Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young
Crosby, Stills & Nash realized they needed a little more musical muscle for touring - Stills was a great guitarist and Crosby played rhythm guitar - they recruited Neil Young and installed the rhythm section of Dallas Taylor (drums) and Greg Reeves (drums).
The group went on tour just in time to get booked at Woodstock. Stills opened the set by declaring this was the group's second gig and they were "scared shitless." The first half of the show was acoustic and the second, electric with Young, Taylor and Reeves joining in. Later in the CSN&Y they played Altamont so they got both the high and the low of the festival experience.
Now Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, they released "Deja Vu." The album was a marked improvement over CSN's debut with the title track, "Carry On," "Almost Cut My Hair" and a Rock version of Joni Mitchell's idyllic "Woodstock." Peace brother.
"Deja Vu" also featured the preachy "Teach Your Children" and the cloying "Our House." Naturally, the two songs became huge hits.
After the National Guard shot and killed four anti-war protesters at Kent State University, CSN&Y went into the studio and recorded Young's defiant "Ohio" ("tin soldiers and Nixon's coming"). The song was included on the live "4 Way Street" album, released after an extensive summer tour. There were rumors band members could barely stand to be in the same room with each other, much less communicate effectively. Soon the announcement came the group had disbanded.
Over the years, Nash and Crosby recorded both together and solo with unspectacular results. Stills faired a little better, managing a decent pop hit with "Love The One Your With" and teaming up with Young for the single shot "Stills-Young Band," best known for Young's "Long May You Run." He also worked extensively with the group Manassas producing some good Rockers along the way. Young went on to an electric career which took him from acoustic Folk/Rock ("Old Man" and "Heart of Gold") to pre-Grunge ("Cinnamon Girl" to "Keep On Rockin' In The Free World"). He hooked up with Crazy Horse for an incredible run. If not for guitarist Danny Whitten's drug related death, it would have been perfect.
Beginning in the late '70s CSN tried to revive themselves. Recording efforts were M.O.R. projects at best, total bores at worst. Not even Young's occasional participation really changed things. The '80s found Crosby suffering from extensive drug and health problems. Think they were related? He even did jail time on his way to sobriety. Whatever works. When he was available CSN and sometimes Y remained a strong concert draw.
The group attended the '08 Sundance Film Festival for the premiere of CSNY: Deja Vu, the Neil Young-directed documentary about the quartet's antiwar-themed '06 tour. The Iraq war was still seen as a worthy cause in some quarters which made for some intense interactions. "I saw families fighting within the families, the kids wanting to stay, and the parents going, 'No, we've got to get out of here,'" said Young.
The soundtrack to CSNY: Déjà Vu, landed in '08. Young, acting as the project's promo guy claimed that it was the "best album the quartet has ever made."
"It's got rough spots all the way through it, which I think is refreshing," concluded Young.
1969 Crosby, Stills & Nash
1970 Déjà Vu
1982 Daylight Again
1988 American Dream
1990 Live It Up
1994 After the Storm
1999 Looking Forward
1971 4 Way Street
2008 Déjà Vu Live
"Deja Vu" was the best album CSN or CSN&Y produced with the self-titled CSN debut coming in second. Next up would be "4 Way Street" which actually has some life. "So Far" chronicles the group's early career and that's as far as anybody need go.