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Wednesday, March 11, 2015

45 Years Ago: 'Deja Vu' by Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young

Last year, we posted that Graham Nash was Considering Re-Mastering 'Deja Vu' All Over Again .

So here we are, 45 years after the release of Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young's 'Deja Vu' looking back... again. From Ultimate Classic Rock by Frank Mastropolo:
The addition of Neil Young to the Crosby, Stills and Nash supergroup in 1969 created great expectations for the band’s second album, Déjà Vu. The follow-up didn’t disappoint fans, who took the record to No. 1 album after its release in March 1970.

David Crosby, Stephen Stills and Graham Nash set the bar high with their 1969 debut, Crosby, Stills & Nash, a deft mix of folk and rock that featured intricate three-part harmonies. Nash said the first album’s success made the addition of a fourth member a necessary evil.

“When we finished the first record, we realized two things: One, that we had a big hit on our hands, because everybody was just wiped on the floor with it, and two, that we would have to go on the road,” Nash told Music Radar. “Stephen played every instrument on that record except for the drums and the acoustic guitars that David and I played on our songs. He played bass, he played organ, he played lead guitar, he played rhythm guitar, he played everything. Captain Many Hands we called him.”

Jimi Hendrix and Steve Winwood were asked to join CSN but refused. Atlantic Records’ head Ahmet Ertegun then suggested Young, Stills’ former bandmate in Buffalo Springfield. Nash was underwhelmed with the idea but agreed to meet with Young in New York’s Greenwich Village.

“I didn’t think we needed anybody else, but I said, ‘Okay, if you’re so adamant, I have to meet this guy,’” he recalled. “I knew him as a songwriter, but I didn’t know if I’d like him, if I could hang with him — all of that stuff. So I had breakfast with Neil on Bleecker Street, and after that I would have made him king of the world. He was funny, he was dry, he was dedicated and he was a special man. I realized that right off.”

In the summer of 1969, Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young performed together at the Woodstock festival and began recording Déjà Vu in Los Angeles with bassist Greg Reeves and drummer Dallas Taylor. The turmoil in the band’s personal lives carried over to the sessions. Stills had split with singer Judy Collins; Nash broke up with Joni Mitchell. Crosby’s girlfriend Christine Hinton had recently died in a car accident.

“I was at the worst place I’d been in my whole life. I would walk into the sessions and break down crying.” Crosby told Crawdaddy in 1974. “I couldn’t function. I was in love with that girl.

“Atmosphere and feeling … now, they count for much more than the actual technical quality of the music. During Déjà Vu, I felt awful. To me, it communicates. There’s good art on Déjà Vu, but you can’t put it on and feel like it’s a sunny afternoon the way you can with Crosby, Stills & Nash.”

The LP’s biggest single was “Woodstock,” which peaked at No. 11 on the Billboard chart. It was the only song not written by a member of the band. Mitchell composed “Woodstock” in New York City as she watched news reports of the historic festival. CSNY sped up the tempo of Mitchell’s ethereal folk song to create one of the band’s signature tunes.
More on Ultimate Classic Rock.

Apparently, "the tree" is still going strong. Happy Birthday Deja Vu!

Deja Vu Photo Composites
via Susan Miller on Neil Young's Heart of Gold spreading on Facebook

The cover was shot in 1969 in the backyard of David Crosby's rental house in Novato, California.

Thanks Susan!

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At 3/12/2015 04:14:00 PM, Blogger sergio falcone said...


At 3/12/2015 11:54:00 PM, Blogger Grey Rider said...

Don't get down, we're still with you and Neil. We all need a break once in a while and maybe NY has worn us all out the last couple years. Anyway, I really like Storytone and Neil has told us all more about his marriage dissolution on it than any of has a right to know. You have to admire the honesty and the willingness to share intimate details. Nothing to be concerned about there either. They are all mature adults and will be fine. Neil was preparing us for the change a couple of years ago on Ramada Inn but maybe we didn't get it then. Also have been listening to the podcast of the Harvest the Hope concert recently, specifically the twenty minute long jam of DBTR with the Nelsons. It's tremendous. So, I think we can look forward to good things with them working together. That's all I know right now so keep on thrashing in the free world.

At 3/13/2015 01:32:00 PM, Blogger John Kwit said...

Great article, Thrasher! Fans may wish visit, EVERYTHING CSNY, Famous Places for more info on the Deja Vu photo shoot location & the famous tree. Regards, John Kwit, North American Reporter,


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