Thoroughfare Gap

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Thoroughfare Gap
Studio album by
ReleasedOctober 31, 1978
RecordedJune 1978
Studio Criteria Studios, Miami, The Record Plant, Los Angeles, The Record Plant, Sausalito
Genre Rock, disco
Label Columbia
Producer Stephen Stills, The Albert Brothers
Stephen Stills chronology
Still Stills: The Best of Stephen Stills
Thoroughfare Gap
Right By You
Singles from Thoroughfare Gap
  1. "Can't Get No Booty / Lowdown"
    Released: 1978
  2. "Thoroughfare Gap / Lowdown"
    Released: 1978
Professional ratings
Review scores
Allmusic Star full.svgStar half.svgStar empty.svgStar empty.svgStar empty.svg [1]

Thoroughfare Gap is a studio album by American singer-songwriter Stephen Stills, released in 1978. It was a critical and commercial disappointment that only charted at number 84 in the US. This album is now available as a three-album set on two CDs with Stills & Illegal Stills, having never been released on its own on CD.



In a radio interview at the time, Stills said he worked extremely hard on the album, and there were 12-inch mixes of "Can't Get No Booty" ready to be released. [2] He recorded some disco tracks after playing percussion on the Bee Gees' "You Should Be Dancing", and subsequently hired their arranger Mike Lewis and used the group members' younger brother Andy Gibb on backing vocals.

Stephen Stills described the record as "disco and swamp rock". Stills said the song "Thoroughfare Gap" was him drawing upon his history, and

the title of the album was named after an escape route used during the Civil War. Mosby's guerrillas used to run through Thoroughfare Gap when they felt harassed. They'd just disappear into the Blue Ridge Mountains. For me, the record represents a little gap between one part of my career and the other, a cut in the pass. [3]

George Terry is quoted as saying he thinks it's about Neil Young's Lionel Trains. [4]

Stills said about the perceived negative reception of going disco that "there are elements of disco I like - the percussion and the guitar. I have played on so many Bee Gees songs I don't which ones I played on and which ones I didn't. 'Cause Barry (Gibb) is an old friend of mine and I just sat in and played a chickum-chit, chickum-chit, a little wacka-wacka guitar, then said, 'Use 'em or don't use 'em, I had a great time. You don't even have to use my name.'" [5]

He continued on Thoroughfare Gap: "Maybe some of the tunes weren't as good as others I've written but I am just messing around trying to find something new. I can't do the same thing for eight years. That's called artistic suicide." [3]

Stills said he recorded "Not Fade Away" after seeing The Buddy Holly Story and went into the studio the next night to record it - "Kind of a combination of the Stones version and the original version". [6]

The song "Thoroughfare Gap", dates back to 1972, with Chris Hillman remembering Manassas attempting to record it, but not being able to get the right take.


Critical reception was mixed, but generally negative. In a contemporary review, People magazine said "Stills succeeds handsomely in soldering his Southern Cal rock (scorching guitar, lavish harmonies, introspective lyrics) to an ultraswayed disco feel (thudding drums, Caribbean cowbells, congas, high-volume strings and horns). Against great odds, it adds up to a fresh sound, thanks to stalwart studio work by drummer Joe Vitale, percussionist Joe Lala, bassist George "Chocolate" Perry and Eric Clapton's guitarist George Terry. Their efforts are particularly noteworthy on You Can't Dance Alone, What's the Game and Can't Get No Booty. Especially reassuring is the title track, an acoustic ballad with a haunting fiddle solo by Al Gould. It harks back to Stills' finest work over the years, songs like Helplessly Hoping, 4 and 20 and As I Come of Age." [7]

Trouser Press, in a largely negative review, called the songwriting "monotonous" and said he was enthusiastically "trying to renovate his sound for today's scene". They did have praise for "Thoroughfare Gap", but still noted that it was six years old, saying it was the only the song that had "the folksy funk style that once made him worthwhile". [8]

In support of this album Stills formed the California Blues Band and toured throughout most of 1979.

Track listing

All tracks are written by Stephen Stills except where indicated.

Side one
1."You Can't Dance Alone" 4:14
2."Thoroughfare Gap" 3:31
3."We Will Go On" 2:41
4."Beaucoup Yumbo"Stills, Joe Vitale 3:33
5."What's the Game" 3:32
Side two
6."Midnight Rider" Gregg Allman 3:39
7."Woman Lleva" 3:13
8."Lowdown" 3:46
9."Not Fade Away" Buddy Holly, Norman Petty 3:26
10."Can't Get No Booty" Danny Kortchmar, Stills3:44
Total length:35:32


Technical Personnel

Special thanks to Guillerma Giachetti, Gerry Tolman, Armando Hurley, Harper Dance, Home At Last


Chart performance for Thoroughfare Gap
Chart (1978)Peak


US Billboard Top LPs & Tape [9] 83
Canadian RPM 100 Albums [10] 82
US Cash Box Top 100 Albums [11] 135
US Record World Album Chart [12] 140


California Blues Band 1979 Tour
Tour by Stephen Stills
Start dateJanuary 25, 1979
End dateDecember, 1979
Stephen Stills concert chronology
  • 1976 Tour
  • California Blues Band 1979 Tour
  • 1980 Tour

