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Canyon Sounds of 1970 - Annotated

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Playlist: Canyon Sounds of 1970 - Annotated

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In the late 1960s, Los Angeles' Laurel and Topanga Canyons were breeding grounds of musical cross-pollination, as super groups formed, country-rock and folk legends shacked up, and experimentalists partied alongside pop stars. But 1970 would be a year of change: Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young releasing gorgeous music and then falling apart (ditto the Flying ...

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Canyon Sounds of 1970 - Annotated

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Title Artist Album Duration
1
Older Guys
The Flying Burrito Brothers Burrito Deluxe 00:02:28

Bernie Leadon, Guitar, Unknown, Other, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Chris Hillman, Guitar, Mandolin, Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Gram Parsons, Guitar, Keyboards, Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Michael Clarke, Drums, AssociatedPerformer - Henry Lewy, Producer - Byron Berline, Fiddle, AssociatedPerformer - Buddy Childers, Flugelhorn, Unknown, Other, AssociatedPerformer - Tommy Johnson, Tuba, AssociatedPerformer - The Flying Burrito Brothers, MainArtist - Jim Dickson, Producer - "Sneaky" Pete Kleinow, Steel Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Leopoldo C. Carbajal, Accordion, AssociatedPerformer - Frank Blanco, Percussion, AssociatedPerformer

An A&M Records Release; ℗ 1969 UMG Recordings, Inc.

2
Cecilia
Simon & Garfunkel Bridge Over Troubled Water 00:02:54

Simon & Garfunkel, Associated Performer, Main Artist - Paul Simon, Composer, Lyricist, Producer - Art Garfunkel, Producer - Roy Halee, Producer

Originally released 1970. All rights reserved by Columbia Records, a division of Sony Music Entertainment

3
Our House
Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young Deja Vu 00:03:00

David Crosby, Producer, Vocals - Dallas Taylor, Drums - NEIL YOUNG, Producer - Stephen Stills, Producer, Vocals - Graham nash, Producer, Keyboards, Vocals, Writer - Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, MainArtist - BILL HALVERSON, Engineer - Greg Reeves, Bass Guitar

© 1970 Atlantic Records ℗ 1970 Atlantic Recording Corp.

4
A Song For You (Remastered)
Leon Russell Leon Russell 00:04:06

Leon Russell, Producer, Keyboards, Vocals, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Pat Sullivan, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - GLYN JOHNS, Mixer, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Denny Cordell, Producer

A Capitol Records Release; ℗ 2013 Capitol Records, LLC

5
The Circle Game
Joni Mitchell Ladies Of The Canyon 00:04:51

Milt Holland, Percussion - Henry Lewy, Engineer - Joni Mitchell, Producer, Guitar, Piano, Vocals, Writer, MainArtist - Paul Horn, Clarinet, Flute - Teresa Adams, Cello - The Sasaktunes, Chorus - The Lookout Mountain United Downstairs Chorus, Chorus - Jim Horn, Baritone Saxophone

1970 Warner Records Inc. 1970 Warner Records Inc.

6
You Better Think Twice (Album Version)
Poco Poco 00:03:20

Bobby Doyle, Piano - Jim Messina, Producer - Jim Messina, Vocal - Larry Knechtel, Piano - Timothy B. Schmit, Vocal - J. Messina, Composer - J. Messina, Lyricist - Milton Holland, Percussion - George Grantham, Vocal - Rusty Young, Vocal - Richie Furray, Vocal - Poco, Performer

Originally released 1970. All rights reserved by Epic Records, a division of Sony Music Entertainment

7
WPLJ
Frank Zappa Burnt Weeny Sandwich 00:02:54

Lowell George, Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer - Frank Zappa, Producer, Guitar, Vocals, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Ian Underwood, Saxophone, AssociatedPerformer - Roy Estrada, Vocals, AssociatedPerformer - Art Tripp, Percussion, AssociatedPerformer - The Mothers Of Invention, MainArtist - Luther McDaniels, ComposerLyricist - Bunk Gardner, Woodwinds, AssociatedPerformer - Janet Ferguson, Vocals, AssociatedPerformer - Buzz Gardner, Trumpet, AssociatedPerformer

