I consider myself to be one of the biggest fans of Buffalo Springfield, but regardless of my undying respect, it’s hard to consider them a proper ‘band’. Even at their absolute peak (which this album represents), they sound much more like a collection of songwriters supporting one another than a unified whole.
If you take into consideration the subsequent histories of Stephen Stills and Neil Young, neither of whom ever fit comfortably into a group environment, it’s easy to understand why even their first attempt at being a band was fraught with difficulty. There is little that unifies “Buffalo Springfield Again.” Even the production varies markedly from track to track, as Young worked with Jack Nitzsche’s orchestrations, while Stills opted to produce most of his own material. For the first time in his career, Richie Furay displays a flair for songwriting as well, contributing three tracks with a style so varied that it’s difficult to imagine they came from the same pen.
The album is a collection of contradictions. Any descriptive word I can think of as representative could just as well be replaced by its antonym; the album is heavy/light, ornate/simple, country/jazz, oblique/straightforward. Miraculously, it somehow still works as a unified whole. Nothing from the band’s first album even suggested the rococo constructions of Young’s “Broken Arrow,” the jazz blues of Stills “Everydays” or the fruition of Furay. In that sense, “Buffalo Springfield Again” has a lot in common with the Beatles’ “Revolver,” another collection featuring three songwriters vying for attention and doing so with a collection of songs that have precious little in common, except perhaps that most were studio concoctions that could not have been convincingly performed live at the time.
October 1967 - Billboard Charted #44
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