Though their career as a band was short-lived, Buffalo Springfield managed to leave a legacy of folk excellence in their wake—not to mention they launched the careers of Stephen Stills, Richie Furay, Bruce Palmer, Dewey Martin, Jim Messina, and Neil Young.
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Among their three albums are a number of timeless songs. Despite their success with tracks like “For What It’s Worth,” a healthy amount of their catalog is yet to be picked over. Below, we’re digging into Buffalo Springfield’s albums and unearthing their most underrated gems. Find five deep cuts from the group that you should be listening to, below.
1. “Go and Say Goodbye”
Since 1967, “Go and Say Goodbye” has followed arguably the premiere protest song of the ’60s, “For What It’s Worth” on the group’s debut record. With that behemoth of a song casting such a shadow, it’s easy to understand why “Go and Say Goodbye” hasn’t received the same dues. Nevertheless, the song’s Beatle-Esque shuffle makes it worthy of a listen. The narrator is talking to a friend who wants to take the easy route and break up with their girlfriend via a letter instead of facing her directly. Written by Stills, the lyrics read, Brother, you know you can’t run away and hide / Is it you don’t want to see her cries? Is that why / You won’t go and say goodbye?
Moving into something a bit heavier, “Bluebird” is found on the group’s second album, Buffalo Springfield Again. Using a mix between Still’s finger-picked acoustic and Young’s distorted electric guitar, this song becomes a sort of pseudo jam session clocking in at almost five minutes. With so much unbridled talent in the group, it’s a joy to hear them let loose and see where their instruments take them on this track.
3. “The Hour of Not Quite Rain”
Opening with a moody string section, “The Hour of Not Quite Rain” is a shadowy, off-kilter number. Just when you think you know where this one is going, they quickly divert from their assumed path adding in drum fills and tempo changes. Written by Richie Furay and Micki Callen, the lyrics are deeply figurative and full of mystical imagery. Though it may not be what fans typically reach for when thinking of this group, it’s a nice change of pace from the folk icons.
4. “Do I Have To Come Right Out and Say It?”
Also on their debut record, “Do I Have To Come Right Out and Say It?” is syrupy, easy-listening at its core. The verses roll right into the chorus, which melts into the bridge. The group’s harmonies are as tight as they ever had been here with a simple arrangement to back them up. They sing, Do I have to come right out and say it? / Tell you that you look so fine / Do I have to come right out and ask you to be mine?
5. “Everydays” (Live)
Thanks to the fact that “Everydays” was recorded live, there is a marked energy when listening to it. Though it’s a relatively short and subdued song, a soulful piano trill and stellar vocals from Stills make this track a worthy addition to any Buffalo Springfield playlist. Amid rich instrumentation, they sing about the mundane, Well, well, well / Another day.
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