Tuesday, September 1, 2015

blues for allah

The Grateful Dead sailed on mirage to roll away the dew as the music played the band.  After twelve albums  (The Grateful Dead in 1967,   Anthem of the Sun in 1968,   Aoxomoxoa  and  Live/Dead  in 1969,   Workingman's Dead  and  American Beauty in 1970,   Grateful Dead (Skull & Roses) in 1971,   Europe '72 in 1972,   History of the Grateful Dead, Volume One (Bear's Choice)  and  Wake of the Flood in 1973,  and  From the Mars Hotel in 1974)  the group decided to take a hiatus.   It wasn't long before they went back to recording.  In February of 1975, the band began working at Ace's, Bob Weir's home studio in Mill Valley.  

Jerry Garcia would reveal:    "We went into the studio with no preconceptions and no material...We kind of made a ground rule for that record:  'Let's make a record where we get together every day and we don't bring anything in [in advance],'...The whole idea was to get back to that band thing, where the band makes the main contribution to the eveolution of the material.  So we'd go into the studio, we'd jam for a while, and then if something nice turned up we'd say, 'Well, lets' preserve this little hunk and work with it, see if we can't do something with it.'  And that's how we did most of the album...Our development [historically] has been to synthesize various forms, like playing jazz, playing country and western, playing rhythm and blues and forming combinations of those genres and styles within what we're doing, within our instrumentation.  Now we're working on creating styles rather than just being eclectic or synthesizing other styles.  Thus, it's a little bit more difficult, and considerably more experimental. It's still questionable as to whether the things will be successful musically, but we're sort of into defining new spaces for ourselves musically to go to."

Phil Lesh says:   "We wanted to free ourselves from our own clichés, to search for new tonalities, new structures and modalities.  I think we succeeded."  

'Blues for Allah' features  Jerry Garcia on guitar and vocals,  Donna Jean Godchaux on vocals,  Keith Godchaux on keyboards and vocals,   Phil Lesh on bass guitar,  Bill Kreutzmann on drums,   Bob Weir on guitar and vocals,  and a returning Mickey Hart on drums,   with  Steven Schuster on flute and reeds.   'Blues for Allah' was their biggest charting album to date, going to number twelve in the US.  


'Blues for Allah' 
full album:


Side one 

00:00  "Help on the Way" (Jerry Garcia and Robert Hunter) 
/ "Slipknot!" (Garcia, Keith Godchaux, Bill Kreutzmann, Phil Lesh, and Bob Weir) 
 07:21  "Franklin's Tower" (Garcia, Hunter, and Kreutzmann) 
11:55   "King Solomon's Marbles" (Lesh)
"Stronger Than Dirt or Milkin' the Turkey" (Mickey Hart, Kreutzmann, and Lesh)  
17:11   "The Music Never Stopped" (John Perry Barlow and Weir) 

Side two 
21:47  "Crazy Fingers" (Garcia and Hunter)  
28:29  "Sage & Spirit"  (Weir) 
31:40  "Blues for Allah" (Garcia and Hunter)  
"Sand Castles and Glass Camels" (Garcia, Donna Godchaux, Keith Godchaux,Hart, Kreutzmann, Lesh, and Weir) 
"Unusual Occurrences in the Desert" (Garcia and Hunter) 

44:20  "Groove #1" (Instrumental Studio Outtake)  
50:07  "Groove #2" (Instrumental Studio Outtake)  
57:41  "Hollywood Cantana" (Studio Outtake) 


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