Stephen Stills California Blues Band Tour 1979 was a concert tour by American musician Stephen Stills. It was in support of his 1978 album Thoroughfare Gap . During the tour he also recorded another album that was rejected by his record label, many songs from this projected album were played on this tour. On this tour Stills was backed by his group the California Blues Band. The 1979 run at The Roxy, Los Angeles, was professionally recorded. [13]

4 September 1978Los AngelesUnited StatesGreek TheatreBread and Roses Festival
1979 California Blues Band Tour [14]
25 January 1979Los AngelesUnited States The Roxy [15] Sold Out
26 January 1979
27 January 1979
28 January 1979
Leg 1
3 March 1979HavanaCuba Havana Jam
7 March 1979CincinnatiUnited States Cincinnati Music Hall 2 Shows
9 March 1979Chicago Auditorium Theatre
10 March 1979Ohio Kent State University
11 March 1979Louisville Louisville Gardens
13 March 1979Indianapolis Indiana Convention Centre
14 March 1979Michigan Centre Stage 1,628$22,228 [16]
16 March 1979Chicago Auditorium Theatre
17 March 1979Upper Derby Tower Theatre
18 March 1979New York City The Palladium 3,300$27,000 [16]
19 March 1979Ohio Columbus Veterans Memorial Auditorium
22 March 1979Boston Boston College
23 March 1979Passaic Capitol Theatre 3.456$28,172 [17]
24 March 1979Pittsburgh Stanley Theatre 7,442$71,545 [17] 2 Shows
26 March 1979Maryland DAR Constitution Center
27 March 1979MiddletownWesleyen University3,010$22,116 [18]
29 March 1979Reading Bollman Center
30 March 1979Atlanta Fox Theatre
1 April 1979Blacksburg Cassell Coliseum
3 April 1979Atlanta Fox Theatre
4 April 1979Nashville The Grand Ole Opry House
7 April 1979Kansas City Memorial Hall 2,880$23,040 [19]
8 April 1979St. Louis Kiel Opera House 2,607$21,997 [19]
Leg 2
4 June 1979IrvineUnited States Crawford Hall
6 June 1979San Diego San Diego Sports Arena
8 June 1979Santa Barbara Santa Barbara Bowl 4,888$32,633 [20]
9 June 1979San Francisco Fox Warfield Theatre 2,248$44,960 [20]
10 June 1979Los Angeles Greek Theatre
11 June 1979
12 June 1979
15 June 1979Ohio Blossom Music Center
16 June 1979 Hara Arena
17 June 1979 Pine Knob Music Theatre
19 June 1979EdwardsvilleMississippi River Festival
20 June 1979East Troy Alpine Valley Music Theatre
23 June 1979Holmdel Garden State Arts Centre
24 June 1979New York Belmont Park 15,000
26 June 1979Broome Broome County Arena
27 June 1979Buffalo Kleinhans Music Hall
28 June 1979New York Saratoga Performing Arts Centre
30 June 1979 Norfolk Scope
1 July 1979Columbia Merriweather Post Pavilion
2 July 1979New York Wollman Skating Ring
7 July 1979New Jersey Garden States Arts Centre
Leg 3
7 September 1979New YorkUnited StatesWoodstock '79
8 September 1979New YorkParr Meadows Racetrack
16 November 1979San Diego Casino Theatre
17 November 1979Sacramento Freeborn Hall
18 November 1979Stanford Uni Memorial Hall
9 December 1979NorthridgeCal State University
15 December 1979Costa Mesa LeBard Stadium
16 December 1979Santa BarbaraAllen Hancock College Sports Pavilion
31 December 1979RiversideBen H. Lewis Hall
1980 Tour
5 April 1980Laguna BeachUnited States Irvine Bowl
1 June 1980Concord Concord Pavilion
2 June 1980Los Angeles Greek Theatre
3 June 1980
1980 European Tour
4 July 1980
14 July 1980MilanoItalyStadio San SiroSupported Angelo Branduardi
15 July 1980TurinStadio Comunale
17 July 1980NyonSwitzerlandParc Du LacNyon Folk Festival
18 July 1980TurinItalyTurin Municipal StadiumSupported Angelo Branduardi
21 July 1980Rimini
22 July 1980NyonSwitzerlandLa Prairie De Colovray
23 July 1980ItalyBolzano Stadium
24 July 1980MunichGermanyOlympiahalle
26 July 1980St. GoarshausenFreilichtbuhne Loreley
27 July 1980Stadium Wurzburg
29 July 1980NaplesItalyStadio San Paolo
4 August 1980
1980 United States
16 August 1980IllinoisUnited StatesRavinia Fest De Kalb
19 August 1980Meadow Brook Music Festival
23 August 1980IndianapolisHilton U. Brown Theatre
27 August 1980PassaicParamount Theatre
29 August 1980New YorkCentral Park

Stephen Stills and the California Blues Band [13]

Typical setlist

All songs written by Stephen Stills, except where noted.

  1. "Precious Love"
  2. "For What It's Worth"
  3. "You Can't Dance Alone"
  4. "Cuba Al Fin"
  5. "Go Back Home"
  6. "How Wrong Can You Be" (Mike Finnigan)
  7. "Love The One You're With"
  8. "Make Love To You"
  9. "Cherokee"
  10. "Rock And Roll Crazies/Cuban Bluegrass" (Stills, Dallas Taylor/ Stills, Joe Lala)
  11. "Jet Set (Sigh)"
  12. "Thoroughfare Gap"
  13. Come On In My Kitchen (Robert Johnson)

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