Buffalo Spingfield: Buffalo Springfield Again (1967)

Buffalo Springfield only had two proper studio albums (plus a third of cobbled-together remnants), but managed to secure a spot among classic rock royalty as the birthing ground of Neil Young & Stephen Stills (not to mention Richie Furay, later of country rockers Poco, and later Jim Messina, who'd join Kenny Loggins for Loggins & Messina).  While I love the self-titled debut album, a fantastic chunk of 60s folk-rock (bolstered when re-released with the essential single "For What It's Worth"), the follow-up takes a huge leap, a veritable monster.

I'm partial to the Young contributions -- you've got the dark, apocalyptic, rocking "Mr. Soul" opening the album (borrowing the "Satisfaction" riff, later to be claimed back by the Stones for "Jumpin' Jack Flash"); and the sprawling, orchestrated opus "Broken Arrow" closing out the record, a clear sign that Young's genius was not about to be contained by the band.  In between is the quiet and absolutely gorgeous "Expecting to Fly," essentially a Young solo track but nonetheless one that alone elevates the album to classic status.

But Stills is no slouch here, arguably outdoing Young.  "Bluebird" is frenetic hard rock with tremendous guitar jams (though the album sadly does not include the extended jam version, which showed up on a later vinyl compilation); "Rock & Roll Woman" is another terrific guitar work-out.  Plus there's "Hung Upside-Down," a mid-tempo rocker and one of Stills' most infectious works, and his quietly psychedelic "Everydays," as spooky and trippy as anything more dedicated psychedelic acts would produce in the Summer of Love.

The remaining tracks are Furay's, and while I'm less a fan of his less distinctive rock & Americana leanings, "A Child's Claim To Fame" is a lovely little country ditty that manages to hold up well alongside the Stills/Young powerhouse. 

While the album suffers a bit from the band's strong and divergent personalities, like 3 solo albums jammed together into an at times disjointed record, much of the material remains essential listening.

Here's that legendary tv appearance where the band starts playing "For What It's Worth," only to break into a rousing rendition of "Mr. Soul":
Here's "Bluebird" live from one of the reunion gigs:
...and "Broken Arrow" from a reunion gig as well: