Manassas was Stephen Stills' two-year wunderkind, a whirlwind of virtuoso talent that burst onto the music scene in 1972 with an intensity it couldn't, for a variety of reasons, sustain. Born in '71 from the sessions for Stills' third solo album, the talent came already tested: Stills, "Fuzzy" Samuels and Dallas Taylor from CSN; Chris Hillman (the Byrds) and Al Perkins from the Flying Burrito Brothers; Joe Lala from Blues Image and Paul Harris from B.B. King sessions. The band's name came from the members' random arrangement under a Virginia railroad sign, but it might as well have been named for the two Civil War battles themselves, given the group's hectic schedule, long shows, outside distractions and bitter battles with drugs and alcohol. Manassas the album was released in '72 to great critical acclaim, but Down the Road came out a year later with fewer kudos and reflecting the internal stresses. Adding to the pressures was the specter of CSN&Y, viewed by Manassas' producer, Atlantic Records, as Stills' day job. Fluidly capable of jazz, blues, rock, Latin, folk and bluegrass, Manassas lasted only long enough to tease its fans for what might have been.