Graham Nash - "Reflections" CD Boxset Review (Rhino Entertainment) ~ BrooklynRocks: NYC Music Blog

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Graham Nash - "Reflections" CD Boxset Review (Rhino Entertainment)

STREAM: Graham Nash - Selected Tracks from Reflections

Graham Nash - 'Reflections' CD Review (Rhino Entertainment)With the 'death' of the LP, most record companies seem to have forgotten the importance of the album cover art, lyrics that can be read without a magnifying glass and innovative packaging. Rhino obviously hasn't forgotten this as the packaging alone on Graham Nash's 3-CD retrospective is impressive. Reflections is designed to look like a weathered and well-loved book and this book folds open to reveal the three CDs nestled in full color art. The discs are accompanied by a 150-page book of photos and Graham's notes about each track.

The sixty-four tracks on this set follows Graham's career chronologically from The Hollies to Crosby, Stills and Nash (and C,S,N&Y) to Graham's solo recordings and his work with David Crosby. This is an impressive collection and die-hard Graham Nash fan who already own Graham's prior releases will likely want to pick up this box set as thirty-two of the sixty-four tracks are previously unreleased. In an interview with Rolling Stone, Graham said “I went through 44 versions of the set before I settled on this one...It was painful for me because I’m not for introspection or resting on my laurels. A lot of the musical soundtrack to my life is on this box set.”

While most of the unreleased tracks are alternate mixes or unreleased versions of familiar songs, one of the highlights of this box set is six previously unreleased songs. One of these songs includes an unreleased Crosby, Stills & Nash song from 1984 called "Lonely Man". Some of the other highlights include a new mix of "Cathedral" (originally on the 1977 "CSN" LP) and a solo version of the little heard "Right Between the Eyes" (originally on the 1971 live LP "4 Way Street").

This isn't just a greatest hits collection as all of Graham's work is given equal attention. Disc One serves as a "greatest hits" collection with songs from the original CSN(&Y) lineup and Graham's first two solo discs. Disc Two takes the listener through the Crosby/Nash partnership, various CSN reunions (and "almost" reunions - check out the track notes for "Mutiny") and tracks from Graham's two solo discs from the 80's, Earth & Sky and Innocent Eyes. The third disc brings the listener to the present and covers the more recent CSN work along with Graham's 2004 outing with with David Crosby. There are a number of unreleased Nash tunes on this last disc and the disc closes with the poignant "In Your Name". For this last song, Graham writes in the track notes "[t]he killing of human beings by other human beings in the name of their respective "God" has always seemed most unholy to me...this song is a small prayer."

Graham Nash