Grateful Dead album by album thread

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

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  1. protay5

    protay5 Member

    Washington, DC
    Slow but steady, slow but steady ...

    I'm someone who typically posts early in threads then falls into lurkerdom, but I did want scratch my mark as big fan of the early Dead. There was a fierceness to them I always associate with this photo from 1967 by Bob Seidemann.

  2. Did someone say Mountains of the Moon and St. Stephen? ;)

    Being in-between Anthem and Aoxomoxoa at the moment is a fitting juncture for this strange little GD foray in January of '69, a good five months before Aoxomoxoa would be released. :D
  3. jacksondownunda

    jacksondownunda Well-Known Member Thread Starter

    This little foray is quite famously the night the Dead managed to dose the entire set (guests, cameramen, sound; Hef escaped, drat!) of Playboy After Dark. The effects aren't immediately apparent, but about 4:20 into the second clip the whole set is clearly ripped, dancers letting it all hang out, camera angles askew. Like they used to say, there's nothing like a Grateful Dead concert.
  4. jacksondownunda

    jacksondownunda Well-Known Member Thread Starter

    “AoXoMoXoA” recorded late ’68-early ‘69

    “AoXoMoXoA”; ….just rolls off the tongue, doesn’t it?

    Just a week or two after the “Two From The Vaults”’s August Shrine shows, something quite amusing happened. It was deemed that Bob Weir and Pigpen weren’t keeping up with the new, complex, still developing material. Pig was clearly adrift in the new stuff until his own “chicken shack” R&B numbers came up, though he was sometimes the only guy to tie them to Planet Earth when things got very spacey. I’ve personally found that Weir’s quiet fills and filigrees (“little waterfalls” as Hart called them) were part of what made GD so distinctive, but apparently Garcia, Lesh and the drummers were hearing a far more prominent rhythm guitar in their heads. I personally can’t imagine Live/Dead’s “Dark Star” with Keith Richards setting the pace. Weir and Pig were officially “fired” (in August to October depending on which book you read), but it didn’t “take” and the the band kept playing with all members. Garcia, Lesh, Hart & Kreutzmann then played on the side for a couple months as “Mickey & The Hartbeats” to further stretch and develop instrumental sides of “The Other One”, “Dark Star”, and progressions of elevens, sevens and nines. Those M&THB tapes show that maybe Weir was doing more to hold the sound together than they’d been giving him credit for. Weir started practicing more and Pig secretly took some organ lessons. The reason I mention all this is the Rhino Aoxomoxoa cd bonus tracks give a glimpse of these new extended instrumental jams that were being integrated into the live shows in late 68-early 69.

    It was further noted that Pig was never going to master the most complex stuff, so Phil’s pal Tom Constanten was brought in on keyboards as the seventh member. He didn’t have blues chops like Pig, but he could play a mean harpsichord and could really wrap his head around the “open” compositional nature of some of these live jams. Pig was often relegated to congas and vocals.

    The bulk of “AoXoMoXoA” appears to have been recorded prior to the “Live/Dead” shows, so we’ll do this studio lp first in a “stand alone” chapter. This is an early prime example of the chasm that existed between their “ship in a bottle” studio albums and their “ship on the open seas” live shows. (Interestingly, the band ran up monstrous debts to WB recording recording the lp, but didn’t seem overly fussed as they were “learning the studio” and also figured WB would keep them working to pay the debt!)
    Any thoughts on music, lyrics, art work, whatever? Any love or hate or zzzzzzz?



    Initial release : June 1969
    Warner Bros. WS 1790
    The third Grateful Dead LP. The first flowering of the Garcia / Hunter songwriting partnership.

