Today marks the 50th anniversary of the release of Déjà Vu, the first album by Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young. The record topped the Billboard 200 in May of 1970, and yielded three top 40 singles — “Woodstock,” “Teach Your Children” and “Our House,” which peaked at #11, #16 and #30, respectively.
David Crosby, Stephen Stills and Graham Nash had just finished recording their debut album as a trio, the hugely popular Crosby, Stills & Nash, when they brought on Neil Young as a fourth member — at Atlantic Records exec Ahmet Ertegun‘s suggestion — to help round out the band as a live unit.
Nash recalls that once recording began, Déjà Vu “came together came together pretty nicely.”
As he tells ABC Audio, “We all had a lot of songs…and we all had various pieces of music that we wanted to present. And I thought the record was well balanced and had many good tracks on it.”
Graham also credits Stills for helping transform his song “Teach Your Children” into a hit, noting that the tune initially was reminiscent of the Herman’s Hermits ditty “I’m Henry the Eighth, I Am,” until Stephen put his “famous…right-hand, left-hand guitar stuff together.”
Meanwhile, Nash tells ABC Audio that he currently is working on putting together an expanded 50th anniversary Déjà Vu reissue.
“I’m going through the demos from those times and the alternative takes,” he reveals, adding that some live material also may be included. “Rhino are very interested in the 50th anniversary of Déjà Vu, so we’ll try and make it a little better.”
To date, Déjà Vu has sold more than seven million copies in the U.S., making it the most successful studio album Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young have ever released — individually or together.
Here’s the track list:
“Teach Your Children”
“Almost Cut My Hair”
“4 + 20”
“Country Girl (Whiskey Boot Hill, Down Down Down, Country Girl [I Think You’re Pretty])”
“Everybody I Love You”
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