Dismiss Notice
We are making some updates and reconfigurations to our server. Apologies for any downtime or slow forum loading now or within the next week or so. Thanks!

Reassessing "Dylan & The Dead" 32 years on...

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by johnny 99, Jun 12, 2019.

  1. johnny 99

    johnny 99 Down On Main Street Thread Starter

    Last night over a nice "whiskey" (too bad we don't get "Heaven's Door Whiskey" here), I listened to the original CD version of "Dylan And The Dead" nice and loud. I gotta say, I really enjoyed it. Funny, but time has seemed to be kind to it. At first I remember being put off by it's sloppiness and Dylan's slurred singing and forgetting some lyrics, but last night I let that go and closed my eyes and listened and took it all in.

    It's better that I thought. I'll give it a solid ***/5

    His voice really does make sense on the album if you listen to "Empire Burlesque" and then "The Traveling Wilburys" and "Oh Mercy"; that's the way Bob sounded in 1987.

    It was a nice reunion with an album I had more or less shrugged off for years. Now I like it.

    Anyone willing to try and reassess this album?


    Recorded in July 1987
    Released in Feb 1989
  2. wavethatflag

    wavethatflag Way up in the middle of the air.

    Pacifica, CA
    I’ve reassessed this one in the Forum GD threads. I can’t remember exactly what I said about it, but the short answer is: I like it. I’m a big fan of “Joey.”

    It’s a lot better than its Rolling Stone review back in the 80s.
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2019
  3. libertycaps

    libertycaps Forum Resident

    Portland, OR, USA
    New reassessment same as the original: Meh.
  4. CBackley

    CBackley Chairman of the Bored

    I listened to it again last week. It was hard to sit through. It’s definitely one of my least favorite Dylan albums. I don’t necessarily think it’s worthless per se, but I can’t imagine reaching for it when there are so many other Dylan albums out there.
    MungoMusic and Jackson like this.
  5. Chemguy

    Chemguy Forum Resident

    I listened to it again a while ago, when my nephew was aghast that I didn’t fawn over it.

    Well, it was better than remembered, but not by too much. It’s ok!
  6. Stone Turntable

    Stone Turntable Dedicated Listener

    New Mexico USA
    They already got my money, but they’re getting a reassessment of this when they pry it from my cold, dead hands.
  7. wavethatflag

    wavethatflag Way up in the middle of the air.

    Pacifica, CA
    Dylan has been described as "unwell" during this period, but in July '87, Garcia was on the mend and the GD would enter their late golden period from about '88-'90 (according to me). I'm glad Bob found compatriots in Garcia & Co., and I think this collaboration deserves a spin every once in a while. Bob too would eventually find his footing on the underrated Oh Mercy. Their live team-up probably would have been better received had it happened a couple years later, but it happened when it did.
    I'm sorry you find this thread taxing. :D
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2019
  8. johnny 99

    johnny 99 Down On Main Street Thread Starter

    It's interesting to note that the very month that Dylan & The Dead did 6 stadium shows together, "In The Dark" was released.
    That album was huge and gave The Dead a whole new "commercial" relevance as well as bringing tons of new people into the fold.
    The crowds must have been insane that month and "Touch Of Grey" must have been all over the radio right then.
    wavethatflag likes this.
  9. libertycaps

    libertycaps Forum Resident

    Portland, OR, USA
    Bob Dylan played naught a note on In the Dark. True story.
  10. mBen989

    mBen989 Forum Resident

    Scranton, PA
    I'm assuming one could build a better version of this particular roadmap from "other sources".
  11. LandHorses

    LandHorses Forum Resident

    New Joisey
    My opinion is the same. I enjoyed the concerts........saw the 3 east coast ones.......but uninspiring selections for the album.
  12. kwadguy

    kwadguy Senior Member

    Cambridge, MA
  13. groundharp

    groundharp Maybe your friends think I'm just a stranger

    California Day
    I went to both the Oakland and Anaheim shows, and the Northern California audience was fine, but the Southern California audience was as you say, INSANE.

    I'm not a Deadhead -- my primary interest in seeing those shows was to see Dylan, who I had never seen before at that point, and he did NOT disappoint me.
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2019
    wavethatflag likes this.
  14. Dr. Luther's Assistant

    Dr. Luther's Assistant dancing about architecture

    San Francisco
    The Club Front rehearsals have some wonderful moments.

    (But most of y'all already know that...)
    spinyn, Rfreeman, dsdu and 1 other person like this.
  15. qwerty

    qwerty A resident of the SH_Forums.

    I haven't listened to this album for a long time, and did not find it engaging when I did listen to it. I'm not sure I will have a different opinion now.

    In many ways it's unfortunate that this was released - there are many better Dylan performances on tours that would have made a more successful official live album than this one. This one could have been better left for the bootleggers.
  16. windfall

    windfall Forum Resident

    For me it was another example, pre-bootleg series, of Dylan releasing the "wrong" live album... So we got the 76 show instead of 75, 78 instead of 79, 84 instead of 81, and 87 with the Dead instead of 86/7 with the Heartbreakers. I still quite enjoy it, but something like the Westwood One broadcast of the show with Petty knocks it into a cocked hat.
    Siegmund, qwerty and Solace like this.
  17. Rubberpigg

    Rubberpigg Forum Resident

    One of my favourite Dylan live albums.
    The only song I always skip past is "Queen Jane Approximately".
    4/5 for me.
  18. Deek57

    Deek57 Forum Resident

    Never felt any need to reassess, always loved it, except it should have been at least a double album.
    vegafleet likes this.
  19. Jackson

    Jackson Forum Resident

    MA, USA
    Exactly my thoughts.
    HJY1 and CBackley like this.
  20. Daedalus

    Daedalus I haven't heard it all.....

    I like this album too. I always thought that there is a better album to be made by revisiting the performances but what is there is a valuable record. I am hopeful that at some point another set will be compiled to give a broader picture.
    vegafleet and Deek57 like this.
  21. Folknik

    Folknik Forum Resident

    I always liked it, especially the live take of "Knockin' On Heaven's Door" where Bob sing every line a measure behind. However, it's basically just a Dylan album with the Dead as a backup band, and sometimes they sound like they were just going through the motions. It should have been a double album that showcased the Dead a bit more like Before the Flood did with the Band. But then, I didn't see any of the Dylan and the Dead shows. Did the Dead do any songs without Dylan, and did they do any of their trademark jamming?
  22. Anno

    Anno Forum Resident

    A pair of my two favourite artistes come together and instead of a sumptuous meal produce a rat sandwich...
  23. willwin

    willwin Forum Resident

    Here's my fearless prediction: Everything he did with the Dead will be released as a box set one day and it will be praised to the skies
  24. Still terrible now as it was terrible then.
  25. Vic333

    Vic333 Forum Resident

    I enjoy it. Didn't hear it until many years after release (probably around 2005 or so).
    As with many panned Dylan albums, I didn't get what all the flack was about.
    My only disappointment in the album is Joey. I'm not a huge fan of the album, and it takes up a large chunk of the album. I would prefer 2 shorter songs.

Share This Page