Grateful Dead album by album thread

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by jacksondownunda, May 8, 2009.

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  1. jacksondownunda

    jacksondownunda Forum Resident Thread Starter


    “She asks me why...I'm just a hairy guy. I'm hairy noon and night; Hair that's a fright.
    I'm hairy high and low, Don't ask me why; don't know!
    It's not for lack of bread, Like the Grateful Dead…”

    -intro to the song “Hair” from the rock musical of the same name.

    There’s the album including original songs to chat about, of course, as well as Rhino’s expanded cd bonus tracks. Bonus tracks also include Rio Nido Sept 3, 1967 “Viola Lee Blues” which co-incidentally also spawned that massive “Midnight Hour” from the cd “Fallout From The Phil Zone”.

    I’m a strong believer in “the times make the music and the music makes the times”, so if anyone has any good pertinent stories we’d LOVE to hear them.
    High profile Dead stuff from 1967 includes;

    Human Be-in in Golden Gate Park (pictured),

    The Who/Grateful Dead/Hendrix sandwich at Monterey Pop,

    Harry Reasner’s “Hippie Temptation” TV documentary, ,

    and the Dead filmed in Richard Lester’s “Petulia” .

    Over to you…

    Attached Files:

  2. JA Fant

    JA Fant Well-Known Member

    Big Dead Head here, great photos...
  3. jacksondownunda

    jacksondownunda Forum Resident Thread Starter

    I can see where this one got lost a bit in the spring-summer of '67, amidst releases like Jefferson Airplane and Cream, Steppenwolf on the way up, etc. I had an older "folkie" roommate who liked ONLY this one Grateful Dead album and hated the rest, which leads me to believe that this must sound "conventional" somehow. Bringing Hassinger onboard as producer, one can imagine they were hoping to sound like the Rolling Stones' on "Aftermath", but perhaps it's the "speed" mentioned that makes this a bit more frantic and less earthy. With "Schoolgirl" and "Viola Lee Blues", it DOES sound like a logical condensed studio encapsulation/simulation of their late '66 live sets, so it achieved at least that. "Schoolgirl" was a big Pig blues showcase. "Viola Lee" was something different and "experimental" in those acid drenched days; accelerating and accelerating to mind/finger warp speeds to total meltdown before the coda.

    Amusing to see some which songs survived the entire life of the band, particularly Bonnie Dobson's "Morning Dew" which was a popular post-nuclear apocalypse folk tune (death was a subject that usually made an appearance at least once per album) turned electric, which just got more enormous and slower as the years went by. They never lost their love for Jesse Fuller's "BIODTL", which seemed some musical/lyrical relation of "Keep Your Day Job" years later. It was always amusing to overhear them on live tapes proposing how many beats they were gonna open with; 4, 9, 17, or 22! "Minglewood" mutated extensively over the years. "Cold Rain" just seemed to slow down but in doing so showcased some of Weir's guitar filigrees.
  4. lschwart

    lschwart Senior Member

    Richmond, VA
    Nice post! I always wondered why and regretted that they didn't kept "The Golden Road" in the live repertoir over the years. It's my favorite tune on the album--one of my favorite Dead tunes period from any period!

  5. mrbillswildride

    mrbillswildride Internet Asylum Escapee 2010, 2012, 2014

    On The Road With The Golden Bough...

    +1... :righton:

    I'll be taking their daring first album (proper) for Warner Brothers with me to work to~morrow for a revisit...That will half to do as my turntable is in the shop so I cannot play my nice Warner Brothers Gold label MONO original vinyl, which sounds uber-sick (Bossmodredlingoinreverse)... :winkgrin:

    Crispy Rob likes this.
  6. Mad shadows

    Mad shadows Forum Resident

    Karlskrona- Sweden
    Very good album. I really like the more bluesy song. A strong start for a wonderful band.

