Today’s Cool Album of the Day (#158 in the Series) Is Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young, Déjà Vu.
I was just sharing the story on Facebook about remembering buying Déjà Vu back in 1970. I purchased it at the famous Chicagoland record chain called Hegewisch Records. I was spending the summer at a cousin’s in Calumet City. We road our bikes to Hegewisch and quickly we were in the store. I plopped down my $3.49 and we were off. All their LPs were $3.49 back then. I still remember the sticker on the shrink wrap! On the way back I wiped out on the bike and the album went flying. Fear not, it was OK. I still remember the fear as that brown square cover hit the ground, hard.
Déjà vu was the first album by CSNY, however, it was not their first recording. That was the single ‘Ohio’ recorded a little earlier. Ohio never did appear on an album before it appeared on the greatest hits package called So Far.
Adding Neil Young to a band with Steven Stills was not a huge stretch since they had played together for years in The Buffalo Springfield. In fact, the opening number Stills’ Carry On contains lyrics from The Buffalo Springfield’s song, Question.
Teach Your Children features a fine pedal steel part by Jerry Garcia.
Almost Cut My Hair is David Crosby’s first addition to the disc. I remember discussing this album when I was a freshman in high school. I told my friend that I didn’t like this song all that much. I distinctly remember him saying ‘If you don’t like that song, then you don’t like rock and roll.’ I think he was wrong.
Neil Young joins with his first solo writing credit on Déjà vu with his classic Helpless.
Side one ends with the Joni Mitchell penned classic, Woodstock.
We open side two with the title cut written by David Crosby, But then again, haven’t we all been here before? Listen for John Sebastian on harp.
Graham Nash makes his first lead vocal appearance with Our House. A song that would remain in his, and their live shows for years.
4 + 20 was always one of my favorite Steven Stills songs.
Country Girl (Young) and Everybody I Love You (Stills, Young) end our journey.
As the front cover told us Greg Reeves, bass and Dallas Taylor drums filled out the band. This would be the highlights of both of their careers.
Déjà vu was a #1 album on the Billboard Album Chart.
Woodstock peaked at #11 on the Billboard Singles Chart
Teach Your Children hit up to #16 and while Out House made it up to #30.
Here’s a live Carry On from ’74. It’s in two parts. It’s followed by Teach Your Children, 4 + 20 and Deja Vu.
Today’s Cool Album of the Day (#112 in the Series) is the debut self-titled album by”Bill Quateman.”
In 1972 I head a song on WXRT called ‘Changing of the Guard.’ ‘XRT has always given a run down on what they had just played. Usually as a set. I loved the song and waited to hear who it was by. Well That’s when I first heard the name Bill Quateman.
So made my trek to Hegewish Records and bought his debut. Mind you I didn’t look at the song list.
Well somehow I got the album wrong. The song I heard was Steely Dan. But I screwed up what I was looking for and ended up with Quateman.
But I played the album anyway and it turned into one of my favorite albums of all time. I still love it to this day!!
I’m not sure how he pulled it off, but Quateman was able to get Elton John’s backing band to play on this release. Caleb Quaye and Davey Johnstone on guitar and Sid Simms on bass. He also grabbed one of the best drummers in Chicago, Tom Radtke.
The music was wonderful. Folk – Rock I guess you could say?
Some of the tracks that jumped out were, My Music, Only Love, Only The Bears are the Same, Too Many Mornings, What Are You Looking For,’ and ‘ Get It Right On Out There.’
Jump forward about 30 or so years. One night I was looking around on the internet and found Bill’s email address. It was also a Yahoo Messenger address, Well I saw he was online and we chatted for about 20 minutes. It was pretty cool. A few months later he did a show at Fitzgerald’s here in the Chicagoland area. I was able to get together with him and I told him the Steely Dan story. We both got a big kick out of it.
This is one of those albums that you can play over and over from start to finish. Check it out.
Quite simply, a masterpiece. Was it the first country rock album? That’s debatable.
There has been so much written and discussed about this music that I’m not even going to try and invent an original idea.
Just listen to the music. I’d have loved to have heard Roger McGuinn and Gram Parsons stay together longer. But then Gram might not have gone on to to record two other great pieces of music (Gram Parsons and GP). And maybe he wouldn’t have gone on to discover (along with Chris Hillman) EmmyLou Harris.
Some of the classic songs here are Bob Dylan’s ‘You Aint Goin’ Nowhere, You’re Still On My Mind.’ Woodie Guthrie’s ‘Pretty Boy Floyd,’ and of course, GP’s ‘Hickory Wind.’
How many remember this one?
It’s a Beautiful Day was one of the great ‘hippie-rock psychedelic bands’ of the 60s. This was released in 1969. You’d have pegged them as a San Francisco band but they actually were from Seattle. Well Seattle when they started. Band leaders David and Linda LaFlamme actually moved around quite a bit.
They were known mainly for the epic song, ‘White Bird.’ Ah, now you remember!
They also had a decent follow up called ‘Hot Summer Day.’