‘I’m not trying to slag the guy': David Crosby returns to Crosby Stills and Nash’s failed Rick Rubin collaboration

With the recent release of Crosby Stills, Nash and Young’s long-awaited 1974 live set, thoughts turn to other intriguing moments from their collective vaults. Like say, those aborted 2012 sessions for the Rick Rubin-produced covers project Songs We Wish We’d Written?

David Crosby says that’s still a possibility, though it remains to be seen what form they’ll take. After all, this mismatched partnership seemed to generate far more headlines than actual music.

“We didn’t really successfully generate any masters out of the time when he was trying it out with us,” Crosby tells Radio.com. “I don’t think it’s his fault, so much as there just wasn’t a chemistry. I’m not trying to slag the guy. He’s done a lot of good work.”

By the time they joined forces, however, CSN had been going their own way for generations — as a trio, a quartet with Neil Young and long before that as members of the Byrds, Buffalo Springfield and the Hollies. Rubin had his ideas, and they had theirs. It just never really worked.

“We produced our own records,” Crosby adds. “The ‘Couch Album,’ Deja Vu, stuff like that. We produced that. We pretty much knew how to make records when we got done with our first bands. After months of trying it with him, we went into Jackson [Browne]’s [Santa Monica-based] Groove Masters [studio] and cut five things in four days.”

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