Stephen Stills had signed a new deal with Columbia Records in 1975, but the same year a final album was put out by his old label Atlantic (where he had been for CSNY, his first two solo albums and Manassas). Stephen Stills Live had been recorded in Chicago back in 1974, and saw Stills backed by his own band consisting of Donnie Dacus (guitar), Jerry Aiello (organ), Kenny Passarelli (bass), Russ Kunkel (drums) and Joe Lala (percussion). Both Passarelli and Lala had been members of Manassas. Stills himself played both guitar and piano.
The album was split into an electric side and an acoustic side. The acoustic side saw him go through some solo performances which showcased his talented fingerpicking. Alongside some of his own songs it also had covers of Robert Johnson's "Crossroads", Chuck Berry's "You Can't Catch Me" and Fred Neil's "Everybody's Talkin'". The electric side, with the band, proved that he could really rock, the highlight being the great version of the old CSN classic "Wooden Ships" which opened the album. It also featured a cover of Joe Walsh's "Rocky Mountain Way".
The album turned out great, and was proof of Still's immense talent as a musican, singer and bandleader, arguably being much better than the new records he was then recording for Columbia.
Stills (1975) <|> Illegal Stills (1976)
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