Their second album was notable for several developments, as the band began to fragmentate. Whilst the first album worked as a cohesive whole, a perfect union between all the band members, Buffalo Springfield Again saw Stephen Stills, Neil Young and Richie Furay start to move in seperate directions. At the same time bassist Bruce Palmer's presence became erratic, and numerous L.A. session musicians were used on the album. The result is less of a band effort and more like an album shared between three seperate singer-songwriters. Nevertheless it resulted in some of their best material, and is generally regarded as their strongest album, despite the truth of what was happening behind closed doors. Stephen Stills contributed the most consistent material, with strong folk-rockers such as "Bluebird", "Rock & Roll Woman" and "Hung Upside Down". It was here that Richie Furay first emerged as a songwriter, as he had not written any material on the first album. Of his three compositions, "A Child's Claim To Fame" was indicative of the country-rock direction he who soon pursue (it also featured James Burton on dobro). Neil Young contributed the psychedelic hard rock number "Mr Soul" which opened the album (and unashamedly took its riff from the Stones' "Satisfaction"). But it was his other two songs ("Expecting To Fly" and "Broken Arrow") which hinted at his isolation from the rest of the band. Recorded without any of the other members, but instead using outside musicians and string arrangements from Jack Nitzsche (who would become a frequent collaborator of Young's), they are the first glimpses of the confessional singer-songwriter solo career he would soon embrace. Whilst he had performed as guitarist and songwriter on the first album, here he was clearly restless and keen to start work by himself. The truth is that soon the band would be over, and all three frontmen would soon be leading new projects.
Buffalo Springfield (1966) <|> Last Time Around (1968)
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