Blues For Allah Original recording remastered, Extra tracks
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One thing I personally don't like about this or any other album with extras on it is that they are tacked onto the end of the original thereby destroying the much loved original. I have always preferred extras to be added on a separate disk as this keeps the integrity of the original and hardly costs any extra.
A final note, this is a digi pack, ie card sleeve and so will deteriorate quickly and does not fit many cd racks. I wish companies would not opt for this money scrimping option. I personally hate it. Sellers should make effort to tell buyers of the type of packaging. I would have refrained from buying this; now I am more distrustful of Amazon as a seller.
I used to read about the Dead in NME in the early Seventies. I'd see pictures of them with their huge "Wall of Sound", playing in front of the Pyramids, Garcia looking like a bear of a man with his big beard and big, well, self. I'd read about their marathon shows and think "Man, this must be the loudest, heaviest, most kick-ass band on the planet!" but I never actually got to hear any of their music - music on TV and radio was severely limited in those days (and we're getting back to that again now).
Blues For Allah came out shortly after I started my first job, so I decided to treat myself, still sight unseen, as it were. I just LOVED the cover, and still do - one of the finest pieces of music art ever. (Imagine my joy at discovering an animated version of it in the Grateful Dead movie, years later). But when the needle hit the vinyl, boy was I disappointed! Where were the power chords, the screaming heavy metal and crashing drums? What was this spindly guitar playing and these reedy vocals? Surely that big bear of a man didn't have a voice like Kermit the Frog? As for side two, I don't think I listened to it more than three times. It sounded like aimless, drifting, pretentious drivel. I can't remember how I disposed of my copy, but I did.
The decades roll by, I flirt with punk (but not with the New Romantics) but remain faithful to my beloved Seventies rock - Glam, West Coast, Hard Rock - and, after years of adulthood and child rearing decide to give "Blues" another try.
What has happened to me? Have I blanded out? It sounds great to me now!Read more ›
It has a particular jazz-rock feel characterised by the fertile mix of effects pedals from Garcia meeting some memorable electric piano from Keith Godchaux. The album is self-confident, tender, funny, and sparkles in a very un-Dead-like way. A lot of it is laughing music.
Stand-out tracks are the lithe Franklin's tower, the melancholy Crazy Fingers - with Garcia's best ever recorded solo, a beautiful unstated Zen sequence to really contemplate - and the long, atmospheric Blues for Allah.
The album, of course, got lost pretty quickly. it was never a commercial smash and the Dead never cut quite such intelligent music again. But, for once, in some mysterious way, they seemed ahead of the pack, not a plodding note in sight (or sound). This is vital! Buy it!
Now, I delight in listening to Blues for Allah. Greatly experimental at the time, it now seems like it fits perfectly in the Dead's oeuvre. They only performed this live twice, curiously (one great recording is on the first From the Vault live recording from 1975), but it's the Dead's Close to the Edge: a long, complex work, which merits more attention.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I own all the Dead's studio albums up to this one which was released in 1975. For me this just doesn't sound like the dead, gone is the traditional western and blues influence to... Read morePublished 3 months ago by Amazon Customer
After listening to anthem of the sun as loud as my ears could stand in the car....for a week non stop...I had to wonder whilst listening to this album.. Read morePublished 5 months ago by Michael I.
You never make a mistake if you buy a GD album. This one in particular lacks the folk background of the 1960s but still is a typical Dead CD. Read morePublished 7 months ago by Harry
Sadly I suspect that if this were to be your introduction to the Grateful Dead, you would never listen to anything else of theirs. Read morePublished on 2 Sept. 2013 by Sony Victim