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 (#132 in The Series) is Spirit, Twelve Dreams of Dr. Sardonicus.
It’s a shame you don’t hear ‘Spirit’ on the radio. They were an outstanding band in their time. Let by the late Randy California and his stepfather Ed Cassidy, ‘Spirit’ released fourteen albums between 1968 and 1996. Twelve Dreams of Dr. Sardonicus was their magnum opus. It was released in 1970.
‘Spirit’ had many minor hits and one huge hit. You’ll find that huge hit here. That was Nature’s Way. (Compare the intro to Nature’s Way and Cheap Trick’s The Flame some time. I think Cheap Tricks owes Mr. California a writing credit!)
What are some of the standout tracks? For me they are Prelude-Nothing to Hide, Mr. Skin and finally Animal Zoo.
Jay Ferguson handled much of the lead vocals. He would go on to join Jo Jo Gunne. They had a huge hit with Run, Run, Run. After going solo he had another major hit with Thunder Island in 1978.
Twelve Dreams of Dr. Sardonicus peaked at #63 on the Billboard Top 200 Album chart in 1971.
I had a chance to see Spirit at a great South Suburban club called Pointe East in, I’m guessing 1979 or so. We had a table right in front of the stage. Randy California stepped down and did a solo standing on our table. I of course, was at the bar getting a pitcher of beer at the time.
Randy California left us in 1997. His son had gotten trapped in rip current while swimming in Hawaii. He was able to save his son but lost his own life. He was a true original.
One of rocks original super groups featuring Cream’s Eric Clapton and Ginger Baker along with Spencer Davis Group and Traffic’s Steve Winwood. Family’s Rick Grech rounded out the roster.
One and done. That was Blind Faith.
But the short, six song run was quite memorable.
If only we could have been given more than just the 42 minutes and 12 seconds that we received.
‘Can’t Find My Way Home’ and ‘Presence of the Lord’ were the two best known songs.
When I was looking at information on this album I learned something new. One of the songs on the album is a cover of Buddy Holly’s ‘Well All Right’ What I didn’t know was that Rick Grech was in Buddy Holly’s Band, The Crickets for a short time. How ‘bout that!!
Grech was also a fine producer in his own right. Some of the acts that he’s worked with included, Gram Parsons and EmmyLou Harris. Rick Grech died of liver failure in 1990.
“Blind Faith” was produced by Jimmy Smith. Jimmy also produced much of the Rolling Stones Early works including ‘Exile on Main Street, Beggars Banquet, Sticky Fingers’ and ‘Goats Head Soup.’
“Blind Faith” debut on the Top 200 Billboard Chart at #1. It also debut at #1 on the UK and Canadian charts. It also charted on the black charts at #40.
I recently saw that the VH1 Classic channel has been showing an hour piece of their concert in London’s Hyde Park. I was quite surprised having never seen any live footage. Here’s a couple clips from that show.