1. Win a Broadcaster or one of 3 Teles! The annual Supporting Member Giveaway is on. To enter Click Here. To see all the prizes and full details Click Here. To view the thread about the giveaway Click Here.

Getting into The Grateful Dead

Discussion in 'Music to Your Ears' started by tele-rain, Apr 25, 2016.

  1. tele-rain

    tele-rain Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    4,055
    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2008
    Location:
    Bayonne, NJ
    I've always wanted to explore the music of The Grateful Dead, but obviously it's a daunting task. How does one jump into a band with such a legacy? I know every little about all the musicians involved, except the names of the most widely known participants. I know they've had various side projects under various names relating to the original band, too.

    I'm not ashamed to admit that it's been John Mayer's recent inclusion into the latest line up that finally got me to test the waters. I went and purchased American Beauty, which has been considered their most mainstream, I guess, or definitely widely known album. I played it through a few times and I really dug it. I don't always focus much on lyrics with some songs, unless they are obvious ones. But eventually something will catch my ear, and I'll listen closer and try to make sense of the song. What I do enjoy most about them so far is the laid back vibe, and the constant instrumental play between all the members. Although, I have noticed with some live sets from Pandora, I feel like a long stretch of time has passed and it's still on the same song, but I have to really think how much time actually did pass. This is all without any sort of herbal or other influence, mind you...so I can only imagine how it must be for the real "Deadheads", lol. I'm not too crazy about anyone's singing voice so far, not to knock it...but clearly they aren't known for their vocal attributes. But I've been wondering how does one go about knowing who is singing on different songs? I have to do a bit of reading, I'm guessing. Obviously I can search the credits for American Beauty, but a buddy of mine sent me two live shows via email. I've only downloaded one so far, and I don't really know what's going on. Usually I'm not big on live stuff until I'm familiar with songs, so I'm thinking I should check out some more actual albums. However, I do appreciate my friend sending me stuff as well, he's been a Deadhead for as long as I've known him (just an online buddy, not someone who can lend me albums in person).

    Anyway, was just wondering what some thoughts are. Any favorites or stand out performances to check out, etc?
     
  2. deadicated

    deadicated Tele-Holic

    Posts:
    896
    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2011
    Location:
    Baltimore
    I suppose Workingman's Dead would be another somewhat mainstream sounding album you could check out.
     
  3. brookdalebill

    brookdalebill Tele Axpert Ad Free Member

    Age:
    63
    Posts:
    93,829
    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2009
    Location:
    Austin, Tx
    Indeed!
    I also love the American Beauty album.
    Great, real, earthy hippie music.
    Yeah!
     
    ArivacaCharlie and tele-rain like this.
  4. davidge1

    davidge1 Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    2,999
    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2006
    Location:
    USA
    The Grateful Dead were first and foremost about their live show. As you probably know, tapes of their shows have circulated for decades. Loads of them can now be listened to for free on the Internet Archive website.

    https://archive.org/details/GratefulDead

    Also, the Dick's Picks series of CDs. I have the first one, which is probably a good introduction.
     
  5. Telepathist

    Telepathist Tele-Afflicted

    Posts:
    1,334
    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2013
    Location:
    Oregon
    In the Dark is one of their later albums and it's pretty good:
     
  6. tele-rain

    tele-rain Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    4,055
    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2008
    Location:
    Bayonne, NJ
    Cool, thanks all! Regarding the circulated tapes, yes...this is why I have no guilt at all about my friend sending me stuff! I know it's all about sharing the music. :cool:
     
  7. tery

    tery Doctor of Teleocity

    Posts:
    11,856
    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2012
    Location:
    Tennessee
    Being a Deadhead was as much about attitude and lifestyle as it was about the music for many . Good times & kind of a mellow laidback nonstop party . I like their works from the 60's and 70's classic Dead .
     
  8. ThinLizzy73

    ThinLizzy73 TDPRI Member

    Posts:
    51
    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2015
    Location:
    Cincinnati, OH
    There are a lot of Dead shows on Apple Music and Spotify. In fact, there are so many that it's hard to know where to start. I like shows from the early 70's, when they had enough songs to jam on but they had yet to get that damn synth. I find that I keep coming back to a 8/27/72 Veneta, OR show. The album is entitled "The Complete Sunshine Daydream Concert." It's got a lot of what you look for. They play a 31 minute Dark Star. My favorite spot in this show, as always, is the improv transition from China Cat Sunflower to I Know You Rider.

    I'm not a deadhead in any sense, but their live shows from the early 70's is improv rock at its finest.
     
  9. hollowman

    hollowman Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

    Posts:
    3,309
    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2006
    Location:
    Kansas City
    Europe 72 is a great album to get started on if you want to check out some live material.
     
    Slim, jimash, P Thought and 6 others like this.
  10. songtalk

    songtalk Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    4,715
    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2014
    Location:
    Greensboro, North Carolin
    5/8/77
    8/27/72
    11/11/73
    10/18/74


    Live Dead/anthem of the sun/Europe live 72/working man's dead/wake of the flood/American beauty should get ya started down the rabbit hole.
     
    jz63 and 6stringcowboy like this.
  11. Martin R

    Martin R Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    3,452
    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2008
    Location:
    Albuquerque
    Another vote for Europe 72...But check this out, it's the 4/27/77 show at Capitol Theater.

