On this work I tried different techniques to make the picture really old. I did this maybe two months before I posted this photo on this blog. I can't remember all of the techniques as
well as the sequence in which I applied them. No matter how faded it is, to me the songs will always be remembered. I was in college when this album became a hit in the Philippines.
Stephen Stills, who is a Civil War buff, wanted the cover to look like an old photo from that era, the 1860's. So, to get the look, the band went to a costume store to get outfits
that looked 19th century. Stephen himself got a Confederate army uniform. Crosby got a "Buffalo Bill" Cody outfit. Dallas Taylor got a gun-slinger outfit, and the rest of the guys
(Neil Young, Greg Reeves, Graham Nash) rented kind of a mish-mash of cowboy outfits.
In order to make the record cover look like an old-fashioned Civil War-era keepsake photographic album, Stephen Stills asked the photographer to take the photo with an old
wooden box camera similar to the one used by Matthew Brady, the great Civil War photographer. In that era, over 140 years ago, it took over two minutes to capture the
image onto a glass plate negative, so the band posed without moving for that long. As they did, a dog wandered into frame and became immortalized.
Actually, the experiment with the box camera didn't yield a good enough photo for the cover, so they ended up using a 35-mm photo, taken during the 2.5-minute pose, instead,
but printed with a "Fox Talbot" photo technique from the 1850's to give it a vintage look.
This is a version of the old photo and the present-day tree as put together by my friend and colleague Dolf van Stijgeren who runs the CSNY fan site, 4WaySite.
The cover was shot in 1969 in the backyard of David Crosby's rental house in Novato, California, about 30 miles north of San Francisco. Bob Egan
Here's the original album cover art design.
No. 75, Rate Your Music, The 100 Greatest Albums of All Time; No. 106, The Virgin All-Time Album Top 1000;
No. 147, Rolling Stone, The 500 Greatest Albums of All Time; No. 165, Billboard, The 300 Best-Selling Albums of All Time.
Art direction and design by Gary Burden, photo by Thomas O'Neal (formerly Tom Gundelfinger). Album produced by Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young. Atlantic 1970.
Déjà Vu was greatly anticipated after the popularity of the first Crosby, Stills and Nash album and given the addition of Neil Young to the group. Stephen Stills estimates that
the album took around 800 hours of studio time to record; this figure may be exaggerated, even though the individual tracks display meticulous attention to detail. The songs,
except for "Woodstock", were recorded as individual sessions by each member, with each contributing whatever was needed that could be agreed upon. Young appears on only
half of the tracks, and drummer Dallas Taylor and bassist Greg Reeves are credited on the cover with their names in slightly smaller typeface. Jerry Garcia plays pedal steel on
"Teach Your Children" and John Sebastian plays harmonica on the title track. Full article
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