    St. Stephen (Garcia/Lesh/Hunter)
    Dupree's Diamond Blues (Garcia/Hunter)
    Rosemary (Garcia/Hunter)
    Doin' That Rag (Garcia/Hunter)
    Mountains Of The Moon (Garcia/Hunter)
    China Cat Sunflower (Garcia/Hunter)
    What's Become Of The Baby (Garcia/Hunter)
    Cosmic Charlie (Garcia/Hunter)

    Bonus tracks on 2003 expanded CD release;
    Clementine Jam (Excerpt) (Garcia/Hart/Kreutzmann/Lesh/McKernan/Weir)
    Nobody's Spoonful Jam (Excerpt) (Garcia/Hart/Kreutzmann/Lesh/McKernan/Weir)
    The Eleven Jam (Excerpt: live in studio) (Garcia/Hart/Kreutzmann/Lesh/McKernan/Weir)
    Cosmic Charlie (Live) (Garcia / Hunter)

    Tom Constanten - keyboards
    Jerry Garcia - guitar, vocals
    Mickey Hart - percussion
    Bill Kreutzmann - percussion
    Phil Lesh - basses, vocals
    Ron McKernan - Pig Pen
    Bob Weir - guitars, vocals

    The Supporting Musicians;
    John Dawson (Marma-duke), David Nelson, Peter Grant, Wendy, Debbie, Mouse

    Producer - The Grateful Dead
    Arranger - The Grateful Dead
    Engineer - Bob Matthews and Betty Cantor
    Cover Illustration - Rick Griffin

    The credits given on the sleeve are;
    The Crew:
    BOB MATTHEWS - Executive engineer
    BETTY CANTOR - Engineer (Hot Dog!)
    CONSULTING ENGINEERS - Ron Wickershim, Dan Healy, Owsley
    KWIPMENT KREW - Ramrod, John P. Hagen, Jackson
    THE WORDS - Robert Hunter
    THE TUNES - Jerry Garcia and Phil Lesh

    Recorded at Pacific Recording Studios in San Mateo in late 1968 and early 1969
    Completed at Pacific High Recording in San Francisco
    Remixed in September 1971 at Alembic Studios, San Francisco;
    Remix engineers - Bob and Betty

    Aoxomoxoa was the Dead's first recording to be made without an external producer and the to be dominated by Garcia/Hunter songs. It was also the first recording by the Dead using sixteen track tape technology. Early 8-track recordings for the album were abandoned when the 16-track technology became available. Garcia commented on the use of 16-track in the first Deadheads newsletter issued in 1971;
    It was our first adventure with 16-track, and we tended to put too much on everything. We tried to use up every track, and it came out mixed by committee. A lot of the music was just lost in the mix.

    Tom Constanten also commented on the use of 16 track technology in Skeleton Key;
    Mixing 16-track was another brand-new game. Even when it didn't sound loud, it sounded dense, and the VU needles were bouncing off the pins. The mixdown became a performance in it's own right, with three or more pairs of hands on the soundboard, minding their cues.

    The lengthy recording and mixing period and the relative lack of success of the album when released resulted in the band being in debt to Warner Brothers for nearly $200,000.

    All eight tracks are written by Garcia and Hunter. Robert Hunter spoke of the period in an interview;
    Garcia asked me how I'd like to be lyricist in residence for the Dead, and I thought it might be like fine. I had written lyrics on and off since I was 17, but I fancied myself as a serious writer, and rock 'n' roll wasn't exactly what I had planned for myself. But things were changing at such an intense rate, and it seemed like it would be a nice thing to do ... I went right to work, fell right into it.

    Garcia spoke in a later interview about the songs, and the reason for many of them subsequently being dropped from the Dead's performances;
    A lot of the Aoxomoxoa songs are overwritten and cumbersome to perform. They're packed with lyrics or musical chnages that aren't worth it for what finally happens with the song. But 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 Hunter and I did together, and we didn't have the craft of songwriting down.

