Live It Up is the tenth album by Crosby, Stills & Nash, and their fourth studio album in the trio configuration, released on Atlantic Records in 1990. It peaked at #57 on the Billboard 200 with current sales of 300,000. It is the first of their studio albums not to gain either gold or a platinum certification by the RIAA. It was issued in all formats at the time – compact disc, cassette tape, and vinyl record. It is currently out of print, but available for streaming on Spotify and both streaming and download on Qobuz.
After David Crosby's release from prison, he reunited with Stephen Stills and Graham Nash for CSN tours in 1987 and 1988. The recording of the second CSNY studio album with Neil Young took place over the course of those years, but the quartet opted not to tour to promote it. The album was not terribly well received, with Stills viewing it as "contrived." In 1989, Stills and Young commenced tours with their own bands, while Crosby and Nash began work on what was to be a new Crosby & Nash record. Crosby also recording and issuing his second solo album, Oh Yes I Can that same year. Stills regrouped with Crosby and Nash to perform at the fall of the Berlin Wall in late 1989, and the sessions for the new Crosby & Nash album evolved into the new Crosby, Stills & Nash one instead. Atlantic had encouraged the inclusion of Crosby into the Stills-Nash project that became Daylight Again back in 1981. Knowing that the trio billing had to date guaranteed platinum album sales, the label undoubtedly preferred Stills joining the Crosby-Nash sessions.
The album was recorded at numerous recording studios in Los Angeles. The majority was recorded at The Record Plant, although part of "Live It Up" began at the Home-Brew Studio in Ohio and was finished at the professional location. "If Anybody Had a Heart," "Arrows," and "After the Dolphin" were recorded at Devonshire Studios; "(Got to Keep) Open" was recorded at Capitol Studios.
Nash, the nominal leader of these recordings, expressed misgivings about the sessions. In addition to feeling uncomfortable in a leadership position, he stated, "only once did we sing together on one mike. So in that sense, it was not really a true CSN record." Indeed, Live It Up has the fewest songwriting credits to members of the principal trio of any album in their catalog. It received unfavorable reviews from professionals and fans alike. The band toured to promote the album in 1990, but none of these songs found a permanent place in the group's repertoire, with only "House of Broken Dreams", yours, and mine being performed a handful of times beyond the 1990 outing.
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