Man In The Mirror

Album: Songs For Beginners (1971)
Play Video


  • Long before "Michael Jackson's Man In The Mirror," Graham Nash released a song with that title on his first solo album, Songs For Beginners. His song is very introspective, asking if he's following the right path. The title doesn't show up until the end:

    Is the image I'm making
    The image I see
    When the man in the mirror
    Is talking to me
  • In the liner notes to the 1991 CSN boxed set, Nash explained: "It was a period of retreat and re-evaluation. I went to the Chateau Marmont in Los Angeles for two nights and stayed for months. I had a little Wurlitzer piano in one room. I'd order room service and only come out at night. I wrote this tune there."

    "I was very proud of Songs For Beginners because it stretched my awareness of who I am a bit further," he added. "The title for the album implied a beginning, since it was my first solo effort, but it also implied beginning, meaning songs for people who act, begin things. Because people think a lot, but then don't act on their thoughts."
  • Nash was a member of The Hollies before forming Crosby, Stills & Nash in 1968 with David Crosby and Stephen Stills. They released their first album in 1969 and then another in 1970, this time with Neil Young added to the group. The foursome was very independent-minded and never considered CSN&Y their top priority. In 1970, they all started working on solo albums, and like The Beatles solo efforts, there was a lot of intermingling, with their ex-bandmates often helping out along with other heavy hitters from their musical circles. On "Man In The Mirror," Neil Young played piano and Jerry Garcia contributed pedal steel guitar.


Be the first to comment...

Editor's Picks

"Private Eyes" - The Story Behind the Song

"Private Eyes" - The Story Behind the SongSong Writing

How a goofy detective movie, a disenchanted director and an unlikely songwriter led to one of the biggest hits in pop history.

Tom Johnston from The Doobie Brothers

Tom Johnston from The Doobie BrothersSongwriter Interviews

The Doobies guitarist and lead singer, Tom wrote the classics "Listen To The Music," "Long Train Runnin'" and "China Grove."

Sam Hollander

Sam HollanderSongwriter Interviews

The hitmaking songwriter/producer Sam Hollander with stories about songs for Weezer, Panic! At The Disco, Train, Pentatonix, and Fitz And The Tantrums.

Facebook, Bromance and Email - The First Songs To Use New Words

Facebook, Bromance and Email - The First Songs To Use New WordsSong Writing

Where words like "email," "thirsty," "Twitter" and "gangsta" first showed up in songs, and which songs popularized them.

Who Wrote That Song?

Who Wrote That Song?Music Quiz

Do you know who wrote Patti Smith's biggest hit? How about the Grease theme song? See if you can match the song to the writer.

Fire On The Stage

Fire On The StageSong Writing

When you have a song called "Fire," it's tempting to set one - these guys did.