Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by JRM, Apr 11, 2014.
Now spinning disc 2 of the So Many Roads box set...
“I’m really happy with the remix… It was our first adventure with 16-track, and we tended to put too much on everything; we tended to use up every track…and then we were all of us trying to mix. Well, we couldn’t…it came out mixed by committee. A lot of the music was just lost in the mix…but I really had fun remixing it. The remixes are admittedly somewhat simpler…I dropped a lot of the junk off it. It sounds more like I hoped it would when we recorded it.”
Good grief. I shouldn't have asked what he was thinking. If you have to drop a lot of "junk" off then you are not remixing, you are lazily recomposing. He was just measuring Aoxomoxoa against Workingman's Dead. Funny how the original mix is now what came back. Same thing happened with Phil Lesh's remix of Anthem although that was less dramatic and there were many issues related to the editing of different live tapes.
Working Man's Dead Green Label Vinyl, Dave's Pick 9 Disc 3, Europe 72 Vinyl
I've been playing the "Move Me Brightly" DVD quite a lot recently. Love the "Eyes Of The World"
I prefer the remix of Aoxomoxoa for the most part, the exceptions being "China Cat Sunflower" and "What's Become of the Baby"
Jerry obviously didn't think highly of Aoxomoxoa even after his remix. Very little remained in shows in later years - St. Stephen 3 times in 1983, and Dupree's had a handful performances every year (exception being 1985 it showed up frequently), but then only played 3 times in the 90s. And because there are no Phil, Bobby or Pigpen songs on Aoxomoxoa, if Jerry wasn't playing anything from the album, you didn't hear anything from the album. The huge exception is of course China Cat, but he was even dismissive of that...
“All those Aoxomoxoa songs, a lot of them are cumbersome to perform, overwritten. China Cat Sunflower is marginal. But a lot of tunes on there are just packed with lyrics, or packed with musical changes that aren’t worth it for what happens finally with the song. There isn’t a graceful way to perform them… Cosmic Charlie was really a recording song, and even when we did perform it, it always had its weaknesses…it’s not quite performable… At the time I wasn’t writing songs for the band to play; I was writing songs to be writing songs. Those were the first songs me and Hunter did together, and we didn’t have the craft of songwriting down.”
But, he also said it “sounded like how I wanted…the tapes were well-recorded, and the music is well-played and everything on it is really right" and "it was when Hunter and I were being more or less obscure…too far-out, really, for most people. That record is one of my pets. I really like it. I was always sorry that it came out so ****ed up and then didn’t sell.”
Edit: BTW there are some interesting and sometimes odd stuff on the Aoxomoxoa outtakes. Quality isn't great but the vocals on Cosmic Charley are definitely worth a listen if you haven't heard it...https://listentothedead.com/1969/12/31
I went for a 8 mile run today and the soundboard/audience matrix of 10/27/1979 was the accompaniment. Man, that Dancin' In The Street > Franklin's Tower is so fantastic. I love Brent's funky organ, and Phil just really digs in with those low bass notes. This has to be one of the best 1979 shows.
Jerry said that some of the songs he wrote for this album were too hard to sing live.
Pittsburgh 12/1/79 is way up there too. Definitely releasable (although in wide circulation for as long as I can remember). I don't think I've ever heard the first set, though, come to think of it
I love Jerry's pedal steel guitar playing on Looks Like Rain. Too bad he gave it up after the April Europe '72 shows. He said it was too hard to go back and forth between playing the pedal steel and traditional electric in one show, although he did it for quite awhile when he was playing regularly with the New Riders.
Great Jerry pedal steel on Slewfoot and on a very very nice Bobby-sung Dire Wolf.
I was fortunate to see him play steel with the riders and the dead 70-72.
The Lesh remix of Anthem didn't work. One time I found an internet chat where he said he wasted the summer of 1972 trying to remix Anthem (it may have actually been 71).
Well it's normal for people to engage in all kinds of self justification but this sounds very similar to Mick Jagger's take on Satanic Majesties. It's clear that both of them were rather hurt by the weak sales of something that took a lot of time and effort to produce. Since both bands went in different directions shortly afterwards it was easy to write the albums off. Of course, all you had to do was effusively praise the album(s) to get a smile from them and comments about how the album was really not bad at all. Thus all the contradictory quotes from Garcia and Jagger. The real issue is what Garcia alludes to: that the songs would require a lot of practice and set up to perform correctly (as would TSMR). These are rock groups, not classical music composers, and it would mystify the fans to go through all that for albums that only mean something to a small subset of the audience.
I agree completely but at least with Anthem I can understand why they might have felt a remix was needed. There were a number of complaints about the Anthem original mix in the critical commentary of the time (primarily concerning vocals and general murkiness). Of course it is a direct consequence of their complicated editing of diverse material, much of it from live tapes, without the help of digital editing tools. I have no idea how they managed to get it done with the equipment they had to work with. However what that meant was that it was what it was and couldn't be fixed. There was no such issue with Aoxomoxoa which was mixed perfectly well in the first place regardless of how someone feels about the material.
I've been working my way through the Grateful Dead Movie Box Set. Only the Dead could release a 5 disc box that feels incomplete, but the sound is great and the performances are solid.
There's a nice Jerry-Donna duet on "Tomorrow is Forever" included, one of only 9 performances and the only one post-72.
I saw him play pedal steel at Foxboro and Giants in '87 for one tune each show backing up Dylan (I'll Be Your Baby Tonight and Tomorrow Is A Long Time, respectively, IIRC), my first 2 shows (giants was much better, but Foxboro was great for me - I had been a huge fan of both for a couple years and had never seen either, being 16 at the time, and the whole scene was pretty mind blowing at the time). Unfortunately, the pedal steel went right back into sone cobwebbed corner of Club Front after that tour (and possibly before even the west coast Dylan & The Dead shows - don't have a handy source to confirm at the moment).
I agree that the original Anthem mix is better, but I have a soft spot for the remixed version of New Potato Caboose, because a) I love the way all the chimes (or whatever they are) are more prominent and b) it was the only version I knew for years. I still have never heard the original mix if Aoxomoxoa - need to remedy that soon.
Yep it made it west, briefly. 7/24/87 Oakland, I was at that one, only Dylan/Dead I caught...
Saw him play pedal during the Dylan/Dead tour also, a highlight for sure. Another was seeing him play banjo at a Grisman show in January 94
As far as listening goes, one of my all-time favorite shows. The pre-drums second set material is mind-blowing. The x-factor was high that night. The boys were "on."
Oh, and the commonly circulating soundboard sounds incredible. A+.
I see that one new a lot in my local record store. Looks tempting.
I am currently listening to Sam Boyd Silver Bowl, UNLV June 25, 1994. One of only four shows I got to see the boys all together. I saw Friday-Saturday of the three day run and unfortunately a lot of ppl in the know say that Sunday was one of the best of the entire year.
Also, working my way through my recent binge purchase of DP 1, 5, 6, 9, 14, 17 and 19 plus RT December 1979.
Looking forward to seeing Phil on Friday and Saturday here in Vegas at the Brooklyn Bowl!
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