Tuesday, May 10, 2022

Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young – Find The Cost Of Freedom

On-screen:  Crosby Stills Nash Young “Find The Cost Of Freedom”.  FIND THE COST OF FREEDOM sets stark images of the Vietnam War’s impact at home to  Crosby Stills Nash Young’s haunting lament.   Student unrest against the US invasion of Cambodia shut down hundreds of campuses in 1970 which set the stage for Crosby Stills Nash Young’s FIND THE COST OF FREEDOM. The communication between National Guardsmen and students tossing tear gas canisters back and forth still endure as the tragic symbols of campus rebellions. Crosby Stills Nash Young’s harmonizing suggests a funeral dirge as scenes captured in FIND THE COST OF FREEDOM portray the young faces of student idealists paying with their lives for exercising their right of dissent.

Soundtrack notes: Crosby Stills Nash Young first released FIND THE COST OF FREEDOM on Atlantic Records’ 4 WAY STREET in 1971. The DOMINOES recording of FIND THE COST OF FREEDOM comes from the soundtrack to Crosby Stills Nash Young’s JOURNEY THROUGH THE PAST (Atlantic, 1972).  FIND THE COST OF FREEDOM was re-released by Crosby Stills Nash Young in 1974 on the compilation SO FAR (Atlantic Records).  Crosby Stills Nash Young also released FIND THE COST OF FREEDOM on the back side of the OHIO single (Atlantic Records, 1971).  In 2008, Crosby Stills Nash Young released an MP3 version of FIND THE COST OF FREEDOM through Reprise Records for the U.S. and WEA International for the world outside the U.S.

Context: In the nine months immediately following Woodstock, the mood in the nation turned from hate/fascination with the younger generation to one of fear. Woodstock clearly demonstrated that the 1960s generation had closed ranks and was united in its opposition to any threat to its self-fulfillment and to the Vietnam War. On May 4, 1970, fear pulled the trigger, and the sixties generation would discover the price for freedom. President Nixon had timed his invasion of Cambodia to coincide with exam week, believing that college students would be too involved with their grades to protest. He underestimated their esprit de corps, and soon discovered that there was more to the campus rebellion than just spring sunshine and hormones. Across America, university after university was forced by its student body to postpone or cancel finals. At Kent State University – a middle-class state college in America’s heartland – the National Guard panicked in response to rock throwing at an otherwise routine campus demonstration, and opened fire on the crowd. Dozens of students, many not even involved in the protest, were wounded. Four lay dead.

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