    I have a nice first pressing, gold/stereo (very rare in Sweden).
    What are the differences between the mono/stereo mixes? Should i hunt down a mono pressing as well?
  7. Olompali

    Olompali Forum Resident

    Don't forget The Doors s/t debut.:)

    It's been speculated that Garcia's "spiritual advisor" role for JA's Surrealistic Pillow ( in fact, according to a couple of Airplaners, Jer was the record's ipso facto producer) caused him to be a bit spent when it came to his own band's debut release.
  8. Great debut, I really like the band's bluesy side. This indeed deserves a place next to the releases by the Doors, Love, Jefferson Airplane and Cream from the same era.
  9. jacksondownunda

    jacksondownunda Forum Resident Thread Starter

    The other Jerry original "Creampuff War" is quite curious in retrospect. It's a furious mash of dozens of chords, then guitar fanning on the "slower" parts (other than the occasional lilting break). The live versons highlight what a proto-punkish tune it really was.
  10. proto-punky indeed

    "Cream Puff War" is one of my favorite tracks on this release ... :D ... it always reminds me of the Arthur Lee penned "My Flash On You" from the first Love album in '66, although CPW has more psych influences, time variations and the added bonus of Jerry's cool licks.

    Revisiting this first studio album today for the first time in a few years and really enjoying the energy throughout. Will check in tomorrow with a few thoughts.

    Snapshot photos of the extended live show movie in many ways with it all being captured in 4 days, including the mixing, and almost all (except vocals) right off off the floor live in the studio to 4 track.
  11. jacksondownunda

    jacksondownunda Forum Resident Thread Starter

    “The Who exploded
    Into violent light (yeah)
    Hugh Masekelas music
    Was black as night

    The Grateful Dead
    Blew everybody's mind
    Jimi Hendrix, baby
    Believe me
    Set the world on fire, yeah!”

    -lyrics “Monterey” Eric Burdon & The Animals

    It's related in a few books that Bob Weir first jammed "with some black guy who REALLY knew how to play" guitar at the Guild tent at the Monterey Pop Fairgrounds the day before the Dead played. Pete Townshend and Hendrix were well aware of each other’s stage show and flipped a coin to see who would follow who. And so came to pass one of the Dead’s high profile but not overly memorable performances, sandwiched between the explosive Who and Hendrix making himself known in a big way to the Dead (and everyone else) at Monterey Pop.
  12. ron p

    ron p Active Member

    I'm not sure when would be the best time to mention this sort of thing. Take a song like Morning Dew that the band played their whole thirty year career.

    Anybody familiar with the Grateful Dead could listen to any version blindfolded and pretty much tell you what year it was played. The songs and the sound of the band completely evolve year by year. This to me is the beauty of the band and one of many things that set them apart. I've walked out after more than one show with everyone pretty much walking on air after an epic Morning Dew. Could you know this by listening to the first album? No. When I think off the top of my head I'm not sure if any of these epic Morning Dew's are captured on an official release. I'm drawing a temporary blank on this. We will see as we get to every album that is covered.
  13. reb

    reb Money Beats Soul

    Long Island
    I recently found the rare "Cream Puff War/Golden Road" 7" single at my favorite shop. It had been hidden away obviously for ever. Unfortunately the owner held off and checked the value. Priced it out of my range......:realmad:
  14. Olompali

    Olompali Forum Resident

    Jerry Garcia describing the Dead's set at Monterey betwixt The Who/JHE:


  15. jacksondownunda

    jacksondownunda Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Thanks guys. I've pretty much gathered all the Anthem shows and album info together and will try to post it up late tonight.
    Any last words on the WB 1st album?
  16. jacksondownunda

    jacksondownunda Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Anthem Of The Sun – sessions, shows and album.

    This is MY favorite Grateful Dead album, though I love many eras. I’d gladly pay to take a college semester on “Anthem” given the chance. However, I don’t think this thread can bear that kind of indulgence, so I’m going to drop in three posts representing; 1) the commercially available shows that from the Pacific North-West tour of late 67-early 68 that were used for the album (looking at the setlists, it appears that the songs and running order of the album could have been quite different), 2) the “Anthem” album itself and “Dark Star” single, and 3)Two From The Vault from Aug 68 representing an excellent multi-track recording touring on the back of the album.

