Years: 1962 - present
Styles: Blues Rock, Classic Rock, Country Rock, Folk Rock
Stephen Stills - Acoustic guitar , Backing vocals, Bass Guitar, Clavinet, Drums, Electric piano, Guitar, Horns, Keyboards, Lead guitar, Lead vocals, Moog synthesizer, Organ, Percussion, Piano, Resonator Guitar [Dobro], Rhythm guitar, Steelpan, Synthesizer, Tambourine, Vocals (in band: 1962 - present)
Beginning his professional career with Buffalo Springfield, he composed one of their few hits "For What It's Worth," which became one of the most recognizable songs of the 1960s. Other notable songs he contributed to the band were "Sit Down, I Think I Love You”, "Bluebird" and "Rock & Roll Woman". According to bandmate Richie Furay, he was "the heart and soul of Buffalo Springfield."
After Buffalo Springfield broke up, Stills began working with David Crosby and Graham Nash on their debut album. Stills, in addition to writing much of the album, played bass, guitar, and keyboards on most of the album. The album sold over four million copies and at that point had outsold anything from the three members' prior bands: the Byrds, Buffalo Springfield, and the Hollies. The album won the trio a Grammy Award for Best New Artist.
Neil Young, formerly of Buffalo Springfield, joined CSN months later for their second concert at Woodstock and subsequent album Déjà Vu. Stills played bass, guitar and keyboard on the title track and electric guitar and piano on "Helpless". The album became a huge success and sold over eight million copies. In its wake all four members of CSNY released solo albums that reached the top 20.
Stills's first solo album, Stephen Stills, went gold and is the only album to feature both Jimi Hendrix and Eric Clapton. Its hit single, "Love the One You're With", became his biggest solo hit, peaking at number 14 on the Billboard Hot 100. A string of solo albums, and a band with Chris Hillman called Manassas followed in 1971. In the summer of 1974 Young reunited with CSN after a four-year hiatus for a concert tour which was recorded and released in 2014 as CSNY 1974. It was one of the first stadium tours and the largest tour the band has done to date. CSN reunited in 1977 for their album CSN, which became the trio's best-selling record. CSN and CSNY continued to have platinum albums through the 1980s. Stills's solo career and bands have combined sales of over 35 million albums to date.
Stills was ranked number 28 in Rolling Stone's 2003 list of "The 100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time" and #47 in the 2011 list. He became the first person to be inducted twice on the same night into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame for his work with CSN and Buffalo Springfield. According to Neil Young, "Stephen is a genius."
Stills dropped out of the Louisiana State University in the early 1960s. He played in a series of bands, including the Continentals, which then featured future Eagles guitarist Don Felder. Stills also sang as a solo artist at Gerde's Folk City, a well-known coffeehouse in Greenwich Village. Stills eventually ended up in a nine-member vocal harmony group, the house act at the famous Cafe au Go Go in NYC, called the Au Go Go Singers, which included his future Buffalo Springfield bandmate Richie Furay. This group did some touring in the Catskills and in the South, released one album in 1964, then broke up in 1965.
Stills, Furay, and Young reunited in Los Angeles and formed the core of Buffalo Springfield. Legend has it that Stills and Furay recognized Young's converted hearse on the streets of LA and flagged him down, a meeting described in a recent solo track "Round the Bend." The band would release three albums: Buffalo Springfield, Buffalo Springfield Again, and Last Time Around, and enjoy only one hit single, the Stills-penned "For What It's Worth" before disbanding. A Stills song from their debut album, "Sit Down, I Think I Love You," was a minor hit for the Mojo Men in 1967.
During the disintegration of Buffalo Springfield, Stills played on the Super Session album with Al Kooper and Mike Bloomfield, and joined up with David Crosby, who had recently been ejected from the Byrds in the autumn of 1967. At a party in Laurel Canyon, Crosby was introduced to Graham Nash by a mutual friend, Cass Elliot (formerly of the Mamas and the Papas), and Nash found himself soon joining in singing with Crosby and Stills. Renditions of the latter's "You Don't Have to Cry," led to the formation of Crosby, Stills & Nash. Several of Stills's songs, including "Suite: Judy Blue Eyes" and "You Don't Have To Cry" on the debut album were inspired by his on-again-off-again relationship with singer Judy Collins.