℗ 1970 Zappa Family Trust

8
Roll Away The Stone (Remastered)
Leon Russell Leon Russell 00:03:08

Leon Russell, Composer, Producer, MainArtist - Pat Sullivan, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - GLYN JOHNS, Mixer, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Denny Cordell, Producer - Greg Dempsey, Composer

A Capitol Records Release; ℗ 2013 Capitol Records, LLC

9
Roadhouse Blues
The Doors Morrison Hotel 00:04:04

Bruce Botnick, Engineer - John Sebastian, Harmonica - JOHN DENSMORE, Drums, Writer - Jim Morrison, Percussion, Tambourine, Lead Vocals, Writer - Ray Manzarek, Piano, Writer - The Doors, MainArtist - Robby Krieger, Guitar, Writer - Lonnie Mack, Bass Guitar - Paul A. Rothchild, Producer

1970 Elektra Records 2012 Elektra Records

10
Teach Your Children
Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young Deja Vu 00:02:54

David Crosby, Producer, Vocals - Dallas Taylor, Drums, Tambourine - NEIL YOUNG, Producer - Stephen Stills, Producer, Bass Guitar, Vocals - Jerry Garcia, Pedal Steel Guitar - Graham nash, Producer, Percussion, Vocals, Writer, Rhythm Guitar - Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, MainArtist - Gregory Reeves, Bass Guitar - BILL HALVERSON, Engineer

© 1970 Atlantic Records ℗ 1974 Atlantic Recording Corporation

11
After the Gold Rush
Neil Young After The Gold Rush 00:03:46

Danny Whitten, Guitar, Background Vocals - Nils Lofgren, Guitar, Piano, Background Vocals - NEIL YOUNG, Producer, Guitar, Piano, Lead Vocals, Writer, Harmonica, Vibes, MainArtist - Stephen Stills, Background Vocals - DAVID BRIGGS, Producer - Jack Nitzsche, Piano - Ralph Molina, Drums, Background Vocals - Billy Talbot, Bass Guitar - Greg Reeves, Bass Guitar - Bill Peterson, Flugelhorn - KENDALL PACIOS, Producer

© 1970 Reprise Records ℗ 1970 Reprise Records

12
Topanga Canyon
John Phillips John The Wolfking Of L.A. 00:03:53
13
Paper Mountain Man
Linda Perhacs Parallelograms 00:03:14

Leonard Rosenman, Producer - Linda Perhacs, MainArtist, ComposerLyricist

℗ 1970 Geffen Records

14
What Have You Got To Lose (Album Version)
Carole King Writer 00:03:30

Joel O'Brien, Percussion - Joel O'Brien, Drums - Joel O'Brien, Vibraphone - Carole King, Vocal - Carole King, Background Vocal - Carole King, Arranger - Carole King, Piano - Carole King, Performer - G. Goffin, Composer - G. Goffin, Lyricist - James Taylor, Acoustic Baritone Guitar - DANIEL KORTCHMAR, Acoustic Baritone Guitar - DANIEL KORTCHMAR, Electric Guitar - DANIEL KORTCHMAR, Congas - Delores Hall, Background Vocal - C. King, Composer - C. King, Lyricist - Gerry Goffin, Mixing Engineer - John Fischbach, Producer - John Fischbach, Synthesizer - Ralph Schuckett, Organ - T. Stern, Composer - T. Stern, Lyricist - Abigale Haness, Background Vocal - Andrew Berliner, Engineer

Originally released 1970. All rights reserved by Epic Records, a division of Sony Music Entertainment

15
Vine Street
Harry Nilsson Nilsson Sings Newman 00:02:53

Harry Nilsson, Associated Performer, Main Artist - Randy Newman, Composer, Lyricist, Piano - A Nilsson House Production, Producer

Originally released 1970. All rights reserved by RCA Records, a division of Sony Music Entertainment

