David Crosby has never written a hit

Do talk back
User avatar
toomanyhatz
Power-mad king of the WCC
Posts: 26044
Joined: 07 Apr 2005, 00:01
Location: Just east of where Charlie Parker went to do some relaxin'

David Crosby has never written a hit

Postby toomanyhatz » 14 Nov 2017, 22:14

I heard him say so in an NPR interview (a fascinating one, actually - he's a VERY interesting interviewee, something I wouldn't think was true between the 60s and 90s or so) and thought he was just being modest. But then I thought about it and realized he's right! Byrds hits were written by Clark or McGuinn (he DOES have a credit on "Eight Miles High" but all have admitted since that Clark is the main writer on that), CSN(Y) hits were mostly written by Stills and Nash with two by Young, and he's never had a solo hit - unlike the other three!

Kind of a surprise to realize, but it's true. Is it because of his modal weirdness? He's written beloved album tracks, but a hit? Not once. That's almost an accomplishment considering the company he kept.
sloopjohnc wrote:I know I picked the Diamondbacks, but they were the wildcard. Next teams will be a little tougher.


1959 1963 1965 1966 1974 1977 1978 1981 1988 2017!

User avatar
toomanyhatz
Power-mad king of the WCC
Posts: 26044
Joined: 07 Apr 2005, 00:01
Location: Just east of where Charlie Parker went to do some relaxin'

Re: David Crosby has never written a hit

Postby toomanyhatz » 14 Nov 2017, 22:20

I'm trying to think of any other songwriters who worked with other hitmakers for years and years and never wrote a hit themselves and I'm coming up empty. Dennis Wilson, maybe? But he didn't write anywhere near as many songs as Croz...
sloopjohnc wrote:I know I picked the Diamondbacks, but they were the wildcard. Next teams will be a little tougher.


1959 1963 1965 1966 1974 1977 1978 1981 1988 2017!

User avatar
bobzilla77
Posts: 15069
Joined: 23 Jun 2006, 02:56
Location: Dilute! Dilute! OK!

Re: David Crosby has never written a hit

Postby bobzilla77 » 14 Nov 2017, 22:24

I initially read this thread title as "David Crosby has never petted a cat."

He seems like the kind of guy to have a rule about such things.
Jimbo wrote:The Natural Times said no matter, essentially we are all doomed.


User avatar
Matt Wilson
Psychedelic Cowpunk
Posts: 28346
Joined: 16 Jul 2003, 20:18
Location: Edge of a continent

Re: David Crosby has never written a hit

Postby Matt Wilson » 14 Nov 2017, 23:28

Gene Clark only wrote two. Or had a hand in writing two, anyway.

User avatar
slightbreeze
Can I Get To Widnes?
Posts: 9633
Joined: 03 Sep 2003, 20:07
Location: facing the computer
Contact:

Re: David Crosby has never written a hit

Postby slightbreeze » 14 Nov 2017, 23:44

All his songs are a hit in my world ;)

User avatar
toomanyhatz
Power-mad king of the WCC
Posts: 26044
Joined: 07 Apr 2005, 00:01
Location: Just east of where Charlie Parker went to do some relaxin'

Re: David Crosby has never written a hit

Postby toomanyhatz » 15 Nov 2017, 00:13

Matt Wilson wrote:Gene Clark only wrote two. Or had a hand in writing two, anyway.


Yes, but he's the main writer on both, and he had two! Crosby had NONE, unless you count "Eight Miles High" (which I don't, really - not even sure he deserves a credit at all).

What I'm reacting to mainly is how he was in CSNY, where he was thought of as an equal (I mean, besides the obvious fact that pretty much everybody puts Young at the highest level) and ALL of the rest of them had hit singles both with AND without the others, and he had none. I mean even on the Crosby/Nash records - the only even minor hit was Nash's.

I find it pretty interesting, particularly for the fact that I've never really thought about it before, but he's right. And of course he almost said it proudly.
sloopjohnc wrote:I know I picked the Diamondbacks, but they were the wildcard. Next teams will be a little tougher.


1959 1963 1965 1966 1974 1977 1978 1981 1988 2017!

User avatar
Scally Mcgrew
apparent poobah
Posts: 14939
Joined: 16 Jul 2003, 18:09
Location: ToonTown

Re: David Crosby has never written a hit

Postby Scally Mcgrew » 15 Nov 2017, 00:14

He might not have written a hit, but (apart from his Byrds work) he sang backing or co-vocals on Phil Collins' "Another Day In Paradise", which was a worldwide hit in 1989.
...for breakfast I eat nails and chains...

User avatar
bobzilla77
Posts: 15069
Joined: 23 Jun 2006, 02:56
Location: Dilute! Dilute! OK!

Re: David Crosby has never written a hit

Postby bobzilla77 » 15 Nov 2017, 00:37

Almost Cut My Hair is a subculture hit. Any CSNY concert, one of the biggest cheers will come at the line about "let my freak flag fly."
Jimbo wrote:The Natural Times said no matter, essentially we are all doomed.


User avatar
toomanyhatz
Power-mad king of the WCC
Posts: 26044
Joined: 07 Apr 2005, 00:01
Location: Just east of where Charlie Parker went to do some relaxin'

Re: David Crosby has never written a hit

Postby toomanyhatz » 15 Nov 2017, 01:04

Yes, and "Deja Vu" is a title track, and he has a co-write on "Wooden Ships" which has been an FM hit for years. But hit singles? His lack of ability at that is kind of staggering. I mean, look at these stats for US top 40 hits:

CROSBY:

with the Byrds as main writer : ZERO
with CSN(Y) as main writer: ZERO
With Crosby/Nash as main writer: ZERO
solo hits : ZERO

STILLS:

with Buffalo Springfield as main writer : 1 ("Bluebird" just missed)
with CSN(Y) as main writer: 2 ("Fair Game" just missed)
Solo hits: 2 (with several near-misses)

NASH:

with the Hollies as main writer : 2
with CSN(Y) as main writer: 5
With Crosby/Nash as main writer: 1
Solo hits: 1

YOUNG:

with Buffalo Springfield as main writer : ZERO (which I found surprising, though "On the Way Home" was a minor one)
with CSN(Y) as main writer: 1
Solo hits: 3

It really is a surprisingly huge difference, which is my point. I mean NEVER - not even close, and not even by accident. It's an achievement, really.
sloopjohnc wrote:I know I picked the Diamondbacks, but they were the wildcard. Next teams will be a little tougher.


1959 1963 1965 1966 1974 1977 1978 1981 1988 2017!

User avatar
Matt Wilson
Psychedelic Cowpunk
Posts: 28346
Joined: 16 Jul 2003, 20:18
Location: Edge of a continent

Re: David Crosby has never written a hit

Postby Matt Wilson » 15 Nov 2017, 02:25

Crosby's stuff is a little weird for mass consumption. I'm not surprised at his lack of hits.