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Garcia Import

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Biographyby William Ruhlmann

Guitarist, singer, and songwriter Jerry Garcia was best known as a founding member of the Grateful Dead, the rock band for which he served as de facto leader for 30 years, 1965-1995. Concurrently for much of that time, he also led his own Jerry Garcia Band (JGB), and he performed and recorded in a variety of configurations and a variety of styles, ... Read more in Amazon's Jerry Garcia Store

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Product details

  • Audio CD (10 Oct. 1995)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Import
  • Label: Unknown Label
  • ASIN: B000002VJL
  • Other Editions: Audio Cassette
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 327,616 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Deal
2. Bird Song
3. Sugaree
4. Loser
5. Late For Supper
6. Spidergawd
7. Eep Hour
8. To Lay Me Down
9. An Odd Little Place
10. The Wheel

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 1 Mar. 2001
Format: Audio CD
From the moment Deal starts to play you are transported to the land of the superior dead. Even the psychodelic 'fillers', 'Spidergawd' & 'Eep Hour' are exciting. A must buy for any DeadHead, or indeed any fan of blues/rock music.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 32 reviews
33 of 34 people found the following review helpful
The Garcia/Hunter vision before the fall... 20 Jan. 2001
By Autonomeus - Published on
Format: Audio CD
This album contains several classics of underground radio ("The Wheel," "Sugaree," "Deal") but I wonder how many people have ever heard the whole thing? It belongs right next to the Grateful Dead's turn to folk/blues on "Workingman's Dead" and "American Beauty," as well as "Europe '72," which contains several great Garcia/Hunter songs from the same period never recorded in the studio (much to Robert Hunter's regret).

In addition to the 3 mentioned already, "Garcia" contains "Bird Song," "Loser," and "To Lay Me Down," 6 of the best songs Garcia and Hunter ever wrote! But the album is more than just a collection of great songs, the whole is greater than the sum of the parts. After the first side's conventional bluesy songs (with the exception of "Bird Song," which is haunting and bittersweet), the second side gets DEEP.

"Late for Supper" is the ominous opening of some sort of bad trip. "Spidergawd" features the recorded voices of newscasters talking about real-life apocalyptic events related to the potential for nuclear war... "EEP Hour" is a strange and beautiful instrumental number, which leads into the sad and nearly terminal "To Lay Me Down," a memory of lost love. I believe this song offers as clear a glimpse into Garcia's troubled soul as any he ever recorded, though the feelings are universal. Finally, "An Odd Little Place" represents a turnabout, back toward the light.

And then, with a bang, comes "The Wheel," redemption through grace! (The lyric reads "Big wheel turn by the grace of God," which of course is from Isaiah.) The song is powerful and euphoric enough on its own, but only by listening to it at the end of this album do you realize its full implication.

1972 was the last year of the 1960s. Garcia and the Dead, of course kept on truckin' for many years, but they could not totally defy the shift in the times. This album is one of the last transmissions from that utopian moment, the counterculture dream, filled with the recognition that it was passing...
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
Jerry's first solo work is fantastic 21 Jan. 2000
By Paul A. Scofield - Published on
Format: Audio CD
Like Aoxomoxa, Jerry spent a great deal of time on this album as well. And like that work, this is equally psychedelic. Jerry played all instruments on this album (excluding drums), and I find his singing to be inspired, as well as the entire production (eg. guitars and piano). Excluding an early studio version of "space" (essentially) which is wonderfully psychedelic if in an errie sort of way, I find Birdsong and To Lay Me Down to be the true highlights. The enigmatic lyrics for these two songs in particular, it seems, are what attract so many to the Dead. Finally, if you're familiar with Jerry's other solo work, don't expect this to resemble them. Although released in 1972, this album recalls the work that Jerry produced with the Dead in the late '60s and early '70s, before the 'turn' announced by Compliments and Mars Hotel (yet it does resemble Wake of the Flood ('73) in tone). Enjoy.
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
An album like no other 17 Dec. 2003
By dcnewman - Published on
Format: Audio CD
I have been listening to this album since it was released in '72 and I have decided recently that this album is one of the very best albums ever made, all genres included. Jerry's musical ideas on this album are inspired, to put it VERY mildly. His juxtaposition of eeriness with warmth is amazing. Many listeners don't care for the scary stuff and it makes me nervous to listen to it too, but the full effect of "the Wheel" (about as close to a perfect song as I've ever heard) is lost without it. There is no filler on this album. It's all there by design. A lot of people don't care for or even listen to song lyrics, preferring to judge a song by its music alone, but for me understanding where the lyrics are coming from brings a whole new level of understanding and emotion to the tune. If you ever hear a song whose lyrics you are not too familiar with but you wonder why did the musicians choose to use that particular hook or play a certain way, try to understand the lyrics (often not an easy thing to do). It is because I only recently realized that "Bird Song" was written about Janis Joplin not long after she died that I would now rank it against ANY song (with the possible exception of "Like a Rolling Stone") on an at least equal basis. Before I used to like the song a lot but now when I hear the line "Sleep in the stars, don't you cry, dry your eyes on the wind" I have a hard time keeping MY eyes dry. One can only imagine how Hunter was feeling when he wrote this. And, of course Jerry came up with that BEAUTIFUL hook to go with it. The reason I call "The Wheel" damn near perfect (and not "Bird Song") is because the lyrics as well as the music are damn near perfect in the sense that it's such a simple, beautiful message that a child could understand yet stated so succintly and eloquently. The man wastes very few words! His poker playing imagery ("Deal" and "Loser") is marvelous and different from what I'm used to hearing (non-Dead music, I mean) as well. Hunter and Garcia wrote some truly incredible songs together and this album has without question some of their very best.
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
A Great Dead Album that's not really a Dead Album 30 May 2003
By S. Mack - Published on
Format: Audio CD
Jerry went into the studio following the success of "Workingman's Dead" and produced this wonderful gem that can (and has been in various set lists) be included as a "Dead" album, as well as being able to stand alone as perhaps one of the greatest albums ever produced. Great blues/country/folk tunes throughout, along with the TRUE definition of psychedelic music. This was the one I fell in love with the Dead. Even the people I know who coount themselves as Dead detrractors will step right up to defend this album and its songwriting and musicianship. If you buy only one album associated with the Grateful Dead, it should be this one. It truly shows the representative focal point of the band as Jerry Garcia was so reluctant to admit to being.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
A Timeless Timecapsule 3 May 2005
By Miguel Gonzalez - Published on
Format: Audio CD
Yep, this is a document of musical grace and ... gasp I'm about to use the big "G" ... genius. It's got the definitive "Sugaree." Period. Contrary to several reviews written here, Jerry didn't play *all* the instruments. Musical contributors included Larry Carlton, Robert Hunter and Amos Garrett on guitars, Michael Omartian on keys, plus Maria Muldaur and Clydie King on vocals. For drummers, Billy Kreutzmann's perfoamce is like a master class in musical percussion. Perhaps it is his best recorded performance. But it's Jerry's album through and through. Plus, it was released nearly at the same time as Bob Weir's "Ace" and Mickey Hart's "Rolling Thunder" solo albums, which were released in '72 as well. Listen to all contemporaneous Dead/Solo releases and you'll hear the musical development of this band of merry pranksters in action. I've heard the Dead needed to drop about five records to fulfill its WB contract : Garcia, Ace and 3-disc Europe 72 equals five. And in '73 you get Wake Of The Flood. Hmmm. Makes sense. Look for a recent Rhino re-issue with 8 alternate tracks of previously unreleased material.
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