A previously unreleased demo version of the David Crosby-penned title track of Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young‘s 1970 debut album, Déjà Vu, has been made available as an advance digital single from the forthcoming expanded 50th anniversary reissue of the record.
The recording features just Crosby and Graham Nash singing, and David on acoustic guitar.
In addition, a companion “Storytelling” video for the tune that features quotes from Crosby sharing some background details about the song has debuted at Rhino Records’ YouTube channel.
“This was a very unusual one, the music and lyrics came together,” David explains in one quote. “They often don’t.”
Crosby notes that “Déjà Vu” features a unusual tuning that he was taught by another musician, while revealing that he considers the song one of the best he ever wrote. He also points out that being exposed to classic music and jazz when he was young influenced his approach to writing songs and harmonizing with other singers.
In another segments, Crosby explains that “Déjà Vu” was written about reincarnation and was inspired by an experience he had the first time he went sailing with a friend.
“I knew how to sail a boat right away,” he maintained. “I felt then and now that I’ve been here before.”
Crosby brought “Déjà Vu” to the sessions for what became the first CSNY album, and suggested that the record could be named after the tune. He says of the song, “It’s still one of the most fun ones to do. In a live performance, it gives such a venue to the vocals.”
The Déjà Vu: 50th Anniversary Deluxe Edition can be pre-ordered now. It will be issued as a four-CD/one-vinyl LP set and digitally on May 14, and as a five-LP set on May 28.
(Video contains uncensored profanity.)
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