Saturday, February 28, 2009

The Grateful Dead Goes Into the Studio

I was never a Deadhead, but I had lots of friends who were. They finally dragged me to a show on July 6, 1995 at Riverport Amphitheater in St. Louis. Lucky me too, Jerry died almost exactly a month later.

So I'm obviously no expert. The show was definitely memorable. But I've always been (perhaps the only one) more of a Dead studio-work lover. An article in a book I'm reading, Stories Done, discusses how Workingman's Dead and American Beauty were the albums where they consciously attempted to rein in their wildly psychedelic live sides and make simple pop-country-folk songs. So I could never rate (or have the patience to listen to) all the Dead's live songs, but here are my favorite studio tracks:

15. "Built to Last," Built to Last, 1989
14. "Franklin's Tower," Blues for Allah, 1975
13. "U.S. Blues," From the Mars Hotel, 1974
12. "China Cat Sunflower," Aoxomoxoa, 1969
11. "St. Stephen," Aoxomoxoa, 1969
10. "Foolish Heart," Built to Last, 1989
09. "Ripple," American Beauty, 1970
08. "Sugar Magnolia," American Beauty, 1970
07. "Friend of the Devil," American Beauty, 1970
06. "Eyes of the World," Wake of the Flood, 1973
05. "Uncle John's Band," Workingman's Dead, 1970
04. "Touch of Grey," In the Dark, 1987
03. "Casey Jones," Workingman's Dead, 1970
02. "Truckin'," American Beauty, 1970
01. "Box of Rain," American Beauty, 1970

Debate, Deadheads.

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