Last Time Around
Buffalo Springfield were done by the release of this 1968 album (their third), yet it includes some their best songs. With its irresistible brass hooks, swollen strings, sweet guitar jangles, and Richie Furay’s lilting vocals, Neil Young’s “On the Way Home” simply stuns. As does Young and Furay’s jazz-snared left turn “It’s So Hard to Wait.” It’s impossible here to overlook Furay, who was hitting his stride as a singer/songwriter. Listen to his stellar piano and pedal steel-driven “Kind Woman” or the Mamas & Papas–like pop of “Merry-Go-Round.” Stephen Stills contributes winners too, including the haunter “Pretty Girl Why” and the Latin-hued rocker “Uno Mondo.” Jim Messina’s Harry Nilsson–like “Carefree Country Day” adds some jazz chords and stand-up bass to the proceedings, while Young’s self-referencing and spare “I Am a Child” presages his On the Beach album. Interestingly, a Los Angeles radio contest winner ("Buffalo Springfield will set your poem to music!") penned the figurative lyrics to “The Hour of Not Quite Rain,” which Furay put to a gently stirring melody and melancholic orchestral backdrop.