In the wake of CSNY's success, all four members recorded high-profile solo albums. In 1970, Stills released his eponymous solo debut album which featured guests Eric Clapton, Jimi Hendrix, Cass Elliot, Booker T. Jones and Ringo Starr (credited only as "Richie") as well as David Crosby, Graham Nash, Rita Coolidge and CSNY drummers Dallas Taylor and Johnny Barbata. It provided Stills with the U.S. No. 14 hit single "Love the One You're With." Stills followed this with Stephen Stills 2, which featured "Change Partners." Even though the song was written before CSN formed, Nash saw it as a metaphor for the many relationships in CSNY. In 1971, Stills played guitar for the Bill Withers album, Just as I Am, including the Grammy-winning song, "Ain't No Sunshine".
In late 1971, Stills teamed up with ex-Byrd Chris Hillman to form the band Manassas. Their self-titled double album was a mixture of rock, country, blues, bluegrass and Latin music divided into different sections. All of Stills' albums after Buffalo Springfield had gone either gold or platinum; the Manassas follow-up album the next year Down the Road was his first LP that did not. After the CSNY reunion tour in 1974, he signed to Columbia Records for three albums: Stills in 1975; Illegal Stills in 1976; and Thoroughfare Gap in 1978.
In 1976, Stills attempted a reunion with Neil Young. At one point, Long May You Run was slated to be a CSNY record, but when Crosby and Nash left to fulfill recording and touring obligations, they returned to find the other pair had wiped their vocals from the recordings, as Stills and Young decided to go on without their erstwhile partners as the Stills-Young Band. However, Young would leave midway through the resulting tour due to an apparent throat infection.
Stills was contractually bound to finish the tour, which he did, but upon returning home, his wife - French singer-songwriter Véronique Sanson - announced she wanted a divorce and wished to move back to France. Stills reunited with Crosby and Nash shortly afterwards, thanks to the efforts of Nash's future wife Susan, who got Nash to forgive Stills for wiping the Crosby and Nash vocals from Long May You Run. This led to the permanent reunion of Crosby, Stills, and Nash in 1977, which has persisted to the present. Since, Neil Young has joined the trio for two albums, in 1988 and 1999, and tours in 2000, 2002, and 2006, along with various benefit performances. Also in 1976, Stills played percussion on the Bee Gees' song "You Should Be Dancing".
In 1984, Right by You would be the final Stills album to make the Billboard 200 album chart, with Stills Aloneissued in 1991. In 1997, Stills became the first person to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame twice in the same night for his work with CSN and the Buffalo Springfield.
2005 saw Stills release Man Alive!, his first solo offering in 14 years. Man Alive! was released on the small English independent folk rock label Talking Elephant, and was not widely reviewed. The record did not chart on either side of the Atlantic, and was received lukewarmly by the few critics who did review it.
Throughout 2006 and 2007, Stills toured regularly as a solo artist with "the Quartet", which consisted of drummer Joe Vitale, either Mike Finnigan or session player Todd Caldwell on keyboards, and either Kevin McCormick or Kenny Pasarelli on bass. On May 28, 2007, Stills sang the National Anthem for Game 1 of the 2007 Stanley Cup Finals between the Anaheim Ducks and Ottawa Senators in Anaheim, California.
Stills toured Europe as a solo artist for the first time during October 2008. In 2011, Stills contributed a song, "Low Barefoot Tolerance," to the soundtrack of a documentary produced by J. Ralph, Wretches & Jabberers.
On August 27, 2013, Stephen Stills released the album, Can't Get Enough with Kenny Wayne Shepherd and Barry Goldberg as the blues band the Rides. The band toured to support this release in 2013.
On August 12, 2014, Watsky released the album "All You Can Do", featuring a song with Stills, "Cannonball".
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