Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Ugly Rumours...AKA- From The Mars Hotel is 33 Today !!!

Side one
"U.S. Blues" (Hunter, Garcia) – 4:42
"China Doll" (Garcia, Hunter) – 4:10
"Unbroken Chain" (Lesh, Peterson) – 6:46
"Loose Lucy" (Garcia, Hunter) – 3:22

Side two
"Scarlet Begonias" (Garcia, Hunter) – 4:19
"Pride of Cucamonga" (Lesh, Peterson) – 4:17
"Money Money" (Barlow, Weir) – 4:23
"Ship of Fools" (Garcia, Hunter) – 5:27

2004 reissue Bonus Tracks
"Loose Lucy" (alternate take) – 4:43
"Scarlet Begonias" (live) – 9:09
"Money Money" (live) – 4:19
"Wave That Flag" (Garcia, Hunter) (live) – 5:34
"Let It Rock" (Berry) (live) – 3:22
"Pride of Cucamonga" (acoustic demo) – 4:24
"Unbroken Chain" (acoustic demo) – 6:20

This is probably my second favorite Grateful Dead record(American Beauty being the first). I know that the production is kind of....cold, maybe is a good word for it ? But I just love these songs. U.S. Blues, Scarlet Begonias, Ship Of Fools, Unbroken Chain, Pride of Cucamonga are all in my top 20 or 30 Dead songs.

It was also one of the first Dead albums that i sought out on my own and bought. I had heard "Steal your Face" and "Blues For Allah" from my friend John, and my brother had "American Beauty", "Workingman's Dead", "Terrapin Station", "Shakedown Street" and "Aoxomoxoa", so i had heard all of those. But I was in this record store and I saw a cassette copy of "From The Mars Hotel" and bought it. So, I think I had a weird proprietary relationship to it among my friends as well. The original CD version I have of the album has "Scarlet Begonias" misspelled as "Scarlet Begoninas".
The "Ugly Rumours" bit in the title of the post comes from the fact that if you hold the album cover upside down in front of a mirror the two "words" that are under the band name and title of the album read "Ugly Rumours", which is apparently a play on the phrase "ugly roomers", which is a reference to the denizens of the actual Mars Hotel.
Mars Hotel also contains one of the Grateful Dead's most hated songs- Bob Weir and John Barlow's "Money Money". I think this one runs neck in neck with "Keep Your Day Job" for the most hated title. I think it was only played live a handful of times. I don't really hate it that much. I always thought it was supposed to be kind of tongue in cheek, but perhaps I misinterpreted it. I don't know...It's not one of my favorite tunes or anything, but I don't despise it either.
U.S. Blues was a song I always wanted to hear live, but never did. Alas.


a.k.a. Zooomabooma said...

Hey Now! It seems all the time I'm stumbling upon another Deadhead's misc writings but I'm surprised I haven't found you until now.

I'm gonna hafta take a wander thru some more.

Mars Hotel was one of the first albums (tapes) i recall hearing back before I went to my first show.

Screwed up thing is after I ordered the Beyond Description box set I hardly listened to any of it... but I think I'm gonna have to add those CDs to my listening pleasure soon. Been probably ten years since I've heard Mars Hotel and even though it can't compare to listening to shows, it's still gonna be sweet!

hey, have a grateful weekend!!

Paticus said...

a.k.a zooomabooma- Thanks for the visit !! Though you are correct, it can never compare to shows, I do have a certain amount of appreciation for their studio work. I think it's kind of underrated.

Jennifer said...

I don't like U.S Blues (as I duck and cover). but I heartily agree that American Beauty is their best non-bootleg album.

Paticus said...

Jennifer- No need to duck and cover. I certainly have my opinions, and I am not overly shy about expressing them, but I hope I don't come across as violently rejecting other's opinions, I try hard not to be that way. I mean, you have every right to be wrong about U.S Blues. ha-ha !!kidding !! i'm kidding !!