Grateful Dead - Fallout from the Phil Zone

Grateful Dead
Fallout from the Phil Zone

First Appeared in The Music Box October 1998, Volume 5, #10

Written by John Metzger


This two-disc set includes eleven previously unreleased live recordings spanning the lengthy career of the Grateful Dead. Unfortunately, most of the music contained in this package was already available via high quality recordings on the bootleg tape circuit. However, there's no doubt the selections chosen for inclusion really are the cream of the crop, and it's quite nice to have them preserved for posterity.

All of the music on the first disc was recorded between April 26, 1969 and August 6, 1971. Those already familiar with the Grateful Dead's music know what to expect. Jerry Garcia's acid-drenched guitar solos cut like knives through the intense grooves of the band. The songs bleed with the electrical energy of psychedelic impulses as the group pounds out rhythm after rhythm, flooding the audience with an escalating level of intensity. Most notable here are scorching versions of Dancing in the Street, Viola Lee Blues, and Hard to Handle.

The second disc features the entire Midnight Hour from September 3, 1967 a 32-minute masterpiece with a classic rant from Pigpen. A portion of this version of this song has been available on the tape trading circuit for some time, but having this rendition in its entirety makes this package worth picking up. It rages with the same energy as the songs on the first disc, but it might have fit into this collection better had it been placed at the start rather than in the middle of disc two.

Rounding out the disc is a hauntingly beautiful interpretation of Bob Dylan's Visions of Johanna that shows what a wonderful singer Garcia was. Appropriately Lesh's Box of Rain, the final song the Grateful Dead performed, provides the encore for this package. starstarstar

Fallout from the Phil Zone is available from Barnes & Noble.
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1 Star: Pitiful
2 Stars: Listenable
3 Stars: Respectable
4 Stars: Excellent
5 Stars: Can't Live Without It!!


Copyright 1998 The Music Box