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Stephen Stills – Manassas (1972)

April 13, 2019

[Album 640/1001]

Two key characteristics of a dynamite double album:

1. No listener feeling of ‘sameness’ 

Part of the charm of a double is the added room for diverse sounds.

Manassas is divided into four sides (The Raven/The Wilderness/Consider/Rock & Roll is Here to Stay). Although one could argue that the songs within a given side here aren’t all that dissimilar, no two sides feel the same.

Some of the Black Crowes-y tunes on The Raven bear little resemblance to country-esque ditties on The Wilderness.

Nor does the Dear Prudence-ish guitar on side three’s Johnny’s Garden sound at all like the extended electric outro in side four’s The Treasure (Take One).

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2. No trace of diminishing returns

Some doubles are front-loaded, others…maybe should have been singles.

While there aren’t necessarily a lot of individual standouts in the running order, neither of those quality/quantity issues applies here.220px-Manassasss

I’m not sure which of the four Manassas sides here is my favourite – and that is a very encouraging sign.

It feels like my side preference could change on any given day, likely depending on mood.

And fortunately, I could see myself being in the mood for one or more of these sides on a fairly regular basis!

…..

Verbalize the Positive

How great is this cassette’s seemingly indestructible case?!

 

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From → 1970s

11 Comments
  1. I spent ages trying to find this back in my early twenties. It’s not quite a top tier classic double album for me but it’s close – I like ‘The Treasure’ a lot and the fourth side is my favourite,

    • And I wouldn’t be surprised if that’s where I end up too – it’s not the white album, but it’s not too shabby at all!
      I think on most days, I might lean toward 3 as my favourite

  2. This album is responsible for my return to vinyl as when I found it I could not give it to my son like the other albums I had found and bought my own turntable and that way lay madness.

  3. Cool that each side has it’s own working title. I assume you play cassettes in the Stephen household? Get those kids onboard Geoff!

  4. Love the ‘variety’ formats, Geoff. I really should spend more time with this, having a lovely original 2LP set. Maybe tomorrow…

  5. Y’know, I don’t think I’ve ever heard this!

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