Music

David Crosby: 'Serve The Song,' Not The Self

NPR | Jan. 26, 2014 3:20 p.m. | Updated: Jan. 26, 2014 5:36 p.m.

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NPR Staff

David Crosby's new solo album, his first such release in two decades, is called Croz.

David Crosby's new solo album, his first such release in two decades, is called Croz.

Buzz Person, Courtesy of the artist

David Crosby may have one of the most cherished voices in rock history, but it’s rare for listeners to hear it alone. His new solo studio album, Croz, is only his fourth such release in more than 50 years of making music.

Asked how he chooses which songs to attack on his own, rather than alongside his longtime partners Stephen Stills, Graham Nash and Neil Young, Crosby says it’s less a decision than an intuition.

“If I have songs, then I want to be recording them. It’s not as if I sit there with the songs and say, ‘This is a Crosby, Stills & Nash song,’ or ‘I gotta save this until I can work on it with Neil,’ or ‘I’m saving this for myself; this is too good for those guys’ — I do what comes naturally,” Crosby says.

“Our job, really, is to serve the song,” he adds. “That’s really what making records is about. You have to really write a real song that you can sit down and play for somebody and make them feel something. If you don’t have that, you shouldn’t bother.”

Croz is out this Tuesday. David Crosby spoke about it, as well as his Voltron-like relationship with Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young and how his songwriting has changed since a brush with death in the early 1990s with weekends on All Things Consideredguest host Kelly McEvers. Hear more of their conversation at the audio link.

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