16
Only Love Can Break Your Heart
Neil Young After The Gold Rush 00:03:09

Danny Whitten, Guitar, Background Vocals - Nils Lofgren, Guitar, Piano, Background Vocals - NEIL YOUNG, Producer, Acoustic Guitar, Piano, Lead Vocals, Writer, Harmonica, Vibes, MainArtist - Stephen Stills, Background Vocals - DAVID BRIGGS, Producer - Jack Nitzsche, Piano - Ralph Molina, Drums, Background Vocals - Billy Talbot, Bass Guitar - Greg Reeves, Bass Guitar - Bill Peterson, Flugelhorn - KENDALL PACIOS, Producer

© 1970 Reprise Records ℗ 1970 Reprise Records

17
All I Wanna Do (Remastered 2009)
The Beach Boys Sunflower 00:02:36

MARK LINETT, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Brian Wilson, ComposerLyricist - Mike Love, ComposerLyricist - The Beach Boys, Producer, MainArtist - Carl Wilson, Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer - Michel Colombier, String Arranger, AssociatedPerformer - Stephen W. Desper, Mixer, Engineer, StudioPersonnel

(C) 2012 Brother Records, Inc., under exclusive license to Capitol Records, LLC ℗ 2009 Brother Records Inc

18
Big Yellow Taxi
Joni Mitchell Ladies Of The Canyon 00:02:14

Milt Holland, Percussion - Henry Lewy, Engineer - Joni Mitchell, Producer, Guitar, Piano, Vocals, Writer, MainArtist - Paul Horn, Clarinet, Flute - Teresa Adams, Cello - The Sasaktunes, Chorus - Jim Horn, Baritone Saxophone

1970 Warner Records Inc. 1970 Warner Records Inc.

19
Love the One You're With (Single/LP Version)
Stephen Stills Stephen Stills 00:03:04

Stephen Stills, Producer, Band Member, Featured Vocalist, Writer, MainArtist - Calvin Samuels, Bass Guitar - BILL HALVERSON, Producer

© 2004 Atlantic Recording Corp. Manufactured & Marketed by Warner Strategic Marketing ℗ 1970 Atlantic Recording Corporation for the United States and WEA International Inc. for the world outside of the United States.

20
Parallelograms
Linda Perhacs Parallelograms 00:04:33

Leonard Rosenman, Producer - Linda Perhacs, MainArtist, ComposerLyricist

℗ 1970 Geffen Records

21
Calico Girlfriend
Michael Nesmith Magnetic South (Expanded Edition) 00:02:35

Michael Nesmith And The First National Band, AssociatedPerformer - M. Nesmith, Composer, Lyricist - Michael Nesmith, Guitar, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, Vocal - JOHN LONDON, Bass Guitar - John Ware, Drums - FELTON JARVIS, Producer - Pete Abbott, Engineer - O.J. "Red" Rose, Steel Guitar - Earl P. Ball, Piano - The First National Band, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer

(P) 1970 RCA Records, a division of Sony Music Entertainment

22
Slip On Through (Remastered 2009)
The Beach Boys Sunflower 00:02:19

MARK LINETT, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - The Beach Boys, Producer, MainArtist - Carl Wilson, Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer - Dennis Wilson, Composer - Michel Colombier, String Arranger, AssociatedPerformer - Gregg Jakobson, Composer - Stephen W. Desper, Mixer, Engineer, StudioPersonnel

(C) 2012 Brother Records, Inc., under exclusive license to Capitol Records, LLC ℗ 2009 Brother Records Inc

23
The Everlasting First
Love False Start 00:03:01

LOVE, MainArtist - Jimi Hendrix, ComposerLyricist - Arthur Lee, Producer, ComposerLyricist

℗ 1970 UMG Recordings, Inc.

