Déjà Vu, Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young
Atlantic, March 11, 1970
Track Listing: 1. Carry On, 2. Teach Your Children, 3. Almost Cut My Hair, 4. Helpless, 5. Woodstock, 6. Déjà Vu, 7. Our House, 8. 4 + 20, 9. Country Girl, 10. Everybody I Love You
“And I feel
Like I’ve been here before
Like I’ve been here before”
-from the song, “Déjà Vu”
I was at the platform when it happened. It was a strange kind of feeling, like an out-of-body experience. I felt that I’d been here before, but it felt skewed like a rippled, muddy reflection from a pond. Maybe it was a parallel universe I had stumbled upon and two versions of me had somehow arrived at the same station at the same time.
He was also writing about Neil Young but not about On the Beach or Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere. This time, he was imagining what it might be like for musicians and friends in the inner circle to have someone like Neil Young appear and disappear in and out of their lives like a ghost in the night, a feeling come and gone, or like one of the trains at this very station: one arriving, or one readying to depart, doors closing.
“One morning I woke up and I knew that you were gone
A new day, a new way, I knew I should see it along
Go your way, I’ll go mine and carry on”
-from “Carry On”
During the Stills-Young tour for their 1976 album Long May You Run, Young abandoned Stills, leaving his partner high and dry. I am guessing that other bandmates of Neil Young have experienced their share of surprises along the way, not that you hear anyone complaining. In fact, a case can certainly be made for how loyal he has been too. I’m guessing that Crazy Horse, for example, is more than happy with how things turned out over the years and understood why Young decided his next album was going to be solo or with the Shocking Pinks or the International Harvesters, or when he decided an American Dream reunion with his CSN buddies was long overdue.
“When I tell you I love you
You can believe that it’s true”
-from “Everybody I Love You”
Why am I spotlighting Neil Young, anyway? Déjà Vu is a CSNY album by a four-piece act, and by one of the first supergroups at that. They may not have been the most unified band, or, as the story goes, did not even play together much to record the album, but somehow it worked.
“Baby, sing with me somehow”
Each artist contributed at least two of their own songs. Stills and Young reprised their Buffalo Springfield-born guitar interplay. David Crosby does what he does best: blend, whether it be with seamless harmonies or rhythm guitar. And Graham Nash puts his sweet tenor cherry on top.
I remembered why I felt like I had been here before. Because I had. Many times before.