L.A. band formed in '65. Name after a piece of construction machinery. Disbanded in '68.

Stephen Stills, guitar, keyboards
Neil Young, guitar
Richie Furay, guitar
Dewey Martin, drums
Bruce Palmer, bass

#7 in '67 with "For What It's Worth", about a police riot on Sunset Strip where youth (including Peter Fonda) protested being excluded from strip businesses.

Busted for possession in '68 with Eric Clapton. Furay and Messina went to Poco; Stills and Young became part of CSNY.

Stephen Stills, of the Buffalo Springfield, wanted to form a band with The Byrds' David Crosby; Crosby had even appeared with the Springfield at the Monterey Pop Festival. Graham Nash was soon added to the band-in-the-making. But the problem was that there were, apparently, contractual obligations: Stills and the Springfield were Atlantic Records recording artistes, while Nash and Crosby's bands were on CBS; Neil Young, having left the Springfield, signed with Reprise, and was happily out of the picture.

To Atlantic: Crosby, Stills, and Nash.

To CBS: the Springfield's "other guy", Richie Furay, and its bassist/producer Jim Messina, with their new band Poco. Country Rock was a hot new meme, and Poco was such a band.

A fair trade, right? And Atlantic even got Young later, both via CSN&Y and via the mergers and acquisitions that combined Atlantic, Reprise, and other labels into Warner Communications. In baseball, there's the legendary Frank Robinson trade, in which the Cincinnati Reds offloaded "aging" hothead ex-superstar Frank Robinson to the Baltimore Orioles for a good young pitcher, Milt Pappas, I think. Robinson then had his best seasons ever, while Pappas became little more than a journeyman. The Springfield divorce was the rock and roll equivalent of the Robinson trade.

Buffalo Springfield is also the name of Buffalo Springfield's first album, which was released in December, 1966 on ATCO; it was re-released in February 1967 to include "For What It's Worth", which was recorded after the rest of the album, released as a single, and had reached the #7 position on the singles charts. To make room (Ha! The album clocks in at 33 minutes.), "Baby Don't Scold Me" was deleted; it recently appeared again on the box set.

Despite the presence of Stills and Young, this is not a preview of Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young; Steve Stills was still defining his idiom on this recording debut, and Neil Young had more confidence in his guitar than in his voice -- Richie and Steve sing all but two songs, including Neil's.

The tracks:

  1. FOR WHAT IT'S WORTH STEVE WITH RICHIE & DEWEY (By Stephen Stills; Ten East, Springalo & Cotillion, BMI. Time: 2:37)
  2. GO AND SAY GOODBYE RICHIE & STEVE (By Stephen Stills; Ten East, Springalo & Cotillion, BMI. Time: 2:19)
  3. SIT DOWN I THINK I LOVE YOU RICHIE & STEVE (By Stephen Stills; Screen Gems-Columbia, BMI. Time: 2:30) Just a silly love song. The Mojo Men recorded it, too, and got all the radio action.
  4. NOWADAYS CLANCY CAN'T EVEN SING RICHIE WITH STEVE & NEIL (By Neil Young; Ten East, Springalo & Cotillion, BMI. Time: 3:26)
  5. HOT DUSTY ROADS STEVE WITH RICHIE (By Stephen Stills; Ten East, Springalo & Cotillion, BMI. Time: 2:47)
  6. EVERYBODY'S WRONG RICHIE & STEVE WITH NEIL (By Stephen Stills; Ten East, Springalo & Cotillion, BMI. Time: 2:22)
  7. FLYING ON THE GROUND IS WRONG RICHIE WITH STEVE & NEIL (By Neil Young; Ten East, Springalo & Cotillion, BMI. Time: 2:48)
  8. BURNED NEIL WITH RICHIE & STEVE (NEIL ON PIANO) (By Neil Young; Ten East, Springalo & Cotillion, BMI. Time: 2:14)
  9. DO I HAVE TO COME RIGHT OUT AND SAY IT RICHIE WITH STEVE & NEIL (NEIL ON PIANO) (By Neil Young; Ten East, Springalo & Cotillion, BMI. Time: 3:00)
  10. LEAVE STEVE WITH RICHIE (By Stephen Stills; Ten East, Springalo & Cotillion, BMI. Time: 2:42)
  11. OUT OF MY MIND NEIL WITH RICHIE & STEVE (By Neil Young; Ten East, Springalo & Cotillion, BMI. Time: 3:05)
  12. PAY THE PRICE STEVE WITH RICHIE (By Stephen Stills; Ten East, Springalo & Cotillion, BMI. Time: 2:35)

Formatting of the credits has been reproduced as closely as possible because there are some interesting things to notice here.

Steve owns the larger portion of writing credits -- 7 songs to Neil's 5 and none for Richie, who would contribute 3 tunes to the next album, Buffalo Springfield Again. This might have been a case of who was ready, or it might have been a result of the infighting for which the band was notorious.

The track list includes the vocal credit for each song, ordered in such a way as to indicate not merely who sang on the track, but also the relative importance of each voice. The word "with" indicates a subordinant voice, while the "&" denotes equal voices in either lead or harmony. Thus, the credit "NEIL WITH RICHIE & STEVE" means that Neil sang lead, while Richie and Steve sang harmony. On a record that featured three guitar players in addition to four singers, the band's focus on the vocal parts is a clear statement on where the personality of a band was thought to reside in the days just before the advent of the "guitar hero" and extended soloing in rock. The focus changed before the release of Buffalo Springfield's next album.

The back of the album featured a list of hometown, personality traits, astrological sign, and favorite things and colors for each of the members of the band. Before Crawdaddy! (at an amateur level) and Rolling Stone (at the professional level) began publishing serious journalism about rock music, this kind of list-making was the bread and butter of fan magazines like 16 and Tiger Beat. Original absence of capitalization has been preserved, but the lists have been staggered down the page in a show of mercy toward users of monitors set at a low resolution.

dewey martin, drummer
diplomatic
generous
sincere
libra
heartbeat of the group
metallic blue
baseball
ottawa

steve stills, 2nd lead guitar
pale blue
yellow
direct
capricorn
funloving
youthful--sometimes childlike
energetic
new orleans
"steve is the leader,
but we all are"

richie furay, rhythm guitarist
easygoing
a true friend
orange
taurus
open and alert
miniature golf
yellow springs, ohio
summer breezes
afternoon

neil young, lead guitarist
brown and green
leather and suede
midnight
scorpio
free
deep and dark
winnipeg
hot and cold
wild sense of humor
hearses

bruce palmer, bass guitarist
mysterious
deep
zen
beaded moccasins
virgo
purple
the unknown factor
wise
safe
strong
inscrutible

If you like any '60s pop music at all, you should buy this record; it features some of the best music available at that time.

Log in or registerto write something here or to contact authors.