Album #184 – Deja Vu

Album #184

As a child, I remember looking at a copy of this album that my father had on cassette (remember those!!!) and wondering what this album sounded like and who Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young were. Years later, I was able to discover this album and how amazing it is. There were some songs (Almost Cut My Hair, Deja Vu, Everybody I Love You) that took time to grow on me. But, when I listened to the album yesterday for the challenge, I grew to love every inch of this album. Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young all contribute amazing and well-known songs. Neil Young really only sings on the songs that he wrote. He does not sing harmony on the other songs. CSN’s harmonies are as good, if not better, than their first album. Also, each song is different from the one that preceded it on this album. Crosby’s songs deal more with the counterculture and questioning the values of mainstream society. Graham Nash’s songs are both about two individuals that were part of his life. Teach Your Children was written about Nash’s strained relationship with his father and Our House was written about his relationship with Joni Mitchell. CSNY even covered one of Joni Mitchell’s songs on this album and made it a huge hit. Stephen Stills’ songs run the gamut and Neil’s are classic Neil Young songs. Each member brought something different to this album. This album also allowed each member to have solo careers and within a year of this album’s release each member released a solo album. The members of CSNY even participated on each others’ solo albums. I cannot think of another super group who did this. CSNY also credit their bassist and drummer on the front cover and they both appear in the photo on the front cover. This is something that other vocal groups never did. Bassist Greg Reeves and Drummer Dallas Taylor were essential to CSN and CSNY’s sound. CSNY realized that and made sure they were included. My favourite song off this album is Teach Your Children. It features Jerry Garcia on pedal steel guitar and it became one of their biggest hits. Many of my friends dislike the song because they think it is too commercial and overplayed and that the lyrics are corny. I disagree. I think even though the song was written out of frustration, it is beautiful and the message is buried in the lush harmonies and laid back feeling of the song. Other highlights include: Country Girl Medley (second favourite track) and Carry On (best harmonies on the record). Overall, I give this album 5 out of 5.

Next: Paranoid by Black Sabbath!!!!

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