Golden Road (1965-1973)
Part Eight: Europe' 72
The Music Box's #1 specialty package for 2001
First Appeared in The Music Box, August 2001, Volume 9, #8
Written by John Metzger
By the following Spring, the Grateful Dead had begun to fuse its Americana folk more firmly to the type of lengthy mind-altering psychedelic jams it had first explored in the late '60s. For certain, the band had never truly abandoned its penchant for sonic exploration, even though its studio output suggested otherwise. Often, however, its concerts in the opening part of the '70s reflected two different worlds that didn't completely merge — until 1972, that is. Adding further fuel to the fire, both Bob Weir and Jerry Garcia were on a rather prolific songwriting spree that provided the band with a steady influx of new material.
And so, the Grateful Dead packed up its ever expanding fan base and invaded Europe for a magnificent series of concerts that were first documented with the release of Europe '72. The album was a bit of a tease, offering mere snippets of insight into the full force of a Grateful Dead performance. But, oh, what snippets they were. One can only imagine the studio album that the band could have pieced together from songs like Jack Straw, Mr. Charlie, Ramble on Rose, and Tennessee Jed. Surely, it would have equaled the magnificence of American Beauty and Workingman's Dead. Unfortunately, in the form of Europe '72, it tends to lack the cohesion of both of these albums as well as that of a live concert. Make no mistake — it's still a fine body of work, full of great songs, both old and new. From the tender He's Gone to a rousing Sugar Magnolia and from the blues shuffle Mr. Charlie to a stirring Morning Dew, one could easily make the case that Europe '72 is essential listening — a case that only gets stronger with the addition of an absolutely beautiful Looks Like Rain, a heartfelt rendition of The Stranger, and a rampaging medley of Good Lovin', Who Do You Love?, and Caution (Do Not Stop on Tracks). ½
This is the eighth 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)
Europe '72 is available from Barnes & Noble.
To order, Click Here!
Europe '72 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 © 2002 The Music Box