Grateful Dead review
The Grateful Dead's first album is an eclectic
mixture of cover songs and two originals. Much of the
material were staples of the band throughout their 30 year career such as, "Beat It On Down The Line," "Cold Rain and Snow," "Minglewood Blues," and the epic "Morning Dew."
Most of the songs were reworked into better renditions later in their career. Easily the best song
from the Grateful Dead's self titled album is the cover version of
Lewis' "Viola Lee Blues."
The bonus material is superb and gives an
album that otherwise has limited appeal worthy consideration.
The live version of "Viola Lee Blues" from September 3,
1967, is one of the best versions of the song I've heard. It is from
the same venue as the famous 30 + minute version of "In the
Midnight Hour," that is available on Fallout
From the Phil Zone. Compare this version of "Viola
Lee Blues" with the version that is included
on the Birth of the Dead album and you can appreciate how fast the
band developed. There are five additional
studio tracks that include a killer version Reverend Gary Davis' "Death
Don't Have No Mercy."
The bonus material complements the
original album exquisitely and makes the CD warrant much consideration.
An argument could be made that the live version of "Viola Lee
Blues" makes the CD worth owning leaving the other fourteen
tracks as a bonus. by Barry
Original Album - C
Bonus Material - B+
Final Grade -
The remastered version of their self titled album is
available in the box set The