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Saturday, April 14, 2012

Grateful Dead - Skull and Roses (1971 us, superior west coast psych folk rock, 2001 HDCD bonus tracks edition)



The Grateful Dead's second live release was an eponymously titled double LP whose cover bears the striking skull-and-roses visual motif that would become instantly recognizable and an indelibly linked trademark of the band.

As opposed to their debut concert recording, Live/Dead (1969), this hour and ten minutes concentrates on newer material, which consisted of shorter self-contained originals and covers. Coming off of the quantum-leap success of the studio country-rock efforts Workingman's Dead (1969) and American Beauty, Grateful Dead offers up a pair of new Jerry Garcia/Robert Hunter compositions -- "Bertha" and "Wharf Rat" -- both of which garnered a permanent place within the band's live catalog.

However, "The Other One" -- joined in progress just as Billy Kreutzmann fires up a blazing percussion solo -- sprawls as the album's centerpiece. The Dead also begin incorporating several traditional folk, blues, and R&B cover tunes, such as Merle Haggard's "Mama Tried," Kris Kristofferson's "Me & Bobby McGee," as well as a few that had been in their songbook for several years, including John Phillips' "Me & My Uncle" and "Big Boss Man," a blues standard popularized by Jimmy Reed.

 Their formidable improvisational chops have begun to take on new facets of lean intricacy as Mickey Hart (percussion) and Tom Constanten (keyboards) were no longer in the band. Additionally, the arrival of Keith Godchaux (organ) and his wife, Donna Godchaux (vocals), had yet to occur. As such, the Grateful Dead spent the spring and summer of 1971 in their original five-piece configuration -- which is when these recordings were documented.
by Lindsay Planer


Tracks
1. Bertha (Jerry Garcia, Robert Hunter) - 5:40
2. Mama Tried (Merle Haggard) - 2:43
3. Big Railroad Blues (Noah Lewis) - 3:34
4. Playing In The Band (Bob Weir, Robert Hunter) - 4:30
5. The Other One (Bill Kreutzmann, Bob Weir) - 18:03
6. Me And My Uncle (John Phillips) - 3:04
7. Big Boss Man (Al Smith, Luther Dixon) - 5:11
8. Me And Bobby Mcgee (Kris Kristofferson, Fred Foster) - 5:42
9. Johnny B. Goode (Chuck Berry) - 3:41
10.Wharf Rat (Jerry Garcia, Robert Hunter) - 8:32
11.Not Fade Away (Buddy Holly, Norman Petty) / Goin' Down The Road Feeling Bad (Traditional) - 9:12
12.Oh, Boy! (Norman Petty, Bill Tilghman, Sonny West) - 2:50
13.I'm a Hog for You (Jerry Leiber, Mike Stoller) - 4:08
14.Grateful Dead Radio Spot - 1:00

Grateful Dead
*Jerry Garcia – Lead Guitar, Vocals
*Bob Weir – Rhythm Guitar, Vocals
*Phil Lesh – Bass Guitar, Vocals
*Bill Kreutzmann – Drums
*Ron "Pigpen" Mckernan – Organ, Harmonica, Vocals
Additional Musician
*Merl Saunders – Organ

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Kaleidoscope - Dive Into Yesterday (1967-69 uk, inspired psychedelic rock, baroque pop, 23 original recordings)



In 1996 the British Fontana label issued a best-of for the U.K. band Kaleidoscope with the appropriate title of Dive Into Yesterday, after the first track. It is a wonderful journey containing a 12-page booklet chock full of photographs, extensive liner notes, and 23 original recordings from 1967 to 1969, all evolving over the course of the disc.

The music is dramatically different from the box released in 2000, The Fairfield Parlour Years, on the Burning Airlines/NMC label, and helps put this important ensemble's work into perspective. "Flight From Ashiya," "Dive Into Yesterday," and "The Murder of Lewis Tollani" are among those culled from the album Tangerine Dream, while "Poem" and other titles come from the follow-up, Faintly Blowing.

With the music made during sessions for both albums combined on this single disc, it's a generous helping of a band whose sound lives up to their name. "Snapdragon" oozes that fusion of folk music and psychedelic rock which probably had a great impact on the Move. It certainly sounds like Chumbawamba borrowed heavily from this particular song for their 1997 hit "Tubthumping." The innovative "(Love Song) For Annie" also displays sounds that would work their way into influencing future records by other groups.

These are the compositions of guitarist Eddie Pumer and vocalist Peter Daltrey (singer Daltrey also coordinated this reissue) performed with their comrades, bassist Steve Clark and drummer Dan Bridgman. Dick Leahy produced the music, which was digitally remastered by Roger Wake. Everything is in pretty much chronological order, starting with the title track, one of seven songs from 1967.

Three performances are from 1968 -- "A Dream for Julie," "Jenny Artichoke," and "Just How Much You Are" -- though they are tracked at eight, 16, and 17 inside the flow of the 13 songs from 1969. Track five, "(Further Reflections) In the Room of Percussion," is outstanding, and according to the liner notes it is a remix by Dick Leahy of "In the Room of Percussion" made for the B-side of the Dutch release of "Flight of Ashiya." Seventy-six and a half minutes is a generous helping of music on this release, music which goes through different moods and flavors, demanding repeated listening.

As it may be the first introduction to the band for many, Phil Smee's liners could be a little more helpful and precise. He discusses the final single, "Balloon," but it is not included here or on The Fairfield Parlour Years. Daltrey sounds a bit like Dylan on "The Feathered Tiger" -- Dylan surrounded by cosmic sounds, the music complex, creative, and always interesting.

"Do It Again for Jeffrey," from the March 1969 sessions which produced the album Faintly Blowing, along with over six minutes of the song "Music," conclude the album with melody and innovation. The presentation is powerful and impressive, with period-piece color photos on the front and back of the booklet.
by Joe Viglione


Tracks
1. Dive Into Yesterday - 4:44
2. Mr. Small The Watch-Repairer Man - 2:49
3. Flight From Ashiya - 2:39
4. The Murder Of Lewis Tollani - 2:47
5. (Further Reflections) In The Room Of Percussion - 3:17
6. 'Dear Nellie Goodrich...' - 2:44
7. The Sky Children - 7:59
8. A Dream For Julie - 2:45
9. Faintly Blowing - 4:06
10.Poem - 2:53
11.Snapdragon - 2:45
12.A Story From Tom Bitz - 3:44
13.(Love Song) For Annie - 2:35
14.If You So Wish - 3:40
15.Opinion - 0:20
16.Jenny Artichoke - 2:36
17.Just How Much You Are - 2:10
18.Bless The Executioner - 3:00
19.Black Fjord - 3:15
20.The Feathered Tiger - 5:14
21.I'll Kiss You Once - 0:58
22.Do It Again For Jeffrey - 3:16
23.Music - 6:20
All compositions by Peter Daltrey and Eddy Pumer.

Kaleidoscope
*Peter Daltrey - Vocals, Keyboards
*Eddy Pumer - Guitars
*Steve Clark - Bass, Flute
*Dan Bridgman - Drums

Related Act 
1970  Fairfield Parlour - Home to Home

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