Friday, July 30, 2010

2. Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young - Déjà Vu

Counting down my favorite 25 albums of 1970:

Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young - Déjà Vu

This album, their first (with Young), was highly anticipated and was a commercial and critical success. Each of the four contributed two songs each plus an additional Stills/Young collaboration (the closer 'Everybody I Love You'), and the Joni Mitchell cover 'Woodstock'.

They provide the vocal harmonies and signature sound their fans expect on the opening track 'Carry On', but they also expand their sound and appeal with the country-influenced 'Teach Your Children' and the Beatlesque pop of 'Our House'. By the end of the album, they give an indication of the direction they're heading; Stephen Stills' '4 + 20' sounds like the mellow blues songs he would explore on his first solo album later in the year, and Neil Young's 'Country Girl' suite would fit right in with the rest of his moody minor-key ballads on his After the Goldrush album.

1970 was definitely CSN&Y's year. A few months after the release of this album, they would record and release the classic song 'Ohio' inspired by and released a few weeks after the Kent State shootings. A few months after that, the concert film for the Woodstock Festival and the soundtrack on which they are prominently featured would be released. By the end of the year, both Stephen Stills and Neil Young would release excellent solo albums.

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