released on the Daylight Again album. Stephen Stills took a song that was originally written by Rick Curtis, and Michael Curtis entitled “Seven League Boots.” The song had been recorded by the Curtis Brothers and produced by Lindsay Buckingham with Stevie Nicks adding background vocals. Stephen Stills wrote a new chorus and turned it in to a top 20 hit for Crosby Stills & Nash. Now that’s a cool story. Below are the two different versions of the song.
# 6 – Dark Star
One of our favorite Crosby Stills & Nash songs has always been the song “Dark Star.” The song opens with a highly addicting Stephen Stills guitar lick played upon a cool rhythmic groove which very reflective of that mid 1970s Steely Dan, Boz Scaggs type sound. The great Craig Doerge plays a killer electric piano solo on the song followed by some tasty Stephen Stills licks to make this one a real keeper.
# 5 – Long Time Gone
The second half of this top 10 Crosby, Still & Nash songs list goes back to their classic debut album Crosby, Stills & Nash. Their first record was so strong that their record company put together a greatest hits package after just two albums. The Crosby, Stills & Nash 1969 album stands as one of classic rocks all time greatest albums. We had to narrow down our choices from the album because we did want to present material from the group’s other albums. We start out the second half of this list with the great song “Long Time Gone.” The song was written by David Crosby.
# 4 – Helplessly Hoping
Continuing with tracks from the debut album Crosby, Stills & Nash we turn to the great song “Helplessly Hoping.” The song was written by Stephen Stills. The song was placed as the B side to the single “Marrakesh Express.”
# 3 – Marrakesh Express
And speaking of “Marrakesh Express.” This classic Crosby, Stills & Nash song was penned by Graham Nash. The song was released as a single and pealed at number twenty eight on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1969. The song featured Graham Nash, David Crosby and Stephen Stills on instrumentation and vocals accompanied by Jim Gordon on drums.
# 2 – Wooden Ships
The song “Wooden Ships,” was the opening track on side two of the Crosby, Stills & Nash album. The song was written by David Crosby, Stephen Stills and Paul Kantner of the Jefferson Airplane. At a time when the Vietnam War was raging intensely and the anti-war protest movements were mobilizing all over the county, the song “Wooden Ships,” became one of the defining songs of protest with its tales of a nuclear holocaust caused by the madness of the Cold War between the United States and Soviet Union.
# 1 – Suite Judy Blue Eyes
As we close out our top 10 Crosby, Stills & Nash songs list, its time to get to the point and present what we believe is the band’s greatest work. A wonderful seven minute musical epic composed by Stephen Stills entitled “Suite Judy Blue Eyes.” As most rock fans already know, the song was written by Stephen Still about the breakup of his romance with Judy Collins who had left Stephen Stills for actor Stacy Keach. (The cop in those classic Cheech & Chong movies).
“Suite Judy Blue Eyes,” was released as a single in 1969. It peaked at number twenty one on the Billboard Hot 100. However, the song’s legendary status has long out lived its chart success. It is truly the song that represents the group Crosby Still & Nash in maybe it’s most finest moment on record.