    There was a big thread on the recent Feb 14 1968 Road Trips 2.2, mostly anticipating the release, but hopefully THIS thread can be equally enthusiastic in articulating what was so amazing about this “new” ambitious material (both musically and lyrically ). Please don’t be shy; I’ve learned over time that the Grateful Dead history is very dependent on the perspective of the persons telling it.

    In mid-late 1967 the Grateful Dead went into an astonishing “growth spurt”;

    First off, Jerry’s old pal Robert Hunter mailed a couple lyrics to the band including “Alligator” and an early permutation of “Chinacat Sunflower”. Hunter finally caught up with them at their Rio Nido weekend on the Russian River and started lyrics to one of their wispy jams which became “Dark Star”.

    Secondly, one New Yorker named Mickey Hart with a family drumming background befriended Bill, and sat in on an early live performance of “Alligator” where an immensely powerful band potential was suggested. The dual drum band started rehearsing remarkably complex drum figures to the point of second natured-ness, like “The Other One” (6/8 over 8/8s), double 7/4 with 14 beat phrases over the top, “The Eleven” (3,3,3,2), nines, I don’t even know what Clementine is, and stuff like “Born Cross-Eyed” with the missing “1” beat. With intense practice and new challenging ORIGINAL material, the Grateful Dead became an absolutely monster fire-breathing psychedelic live band. To think that they were a jug band a few short years earlier is a quantum leap that boggles the mind.

    Jerry wrote “Cryptical Envelopement”, Weir had some words for “The Other One” (what alternate second verses have YOU heard?), Lesh brushed off some of his “Sun Cycles” symphony as “New Potato Caboose”, and eventually his pal Tom Constanten (eventually to become a 7th member) added a “prepared piano” segment to the finished album.

    Studio sessions with David Hassinger weren’t progressing smoothly, so Hassinger left the unlimited studio time to GD, but they deduced that the best way to capture the material was to tape live shows, which eventually was melded into a fabulous studio/live collage with continuous lp sides as suites.

    I’ve always seen this album as a perfect foil to the Jefferson Airplane’s “After Bathing At Baxter’s”. Baxter’s is lyrically superior IMHO, as it’s an amazingly insightful and intimate time-capsule diary of that era and neighborhood, echoing on the lp from some long gone past. “Anthem Of The Sun” on the other hand strikes me as a shimmering and alive “night at the local psychedelic ballroom” (complete with hallucinations!). Dead’s lyrics here are more an example of “creating their own beautiful reality”.

    Much used to be made of “set and setting and a good companion/guide”. “Anthem” is one of my oldest and dearest friends.

    Attached Files:

  17. jacksondownunda

    jacksondownunda Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Pacific North-West “Anthem Sessions” Tour Nov1967-March 1968

    Here are some of the shows. Create your own Anthem (and send me the results. LOL!)

    Road Trips: Vol 2, Number 2: February 14, 1968, Carousel Ballroom & more

    Initial release : 2009
    Grateful Dead / Rhino
    A two CD release of live music from the Carousel Ballroom, San Francisco on February 14, 1968. The set includes 4 bonus tracks from shows in January and February 1968. A third bonus CD, with music from Grateful Dead shows in January 1968, was included with early copies of this release. This is the sixth release in the Road Trips series.

