Friday, July 6, 2007

A Double Dose Of Birthday Fun !!!

That's right!! Two, count 'em, TWO Grateful Dead albums were released on this date in history. On July 6th, 1973, the Grateful Dead released "History Of the Grateful Dead, Vol.1(Bear's Choice)", and then in 1987, they released "In The Dark".

"History Of the Grateful Dead, Vol.1 (Bear's Choice)
2003 reissue
1."Katie Mae" (Hopkins) – 4:44
2."Dark Hollow" (Browning) – 3:52
3."I've Been All Around This World" (traditional) – 4:18
4."Wake Up Little Susie" (Bryant, Bryant) – 2:31
5."Black Peter" (Garcia, Hunter) – 7:27
6."Smokestack Lightning" (Howlin' Wolf) – 17:59
7."Hard to Handle" (Isbell, Jones, Redding) – 6:29
Bonus Material
8."Good Lovin'" (Clark, Resnick) – 8:56
9."Big Boss Man" (Dixon, Smith) – 4:53
10."Smokestack Lightning"(Version2) (Howlin' Wolf) – 15:11
11."Sitting on Top of the World" (Chatmon, Vinson) – 3:20

I am listening to Bear's Choice right now. I like it, and I have listened to it a little more since it was re-issued on "The Golden Road" boxed set that came out in 2001, but it has honestly never been one of my favorites. No specific reason, really, I guess there has to be some things you listen to less than others. It was recorded live at Bill Graham's Fillmore East, New York, N.Y. on February13th and 14th 1970.
I do love the "wake Up, Little Susie" though, and it is of course always good to hear PigPen. of course, in the liner notes to the re-release, Bear( Bear, of course, is Owsley Stanley, who may be slightly more famous for his LSD production than for his Grateful Dead sound work) does say that he decided to make the album a tribute to PigPen, who died while they were preparing it. The "Katie Mae" alone does a fine job of that.
These shows are also chronicled on Dick's Picks Volume 4.

In The Dark-2004 reissue
1."Touch of Grey" (Garcia, Hunter) – 5:50
2."Hell in a Bucket" (Barlow, Weir) – 5:37
3."When Push Comes to Shove" (Garcia, Hunter) – 4:08
4."West L.A. Fadeaway" (Garcia, Hunter) – 6:38
5."Tons of Steel" (Mydland) – 5:18
6."Throwing Stones" (Barlow, Weir) – 7:20
7."Black Muddy River" (Garcia, Hunter) – 6:07
Bonus Material
8."My Brother Esau" (single B-side) (Barlow, Weir) – 4:20
9."West L.A. Fadeaway" (alternate version) – 7:09
10."Black Muddy River" (studio outtake) – 5:41
11."When Push Comes to Shove" (studio outtake) – 4:22
12."Touch of Grey" (studio outtake) – 5:47
13."Throwing Stones" (live) – 9:36

"In The Dark"...This one is a wee bit trickier, isn't it ? A lot of people hate this record. it(and "Touch Of Grey" in particular) are largely blamed for the "destruction of the scene". It was the popularity of this album that increased the crowds, increased the negative energy, and led to the gate crashing and general ugliness that plagued the band in the late '80's early 90's.

I have never really known how to feel about that, as I came to really be a fan of the band just before this album came out. The summer tour with Bob Dylan in '87 was the first time I saw them.
I suppose that this might make me a "Touch-Head", which is the derogatory term used by some Deadheads to describe those that may have found the band through their new found popularity. I don't really know, all I do know is,I had respect for the scene. I was never harsh to anybody. I tried to go and have a good time, and not keep anyone else from having a good time as well. I tried to have a good time amongst a group of people where I felt I belonged. Sorry that I was a bit late to the "scene", but I did my best to respect it.

Now, about this album...I think it's a tad over produced, but I also must admit that I really dig a lot of the songs. For all of it's baggage, "Touch Of Grey" is a DAMN catchy song. It's fun to listen to and I think the lyrics are both clever and a bit wistful. I like "Black Muddy River" and "Throwing Stones" as well. "When Push Comes To Shove" is a bit slight, but it's bouncy and fun, and as I have said before, I even don't hate "Tons Of Steel".

I remember the day this album came out. My friend Chris and I went out early and bought it.We were driving around our little burgh in New Jersey, listening to the album when we came upon a guy from our high school. For some reason, Chris(who was driving) got out of the car, and this kid jumped in and drove off in Chris' car. we just drove around the block about six times, and each time Chris would be more resigned to believing that he was not getting his car back. By the last trip around, he was laying on the hood off the other kids car.And playing on the stereo the whole time ? "Hell In a Bucket"

No comments: