David Crosby Announces ‘If I Could Only Remember My Name’ 50th Anniversary Reissue & Shares Unreleased Demo

Listen to "Riff 1 (Demo)" from the forthcoming reissue.

By Scott Bernstein Sep 2, 2021 2:18 pm PDT

Multiple Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame inductee David Crosby will celebrate the 50th anniversary of his 1971 debut solo album, If I Could Only Remember My Name by giving the set the reissue treatment. If I Could Only Remember My Name (50th Anniversary Issue) features the newly remastered record on vinyl and comes as a 2CD set accompanied by a bonus disc featuring unreleased material including the preview track “Riff 1 (Demo).” The vinyl and 2CD version arrive through Rhino on October 15 and comes out digitally and on streaming services the same day.

Originally released on February 22, 1971, If I Could Only Remember My Name may only carry David Crosby’s name on its cover yet was a collaborative effort. Guests on the album include Joni Mitchell, Jerry Garcia, David Freiberg, Gregg Rolie, Grace Slick, Phil Lesh, Jack Casady, Graham Nash, Bill Kreutzmann, Paul Kantner, Jorma Kaukonen and Mickey Hart. Croz and the members of the Grateful Dead, Jefferson Airplane and others were collectively known as the Planet Earth Rock And Roll Orchestra (PERRO). JamBase’s Andy Kahn recently profiled PERRO for this year's Days Between series of articles focusing on Garcia collaborators.

If I Could Only Remember My Name was mainly recorded at Wally Heider Studios in San Francisco, a home base of sorts for PERRO. Crosby began work on the LP while mourning the death of Christine Hinton, David’s longtime girlfriend who died in a car accident in 1969. Wally Heider Studios became a safe space for Crosby and he recalls Jerry Garcia turning up often. “There’d be that grin, and then that look in the eyes, and this fascination with the music,” David remembered. “Easy, not forced, graceful, fun, ever-present. It was a kindness, I’m pretty sure. Jerry never said that, never even implied it. Just, ‘Hey, I heard you were doing something. What are you doing? Let’s do something.”

The album’s original engineer, Stephen Barncard, oversaw the new remaster using Plangent Process for restoration and speed correction. The bonus disc compiles 12 previously unreleased alternate versions, outtakes and demos. Included within are tracks Crosby recorded at Los Angeles’ Hollywood Recorders on March 28, 1968 with producer Paul Rothchild as well as tracks from the Heider sessions. Of particular note is a take on “Cowboy Song” featuring a Neil Young solo in place of what Garcia added to the version that made the album. Journalist Steve Silberman, a JamBase contributor who teamed with Crosby for the Osiris podcast Freak Flag Flying, penned the liner notes for the reissue.

Stream the previously unreleased “Riff 1” demo below:

If I Could Only Remember My Name (50th Anniversary Edition) CD Tracklist

Disc One: Original Album

  1. Music Is Love
  2. Cowboy Movie
  3. Tamalpais High (At About 3)
  4. Laughing
  5. What Are Their Names
  6. Traction In The Rain
  7. Song With No Words (Tree With No Leaves)
  8. Orleans
  9. I’d Swear There Was Somebody Here
  10. Bonus Track

  11. Kids And Dogs

Disc Two: Bonus Tracks


  1. Riff 1 – Demo *
  2. Tamalpais High (At About 3) – Demo *
  3. Kids And Dogs – Demo *
  4. The Wall Song – Demo *
  5. Games – Demo *
  6. Laughing – Demo *
  7. Song With No Words (Tree With No Leaves) – Demo
  8. Where Will I Be – Demo *
  9. Sessions

  10. Cowboy Movie – Alternate Version *
  11. Bach Mode – Pre-Critical Mass *
  12. Coast Road *
  13. Dancer *
  14. Fugue *

* – previously unreleased

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