American Dream (Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young album)

For the Mike Jones album, see The American Dream (Mike Jones album)
American Dream
Studio album by Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young
Released November 1, 1988 (U.S.)
Recorded April 24, 1987 — September 16, 1988
Genre Rock
Length 57:31
Label Atlantic
Producer Niko Bolas, David Crosby, Stephen Stills, Graham Nash, Neil Young
Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young chronology
American Dream
Live It Up
Professional ratings
Review scores
Robert ChristgauC+[2]
Rolling Stone[3]

American Dream is the ninth album by the band Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, their fifth studio album and their second by the quartet configuration. Released in 1988 on Atlantic Records, it peaked at #16 on the Billboard 200 and has been certified platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America. To date, it is their final album of original material to receive either a gold or platinum citation by the RIAA.[4] It is the highest-selling album by Neil Young in the 1980s.[5] The album is dedicated to Jan Crosby, Anne Stills, Susan Nash and Pegi Young.


Neil Young promised David Crosby in 1983 that he would reunite with Crosby, Stills & Nash if Crosby could solve his problems with drugs and clean up.[6] Five months in prison for Crosby at the Texas Department of Corrections in Huntsville during 1986 accomplished exactly that, and good to Young's word the quartet assembled to record the second CSNY studio album at Young's ranch in Woodside, California.[7][8]

The title song, written by Neil Young, was a satire of sensational political scandals involving Oliver North, former presidential candidate Gary Hart and televangelist Jimmy Swaggart. The promotional video of "American Dream" for MTV received some airplay, but the single missed the Billboard Hot 100 completely, as did three of the other four singles released from the album. The only single to chart, "Got It Made", peaked at #69.


Anticipation of the quartet's first studio album since Déjà Vu in 1970 was great, but all four performers were at various ebbs in their songwriting. American Dream was meant to be a concept album on the meaning of American dreams and aspirations, but critics and fans alike felt that CSNY had fallen short of their goals. Writing in Rolling Stone, critic Anthony DeCurtis wrote that "Despite pleasant melodies, the occasional interesting song, and the signature harmonies, American Dream is, for the most part, a snoozefest."[9]

David Crosby, in fact, agreed that the album had too many songs and that the writing was not up to par. "The whole thing, the recording of American Dream, it got stretched out. And we did not have, really, the best group of songs to work with. . . . Then, even though we did not have enough good songs, we ended up putting fourteen of them on the album! I think that was stupid."[10] For the first time in the group's history, none of the songs from a studio album became standard items in the group's live repertoire.[11]

Track listing

Side one

No. TitleWriter(s)Recording date Length
1. "American Dream"  Neil YoungMarch 3, 1988 3:15
2. "Got It Made"  Stephen Stills, Neil YoungJuly 28, 1988 4:36
3. "Name of Love"  Neil YoungFebruary 25, 1988 4:28
4. "Don't Say Goodbye"  Graham Nash, Joe VitaleSeptember 15, 1988 3:23
5. "This Old House"  Neil YoungMay 4, 1988 4:44
6. "Nighttime for the Generals"  David Crosby, Craig DoergeMarch 24, 1988 4:20
7. "Shadowland"  Rick Ryan, Graham Nash, Joe VitaleApril 24, 1987 4:33

Side two

No. TitleWriter(s)Recording date Length
1. "Drivin' Thunder"  Stephen Stills, Neil YoungMarch 2, 1988 3:12
2. "Clear Blue Skies"  Graham NashMarch 28, 1988 3:05
3. "That Girl"  Stephen Stills, Joe Vitale, Bob GlaubMay 10, 1988 3:27
4. "Compass"  David CrosbyMarch 22, 1988 5:19
5. "Soldiers of Peace"  Graham Nash, Craig Doerge, Joe VitaleSeptember 16, 1988 3:43
6. "Feel Your Love"  Neil YoungJuly 21, 1988 4:09
7. "Night Song"  Stephen Stills, Neil YoungJuly 28, 1988 4:17


Additional personnel

Production personnel


  1. Ruhlmann, W. (2011). "American Dream - Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young | AllMusic". Retrieved 26 July 2011.
  2. "Robert Christgau: CG: Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young". Retrieved 21 October 2012.
  3. Decurtis, A. (2011). "Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young: American Dream : Music Reviews : Rolling Stone". Archived from the original on January 16, 2009. Retrieved 26 July 2011.
  4. RIAA Gold and Platinum searchable database retrieved 23 August 2015
  5. "RIAA - Soundscan". Greasylakes. Retrieved 23 December 2015.
  6. Zimmer, Dave. Crosby, Stills & Nash The Biography. Da Capo Press 2000, ISBN 0-306-80974-5, p. 264.
  7. Four Way Street The Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young Reader. Da Capo Press 2004, ISBN 0-306-81277-0, pp. 275-276. Article by Dave Zimmer, originally in BAM April 22, 1988.
  8. Zimmer, Dave. op. cit., pp. 263, 266.
  9. Rolling Stone review retrieved 23 August 2015
  10. Zimmer, Dave. op. cit., p. 266.
  11. website retrieved 23 August 2015
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