Album no. 184/1001
Believe it or not, this album was INCREDIBLY SUCCESSFUL. To date it has sold over eight million(!!!) copies, and has sold better than any solo efforts from the members.
This is the aforementioned album that came out before Stephen Stills decided to release an album of his own solo material. The success of this helped that do well, as it did Neil Young’s After the Goldrush, Crosby’s If I Could Only Remember My Name and Nash’s Songs For Beginners.
Stephen Stills claims the album took 800 hours or studio time to complete, which seems pretty excessive. This album also features our favourite ice cream guitarist, Jerry Garcia of the Grateful Dead, who contributes some pedal steel.
Have you listened to this album before?
NK: I only recognise ‘Helpless’ and ‘Woodstock’ from the track listing. I am properly stunned that this was so successful, I don’t think I’ve ever heard anybody recommend it.
CL: NOPE. From what I hear around the traps though, adding Neil Young brings some much needed spunk to our friends Crosby, Stills and Nash.
NK: I like ‘Helpless’, but I liked that song already. ‘Woodstock’ (A Joni Mitchell cover. Graham Nash was dating Joni at this point) is interesting, but I think I prefer Joni doing it. You know what song I enjoyed but am not sure why? ‘Our House’! Not to be confused with the Madness track of the same name (is there any Madness on the list? I hope so) this is not the sort of thing I am into normally, but it’s really sweet!
CL: So, importantly – yes Madness are on this list (with an album released in 1982. Considering we’re just in 1970… it’s going to be a while.) ANYWAY. ‘Carry On’ is a BANGER of an opener. The best parts of Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young distilled into one 4 minute package. And by best parts I really just mean tight harmonies and catchy melodies. I’d be happy if this song was repeated for the whole album. I’ve listened to it A LOT. ‘Deja vu’ is also good! Unfortunately there are a few too many country-twangers for my liking, which ultimately ruins it’s chances.
NK: ‘Deja Vu’ is weird! The start is almost medieval folk, and then it goes into a sort of soft rock thing. I didn’t go for it. I think the worst track is ‘Teach Your Children’ which in a shocking turn of events is also the most country song.
When would be the best time to listen to this?
NK: Really hard to say! There isn’t really a consistent vibe to this album. ‘Our House’ is a really sweet love song, ‘Woodstock’ is a song about FOMO, ‘Helpless’ is an ode to Neil Young’s native Canada, ‘Almost Cut My Hair’ is a sort of counterculture album, ‘Country Girl’ sounds like something leftover from Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere; it’s all over the place. Most of it’s pretty relaxed, but then ‘Everybody I Love You’ and ‘Carry On’ are nasty folk-rock bangers. I don’t know what to do with this album.
CL: Nasty folk-rock bangers?! Get stuffed, your favourite was ‘Our House’! Gross. I can absolutely recommend listening to ‘Carry On’ as a real motivational track. It’s all about new beginnings and starting again and I’m all about that. Even though they say the words “rejoice. REJOICE!” I can do without that.
Why has this album been included on the list?
NK: Aside from the fact it sold a bajillion copies, it really kicked everyone’s solo career into gear. However, I still think you can tell they’re not a proper band. It doesn’t really gel as an album, they all just bring in a couple of songs each and the others sing backups. Some of the songs are pretty decent to be fair, but I’m unconvinced of its merits as an album.
CL: I feel really sorry for Graham. He doesn’t get a look in on this list – his band before joining CSNY, The Hollies didn’t get a spot, and neither did any of his solo work. He was obviously the chaff in the band, despite being the best looking one. Aside from that, I think everyone’s bringing their A-game here – they sound great and not at all like they might go on to hate each other.
Will you be listening again?
NK: Probably not. I like ‘Helpless’ and ‘Our House’ but I was not that impressed with anything else. I am still in shock that this sold eight million copies.
CL: Oh to ‘Carry On’, a hundred percent! I’ve already listened to it about 34 times. But not really anything else… so it’s not really a consistent listen.
Listen to Deja Vu on Spotify or buy it in iTunes.