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Grateful Dead

Essential Music: The Grateful Dead Movie Soundtrack

Buy from: Amazon.com | Amazon UK | Amazon FR | Amazon DE If you follow this blog, or read my writing on Macworld, you’ve noticed that, among my varied musical interests, one artist stands out: the Grateful Dead. I’ve been a Deadhead for 35 years, since I first saw the band in the Spring of […]

On Instrument Positioning in Live Recordings

All recordings of concerts are artificial. But once you’ve gotten that out of the way – you simply accept that you can never reproduce the actual sound of a live performance – you have to approach the question of how these recordings should be mixed. Not only are there questions of the volume of individual […]

The Grateful Dead Movie Now Available on Blu-Ray

I remember well, back in the summer of ’77, when The Grateful Dead movie was released. I don’t recall exactly where it was showing in New York City, but with my friends, I went to see it shortly after it opened. It was in one of the few movie theaters that had Dolby sound, and […]

Europe ’72 Is Here

I finally got my Complete Europe ’72 box set: I got number 3047: In my initial listen to parts of the first show (4/7/72, Wembley Empire Pool, London, England), I’m very impressed by the quality of the mix and remastering. The instruments all sound fresh and clear, and the overall sound is very nice. It’s […]

Coming Soon: A Grateful Dead Video Game

Rolling Stone reported on this last month: a video game about the Grateful Dead, “featuring the act’s music and signature imagery and lore.” Featuring all band members’ names and likenesses, as well as audio recordings, artwork, photography and video culled from the psychedelic pioneers’ fabled Vault, the outing will be playable from multiple platforms and […]

Essential Music: Dark Star, by the Grateful Dead

As any Grateful Dead fan (aka Deadhead) will tell you, “Dark Star” is the ultimate Dead song. This cosmic symphony of rock was the optimal vehicle for the group’s improvisations, a template for the moods and feelings that the various musicians wanted to express in their music. Jerry Garcia said, “Dark Star has meant, while I was playing it, almost as many things as I can sit here and imagine,” and Phil Lesh called it “the one we tacitly agreed on where anything was okay.”

While the Dead jammed many of their songs, Dark Star has a special place. It stands aside several other classic tunes that often stretched on for 30 minutes or more–That’s It for the Other One, Turn on Your Lovelight, Playin’ In the Band–but always offered a less structured environment for improvisation. The Grateful Dead performed Dark Star at least 232 times, according to Deadbase.

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