    The tracks on this release are from the following shows.
    CD 1;
    • Morning Dew - 2/14/68 Carousel, San Francisco
    • Good Morning Little Schoolgirl - 2/14/68 Carousel, San Francisco
    • Dark Star> - 2/14/68 Carousel, San Francisco
    • China Cat Sunflower> - 2/14/68 Carousel, San Francisco
    • The Eleven> - 2/14/68 Carousel, San Francisco
    • Turn On Your Lovelight - 2/14/68 Carousel, San Francisco

    • Viola Lee Blues - 1/20/68, Eureka
    • Beat It On Down the Line - 1/23/68, Seattle
    • Hurts Me Too - 1/23/68, Seattle
    • Dark Star - 2/2/68, Portland
    CD 2;
    • That's It For The Other One> - 2/14/68 Carousel, San Francisco
    i. Cryptical Envelopment - 2/14/68 Carousel, San Francisco
    ii. The Other One - 2/14/68 Carousel, San Francisco
    iii. Cryptical Envelopment - 2/14/68 Carousel, San Francisco
    • New Potato Caboose> - 2/14/68 Carousel, San Francisco
    • Born Cross-Eyed> - 2/14/68 Carousel, San Francisco
    • Spanish Jam - 2/14/68 Carousel, San Francisco
    • Alligator> - 2/14/68 Carousel, San Francisco
    • Caution (Do Not Stop On Tracks)> - 2/14/68 Carousel, San Francisco
    • Feedback - 2/14/68 Carousel, San Francisco

    The tracks on the bonus CD are from the following shows;
    • Viola Lee Blues - 1/23/68, Seattle
    • Good Morning Little Schoolgirl - 1/20/68, Eureka
    • New Potato Caboose - 1/30/68, Eugene
    • Dark Star> - 1/23/68, Seattle
    • China Cat Sunflower> - 1/23/68, Seattle
    • The Eleven - 1/23/68, Seattle
    • Turn On Your Lovelight - 1/23/68, Seattle

    • Jerry Garcia - lead guitar, vocals
    • Mickey Hart - drums
    • Bill Kreutzmann - drums
    • Phil Lesh - bass, vocals
    • Ron "Pigpen" McKernan - organ, harmonica, percussion, vocals
    • Bob Weir - rhythm guitar, vocals

    Dick's Picks, Volume Twenty Two
    February 22 to 24, 1968 shows at King's Beach Bowl, Lake Tahoe, CA

    Initial release : June 2001
    Grateful Dead Records

    Disc 1
    • Viola Lee Blues (Lewis)
    • Hurts Me Too (James/Sehorn)
    • Dark Star (Garcia/Kreutzmann/Lesh/McKernan/Weir/Hunter) >
    • China Cat Sunflower (Garcia/Hunter) >
    • The Eleven (Lesh/Hunter) >
    • Turn On Your Lovelight (Scott/Malone)
    • Born Cross Eyed (Weir) >
    • Spanish Jam (Grateful Dead)
    Disc 2
    • Morning Dew (Dobson/Rose)
    • Good Morning Little School Girl (Williamson)
    • That's It For The Other One:
    Cryptical Envelopment (Garcia)
    The Faster We Go The Rounder We Get (Weir/Kreutzmann)
    Cryptical Envelopment (Garcia)
    • New Potato Caboose (Lesh/Petersen)
    • Alligator (McKernan/Lesh/Hunter) >
    • China Cat Sunflower (Garcia/Hunter) >
    • The Eleven (Lesh/Hunter) >
    • Alligator (McKernan/Lesh/Hunter) >
    • Caution (Grateful Dead) >
    • Feedback (Grateful Dead)

    • Live recording - Dan Healy
    • Tape Archivists - Dick Latvala, David Lemieux
    • CD mastering - Jeffrey Norman
    • Archival research - Eileen Law/Grateful Dead Archives
    • Cover art and design - Tina Carpenter
    • Layout design - Robert Minkin
    • Photos - Andy Mond, Patricia Holmbo, Brad Perks, Chris Jepsen
    • Recorded live on February 22 to 24, 1968 at King's Beach Bowl, Lake Tahoe

    The rear cover of Dick's Picks, Vol. 22 carries the following warning;
    WARNING: This is not an audiophile recording! Many of you may have read the numerous Dick's Picks Caveat Emptors over the years and thought "Oh yeah... sure... whatever." Well, those old analog recording source exhibits many audio flaws including high distortion, low vocals, tape hiss, and missing pieces. No fair calling Customer Support and complaining! However, let it be known that this CD also includes some pretty damn exciting and historical music, and for that reason is brought to you with pride.

