Career spanning 3 CD David Crosby box set spotlights the two-time Rock and Roll Hall of Famer's solo stand-outs and classics with legendary groups including The Byrds, CSN and CSNY, plus one full disc of previously unreleased material.
He's always received second billing to Stephen Stills in Crosby, Stills, and Nash, and once played third fiddle to Roger McGuinn and Gene Clark in the Byrds, but there is no doubt that David Crosby is one of the true originals of a folk-rock style that has paralleled his 40-year career, which is celebrated on this three-disc set of hits and near misses, demos, and outtakes. The first two CDs run chronologically, from the Byrds' "Eight Miles High" (which Crosby co-wrote) through his '70s and '80s solo records to "Through Here Quite Often," from his 2004 album with Graham Nash. Crosby was the draftsman of the transcendental harmonies that defined both of his bands, his plaintive vocals generally serving as a complement to the others'. But he takes the lead on this 52-song collection's greatest moments: his chilling falsetto on "Music Is Love" (from his 1971 debut solo release); a call out to his dying mother on "Carry Me" (1975's Wind on the Water, with Nash), and "Yvette in English," a 1993 collaboration with Joni Mitchell (Thousand Roads). Some selections swing and miss--"Hero," co-written with Phil Collins in 1993, and a few recorded in the late '90s with CPR, featuring his son James Raymond--but Voyage recuperates with disc three's 16 previously unreleased tracks. The jewel? "Cowboy Movie," a 10:57 opus from 1970 featuring both Neil Young and Jerry Garcia on lead guitar. --Scott Holter