Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young

Déjà Vu 50th Anniversary
Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young
CSNY’s Dallas Taylor, Graham Nash, David Crosby, Stephen Stills, Neil Young, and Greg Reeves.
CSNY: Henry Diltz.

The essential tragedy of Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young is that they never recorded a sequel to Déjà Vu. Instead, the quartet resorted to fractious live reunions and disappointing studio albums cut decades later. This expanded version of their 1970 masterpiece, however, offers remastered tracks, plus 38 fascinating outtakes and demos. Together, they help us speculate which songs might have appeared on a mythical CSNY follow-up.

The demos are stellar: David Crosby’s 12-string acoustic take of “Almost Cut My Hair” is breathtaking, while a 10-minute electric jam lets Neil Young and Stephen Stills rip on fuzz guitar. Neil’s heart-wrenching “Birds” floats upon acoustic guitar and Graham Nash’s fragile harmony. An alternate take of “Helpless” sports harmonica and wild amp tremolo. Otherwise, Young is conspicuously absent from these studio proceedings.

Standout cuts include “ The Lee Shore,” a Crosby gem with Stills’ lead work. “Bluebird Revisited,” a revamped version of the Buffalo Springfield track, is a soulful standout. “Ivory Tower” is highlighted by Stills’ trademark string-poppin’ on stereo channels.

Young’s MIA status notwithstanding, this expanded Déjà Vu seems essential for CSNY lovers. It’s a rich treasure trove – from a band often missing in action itself.

This article originally appeared in VG’s July 2021 issue. All copyrights are by the author and Vintage Guitar magazine. Unauthorized replication or use is strictly prohibited.

No posts to display