Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young - Déjà Vu (Classic Album UK 1970)

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Déjà Vu is the second album by Crosby, Stills & Nash, and their first in the quartet configuration of Crosby, Stills, Nash, & Young. It was released in March of 1970 by Atlantic Records, catalogue SD-7200. It topped the pop album chart for one week and generated three Top 40 singles: "Teach Your Children," "Our House," and "Woodstock."

Déjà Vu was greatly anticipated after the popularity of the first CSN album and given the addition of Young to the group, who at the time remained largely unknown to the general public. Stills estimates that the album took around 800 hours of studio time to record; this figure may be exaggerated, even though the individual tracks display meticulous attention to detail. The songs, except for "Woodstock", were recorded as individual sessions by each member, with each contributing whatever was needed that could be agreed upon. Young does not appear on all of the tracks, and drummer Dallas Taylor and bassist Greg Reeves are credited on the cover with their names in slightly smaller typeface. Jerry Garcia plays pedal steel on "Teach Your Children" and John Sebastian plays mouth-harp on the title track.

Four singles were released from the album with all but the last, "Carry On," charting on the Billboard Hot 100. The popularity of the album contributed to the success of the four albums released by each of the members in the wake of Déjà Vu — Neil Young's After the Gold Rush, Stephen Stills' self-titled solo debut, David Crosby's If I Could Only Remember My Name, and Graham Nash's Songs for Beginners.


Biography:
Crosby, Stills & Nash (CSN) is a folk rock supergroup made up of David Crosby, Stephen Stills and Graham Nash, also known as Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young (CSNY) when joined by occasional fourth member Neil Young. They are noted for their intricate vocal harmonies, often tumultuous interpersonal relationships, political activism, and lasting influence on American music and culture. All four members of CSNY have been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame twice, though Young's inductions were for work not involving the group.

Formation:
Prior to the formation of CSN, each member of the band had belonged to another prominent group. David Crosby had performed rhythm guitar, vocals and songwriter with folk-rock group The Byrds; Stephen Stills had been a guitarist, vocalist and songwriter in the band Buffalo Springfield; and Graham Nash had been a guitarist, vocalist and songwriter with The Hollies, one of the "British Invasion" acts.

Friction existed between David Crosby and his bandmates in the Byrds, and he was dismissed from the band in late 1967.[2] By early 1968, Buffalo Springfield had also disintegrated over personal issues, and after aiding in putting together the band’s final album, Stephen Stills found himself unemployed by the summer. He and Crosby began meeting informally and jamming, and the result of one encounter in Florida on Crosby’s schooner was the song “Wooden Ships,” composed in collaboration with another guest, Jefferson Airplane's Paul Kantner.

Graham Nash had been introduced to Crosby when The Byrds had toured the United Kingdom in 1966, and when The Hollies ventured to California in 1968, Nash resumed his acquaintance with Crosby. At a party in July 1968 at Cass Elliot's house, Nash asked Stills and Crosby to repeat their performance of a new song by Stills, “You Don't Have To Cry,” with Nash improvising a third part harmony. The vocals jelled, and the three realized that they had a unique vocal chemistry.


Billboard 4 jul 1970
Creatively frustrated with The Hollies, Nash decided to quit the band and work with Crosby and Stills. After failing an audition with The Beatles' Apple Records, they were signed to Atlantic Records by Ahmet Ertegün, who had been a fan of Buffalo Springfield and was disappointed by that band's demise.[6] From the outset, given their respective band histories, the trio decided not to be locked into a group structure, using their surnames as identification to ensure independence and a guarantee against the band simply continuing without one of them, as had both The Byrds and The Hollies after the departures of Crosby and Nash. Their record contract with Atlantic reflected this, positioning CSN with a unique flexibility unheard-of for an untested group. The trio also picked up a unique management team in Elliot Roberts and David Geffen, who had engineered their situation with Atlantic and would help to consolidate clout for the group in the industry. Roberts kept the band focused and dealt with egos, while Geffen handled the business deals, since, in Crosby’s words, they needed a shark and Geffen was it. Roberts and Geffen would play key roles in securing the band’s success during the early years.

When it was announced that the band was forming, they ran into a slight contractual problem. Nash was already signed to Epic Records, the North American distributor of records by The Hollies, while Crosby and Stills were signed to Atlantic. In order to resolve this problem, Geffen engineered a deal whereby Nash was essentially traded to Atlantic for the rights to Richie Furay's band Poco; Furay was signed to Atlantic as a result of his membership in Buffalo Springfield.


Mexico EP 1970
The trio's first album, Crosby, Stills & Nash, was released in May 1969 and was an immediate hit, spawning two Top 40 hit singles and receiving key airplay on the new FM radio format. With the exception of drummer Dallas Taylor, Stills had handled the lion's share of the instrumental parts himself, which left the band in need of additional personnel to be able to tour, now a necessity given the debut album’s commercial impact.

