28 David Crosby collaborations

David Crosby may not have played very well for free, which Joni Mitchell sang once. But he played and sang very well, which is one of the reasons why his catalog contains countless moments beyond his own recorded work, as a solo artist or with his Rock & Roll Hall of Fame bands such as Byrd’s and Crosby, Stills & Nash.

He played well with others, it seems.

Throughout his career, Crosby has been the guest of choice, mostly brought in by musical friends who required his harmonically inventive vocal skills to lift their tracks. Crosby, there died on Jan. 19, 2023, at age 81, came with colleagues who were both expected — Mitchell, James Taylor, Jackson Browne, Carole King and of course Stephen Stills, Graham Nash and Neil Young — and surprisingly, as e.g John MayerGary Wright, Pink Floyd‘s David Gilmour and Hootie & the Blowfish. Nash has even compiled an album that will feature his and Crosby’s cameos with others, starting with Stills’ “Love the One You’re With” and up to their 1993 “You’ve Got a Friend” guest appearance with King at the Universal Amphitheater in Los Angeles.

Crosby’s credits as a collaborator – alone or often with Nash – are long and diverse. We select these guest appearances to include the ones we thought were the most significant in the list below of 28 David Crosby collaborations.

Joni Mitchell, Song to a seagull (1968)
Crosby was commissioned to produce his girlfriend Mitchell’s debut album. He took her to Sunset Sound Recorders and initially set up microphones around the room while she sat and sang at the grand piano – an experiment that failed spectacularly. But in the end, he served Mitchell and her songs well, keeping the recording mostly to Mitchell herself, with Stills playing bass on one track. They would reunite for Mitchell’s Court and Spark in 1974, backing vocals on “Down to You” and with Nash “Free Man in Paris”, and then again in 1975 The hiss of summer lawnsand joined Nash on the opening number “In France They Kiss on Main Street.”

Jefferson Airplane, Volunteers (1969)
Crosby is credited with the sailboat vibe on Jefferson Airplane’s version of “Wooden Ships,” the track he co-wrote with the band’s Paul Kantner and Stills (who played organ on the album’s “Turn My Life Around”). Crosby, Stills & Nash released their take on the trio self-titled debut album same year. He also helped Jorma Kaukonen and Jack Casady on Hot tuna‘s Burgers in 1972 and appeared on Grace Slickfirst solo album, Man holein 1974.

Stephen Stills, Stephen Stills (1970)
Crosby was part of the vocal chorus for his sometime bandmates self-titled first solo albumalong with Rita Coolidge, John Sebastian and Priscilla Jones on the tracks “Love the One You’re With”, “Sit Yourself Down”, “We Are Not Helpless” (all also featuring Nash) and “Go Back Home”.

Paul Kantner and Jefferson Starship, Blows Against the Empire (1970)
Crosby was part of the original Starship cast and sang on “Mau Mau”, “Starship”, “A Child Is Coming” and “Have You Seen the Stars Tonite”. (He earned co-writing credits and also played guitar on the latter two.)

Graham Nash, Songs for beginners (1971)
Crosby, of course, was supposed to be part of best friend Nash’s first solo album, where he strapped the electric guitar on “I Used to Be a King.” He also appears on his follow-up, Wild Talesin 1973, and Earth and sky in 1980.

Neil Young, Harvest (1972)
Young made full use of his CSNY countrymen on his fourth (and most successful) solo album, Harvest, with Crosby providing backing vocals on “Are You Ready for the Country” and, with Stills, “Alabama.” Crosby also appeared on two songs for Young’s Time disappears live album the following year.

Jackson Browne, Jackson Browne (1972)
The bands were strongly tied throughout the California singer-songwriter scene of the early 70s, and Crosby was, along with Nash, aboard Browne’s self-titled debut, including the signature hit “Doctor My Eyes”. The duo also lent backing vocals to the title track from Browne’s classic The pretender three years later. Plus, Crosby resurfaced in the 1989s The world in motion and the 1993s I’m alive.

James Taylor, Gorilla (1975)
Working as a duo during CSN(Y’s hiatus), Crosby and Nash can be found on leadoff track and hit single “Mexico” as well as “Lighthouse.” Crosby, with Nash, was back for “Nothing Like a Hundred Miles” from Gorillafollow up, In the pocketin 1976.

Carole King, Thoroughbred (1976)
Crosby and Nash saddled up to provide backing vocals throughout King’s seventh album, and her last produced by Lou Adler. The duo also joined King on her 1994 At a concert album to harmonize on “You’ve Got a Friend.”