    The rear cover of Dick's Picks, Vol. 1 carried a message briefly explaining the reason for the Dick's Picks series;
    Dick's Picks differs from our From The Vault series in that we simply did not have access to complete shows (nor the modern mixing capabilities afforded by multitrack tapes) But we think the historical value and musical quality of these tapes more than compensates for any technical anomalies... In other words what you hear is what you get. And what you get ain't bad!
    Related releases
    Dick's Picks Vol. 22 was originally only available by mail order from Grateful Dead Merchandising and other selected outlets. It was released through regular retail distributors in September 2004.
    Dick's Picks 22 was made available as a digital download from Grateful Dead Productions in November, 2005

    From “So Many Roads” box set;

    • Dark Star>China Cat Sunflower>The Eleven - Carousel Ballroom, San Francisco, 3/16/68
    • Clementine - Crystal Ballroom, Portland, OR, 2/2/68

    Grateful Dead Download Series Volume 6 –
    3/17/68 - Carousel Ballroom

    Initial release : 2005
    Grateful Dead Records
    The sixth in a series of shows made available by downloading from the official Grateful Dead site. Music from the March 17, 1968 show at the Carousel Ballroom in San Francisco. The downloads are available in both 128 & 256 MP3 and high quality lossless FLAC formats.

    • Turn On Your Lovelight (Scott / Malone)
    • That's It For The Other One: Cryptical Envelopment > (Garcia)
    The Other One > (Weir / Kreutzmann)
    Cryptical Envelopment (Garcia)
    • New Potato Caboose > (Lesh / Peterson)
    • China Cat Sunflower > (Garcia / Hunter)
    • The Eleven > (Lesh / Hunter)
    • Caution (Do Not Stop On Tracks) > (Grateful Dead)
    • Feedback Grateful Dead)

    • Recording - Dan Healy
    • Mastering - Jeffrey Norman

    Turn On Your Lovelight is the last song from set 1 of the 3/17/68 show. The majority of the songs from set 1 could not be salvaged due to technical problems that were partly due to "sound experiments" conducted on the master tapes during the production of Anthem Of The Sun. That's It For The Other One through to Feedback is the complete second set.

    Attached Files:

  18. jacksondownunda

    jacksondownunda Forum Resident Thread Starter

    “Anthem Of The Sun” & single “Dark Star/Born Cross-Eyed” 1968


    Anthem Of The Sun

    Initial release : July 1968
    Warner Bros. WS 1749
    The second Grateful Dead album. A composite of live and studio recording.

    • That's It For The Other One
    I. Cryptical Envelopment (Garcia)
    II. Quadlibet For Tender Feet (Weir)
    III. The Faster We Go, The Rounder We Get (The Grateful Dead)
    IV. We Leave The Castle (The Grateful Dead)
    • New Potato Caboose (Lesh/Petersen)
    • Born Cross-Eyed (Weir)
    • Alligator (Lesh/McKernan/Hunter)
    • Caution (Do Not Stop On Tracks) (McKernan)

    Bonus tracks on 2003 expanded CD release;
    • Alligator (Lesh/McKernan/Hunter)
    • Caution (McKernan)
    • Feedback (Grateful Dead)
    Hidden track

    • Born Cross-Eyed (Single version) (Weir)

    • Tom Constanten - prepared piano, piano, electronic tape
    • Jerry Garcia - lead guitar, acoustic guitar, kazoo, vibraslap, vocals
    • Mickey Hart, Bill Kreutzmann - drums, orchestra bells, gong, chimes, crotales, prepared piano, finger cymbals
    • Phil Lesh - bass, trumpet, harpsichord, guiro kazoo, piano, timpani, vocals
    • Pigpen (Ron McKernan) - organ, celesta claves, vocals
    • Bob Weir - rhythm guitar, 12-string guitar, acoustic guitar, kazoo, vocals