Neil Young joins the group:
Retaining Taylor, the band decided initially to hire a keyboard player. Stills at one point approached Steve Winwood who was already occupied with newly formed group Blind Faith. Atlantic label head Ahmet Ertegün suggested former Buffalo Springfield member Neil Young, also managed by Elliot Roberts, as a fairly obvious choice. Initial reservations were held by Stills and Nash, Stills owing to his history with Young in Buffalo Springfield, and Nash, due to his personal unfamiliarity with Young. But after several meetings, the trio expanded to a quartet with Young a full partner. The terms of the contract allowed Young full freedom to maintain a parallel career with his new back-up band, Crazy Horse.

The band initially completed the rhythm section with bassist Bruce Palmer, who previously played with Young in the short-lived Mynah Birds (fronted by a young Rick James) and with both Young and Stills in Buffalo Springfield. However, whether due to Palmer's persistent personal problems (he had a tendency to get busted for drugs and get deported back to Canada) or due to the simple fact that, with Stills, Young and Palmer handling the instruments, the band looked and sounded like Buffalo Springfield with Crosby and Nash doing little more than some background vocals. Whatever the true reason, Palmer was forced out of the band, and, at Rick James' recommendation, nineteen-year-old Motown bassist Greg Reeves replaced him.


Billboard 1970
With Young on board, the restructured group went on tour in the late summer of 1969 through the following January. Their first gig was on Aug. 17, 1969 at the Auditorium Theater in Chicago with Joni Mitchell as their opening act. They mentioned they were going to some place called Woodstock the next day, but they had no idea where that was. They began their second set that night with the same line they uttered at Woodstock, "This is only the second time we've performed in front of people. We're scared shitless." They opened with "Suite: Judy Blue Eyes" before launching into a harmony-drenched version of The Beatles' "Blackbird".

Their second show was a baptism by fire at the Woodstock Festival. CSNY's recording of the Joni Mitchell song memorializing Woodstock would later become a hit and the recording most associated with the festival. By contrast, little mention is made of the group's following appearance at the violence-plagued Altamont Free Concert, with CSNY having escaped mostly unscathed from the fallout of the show. The group's Altamont performance was not included in the subsequent film Gimme Shelter, at the band's request. Two performances from the Big Sur Folk Festival, 13-14 September 1969, appear in the movie Celebration at Big Sur.


Netherlands Single 1970
Great anticipation had built for the newly expanded supergroup, and their first album with Young, Déjà Vu, arrived in stores in March 1970 to zealous enthusiasm, topping the charts and generating three hit singles. Déjà Vu was also the first release on the Atlantic Records SD-7200 "superstar" line, created by the label for its highest-profile artists; the subsequent solo albums by Crosby, Stills, and Nash would also be the next releases in this series.

In April 1970, Greg Reeves began behaving erratically and was fired by Stills. Reeves was replaced by Calvin "Fuzzy" Samuels.

Young and Crosby were staying at a house near San Francisco when reports of the Kent State shootings arrived, inspiring Young to write the protest song "Ohio", recorded and rush-released weeks later and providing another Top 20 hit for the group.

However, the deliberately tenuous nature of the partnership was strained by its success, and the group imploded after their tour in the summer of 1970. Concert recordings from that tour ended up on the 1971 double album Four Way Street; years would pass between subsequent trio and quartet recordings.

Shifting configurations:
Between September 1970 and May 1971, each of the quartet released high-profile solo albums: Young's After the Gold Rush in September; Stills' eponymous debut in November; Crosby's If I Could Only Remember My Name in February, and Nash's Songs for Beginners in May. All four solo LPs placed in the top 15 on the Billboard 200, with Stills' entry peaking the highest at No. 3. Stills released an additional record in 1971, Stephen Stills 2, which also went top ten. Crosby and Nash embarked on a successful acoustic tour accompanied only by their own guitars and piano, captured for the 1998 documentary Another Stoney Evening. For a while, it seemed as if the group could simply not fail, either singly or in any permutation.


Though there were no official CSN or CSNY projects during the year, 1972 proved a fruitful year for all the band members in their solo efforts. Young achieved solo superstardom with the chart-topping Harvest and its attendant No. 1 single, “Heart of Gold”. Stills joined with ex-Byrd Chris Hillman to form the country-tinged band Manassas, releasing a self-titled double album; counting the three CSN records, Manassas became Stills' sixth top ten album in a row. Nash also joined Young to record Young's single "War Song". On tour, Nash and Crosby rediscovered the joy they had originally felt with CSN, minus the egotistic in-fighting that had made the last CSNY shows so difficult. That enthusiasm led to their first album as a duo, Graham Nash David Crosby, which peaked at No. 4 on the pop album chart.

The group members fared less well in the following year. Young embarked on a solo tour noted for its dark tone, with Crosby and Nash joining in mid-tour for recordings that would be issued on Time Fades Away; his Crazy Horse bandmate Danny Whitten had died of a heroin overdose before the tour. Crosby spearheaded a reunion album of the original Byrds quintet which sold only marginally well. Nash delivered his second solo album, and Stills released a second Manassas record; neither disc sold to expectations.