24
My Guitar Wants To Kill Your Mama
The Mothers Of Invention Weasels Ripped My Flesh 00:03:35

Frank Zappa, Producer, ComposerLyricist - The Mothers Of Invention, MainArtist

℗ 1970 Zappa Family Trust

25
Wild Horses
The Flying Burrito Brothers Burrito Deluxe 00:06:18

Bernie Leadon, Guitar, Unknown, Other, AssociatedPerformer - Chris Hillman, Guitar, Mandolin, Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer - Gram Parsons, Guitar, Keyboards, Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer - Leon Russell, Piano, AssociatedPerformer - Michael Clarke, Drums, AssociatedPerformer - Henry Lewy, Producer - KEITH RICHARDS, ComposerLyricist - MICK JAGGER, ComposerLyricist - Byron Berline, Fiddle, AssociatedPerformer - Buddy Childers, Flugelhorn, Unknown, Other, AssociatedPerformer - Tommy Johnson, Tuba, AssociatedPerformer - The Flying Burrito Brothers, MainArtist - Jim Dickson, Producer - "Sneaky" Pete Kleinow, Steel Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Leopoldo C. Carbajal, Accordion, AssociatedPerformer - Frank Blanco, Percussion, AssociatedPerformer

An A&M Records Release; ℗ 1969 UMG Recordings, Inc.

About Playlist

In the late 1960s, Los Angeles' Laurel and Topanga Canyons were breeding grounds of musical cross-pollination, as super groups formed, country-rock and folk legends shacked up, and experimentalists partied alongside pop stars. But 1970 would be a year of change: Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young releasing gorgeous music and then falling apart (ditto the Flying Burrito Brothers); golden couple Graham Nash and Joni Mitchell's split inspiring one of the best heartbreak songs ever; John Phillips revealing a dark side after the bright harmonies of the Mamas and the Papas. The Doors would fly high, only for Jim Morrison to be dead a year later. Artists may have been fiddling while the scene burned but incredible records came out of that last halcyon year. From the debut of piano genius Leon Russell to Harry Nilsson singing Randy Newman songs; an initially misunderstood Neil Young masterpiece to a trippy cult classic by Linda Perhacs. And once again, Brian Wilson predicted the future. Here are the best songs to come out of the canyon scene of 1970. © Shelly Ridenour/Qobuz

"Older Guys" by the Flying Burrito Brothers Patron saints of Laurel Canyon, the Burritos dreamed up their own Cosmic American Music genre; this lesser-known track is a chugging good time.

"Cecilia" by Simon & Garfunkel On the outskirts of Laurel Canyon, at a house on Blue Jay Way, Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel experimented with xylophone, reverb and found sounds to create an irresistible jumble that would become "Cecilia" from 1970's Bridge Over Troubled Water.

"Our House" by Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young Forever the idyllic portrait of domesticity, written by Graham Nash about his Laurel Canyon home life with Joni Mitchell.

"A Song for You" by Leon Russell A Laurel Canyon stalwart, Russell embodied the enclave's eclectic, sometimes just plain weird spirit. One of his best songs, "A Song for You," is pure emotion and would later be covered by Ray Charles, the Carpenters, Willie Nelson and Christina Aguilera.

"The Circle Game" by Joni Mitchell Mitchell once told an audience that when she and Neil Young were growing up in Canada, he penned the tune "Sugar Mountain" after "feeling terrible" about turning 21 and being too old to go to his favorite "teeny-bopper club." Mitchell said: "If we get to 21 and there's nothing after that, that's a pretty bleak future, so I wrote a song for him, and for myself just to give me some hope."

"Better Think Twice" by Poco Formed from the ashes of Buffalo Springfield and spawning multiple future members of the Eagles, Poco never hit it as big as either of those bands; but songs like this one helped set a road map for the country-rock that dominated the early and mid-'70s.

"WPLJ" by Frank Zappa and the Mothers of Invention Originally recorded by 1950s R&B vocal group The Four Deuces, "WPLJ"— an aphrodisiac of white port and lemon juice—gives Laurel Canyon godfather Zappa the opportunity to pay absurd homage to his beloved doo-wop.

"Roll Away the Stone" by Leon Russell Another excellent cut from Russell's self-titled debut, this one marries ragtime and funk, complete with rollercoaster piano.

"Roadhouse Blues" by The Doors It's believed that the roadhouse that inspired this song was the Corral, a Topanga Canyon bar frequented by Linda Ronstadt, members of Little Feat and Canned Heat, and the Doors' Jim Morrison. Harmonica credit goes to G. Puglese, a.k.a. the Lovin' Spoonful's John Sebastian.

