This song was Buffalo Springfield's first single and the big breakout for both Stephen Stills and Neil Young - although it almost wasn't. Originally it had "Go and Say Goodbye" by Stephen Stills on the A-side and Young's "Nowadays Clancy Can't Even Sing" on the B-side, before their producers caved to pressure from distributors and flipped the sides.
Thus, from their very debut, Stills and Young were set up for rivalry. Stills had already gotten to think of Buffalo Springfield as his
band, and here he was getting upstaged by his lead guitarist! So instead, Richie Furay sings the lead. Furay had songs he wanted included on the album, but he got lost in the power struggle between Stills and Young.
Further stress on the band's debut was brought about by frustration with their producers. Though the legendary Ahmet Ertegun was their mentor, they'd been hooked up through the management team of Charlie Greene and Brian Stone, who were clearly out of their depth. Greene and Stone named themselves Buffalo Springfield's producers and had them signed not to Atlantic proper or even their subsidiary Atco, but to their own York/Pala Records label, giving them a bigger slice of the profit pie than they otherwise would have been entitled to. As drummer Bruce Palmer is quoted in Neil Young: Long May You Run: The Illustrated History
, "They were the sleaziest, most underhanded, backstabbing motherf--kers in the business! They were the best!"
Also from that book: "What hurt the album more than anything, though, was Greene and Stone's production. Despite the Springfield's strength as a live act, the managers forced each musician to record separately, piecing the parts together. Worse, after the band participated in the mono mix, Greene and Stone quickly converted the album to stereo, resulting in a tinny mix that outrages the group to this day. Young commented that Greene and Stone made them sound like the All-Insect Orchestra."