    • Producer - Grateful Dead
    • Arranger - Grateful Dead

    • (Producer - Dave Hassinger)
    • Sept '67 - RCA Studio A, Hollywood
    Oct '67 - American Studios, No. Hollywood
    Dec '67 - Century Sound, New York; Olmstead Studios, New York
    • (Producer - Dave Hassinger)
    • 11/10-11/67 Shrine Exposition, LA
    Producer - Grateful Dead
    Executive engineer - Dan Healy
    Asst. engineer - Bob Matthews
    • Stereo mix mastering - Columbus Recorders, San Francisco; Criteria Studio, Miami; Apostolic Studios, New York
    • Eureka - 20 Jan 1968
    • Eagles Auditorium, Seattle - 26-27 Jan 1968
    • Crystal Ballroom, Portland - 2-3 Feb 1968
    • Carousel Ballroom, SF - 14 Feb 1968
    • Kings Beach, Lake Tahoe - 22-24 Feb 1968
    • Carousel Ballroom, SF - 15-17 Mar 1968
    • Carousel Ballroom, SF - 29-31 Mar 1968
    • Cover art - Bill Walker
    • Photography - Thomas Weir
    • Art direction - Ed Thrasher
    • Recorded in the studio - September - December 1967
    • Recorded live - November 10, 1967 - March 31, 1968

    After recording their first album quickly the second took many months to put together, firstly with largely unsuccessful studio sessions then with lengthy assemblage of material from live shows.

    Producer Hassinger bailed out part way through the process supposedly after Weir requested "the sound of thick air" during Born Cross-Eyed.
    It's thought that the majority of the live music used on this album is from the February 14, 1968 show at the Carousel though this is much overdubbed with parts from other shows.
    The named parts of That's It For The Other One were made up, mainly by Constanten, for publishing purposes.

    Related releases
    Anthem Of The Sun was remixed and reissued by Warner Brothers in 1971/1972. Subsequent LP releases and some early CD releases use the remixed version of the album.
    This remixed version was also released in the mid to late 70s in a white sleeve.
    Released on CD in 1987 by Warner Brothers 2-1749
    The original mix of Anthem Of The Sun was included with bonus tracks in the box set;
    • The Golden Road (1965-1973), Grateful Dead, 2001
    The expanded CD release that formed part of the Golden Road box set was released as an individual item in February 2003. This CD release was remastered in HDCD and included extra tracks, an expanded booklet, rare photos, and new liner notes.

    One single was released in conjunction with this LP;
    • Dark Star / Born Cross-Eyed, Grateful Dead, 1968, Warner Brothers 7186

    Attached Files:

  19. jacksondownunda

    jacksondownunda Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Two From The Vault – Aug 1968

    Touring on the back of the album. The first commercially available chronological St Stephen performance (more on that when we get to Aoxomoxoa).


    Two From The Vault

    Initial release : May 1992
    Grateful Dead Records GDCD-4016-2
    Double CD vault release featuring music from August 24, 1968.

    Disc 1;
    • Good Morning, Little Schoolgirl (Sonny Boy Williamson)
    • Dark Star (Hunter / Garcia / Lesh / McKernan / Weir / Hart / Kreutzmann)
    • Saint Stephen (Hunter / Garcia / Lesh)
    • The Eleven (Hunter / Lesh)
    • Death Don't Have No Mercy (Reverend Gary Davis)

    Disc 2;
    • The Other One (Weir / Kreutzmann)
    • New Potato Caboose (Petersen / Lesh)
    • Turn On Your Lovelight (Scott / Malone)
    • (Walk Me Out In The) Morning Dew (Dobson / Rose)

