David Crosby Announces 50th Anniversary Edition Of ‘If I Could Only Remember My Name’ with an Hour of Previously Unreleased Music

On Thursday (Sept. 2), David Crosby unveiled plans to release a special, 50th-anniversary edition of his seminal debut solo album, If I Could Only Remember My Name, with remastered audio and over an hour of previously unreleased music. The deluxe release will be out on October 15 via Rhino.

Made between 1968 and 1971—with the bulk of the sessions taking place in 1970, following the death of Crosby’s girlfriend, Christine Hinton—the album was one of the four solo albums that came out in the wake of Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young’s chart-topping smash record, Déjà Vu (the others being Stephen Stills’ self-titled, Graham Nash’s Songs For Beginners and Neil Young’s After The Gold Rush). 

Marked by the deep sense of loss and confusion Crosby felt after Hinton’s death, If I Could Only Remember My Name captures an inimitable spirit of expression, while still speaking to the zeitgeist of the countercultural movement that was buzzing when it was written. With loose, rambling arrangements marked by acoustic guitars, twangy lead lines, rich harmonies, and a psychedelic array of confessional emotions, the album is almost like a spiritual journey into the very essence of who Crosby is.

Yet, he was far from alone in the process: rather, he was joined by a crew of some of the greatest musicians of all time, including Nash, Young, Joni Mitchell, members of the Grateful Dead (Jerry Garcia, Phil Lesh, Bill Kreutzmann and Mickey Hart), members of Jefferson Airplane (Jorma Kaukonen, Jack Casady, Paul Kantner and Grace Slick) and more.

“The stories behind the creation of If I Could Only Remember My Name make clear that its uplifting and redemptive qualities were the result of a close-knit group of gifted players pulling one of their own back from the brink,” writer and culturalist, Steve Silberman, wrote in the new edition’s liner notes. “The album’s edge was tempered in the fire of life-altering tragedy.”

For his part, Crosby looks back on those fateful sessions with a profound appreciation for the community he was a part of. Speaking now ahead of the reissue, he recalled how impactful Jerry Garcia’s involvement was—the Grateful Dead bandleader showed up to support Crosby and his creative vision nearly every night. 

“There’d be that grin, and then that look in the eyes, and this fascination with the music,” Crosby remembered. “Easy, not forced, graceful, fun, ever-present. It was a kindness, I’m pretty sure. Jerry never said that, never even implied it. Just, ‘Hey, I heard you were doing something. What are you doing? Let’s do something.’”

Alongside the remastered tracks, Croz will also be putting out all sorts of outtakes and demos, showing off his writing process (thanks to mesmerizing diddies, like “Riff 1”) and the collaborative spirit of the project (you’ll get to hear Neil Young take a crack at the solos in “Cowboy Movie,” rather than Garcia, who ended up on the final version). 


Check out the track listing for the 50th-anniversary reissue of David Crosby’s If I Could Only Remember My Name and listen to the demo “Riff 1” below:

If I Could Only Remember My Name 50th Anniversary Track Listings:

CD Track Listing

Disc One: Original Album

  1. “Music Is Love”
  2. “Cowboy Movie”
  3. “Tamalpais High (At About 3)”
  4. “Laughing”
  5. “What Are Their Names”
  6. “Traction In The Rain”
  7. “Song With No Words (Tree With No Leaves)”
  8. “Orleans”
  9. “I’d Swear There Was Somebody Here”

Bonus Track

  1. “Kids And Dogs”

Disc Two: Bonus Tracks

Demos

  1. “Riff 1” – Demo *
  2. “Tamalpais High (At About 3)” – Demo *
  3. “Kids And Dogs” – Demo *
  4. “The Wall Song” – Demo *
  5. “Games” – Demo *
  6. “Laughing” – Demo *
  7. “Song With No Words (Tree With No Leaves)” – Demo
  8. “Where Will I Be” – Demo *

Sessions

  1. “Cowboy Movie” – Alternate Version *
  2. “Bach Mode” – Pre-Critical Mass *
  3. “Coast Road” *
  4. “Dancer” *
  5. “Fugue” *

LP Track Listing

  1. “Music Is Love”
  2. “Cowboy Movie”
  3. “Tamalpais High (At About 3)”
  4. “Laughing”
  5. “What Are Their Names”
  6. “Traction In The Rain”
  7. “Song With No Words (Tree With No Leaves)”
  8. “Orleans”
  9. “I’d Swear There Was Somebody Here”

* previously unreleased

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