"Teach Your Children" by Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young CSNY allegedly spent 500 studio hours on the songs from '70s Déjà Vu, including "Teach Your Children" which had been rejected by Graham Nash's old band The Hollies. It became a Top 40 hit for CSNY.

"After the Gold Rush" by Neil Young Meanwhile, CSNY's Neil Young was making genre-defining solo sounds farther west in Topanga Canyon. Accompanied only by piano and a mournful French horn, he eerily predicted climate change and environmental devastation on the spare title track to After the Gold Rush, an album panned by Rolling Stone.

"Topanga Canyon" by John Phillips In the 1960s, the Mamas and the Papas were Laurel Canyon royalty. With his debut solo album, John Phillips (John, The Wolf King of L.A.), Papa John Phillips ditched his former band's lush, sunny harmonies for a Dylan-esque vibe on tracks like "Topanga Canyon"—about a junkie waiting for his dope dealer in that hippie enclave.

"Paper Mountain Man" by Linda Perhacs In addition to all the future legends in Laurel Canyon, more humble residents were making glorious noise. Linda Perhacs was a dental hygienist when she recorded the cult classic Parallelograms. "Paper Mountain Man" could've provided a template for Heart's "Magic Man" five years later.

"What Have You Got to Lose" by Carole King After leaving Manhattan's Brill Building—and her songwriting partner/husband Gerry Goffin—King took to Laurel Canyon. This laid-back track is the bridge between her old life and 1971's Tapestry.

"Vine Street" by Harry Nilsson The first song on the brilliant Nilsson Sings Newman starts off with a propulsive, jangling intro, then fades into a dramatic cabaret of layered harmonies to which Rufus Wainwright owes his entire career.

"Only Love Can Break Your Heart" by Neil Young It may or may not have been written to console Graham Nash after his break-up from Joni Mitchell, but one thing's for sure: This waltz stands the test of time.

"All I Wanna Do" by the Beach Boys Leave it to Laurel Canyon mad genius Brian Wilson to create a shoegazing classic two full decades before that genre took off.

"Big Yellow Taxi" by Joni Mitchell The much-covered, bittersweet jangle, with its pro-environment/anti-commercial lyrics ("They took all the trees and put 'em in a tree museum/And they charge the people a dollar and a half to see 'em") was inspired by a trip to Hawaii.

"Love The One You're With" by Stephen Stills This hit single from Stills' eponymous debut (released the same year as CSNY's Déjà Vu) is reportedly inspired by keyboard legend Billy Preston, whose catchphrase was: "If you can't be with the one you love, love the one you're with."

"Parallelograms" by Linda Perhacs. A total mind-bender. Best listened to through headphones.

"Calico Girlfriend" by Michael Nesmith and the First National Band After years chafing at the Monkees' bubblegum pop reputation, Laurel Canyon denizen Nesmith (who'd already written songs recorded by Nitty Gritty Dirt Band and the Stone Poneys) finally got his chance to go country.

"Slip On Through" by the Beach Boys Rustic Canyon resident Dennis Wilson wrote this joyously soaring track, which dovetails nicely with the '60s Beach Boys canon.

"Everlasting First" by Love The 1970 album False Start was Love's first after guitarist/songwriter Bryan MacLean left the band and marks a shift from psych-rock to a more straightforward blues-rock sound. Frontman and Laurel Canyon old-timer Arthur Lee made up for the potent loss of MacLean and by bringing in none other than Jimi Hendrix for this opening track.

"My Guitar Wants to Kill Your Mama" by Frank Zappa and the Mothers of Invention Zappa released three albums in 1970, including Weasels Ripped My Flesh —featuring this cock-rock strut that's dressed up with horns, swinging jazz drums and a fiery (acoustic!) guitar solo.

"Wild Horses" by the Flying Burrito Brothers The 1970 album Burrito Deluxe included the recorded debut of "Wild Horses" a year before the Rolling Stones, who wrote the song, released it.

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