    Additional Disc on 2007 expanded edition;
    • Alligator (McKernan / Lesh / Hunter)
    • Caution (Do Not Stop On Tracks) (McKernan / Grateful Dead)
    • Feedback (Grateful Dead)

    • Producer - Dan Healy
    • Engineer - Jeffery Norman, Don Pearson
    • Mastering - Joe Gastwirt
    • Tape Archivist - Dick Latvala
    • Cover Art - Timothy Harris
    • Venue photographs - Brian Gold
    • Band photographs - Rosie McGee
    • Project director - Patricia Harris
    • Package design - Fine Line Design
    • Special thanks - Anut Flowers
    • Pigpen reminiscence - Harper Barnes
    • Technical information notes - Dan Healy, Don Pearson
    • Recorded Live: August 24, 1968 at the Shrine Auditorium, Los Angeles, CA
    There was some confusion on the original release of this set as to the date of the recordings. Initially the music was thought to be from both August 23 and August 24 1968. It has since been determined though that the music on Two From The Vault is all from August 24, 1968.
    The additional tracks added as a third disc for the expanded edition are from August 23rd, 1968.
    Related releases
    Two From The Vault was included in the limited edition box set release;
    • The Vault Box, Grateful Dead, 2007
    The Alligator > Caution > Feedback sequence that forms the third CD in the expanded edition has previously been released on;
    • The Golden Road (1965-1973), Grateful Dead, 2001
    • Athem Of The Sun, Grateful Dead, 2003 (expanded edition)

    Also; from Fillmore West 1969 box set pre-order bonus disc;
    Caution (Do Not Stop On Tracks) - June 14, 1968 Fillmore East (late show)

    Attached Files:

  20. BlackCircle

    BlackCircle Forum Resident

    Pottstown, PA
    Got a nice gold label mono myself, along with a WLP mono and a nice stereo repress.

    Great LP and fun to listen to but does sounds very dated, very 60ish. Of all the tunes on the album of which many turned into Dead concert staples (Cold R&S, BIODTL, Minglewood, Dew)....Viola Lee Blues really captured their live sound at that time and is one of the few songs that was able to capture the 'live' magic in the studio.
  21. jacksondownunda

    jacksondownunda Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Some (more) thoughts on this material and the Anthem album (as if you could stop me);

    Some DeadHeads have mused that “Anthem Of The Sun”’s side 1 gorgeous affirmation of life and nature is a polar opposite of Pink Floyd’s later “Dark Side Of The Moon”. There may be some merit in that notion.

    Jerry’s “Cryptical Envelopement” is based on a slick little jazz lick (though I’ve seen people start dancing around like fairies when they cracked it out in ’85).. I personally like Weir’s wiry counterpoint guitar that can be hear more prominently on some live versions. The lyrics repeated tell that the protagonist “he” is going to die. Those around him “frown” and “sound” on him, but he’s resolute that he’s going “to die”. Some have suggested this is some veiled Christ figure, but I think he may have decided to drop acid and experience an “ego death”…nonetheless a “death” motif.

    Only moments later, Weir’s “The Other One” features a woman handing him a “rose”, a symbol of life and birth. “Anthem” has started with two of the most famous GD icons; Death and Roses (the third being card games and gambling). Sculley’s book mentions that in the old days lyrics were often not set in stone, and that members would sometimes step up to the mic and adlib stuff. I’ve heard very few tapes to substantiate that, but “The Other One” is a contender. One early lyric is said to be about being roughed up by police “When I awoke this morning my head was not attached” and something about “jail walls”. I THINK I’ve heard the following variation years ago on a December 68 East coast tape (which I can’t locate); “When I awoke this morning the sky was not in sight. I’d ask the balls of lightning but they vanished overnight. T’was then I tried to spell my name and found there was no way, ..and the heat came by and busted me for smiling on a cloudy day.” Liner notes to RoadTrips 2.2 say Weir wrote the “Cowboy Neal” Cassady the night Neal had died unbeknownst a thousand miles away in Mexico. “Born Cross-Eyed” also had some alternate lyrics at an early studio stage starting with “Leaving home, got a way to roam..” or something like that.

