Golden Road (1965-1973)
Part Seven: Grateful Dead / self-titled (1971)
The Music Box's #1 specialty package for 2001
First Appeared in The Music Box, August 2001, Volume 9, #8
Written by John Metzger
After the release of the Americana masterpieces Workingman's Dead and American Beauty, the Grateful Dead took a full three years to record its next studio effort. In the meantime, the group offered its fans several collections of live material — The Grateful Dead (1971), Europe '72, and History of the Grateful Dead, Volume 1 (Bear's Choice) — all of which have become a little less essential with the onslaught of the Dick's Picks and Vault releases. Nevertheless, there is still quite a bit of terrific music contained on these releases.
Grateful Dead / self-titled (1971)
Were it not for the silent spaces placed between each song on Grateful Dead (as well as a few odd fade-ins and fade-outs), this album might have more appeal to diehard Deadheads. Nevertheless, Grateful Dead offers a nicely packaged and concise look at the band in its prime. Granted, the lengthy jams that fueled The Other One were truncated (though it still managed to fill an album side), and a solid pairing of Not Fade Away and Goin' Down the Road Feeling Bad drifted off before reaching its proper conclusion. Regardless, the entire album still holds up quite well against many of the band's other releases. Of course, it helps that all of the selections were taken from a handful of superb concerts performed by the group in the Spring of 1971.
Interestingly, Grateful Dead featured only three new, original compositions (an early Playing in the Band, a spirited Bertha, and a gorgeous Wharf Rat) and a vastly different rendition of The Other One (complete with a lengthy drum solo). The remainder of the album was comprised of songs written by early rock, blues, folk, and country stars. As such, it showcased the band's many influences and interests, while providing the perfect complement to both American Beauty and Workingman's Dead.
This is the seventh installment of a nine part series, which
will examine The Golden Road (1965-1973) album by album. The
entire set is rated:
The Golden Road (1965-1973)
Grateful Dead (1971) is available from Barnes & Noble.
To order, Click Here!
Grateful Dead (1971) is also part of the box set Golden Road (1965-1973),
which is available from Barnes & Noble.
To order, Click Here!
1 Star: Pitiful
2 Stars: Listenable
3 Stars: Respectable
4 Stars: Excellent
5 Stars: Can't Live Without It!!
Copyright © 2001 The Music Box