    In a Rolling Stone interview Garcia described the album as; of my pet records, 'cause it was the first stuff that I thought was starting to sound like how I wanted to hear songs sound.
    Aoxomoxoa was recorded at about the same time as Live/Dead. The first Deadheads newsletter also includes a quote from Garcia about the two albums;

    If you take LIVE DEAD and AOXOMOXOA together, you have a picture of what we were doing then. We were playing LIVE DEAD and we were recording AOXOMOXOA.

    The album title came from the cover artist Rick Griffin who had been experimenting letter groupings. Griffin asked Hunter about a title for the LP and Hunter suggested that he tried out some of his palindromic lettering things such as OXO and MOM.

    One working title of this album was Earthquake Country.

    A number of outtakes from the Aoxomoxoa sessions circulate on tape.

    Related releases
    Remixed and reissued in a slightly altered sleeve by Warner Brothers in 1972.
    Released on CD in 1987 by Warner Brothers 2-1790
    All CD releases have been of the remixed version.
    Aoxomoxoa 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;
    • Dupree's Diamond Blues / Cosmic Charlie, Grateful Dead, 1969, Warner Brothers 7324

    Attached Files:

  5. jacksondownunda

    jacksondownunda Well-Known Member Thread Starter

    some thoughts on the songs...

    I have some long term but not terribly deep thoughts on these songs. The lyrics to AoXoMoXoA were once described by somebody as “Byzantine word” play. I actually hear a good smattering of Olde English (how often do you hear “twixt”, hi-ho”, or “Folderolderiddle” in a rock song?) and mythological references among other things. Hunter was certainly at word play here, and there are a lot of interlocking themes and images between songs, as if the album was a large word puzzle (deities/goddesses, C/calliopes, babes/babies, mirror/looking glass, and cards re-appear in different songs). Some songs were reportedly difficult to perform and were retired, but Hunter eventually grew to learn more about the requirements of the sung word on later forays.

    *St. Stephen- Regardless of version, this was one of the most popular of the early Dead songs. Musically, it’s muscular E D A chords strung together with riffs and breaks. Stephen appears to be a sagely/saintly fellow who may or may not have been a real person in GD’s circle, and the often sardonic Dead may or may not have been making fun of this saintliness. The obvious pun/gag is that St Stephen was historically a Christian martyr who was “stoned” to death. What d’ya know?; the very opening line infers “stoned” as well as the GD iconic “death” and the “rose” he carries. (The 3rd GD motif “cards” follows in “ChinaCat” and “Rag”.) I really love the tune’s imagery of many questions, doubts, answers where they may be found, as well as the metaphor elements of wind and rain, seasons, sunlight and darkness, and the seashore’s suds and foam.

    *Dupree's Diamond Blues- A remarkably retro number amongst their progressive leanings at the time. Harkens to their jug band days and a foretaste of their eventual return to roots. Hunter’s retelling of “Betty And Dupree”, not unlike his rewrite of “Stagger Lee” on “Shakedown Street”.

    *Rosemary- A minuet. “Her mirror was a window she sat by alone” always reminded me of that optical illusion of the woman in front of a mirror that ultimately looks like a large skull.

    *Doin' That Rag- This one may really leave heads scratching today, but musically it’s many complex chords and changes, and the Dead seemed to relish playing it at the time. It’s easy playing a rotation of three chords, and therefore harder to make something like this “stand up and walk”. With multiple chords, the emphasis and dynamics in the song can be shifted to different parts or lines on a nightly basis. Eventually the Dead would use these techniques in tunes like “Ramble On Rose”. The slide and Jerry’s strained vocal about “the aces crawling up and down your sleeve” was quite amusing while tripping.

    *Mountains Of The Moon- This tune is quite gorgeous, though I think I lean heavily to the 1st mix here with the haunting female backing vocals. Fairy tale and mythological references to the Marsh King’s Daughter, Fairy Sybil, and Electra seem light years away from the Apollo moon project occurring at the time. This tune was deeply touching in the midst of a trip as it moved from “20 degrees of solitude” to the affirmative “It’s time to matter. The Earth will see you on through this time.”

    *China Cat Sunflower- Has a hypnotic riff started by Garcia, with a very distinctive percussive character rhythm riff overlaid by Weir (and Constanten on this lp). Those crazy lyrics? From GD Annotated lyrics, Hunter says it best;
    In his Box of Rain, Hunter writes: "Nobody ever asked me the meaning of this song. People seem to know exactly what I'm talking about. It's good that a few things in this world are clear to all of us."
    And in David Gans' Conversations with the Dead, Hunter says: "I think the germ of [China Cat Sunflower] came in Mexico, on Lake Chapala. I don't think any of the words came, exactly--the rhythms came. I had a cat sitting on my belly, and was in a rather hypersensitive state, and I followed this cat out to--I believe it was Neptune--and there were rainbows across Neptune, and cats marching across the rainbow. This cat took me in all these cat places; there's some essence of that in the song." --p. 24

    *What's Become Of The Baby- Perhaps the most esoteric of all GD songs. Story has it that this was to be another minuet like “Rosemary”, but Hendrix was expected by the studio so they did a stoned Gregorian chant and went crazy on laughing gas (1st mix sound effects). Funnily, Hunter mentioned the sense of “eternity” that accompanies laughing gas in those Terence McKenna “DMT” letters someone mentioned upthread. Lyrically, it’s hard to know for sure what the song’s about. At early times I’d guessed; 1) A literal child lost while the adults trip around helplessly, then 2) the “baby” is the primal pure human (or even hippie movement) lost in life’s illusion/delusion/befuddlement. However, I also often lean towards 3) some kind of Armageddon cataclysm making the song surprisingly similar to “Blues For Allah” and the “baby” is now gone like the one in Bonnie Dobson’s post apocalyptic “Morning Dew”; “Waves of violet go crashing and laughing, Rainbow winged singing birds fly round the sun, Sunbells rain down in a liquid profusion”, “Songbirds frozen in their flight, drifting to the earth, remnants of forgotten dreaming. Calling...answer comes there none. Go to sleep you child. Dream of never ending always.”, “Racing rhythms of the sun (accompanied on the 1st mix by furious oscillations suggesting incineration by nuclear gamma or x-rays) all the world revolves captured in the eye of Odin. Allah, Pray where are you now? All Mohammed's men blinded by the sparkling water”. Whew!

    *Cosmic Charlie- A real powerhouse of sound. Lyrically seems to be an unveiled reference to the thousands of wannabe hippies that crashed the serenity of the Haight Ashbury. References to airplanes and kites in varying degrees of “high”, and suggesting one seeker be “less concerned about the deep unreal”. Musing “New ones coming as the old ones go..”, and finally to Cosmic Charlie, “Go on home, your mama’s calling you”.

    Attached Files:

  6. jacksondownunda

    jacksondownunda Well-Known Member Thread Starter

    AoXoMoXoA 1st mix differences notes..

    My own quick AoXoMoXoA 1st mix differences notes
    (It's not currently commercially available, but worth a mention)

    When I first REALLY started getting in to the Dead, the first back catalog lp’s I bought were “Anthem Of The Sun” (still in 1st mix), and “Aoxomoxoa” WB-1790 RE (already switched to remix). On a whim, I bought a UK pressing (also WB-1790) for a sound upgrade and discovered I had a pristine bona-fide 1st mix. Unlike some “re-mixes”, these are truly VERY different animals; the Remix has it’s charms, but it’s a shame the 1st mix isn’t also commercially available. Allegedly, any kind of usable master is missing from all the vaults.

    Jerry explained in an early 70’s Rolling Stone review that Aoxomoxoa had been an attempt to put out little bite-size, possibly radio-friendly, self-contained songs/trips. They did sessions with 8 track recordings, but abandoned those takes when 16 tracks became available (MOTM may have been moved from 8track to an expanded 16). I presume the “St Stephen/The Eleven” w/bagpipes outtake that circulates is one of these 8track recordings? (Here’s the officially Dead -tolerated stream as this will undoubtedly come up in this thread; )

    It can’t be understated how much this album was aimed at stoners at the time. Stoned Heads would be quite sensitive to the sound effects loaded into the 1st mix, such as phasing and modulation both on a big and minute scale, as well as creaks and echoes. The most similar album I can think of to compare the 1st mix to might be Mickey Hart’s “Rolling Thunder” (think “Fletcher Carnaby” or “Deep, Wide, And Frequent”, the cartoony “Main Ten”(Playing In The Band), or the literal “Pump Song” (Greatest Story Ever Told), and it’s no surprise that the 1st Aoxomoxoa mix was a fave of Mickey’s.
    However, at some point in 1970-71, Jerry or someone decided to strip off all the effects and loose ends that made the 1st mix so endearing, leaving just “songs” to stand for themselves. I think the remixed Aomomoxoa more closely resembles the 1971 “Skull And Roses” (sic) live album in sound, for lack of a better comparison. The Dead didn’t normally follow trends, but perhaps it was felt that the heavily overdubbed 1st mix was an anachronism even by 1969 standards (the Beatles had started to go “back to basics” by 1968). Jerry may have wanted it to sound more like his current band in ’71?

    Briefly, here are but some of the differences I’ve noted on the 1st mix as compared to the remix (times are approximate);

    St Stephen - 1st mix 4:32 (remix 4:25) Opening chords start almost as a whisper (as compared to remix) with guitar leading, around 17 seconds volume increases a bit, then EXPLODES with opening vocals. Mix much crisper with discreet (stereo either one side or other) drums and guitars, Weir high vocal louder. A loud scream into 1st little lead break. Rhythm lick louder on “lower down, lower down”. A second Jerry vocal arrives during “across the morning sky” and crisp high ringing bell joins the melody. Vocal modulates and bells increase and echo until “call it your own”. Back to crisp mix. Handclaps on last verse. More screams on outtro jam and piano flurry up until band stops to dead end (no fade out). Most tracks on the album seem to substantiate recollections that needles were in the red during recording.
    Dupree’s Diamond Blues - 1st mix 3:46 (remix 3:40) Crisper acoustic guitar, very discreet mix, Jerry’s vocal phasing, the bass drum is booming on the bottom. On “Well you know son…” discreet banjo and bells/glockenspiel, Jerry’s vocal multiplies. “Baby, Baby..” an overlayed vocal. Vocals alternately phase, in and out of echo, multiply…several vocals “dah dah dah” to the dead end. A moment’s silence, then a rumble and what sounds like a plastic cup loudly dropping.
    Rosemary - 1st mix 2:12 (remix 2:02) Discreet dry instruments. Jerry’s vocal being very heavily phased and modulated, almost disappearing at times, moving back and forth between the speakers. Comes to a finish with a pretty acoustic guitar chord (no fade out).
    Doing That Rag - 1st mix 5:20 (remix 5:15) Dry (no echo) discreet mix, drum very prominent in intro. Vocal phased but soon goes dry. On the first “Doing that rag” break, Weir in background going “yoohoo, yoohoo”. About 1:50-2:00 there’s another drum in background. “Don’t neglect..” dry slide is beginning to echo, some vocal phasing “ the aces are crawling down your sleeve”. About 4:30 other voices start singing wide swatches and echoing behind “all fall down, all fall under” with organ, band grinds to a halt, guitar noodles and bass grunts chords, some voice doing low yodel-thing. Ends accapella “Everwhere I go, the people..” sounds like the vocalists are back in an echo room and they slowly approach the mic until they’re right on top of it, no echo on “..doing that RAG”.
    Mountains Of The Moon - 1st mix 4:18 (remix 4:15) This is trippy and beautiful.. Very brief start, pause, restart. Crisp guitar and harpsichord really meshing..Jerry’s lightly phased vocal both in foreground and quietly in background. Faint echoing female background vocals already noticeable by :35, providing color with constantly changing oohs, aahs, etc, ..very angelic. A second batch arrive 2:40. Double acoustic guitars, Jerry singing “dah dah dah’s” and echoing choir goes higher and louder and fades to Jerry’s dry last “dah dah’s”.
    China Cat Sunflower - 1st mix 4:20 (remix 3:40) Dry drum ratatat and guitar noises, becomes china-lick and song..Jerry vocal phased and multiplies. Multiple background vocal “la-la-la’s”. 1:00 Tim piano licks start appearing and plays constant fills during next verse as vocal starts phasing and modulating. Nice organ fills at 2:05 and 2:20, last verse vocal very phased almost disappears at beginning. Last words ..”Queen of Chinee..”followed by buried “chuey” repeated at least a couple times on the beat. Outtro jam doesn’t fade; just keeps going like a Viola Lee type of thing with “China Cat Sunflower” vocals until band grinds to halt, followed by loose vocals, organ and guitar licks.
    What’s Become Of The Baby - 1st mix 8:34 (remix 8:30) A muffled bump sound separates the tracks, like a splice or switch being thrown (same at end BTW). Same basic vocal track as re-mix, but VERY different treatment. Hard to describe, but whereas remix is mostly vocal echo and guitar sustain, this 1st mix starts dry with TONS of constantly changing phasing and modulation, and LOTS of little organ and guitar noises. Very Prankster-ish…
    Cosmic Charlie - 1st mix 5:46 (remix 5:45) Starts with “Make it Loud!” and a quiet echoed voice answering something as the sound builds. Really explosive mix, effects such as phase and echo on instruments and vocals (sometimes stereo placement) seem to slowly change and ebb at times. And then it’s gone.

    My VERDICT; Weird Jewel, but Fun (and often gorgeous). Matrix #s; WS 1790A-2 *T STEREO and WS1790B-1 *T. Cover (UK pressing) says WARNER BROS. SEVEN ARTS RECORDS LTD. Distributed by Pye Records (Sales) Ltd.

    Is it possible that a safety master tape or a lacquer is sitting in Britain somewhere that could help GDM/Rhino please deal on some level with this anomaly in the catalog?

    Attached Files:

  7. Jerry

    Jerry Grateful Gort Staff

    New England
    One other alternate title for Aoxomoxoa was Upwind of Disaster, Downwind of Atonement.

    My German original mix LP.

    Attached Files:

    • aox.jpg
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  8. Mad shadows

    Mad shadows Forum Resident

    Karlskrona- Sweden
    I just bought a US copy of Aoxomoxa and I´m a little unsure weather it´s a original copy or the 1971 remix. It has the W7 logo both on the cover and the label. The thing that makes me confused is the deadwax:
    39493 WS 1790 A RE-I IA/39493 WS 1790 B RE-I IA.
  9. Olompali

    Olompali Forum Resident

  10. davmar77

    davmar77 I'd rather be drummin'...

    clifton park,ny
    here's the 2 posters associated with the cover. the first is from the avalon ballroom and the second is from a show in hawaii that was canceled.

    Attached Files:

  11. BlackCircle

    BlackCircle Forum Resident

    Pottstown, PA
    I have two copies of Aoxomoxoa, a WLP and a green W7 and I am pretty certain that the dead wax for both of them have 'RE' in the matrix. But the weird thing is I know for a fact that both version have what jacksondownunda (great deatil info!) described above in that Rosemary has the strange almost disappearing vocal phasing and comes to a complete finish with no fade, the timing on both LP lables for China Cat matches the 4:20 :)winkgrin: )and the Comic Charlie has the "make it loud" comment.

