I remember buying this album (the vinyl) back in High School. Loved it, still do. One of the best of that classic rock era I must say. This group, one of the favourites of the hippies of the late sixties, early seventies, had already released one prior album, Crosby, Stills & Nash on Atlantic Records in May of 1969. And that’s how I got to know them, by their singles “Marrakesh Express” and especially “Suite: Judy Blue Eyes”, which I learned to play on the guitar, although to play it right I had to re-tune it to EEEEBE.
Then in 1970, David Crosby, Stephen Stills and Graham Nash brought in Neil Young, and thus CSN became CSN&Y. Neil Young and the lads went on tour at the end of the summer of 1969, and on the 17th of August, they played the Auditorium Theatre of Chicago, with Joni Mitchell opening the show. It was during this concert that they mentioned that on the following day they would be going to a place called Woodstock, but they didn’t know where that was, and they clarified things by beginning their second set, with the same statement they made in Woodstock: “This is only the second time we play in front of people, we’re scared shitless”. Then they played “Suite: Judy Blue Eyes” followed by a version of The Beatles “Blackbird”.
So Deja Vu was a super album by a super group. It made it to number one in the US Billboard top 200 and three singles were released: “Woodstock”, “Teach Your Children” and “Our House”. All of them were top 40 hits in the US. In 2020 the album was placed in the 220th spot on the best 500 albums of all time, according to Rolling Stone magazine. Actually there was a fourth single launched from the album, “Carry On”, unfortunately, that song did not reach the top 40.
A couple of interesting things about this album is that it included the participation of Jerry Garcia playing pedal steel guitar on “Teach Your Children” and John Sebastian doing the harmonica work on “Déjà Vu”.
In 2003, Rolling Stone magazine placed Déjà Vu on the list of the best 500 albums of all times, putting it as number 148, but then on 2012, they revised the list, placing it as number 147.
It seems like each one of the lads, Stills, Crosby, Nash and Young all contributed two songs to the album and there is one final one, “Everybody I Love You” that was co-authored by Stephen Stills and Neil Young.
Got to say that my favourite cut…and they are all great tunes…of the album is David Crosby’s “Almost Cut My Hair”. A real anthem of the generation.
Déjà Vu Live was released by the band in 2008. It served as the soundtrack for a documentary film about the careers of the members of the band. It included many CSN&Y songs as well as one called “Let’s Impeach the President” by Neil Young. This live recording has virtually nothing to do with the Déjà Vu of 1970.
Hope you like it and I really hope you let me know what you think.