Crosby Stills, Nash (and sometimes Young) have been singing the Beatles’ “Blackbird” almost as long as Paul McCartney has. Add the unforgettable intertwining of their multiple voices, versus the original solo recording from 1968’s White Album, and you can forgive David Crosby if he thinks CSNY has bested the original.
And, for him, it’s not even close.
“When you listen to us sing ‘Blackbird,'” Crosby tells Radio.com, “we sing it better than Paul does — and that’s saying some stuff.”
Crosby Stills, Nash and Young performed “Blackbird” as part of a career-making set at Woodstock, though it has been perhaps most widely available via the 1983 Crosby Stills and Nash set Allies, recorded during their tour to promote Daylight Again. A version from February 11, 1969 later appeared on the CSN box set in 1991, as well. The track will next find a home as part of the long-awaited CSNY 1974 box set.
McCartney, meanwhile, went years without performing this nugget in concert, before finally retrieving it for Wings’ 1976 world tour. “Blackbird” has made consistent setlist appearances for both artists ever since — but Crosby hasn’t budged.
“I have a lot of respect for Paul,” Crosby adds. “But we do it better.”