In 1969, David Crosby (ex-The Byrds), Stephen Stills (ex-Buffalo Springfield), and Graham Nash (ex-The Hollies) teamed up to form the U.S. supergroup surprisingly named Crosby, Stills & Nash. Their self-titled debut album, often referred to as “The Couch Album” in reference to the album cover photo, is a folk rock masterpiece. Containing 10 harmony-filled tracks, including “Suite: Judy Blue Eyes”, “Marrakesh Express”, and “Long Time Gone”, the album has gone down as one of the best debut albums in rock history. In 1970, with the world awaiting a follow-up studio effort, the trio teamed up with another Buffalo Springfield alum and noted soloist Neil Young. Under the banner Crosby, Still, Nash & Young, the quartet released the smash album Déjà Vu. The album features 10 diverse tracks with the expected harmonies, but now with the songwriting, guitar-playing influence, and unique vocals of Young. Hits include “Carry On”, “Teach Your Children”, and “Our House”.
Déjà Vu was first released on CD in the U.S. and Europe by Atlantic Records (one-third of the WEA acronym) in the mid-1980s. This issue shows two catalog numbers on the disc and accompanying inserts — SD 19118-2 for the U.S. and 250 001 for Europe. For the sake of simplicity, the U.S. catalog number will be referenced from this point forward. Now, the original Déjà Vu CD was pressed in West Germany by Polygram as a Non-Target. Although a first issue, this disc is not too rare. A rarer pressing came to the U.S. and Europe afterwards, and it was not pressed in the U.S., Japan, the U.K., France, or Germany. Actually, it was pressed in Switzerland. Yes, Switzerland. The Swiss pressing is featured here, a first for keithhirsch.com.
The Swiss pressing plant was known as MCS Limited/ICM Limited. In some respects, MCS/ICM CDs resemble those produced by Polygram in West Germany. For one thing, MCS/ICM CDs lack a clear plastic ring at the center. That is, there is aluminum running up to the center hole. Additionally, the matrix code font and format matches that of Polygram. It is possible that the Polygram plant produced and then shipped glass masters (containing the matrix code) to MCS/ICM and then MCS/ICM simply manufactured the CDs. A unique feature of the MCS/ICM discs pressed in Switzerland is a “buffed” inner ring visible on both the play and label sides.
Generally speaking, early Swiss CD pressings are rare, and the one feature here of Déjà Vu is no exception. The inserts with the Swiss Déjà Vu disc were printed in the U.S., so this disc will be referred to as a “Swiss-for-U.S.” pressing. The original West German pressing of Déjà Vu and later U.S. pressings feature a red ring around the perimeter of the disc as well as the Atlantic logo printed in red. Interestingly, the Swiss pressing has no red ink, and as a result, does not bear the Atlantic logo. All printing on the Swiss pressing is black. The matrix code is “7567 19118-2 2895 821 03 *”.
Shown below are the cover, back insert, and Swiss pressing of Déjà Vu.
The cover for the Swiss-for-U.S. pressing of Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young Déjà Vu (Atlantic, catalog number SD 19118-2). This represents the original cover artwork from the 1970 LP. While the original LP jacket is textured, standard flat paper was used for the CD booklet.
The back insert for the Swiss-for-U.S. pressing of Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young Déjà Vu (Atlantic, catalog number SD 19118-2). As noted at the bottom, this insert was printed in the U.S. A barcode is in the bottom right corner.
The Swiss-for-U.S. pressing of Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young Déjà Vu (Atlantic, catalog number SD 19118-2). Note the unique “buffed” inner ring, a signature of the Swiss MCS/ICM pressing plant. Unlike the earlier West German pressing and later U.S. pressings, this disc lacks a red ring around the perimeter and a red Atlantic logo at 9 o’clock. “Manufactured in Switzerland” is printed at 9 o’clock. The matrix code is “7567 19118-2 2895 821 03 *”.