    Tom Constanten’s “prepared piano” that bridges “Cryptical” reprise to “New Potato Caboose” is actually a composition. Years later on one of his solo piano cassettes he plays it, and it’s actually recognizable. On this album, together with the “thick air” and the notorious gyroscope in the piano, it suggests a meltdown to a molecular level (popularly reported by high dosage LSD trippers).

    “New Potato Caboose” expounds the wonder and beauty of nature; new growth as the last leaf falls. Lyrics by Phil’s pal Bobby Petersen and music allegedly adapted from Phil’s “Sun Cycles” symphony. NPC’s has three verses, each starting in ‘D’ but each moving in a different chord progression. Several years later Phil wrote “Unbroken Chain”, again with three diverging verse progressions, and co-incidentally also with lyrics by Petersen. NPC was probably hard to play due to the non-repeating progression and was eventually retired. I’ve read it was revived during a 1976 rehearsal along with “Cosmic Charlie”, but I haven’t heard how they fared with it. The “tail” jam in NPC gets wilder and wilder, kind of a musical “crack-the-whip”, eventually with Garcia’s lead lines exploding over and out of a cascade of chords (my favorite bit). This was their ‘D’ jam vehicle in the early years, replaced a few years later by “Playing In The Band”. NPC's "Black Madonna, two eagles.." verse is my all time favorite mis-heard lyric. Decades ago I had a little Hobbit hole with varnished wood front porch and front door. If I was particularly zipped, I could lose myself staring into the shapes and "pictures" in the wood grain, hence "Above my doorknob, two eagles hang against a cloud..". A lovely image that still sticks with me to this day.

    “Alligator” is a great Pigpen vehicle that alternates between a nasty human and a literal reptile. Jim Morrison used to theatrically rant at acid fragile-crowds about “snakes” and “reptiles”, but the Dead were a lot more humorous and crowd friendly with their reptile. Theirs was primarily a samba/conga line rhythm driven dance number, and the mournful cries of “Alligator runnin’ round my door” were a funny scary fire dance kinda thing for a crowd ripped to the zits.

    “Caution (Do Not Stop On Tracks)” was inspired in 1965 by Them/Van Morrison’s “Mystic Eyes”and features Pig tellin’ ‘bout his gypsy woman. It clocks in at over 20 minutes of frenzied guitar playing on the March “Download Series” cd. For the ages.

    Finally, “Feedback”; the Dead’s sound sculpture and tribute to their love of hanging out while high under the flight paths of low flying jet airplanes.
  22. ron p

    ron p Active Member

    A moment here to praise Jackson. This is great stuff, wonderful writing and complete analysis. I will crawl back into the corner now.
  23. jacksondownunda

    jacksondownunda Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Please don't crawl, ..write! I'll attempt to reign in my enthusiasm and curtail my coffee intake a bit for future releases. 30 hours and no love OR hate for "Anthem"? Anyone?
    "Aoxomoxoa" and "Live/Dead" are coming up soon. (Unless the thread really stiffs; then I'll either fast track it straight to "Touch Of Grey", or rename the thread "Who HATES the Grateful Dead" OR "Which Beatle had the longest fingernails?" and see what happens. LOL!).

    Are there DeadHeads among us??
  24. Edgard Varese

    Edgard Varese Royale with Cheese

    Te Wai Pounamu
    I've only just gotten on the bus in the last little while, so I'm not sure I deserve the appellation yet. I might chime in at some point or another, but I will tell y'all my conversion story if you want to hear it. :D
  25. jpmosu

    jpmosu a.k.a. Mr. Jones

    Ohio, USA
    This has the potential to be a great thread. I'm not quite ready to chime in yet, but I will once we hit Workingman's Dead and beyond.

    But thanks all for some fun reading already!
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