Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young – Deja Vu

The Police. Pink Floyd, The Beatles, The Eagles…

All great bands.  All great musicians.  All hate some, if not all, of their band mates.

What is it about a band full of guys who can’t stand eachother that makes for such great music?  I guess there could be many reasons but, I’m gonna take volatility for $400, Alex.  Luckily, most of these bands have found a way to overcome this cycle of loathing.

It’s called money.  Big truckloads of cash can do a lot to ease the stress of mutual hatred.

At least it’s worked a lot lately with a bunch of older bands. Like Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young.

In 1968 Buffalo Springfield was breaking up, and after finishing the final album.  Stephen Stills found himself with a lot of extra time on his hands.  David Crosby had been let go from the Byrds the previous year, and the two began jamming together.  Graham Nash, then with The Holies, had met Crosby when the Byrds toured the UK in 1966 and had maintained contact since.  Then, on one magical night at a party, Nash persuaded Crosby and Stills to perform on of their songs with Nash singing an improvisational harmony…and a legend was born.

As it turns out Graham was fed up with The Hollies and promptly quit to give this new group a try.  After a rejection from Apple Studios, the group was picked up by Atlantic thanks to the sure hand of the legendary Ahmet Ertegün, who was a huge Springfield fan. Because of their volatile musical histories, the band used their surnames as the bands new title to ensure that if any member left, the band would not continue without him.  After hammering out some contractual problems, the band headed to the Studio and recorded their self-titled first album, which was released in spring of 1969.

The album was a smash, but presented the band with a major problem.  With the exception of their drummer, Dallas Taylor, Stills had handled most of the intrumentalization himself.  It was an impressive feat, but if the band was to tour, they needed another guy.

That’s where Neil Young came in.

After some more contractual tweaking, Neil was added to the band and the moniker as well…and the tour began.  After a trial by fire at Woodstock and a near miss escape from the disaster at Altamont, CSNY released their new quartet back album, “Deja Vu” in March of 1970.  Brimming with supernatural harmonies and great music to back them up, the album quickly topped the charts with it’s mixture of pop, rock, country and roots music.

Hit’s like ‘Carry On’ and “Teach Your Children’ would help propel it to the top for years afterward and cement it a place in rock history.  Shortly after the tour the band imploded, although they still continue to tour and record from time to time.(read every few years)

Thank God for the money, eh?



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