Gary Wright, On the way home (1979)
The Crosby-Nash duo answered the call of Dream Weaver to sing on his sixth solo album with Doobie BrothersMichael McDonald.

Bonnie Raitt, At the last minute (1989)
Crosby was happy to help out an old friend on her comeback album — a Grammy Award winner, no less — to sing with (who else?) Nash on the Michael Ruff-penned “Cry on My Shoulder.” Crosby would be back again for “Circle Dance” in 1994 Longing in their hearts.

Phil Collins, … But seriously (1989)
Crosby was part of the all-star ensemble Collins recruited for his fourth solo album, harmonizing on the hits “Another Day in Paradise” and “That’s Just the Way It Is.” Collins gave Crosby the favor A thousand ways in 1993.

Bob Dylan, Under the red sky (1990)
Don waswho also produced Raitt’s At the last minutereached out to Crosby again to provide backing vocals on the album he and his “brother” David produced for Dylan at the turn of the decade.

Dan Fogelberg, The wild places (1990)
Crosby accepted an invitation to help fellow troubadour Fogelberg attend EaglesTimothy B. Schmitt for backing vocals on “Son of the Sea” from his 11th album, The wild places.

indigo girls, Rites of passage (1992)
Crosby and Browne were tandem on this effort from the Georgia duo, throwing out harmonies on the singles “Galileo” and “Let It Be Me.”

willie nelson, Across the border (1993)
Crosby was among the group of background singers recruited for Nelson’s 40th album, which featured duets with Dylan, Raitt, Paul Simon and Sinead O’Connor. There is no telling whether Crosby boarded Nelson’s famous bus at any time.

Marc Cohn, The rainy season (1993)
Cohn used the Crosby-Nash team for his second album after “Walking in Memphis,” where the duo was deployed on the tracks “From the Station” and “She’s Becoming Gold.”

Hootie & Blowfish, The crack seen from the back (1994)
The biggest Crosby ever sang on was “Hold My Hand,” the debut single from the South Carolina group’s album, The crack seen from the back. The song was a Top 10 hit and the album was a 21-times platinum phenomenon, ranking as one of the best-selling debuts of all time.

Kenny Loggins, Return to Pooh’s corner (1994)
Uncle Croz joined Nash, Amy Grant and others to provide backing vocals for Loggins’ children’s album.

Stevie Nicks, Angel of the street (1994)
Nicks tapped Crosby to sing backup on the title track of her fifth solo album, which also featured contributions from Dylan and the Eagles co-founder Bernie Leadonplus members of Tom Petty‘s Heartbreakers and Bruce Springsteen‘s The E Street Band.

David Gilmour, On an island (2006) and Rattle That Lock (2015)
Crosby, along with Nash, two-timed with the Pink Floyd guitarist on his last two solo albums. They are on the title track to On an island and on “A Boat Lies Waiting” from its follow-up. “They have wonderful voices,” Gilmour told this writer while promoting Rattle That Lock. “Those songs really called for those kinds of harmonies, and I was honored that they would do it.”

Don Felder, The road to eternity (2012)
The Eagles guitarist swung for the fences on The road to eternityhis first solo album in 29 years, including having Crosby join Stills and Nash on vocals on the set’s opening track, “Fall From the Grace of Love.”

John Mayer, Born and raised (2012)
Don was once again reached out to bring the Crosby-Nash harmonies into one of his projects, this time the title track to Mayer’s fifth studio effort.

Joe Walsh, Analog man (2012)
Walsh loaded Analog manhis first new album in two decades, with some big guests, Crosby and Nash among them for “One Day at a Time”.

Shawn Colvin, Uncovered (2015)
Crosby sings on “Baker Street,” the Gerry Rafferty classic that Colvin included on her Uncovered collection of cover songs.

Chris Hillman, Biding my time (2017)
Bygones was a thing of the past when Crosby’s fellow Byrds bandmate welcomed him back for his first solo album in 12 years.

Derek Smalls, Smalls Change (meditations on aging) (2018)
So many things are right about Crosby being a part of Spinal Tap the bassist’s 2018 solo album. We’re glad he got the joke.

Jason Isbell and the 400 unit, Revisit (2020)
Isbell and company brought in Crosby as a backing singer for the Americana group’s fourth album and Isbell’s seventh overall. (Crosby sang background vocals on “What’ve I Done to Help” and “Only Children”).

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