Stills is a 1975 studio album by American musician Stephen Stills. It is his third solo album and his first release on Columbia Records. The album was a commercial success on release, charting at number 19 on the US album charts, but was released to mixed critical reaction.
Stills began recording a solo album in 1973 under the tentative title As I Come of Age, and it was “almost completed” by February 1974. He may have recorded more in early 1974, but from May to December Stills was busy with a reunited Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young. Stills signed with Columbia early in 1975 and turned in this album, “a collection of tracks Stephen had been working on over the preceding several years” including “much of the material recorded for As I Come of Age“. He recorded an early unissued version of “Guardian Angel” on January 23, 1975, at The Record Plant; the next day Crosby and Nash joined him.
The piano and drum tracks by Stills and Ringo Starr for “As I Come of Age” date back to 1971, while “Turn Back the Pages” was recorded in 1975. Although “My Angel” is credited to Stills and Dallas Taylor, and Stills calls it a “jam on a set of Dallas’ changes”, Stills recorded a demo of the song in March 1967. “First Things First” written by Stills and the bass player for Three Dog NightJoe Schermie and was played quite frequently along with the ‘Myth of Sisyphus’ and ‘My Angel’ on the CSNY 1974 tour.
The cover photo was shot at Neil Young’s Broken Arrow Ranch during rehearsals for the CSNY 1974 tour. The back cover features Donnie Dacus and Stills playing acoustic guitars together.
As per the sleeve notes:
“Turn Back The Pages”. 1975, Cut late in sessions, at Criteria, with Ron and Howie.
“My Favourite Changes”. 1974, The track was cut in Sausalito with Stephen and Don Dacus playing guitars in the control booth and Leland Skar and Lala playing gin the studio. Danny Hutton put some vocals on it. Later in Colorado vocals were completed by Stephen, Kenny and Peggy Clinger.
“My Angel”. 1974, Jam on a set of Dallas’ changes edited into a song. Dallas played drums, Lala percussion. Stephen played bass, piano, clavinet and organ. Thanks to Sylvester.
“In The Way”. 1974, Track cut live in studio in Sausalito and then Kenny recut the bass. Vocals, recorded by Jeff Geurico at Caribou, are Stephen, Don, and Kenny.
“Love Story”. 1973, Back track is Russ on drums, Leland bass, Stephen piano. Organ and electric piano overdubs are also Stephen. Vocals, are Stephen, Rick, and Kenny and Don. Tried strings but to no avail. The vocals took twenty hours. The track took two hours. The song sat for four years before it was recorded.
“To Mama From Christopher and the Old Man”. 1975.. Christopher was written after a long session where 7am caught Papa coming in the door just after Christopher was getting up and we hung out for a while. Cut the song that night and ended up with me and a drummer. Cut the basic, bass and second rhythm, then Tubby overdubbed the drums, with Stills hanging over his shoulder with a tambourine. We got smokin’ and did it in eight hours, including mix down.
“First Things First”. 1973. Dallas Taylor played drums, Joe Lala on percussion. Vocals are by Stephen, Kenny Passarelli, David Crosby and Graham Nash. A touch of Patoi.
“New Mama”, 1973. Neil says this one his own way. The basic for this version was Leland on bass, Russ drums, Lala percussion and Stephen playing guitar and electric guitar simultaneously. Only instrument overdub is additional guitar by Don. Vocals are Stephen, Rick and Don.
“As I Come Of Age”, 1973. Track cut on London in 1971 with Stephen on piano and Ringo on drums. Stephen overdubbed organ and bass. Lead guitar is Don and vocals are by Crosby, Stills and Nash.
“Shuffle Just As Bad”, 1974. Russ played drums, Jerry piano and organ. Stephen played bass on the basic and overdubbed guitar and electric piano. Vocals are by Stephen and Kenny.
“Cold Cold World”, 1975. Another Donnie and Stephen collaboration, with Stephen doing lead vocal, Donnie and Betty Wright going backups. Stills on lead and rhythm guitars as well as bass. Old friend Conrad Isidore on drums, Joe’s conga and percussion, Jerry on piano and organ, Donnie on rhythm guitar. Another Criteria track with Ron and Howie.
“Myth Of Sisyphus”, 1974. Jimmy Fox played drums and Stephen played piano and just sang the song. Cut in Miami by the Albert Bros., first take. Don and Claudia Lanier later got background vocals together with Halverson in Los Angeles.