Posts Tagged ‘Deja Vu’

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Crosby Stills Nash & Young star in a VH1 documentary from 2000, The original purpose of the channel was to build upon the success of MTV by playing music video’s but targeting a slightly older demographic than its sister channel, focusing on the lighter, softer side of popular music. More recently, much like MTV, VH1 has been in the area of music-related programming, such as the series “Behind The Music” series as part of the channel’s current focus on popular culture.

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csnydeja vu

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 on 11th March of 1970 by Atlantic Records, Recorded July – December, in 1969  at Wally Heiders Studio C in San francisco and Wally Heiders Studio III in Los Angeles  . Its catalogue SD-7200. It topped the pop album chart for one week and generated three Top 40 singles: Woodstock“, “Teach Your Children, and Our House. In 2003, the album was ranked #147 on Rolling Stone magazine’s list of the 500 greatest albums of all time.

Along with many other people, I had hoped that the addition of Neil Young to Crosby, Stills, and Nash would give their music the guts and substance which the first album lacked. Live performances of the group suggested that this had happened. Neil Young’s voice, guitar, compositions and stage presence added elements of darkness and mystery to songs which had previously dripped a kind of saccharine sweetness. Unfortunately, little of this influence carried over into the recording sessions for Déjà Vu. Despite Young’s formidable job on many of the cuts, the basic sound hasn’t changed a whit. It’s still sweet, too soothing, too perfect, and too good to be true at times.

Take for example all of side two. Here we have a splendid showcase of all the Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young strong points — precision playing, glittering harmonies, a relaxed but forceful rhythm, and impeccable twelve-string guitars. David Crosby’s “Deja Vu” fails totally to capture the eerie feeling that accompanies a real deja vu experience. “Our House” by Graham Nash is a flyweight ditty with nothing to say and makes this clear through its simpering melody. Steve Stills’ “4+20” conjures up some quiet enigmas, but with such tepid questions at stake, who really cares? Neil Young’s “Country Girl” continues his tradition of massive production numbers which includes the masterful “Broken Arrow” and “Down By The River.” But compared to his earlier work, the piece is sadly undistinguished. In both this song and the next one, “Everybody I Love You,” Young’s voice is absorbed in the major key barbershop harmonizing of the other singers. C, S, N and Y

The heralded leather cover turns out to be nothing more than crimpled cardboard. fake leatherette! The grainy portrait of the “Old West” characters on the cover looks less like Billy the Kid, the James Gang and Buffalo Bill than the waiting room for unemployed extras for Frontier Atmosphere Inc. “Now then, which of you desperados is next?”

There is much on this album of real merit. “Helpless,” “Carry On” and “Teach Your Children” are excellent songs,and really well performed. Crosby, Stills and Nash — plus or minus Neil Young — will probably remain the band that asks the question, “What can we do that would be really heavy?” And then answers, “How about something by Joni Mitchell?”

Déjà vu was greatly anticipated after the popularity of the first CSN album and given the addition of Young to the group. 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 played pedal steel on “Teach Your Children” and John Sebastian plays harmonica on the title track.

Four singles were released from the album with all but the last, “Carry On,” charting . 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 Rush2, Stephen Stills’ self-titled solo debut, David Crosby’s “If I Could Only Remember My Name“, and Graham Nash’s “Songs for Beginners.

The album ranked at No14 for the Top 100 Albums of 1970 The album was reissued on compact disc on September 6,th 1994 after being remastered from the original tapes at Ocean View Digital by Joe Gastwirt

Stephen Stills’ early incarnation of “Carry On”  originally a song penned at the time of Buffalo Springfield era. Question is actually the first two verses of the song that became “Carry On” for those who do not know, the original song “Carry On” that is on the “Deja Vu” album is actually two different songs that they were working on at the time “Carry On ” and “Questions  both were unfinished songs but at some point during the recording process Stills or maybe another member suggested combining the two parts of each song . This is available on the rare out of print album “Replay” . It was released in 1980. Both the 45 rpm and the abum version is officially 3:17. Stephen Stills did the editing and remixing. from …. “Stills edited “Carry On,” lopping off the “Questions” tag section, adding a new lead guitar solo along with overdubbed bass and drums.”