In June and July of that year, Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young met at Young's ranch and recording studio in Hawaii for a working vacation, ostensibly to record a new album, tentatively titled Human Highway. However, the bickering that had sunk the band in 1970 quickly resumed, scattering the group again.


Shaky reconciliation:
Roberts finally prevailed upon the group to realize their commercial potential. The quartet reassembled once again in the summer of 1974, with sidemen Tim Drummond on bass, Russ Kunkel on drums, and Joe Lala on percussion, to embark on the first-ever outdoor stadium tour, arranged by San Francisco impresario Bill Graham, fresh off the large-scale indoor arena tour he had developed for Dylan’s return to the spotlight earlier in the year. The band typically played three and a half hours of old favorites and new songs, many of which never appeared in a definitive CSN or CSNY studio format.[16] Graham Nash's unreleased film of the Wembley Stadium show highlights the scope and quality of these performances; the four principals would often switch instruments within the context of the same song.

While they would have the press believe that their characteristic arguments were a thing of the past, excesses typical to the era took their toll. Stills began supplementing his trademark wardrobe of football jerseys with military fatigues, insinuating that he was a deep-cover CIA agent. Crosby's entourage included two quarreling girlfriends, furthering the tension. Throughout the tour, Young isolated himself from the group, traveling in an RV with his son and entourage and was reportedly resentful that his songs made up the bulk of the group's new material. An attempt at the new CSNY LP in the fall was scrapped, the label having compiled So Far to have something to promote during the tour. Nash viewed the re-shuffling of items from only two albums and one single as absurd; it topped the charts anyway. Songs performed on the 1974 tour later appeared on various releases including Stills, Zuma, American Stars 'n Bars, Long May You Run, Comes a Time, Hawks & Doves, Wind on the Water, Earth and Sky, and Whistling Down the Wire.

Reaching an impasse with the parent band, Crosby and Nash decided to re-activate their partnership, inaugurating the duo act Crosby & Nash, touring regularly, signing to ABC Records and producing two additional studio albums, Wind On The Water in 1975 and Whistling Down The Wire in 1976. They continued to use the sidemen known as “The Section” from their first LP. This crack session group contributed to records by many others of similar idiom in the seventies, such as Carole King, James Taylor, and Jackson Browne, in addition to the CN concert album released in 1977, Crosby-Nash Live. Crosby and Nash also became a cottage industry themselves, their vocal prowess adding to the appeal of various songs, including hits like Taylor’s "Mexico" and Joni Mitchell’s "Free Man in Paris."


Stills and Young returned to their own careers, with Young gaining in critical accolades during the remainder of the century and beyond. The non-aligned pair also united for a one-off tour and album credited to The Stills-Young Band Long May You Run. At one point in the spring of 1976 in Miami the album promised to be the third attempt at a CSNY reunion, but when Crosby and Nash were bound to return to LA to finish Whistling Down the Wire, Stills and Young wiped the vocal contributions of the other pair off the master tape. The old tensions between the pair, dating back to the Buffalo Springfield days, resurfaced, exacerbated by Stills’ choice of professional studio musicians to back them rather than Young’s preferred Crazy Horse. After their July 18, 1976 show, Young's tour bus took a different direction. Waiting at their July 20 show, Stills received a laconic telegram: Dear Stephen, funny how things that start spontaneously end that way. Eat a peach. Neil. Young's management claimed that he was under doctor's orders to rest and recover from an apparent throat infection. Stills was contractually bound to finish the tour, though Young would make up dates with Crazy Horse later in the year.

Crosby & Nash's album Wind On The Water was the only disc by any member of the quartet to fare well in the marketplace during the period from 1973 to 1976. Stills approached the pair at one of their concerts in Los Angeles, setting the stage for the return of the trio. [Wikipedia]

Personnel:
David Crosby — vocals, rhythm guitar 
Stephen Stills — vocals, lead guitars, guitars, bass, keyboards 
Graham Nash — vocals, rhythm guitar, keyboards 
Neil Young — vocals, lead and rhythm guitar, keyboards, harmonica 

Additional personnel:
Dallas Taylor — drums, percussion 
Greg Reeves — bass on "Almost Cut My Hair," "Helpless," "Woodstock," "Déjà Vu," "Country Girl," and "Everybody I  Love You" 
Jerry Garcia — pedal steel guitar on "Teach Your Children" 
John Sebastian — harmonica on "Déjà Vu" 

01. "Carry On"   Stephen Stills 4:26 
02. "Teach Your Children"   Graham Nash 2:53 
03. "Almost Cut My Hair"   David Crosby 4:31 
04. "Helpless"   Neil Young 3:33 
05. "Woodstock"   Joni Mitchell 3:54 
06. "Déjà Vu"   David Crosby 4:12 
07. "Our House"   Graham Nash 2:59 
08. "4 + 20"   Stephen Stills 2:04 
09. "Country Girl (Whiskey Boot Hill/Down Down Down/Country Girl I Think You're Pretty)" Neil Young 5:11 
10. "Everybody I Love You"   Stephen Stills, Neil Young 2:21

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