This 77-track, four-CD set remains one of the best boxes devoted to a single music act that one can buy, covering the output of Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young across 22 years, from 1968 until 1990. The first thing that becomes apparent, beyond the excellent sound (which was a revelation at the time, when only extant editions of the group's work were the early, substandard CD editions), is the sheer worth of the material. Crosby, Stills & Nash's reputation, based on their first four albums, can be taken as a given for anyone who would think of buying this set, and it does cover virtually every base that one could involving the trio, with an occasional Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young cut included for completeness' sake.
As part of their ongoing reissue of the Crosby, Stills & Nash catalog, Rhino put out Demos, a collection of early home recordings of staples from the CSN catalog, demos recorded both alone and together between the years of 1968 and 1971. Unlike some similar collections, not much here is especially revelatory; apart from "Love the One You're With," here almost droning at the beginning, there are no great differences in lyrics or approach, with such solo recordings as "Almost Cut My Hair" pointing clearly to their latter full-blown incarnations.
Unbeknown to most fans, So Far was a stopgap release, undertaken by Atlantic Records in the absence of a new Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young album to accompany the reunited quartet’s summer 1974 tour.
David Crosby and Graham Nash, two-thirds of Crosby, Stills and Nash, began writing and playing together 36 years ago and their brand of mellow harmony became one of rock's trademarks. Together and apart they have had circuitous careers since, taking in drug rehab and political activism (in the case of Crosby) and photography (Nash is a digital imaging pioneer). Their last album together was the mid-Seventies Wind on the Water. Now, more than thirty years later, comes another, simply titled Crosby-Nash…
It was, at the time, one of the highest-grossing rock tours ever, grossing over 11 million dollars in an era when such figures were uncommon. Such success camouflaged the chaos behind the scenes – the bitter fights and feuds, the excess and indulgence that led to Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young pocketing about a half million dollars each, when all was said and done. Big bucks were the reason the CSNY 1974 tour even existed. Efforts to record a new album in 1973, their first since 1970's breakthrough Déjà Vu, collapsed but manager Elliot Roberts and promoter Bill Graham convinced the group to stage the first outdoor stadium tour in the summer of 1974, with the idea that CSNY would test-drive new material in concert, then record a new studio album in the fall, or maybe release a live record from the historic tour. Neither happened.