50 Years Ago: Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young Release Deja Vu

On this day in 1970 the folk supergroup Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young released their album Deja Vu. Crosby, Stills and Nash (coming from The Byrds, Buffalo Springfield and The Hollies respectively) had already recorded a self titled album in the year prior, but with this recording they added Stephen Stills former Buffalo Springfield bandmate Neil Young to the group. Young would remain somewhat of an alternate member of the band who was sometimes involved and sometimes not.

This version of the band performed at Woodstock for their second concert together. Then they ended up recording Joni Mitchell’s (who was Graham Nash’s girlfriend at the time) song Woodstock for the album. The song has been recorded by many huge artists, but the CSNY version is probably the most recognizable.

Some of the other big tracks on the album include Carry On, Helpless, Our House and Teach Your Children. Stephen Stills claims that the album took 800 hours of studio time to record and some songs took just hours to complete while others took hundreds of takes to perfect. The group were always known for their conflict and apparently there was plenty of it during the recording.

The anticipation for the album was high since the group had already toured and appeared at Woodstock together so the amount of pre-orders on the album was huge. The album hit #1 on the billboard chart and sold 8 million copies. It was the band’s best selling album of all time and sold more copies than any of the individuals solo albums.

Deja Vu often lands fairly high on “best albums of all time” lists. Crosby, Stills and Nash continued to collaborate but Young would not return to the supergroup for a studio album until 1989.

What’s your favorite Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young song?