March 11, 1970: CSNY Release ‘Deja Vu’

Share This:

Deja Vu coverJust how pivotal was Deja Vu in the careers of its members: David Crosby, Stephen Stills, Graham Nash and Neil Young? It is the best-selling album that any of them were ever involved in – and that is more than 100 LPs – with total sales of eight million copies.

But the album’s significance goes beyond just commerce. It was what was already a supergroup, Crosby, Stills & Nash, becoming a mega-supergroup with the addition of Young. The foursome played their second show ever at Woodstock and on the album is their definitive version of Joni Mitchell’s song “Woodstock,” which became a #11 pop hit. Hence the foursome became symbolic of the counterculture, its primary troubadours.

Related: Joni Mitchell’s “Woodstock”: Behind the Song

Young’s addition to CS&N was suggested by Ahmet Eretgun, the head of their label, Atlantic Records. Stills was initially reluctant due to the friction between he and Young when they were in the Buffalo Springfield. Nash was hesitant because he didn’t really know Young. But after meeting Young for breakfast one morning in New York City, “I would have made him king of the world,” says Nash. “He was funny, he was dry, he was dedicated and he was a special man.”

A reported 800 hours was taken to make the album – which breaks down to an average of 80 hours per song. On the other hand, the last number tracked for it was Crosby’s “Almost Cut My Hair,” which he says they cut in a single quick take. The title track took some 100 takes. “Carry On” was cut and completed in eight hours. “So you just never know,” explains Stills.

All four members recorded most of their contributions individually, utilizing the others where and when they needed them. Young contends that three of the numbers – “Helpless,” “Woodstock” and “Almost Cut My Hair – were recorded by the four together. It was released on March 11, 1970, with the sensational tactile cover, designed by Gary Burden.

After the album came out it went to #1, and also yielded the hit singles “Teach Your Children” (#16), with Jerry Garcia on pedal steel guitar, and “Our House” (#30), both by Nash, the latter an account of domestic happiness when he and Mitchell were in a relationship. The disparate and scattered nature of the group led it to fall apart by 1976.

Related: Gary Burden, designer of the iconic album cover (and dozens of others), has died

They’ve reunited many times over the years. In late January 2017, we reported on a quote that Young gave to Mojo magazine. “I think CSNY has every chance of getting together again. I’m not against it. There’s been a lot of bad things happen among us, and a lot of things have to be settled. But that’s what brothers and families are all about. We’ll see what happens. I’m open. I don’t think I’m a major obstacle.”

On March 10, 2017, Roger Friedman of Showbiz 411 gave further credence to the talk. Noting the four “are considering a mega reunion tour,” Friedman wrote: “Nash and Young have been hobbled financially by massive divorce settlements,” among other reasons to get back for the cash that a CSNY tour would generate.

In 2018, Crosby has been the most vocal about reuniting, even noting that Young remains the lone holdout.

Related: Tours for all 4 members and 100s of other classic rock acts

  • Sign up for the Best Classic Bands Newsletter


Best Classic Bands Staff

Best Classic Bands Staff

The BCB team brings you the latest Breaking News, Contests, On This Day rock history stories, Classic Videos, retro-Charts and more.
Best Classic Bands Staff
Share This:

No Comments so far

Jump into a conversation

No Comments Yet!

You can be the one to start a conversation.

Your data will be safe!Your e-mail address will not be published. Also other data will not be shared with third person.