    The band was really on that night...And cameras were there! (Who says the always blow the big ones.)

    "Estimated Prophet" alone is worth the price of admission.

    Put it up on the big screen. If you do it right, you'll see it in color.
     
  12. teletimetx

    teletimetx Doctor of Teleocity

    Posts:
    13,586
    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2011
    Location:
    Houston, TX
    I was surprised to look it up and find out that Workingman’s Dead (Feb. ’70) and American Beauty (Nov. ’70) were released in the same year and that American Beauty came after. Before that, I would have argued that American Beauty came first, at least in my apparently not-so-accurate memories.

    In my memory, I can remember listening to American Beauty in the downtown (Boulder) apartment of a friend who had been kicked out of his parent’s house. I remember this as the winter of 1970. It’s possible that controlled substances were involved.

    I then remember going to college in Ohio, the fall of 1970 and Workingman’s Dead was everywhere. I can remember singing along to Uncle John’s Band with all my new friends there.

    However, these memories can’t be reconciled with what appears on Wikipedia. Oh well, they’re pretty good memories, anyway.

    This is by way of recommending those two albums, even though, as noted above, the live experience was, IMO, generally better than the recordings.

    In the interim, I lived through some sh*t. Light, medium, heavy. I think most of us with grey hair or none left, have lived through plenty, in any multitude of different ways.

    But I do feel something amazing when I hear the song “Ripple”. It’s kind of like a warm fire at the end of a long, cold, scary day. Reassuring, in it’s own way.

    One thing for certain, many of the songs take a few unexpected turns. Learn to play a few, and I think you’ll agree. Maybe not.
     
    Teleka, xafinity and songtalk like this.
  13. Edgar Allan Presley

    Edgar Allan Presley Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    3,066
    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2011
    Location:
    Colorado
    I'm not a deadhead, but I love several Grateful Dead songs. Hunter and Garcia were a great songwriting team. I'm not much of a fan of the live tapes; except for occasional happy moments, I think they were a pretty flat live act. You might check out Jerry's solo album from 1972 called "Garcia" with the songs "Deal," "Sugaree," and "Loser."
     
    RollTide16 likes this.
  14. xafinity

    xafinity Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    3,910
    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2015
    Location:
    my Mom's basement
    What I always liked/hated about Dead music is that you can start listening to a song on the radio, turn it off to take a 30min call and when you turn it back on they are just getting over the intro.
    They gave you more in one song than most bands did in a whole album.
    Definitely took a leisurely pace while developing a theme
     
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2016
    songtalk likes this.
  15. BorderRadio

    BorderRadio Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

    Posts:
    11,438
    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2014
    Location:
    Phoenix, AZ
    Confession: I have been a long time Dead hater for nearly all my life. It's unusual because I get along with all types of music, and I'm constantly expanding my mind with whatever I can get my hands on. But the DEAD, ugh, NO!

    It is my fate, therefore, that the love of my life is also a true-blue Deadhead. She has 100s of bootleg CDs, which she traded for. She's followed them, the side acts, the cohorts, all of them, around the country. She even DJ'd a radio show dedicated to them. For this, I now get Bobby, Pigpen, Phil, and Jerry better--I mean, I dig them now--because I associate them with the love of my wife. It's weird--but I no longer want to stab my ears with ice picks when the extended noodling starts. HONEST TO GOD, I love the Dead now!

    Now that I like them I find its too intimidating to get in deep. I have come to terms that I can't. I must observe and appreciate them from a distance, even vicariously since I've ignored them most of my life. Its ok, I can live with that, but at least now I've Leaned to Stop Worrying and Love the Dead.
     
  16. slauson slim

    slauson slim Friend of Leo's Platinum Supporter

    Posts:
    4,749
    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2003
    Location:
    By The Levee
    Live Dead.
     
  17. 6stringcowboy

    6stringcowboy Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    2,216
    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2014
    Location:
    Central North Carolina
    Welcome home!
     
  18. roknfnrol

    roknfnrol Tele-Holic

    Posts:
    548
    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2004
    Location:
    Louisville, KY
    You're on the right track. American Beauty, Workingman's Dead, Europe 72, Skull and Roses. Digest those then move on to Mars Hotel, Wake of the Flood, and Blues for Allah.
     
  19. backporchmusic

    backporchmusic Poster Extraordinaire

    Posts:
    5,005
    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2006
    Location:
    USA
    Oddly enough, Both Jerry Garcia's and Bob Weir's first solo albums are some of the Dead's best work.

    Garcia's is called Garcia
    Weir's is called Ace

    Then I'd say Live Dead, but I love the older stuff.
     
    jimash and ArivacaCharlie like this.
  20. BorderRadio

    BorderRadio Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

    Posts:
    11,438
    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2014
    Location:
    Phoenix, AZ
    Lemme confirm y'alls recommendations with my wife....
     
    songtalk likes this.
IMPORTANT: Treat everyone here with respect, no matter how difficult!
No sex, drug, political, religion or hate discussion permitted here.