    I'll have to use his notes and double check and also look at the matrix for both of my copies when I get home tonight.
  12. Olompali

    Olompali Forum Resident

  13. bangsezmax

    bangsezmax Forum Resident

    Durham, NC, USA

    Back cover trivia: the girl in the shawl on the right is Courtney Love.
  14. bangsezmax

    bangsezmax Forum Resident

    Durham, NC, USA
    On the back of the remix copy that I own, there's a note at the bottom of the back cover that says, "Remixed September, 1971, at Alembic Studios, San Francisco." Also has a 1971 copyright date.
  15. Olompali

    Olompali Forum Resident

    A poster of Aoxomoxoa appears in one edition of Alan Moore's Watchmen
    ( #5, page 7, panel 6)
  16. Olompali

    Olompali Forum Resident

  17. bangsezmax

    bangsezmax Forum Resident

    Durham, NC, USA
    So I guess I'm a contrarian. I prefer the remixed version of Anthem of the Sun over the original. And I prefer the original mix of Aoxomoxoa over the remix.

    My take on it is that the GD were very into the experimental ethos during the recording and mixing of both LPs and this is clearly reflected in both of the original mixes. But by the time Aoxomoxoa rolled around, they were more knowledgeable about how to get the sounds they wanted, both in the studio and in the mix. So whereas the original AOTS mix seems somewhat unfocused to me in comparison to its remix, the original Aoxomoxoa seems more whimsical in comparison to the 1971 version.
  18. Jerry

    Jerry Grateful Gort Staff

    New England
    What's "experimental ethos"? And does it come in a tank? :)
  19. Olompali

    Olompali Forum Resident

  20. jpmosu

    jpmosu a.k.a. Mr. Jones

    Ohio, USA
  21. protay5

    protay5 Member

    Washington, DC
    I like both mixes, but I'm a huge fan of the 1st mix. That was my intro to the Dead & what I grew up with, but it also seems more original and simultaneously part of the times. I LIKE the "overwritten" nature of the songs. All the wacky effects add senses of playfulness and spookiness, like Syd-era Pink Floyd. The original "Doing That Rag" in particular reeks of Robert Crumb-style demented view of 20s/30s culture. I love the back-up singers on "Mountains of the Moon," more subdued than the choir on "Across the Universe" but I like that choir too. (I guess both songs were spawned by the flick "2001".) It's great to have a full list of all the differences.

    But aside from the kookyness, their melodic sense is in full flower. The slow part of "St. Stephen," the slow part of "Cosmic Charlie" with the cool falsetto, "MotM", particularly the middle part ... "Rosemary" is really a pretty melody, despite being so weird. "What's Become of the Baby" sounds like some North African music I've heard ... The rockin' parts are a bit scattered, but they're there. "St. Stephen's" main chords are almost like "Wild Thing." "China Cat" got regularized later, but there's a different kind of energy when the calliope-sounding organ kicks in.

    What an amazing time that was.
  22. Olompali

    Olompali Forum Resident

    Exactly! I always felt this entire LP reflected the underground comics of the times.
  23. bangsezmax

    bangsezmax Forum Resident

    Durham, NC, USA
    Well, we haven't gotten around to discussing the "Barbed-wire Whipping Party" outtake yet. :cool:
  24. on7green

    on7green Forum Engineer

    Everything seemed to change in the SF Haight-AsHbury scene after the Altamont Free Concert (Dec. 1969). This change is one of the reasons (IMHO) TC left the band. And Jerry wanting to tighten-up the Dead's sound in the remix might reflect some of the angst he (everyone) was feeeling toward the excesses that spoiled the dream?
  25. davmar77

    davmar77 I'd rather be drummin'...

    clifton park,ny
    i think the boot they all talk about was made by a friend of mine from some tapes in my collection. hopefully this is ok to discuss. it's more for historical purposes, not to spread the material. that track sounds like a nitrous party gone nuts. i can't imagine why it wasn't included. :biglaugh:
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