Wake of the Flood review
Note: A re-mastered version
of Wake of the Flood was released on Oct. 26, 2004, with bonus
material that was initially
only available in the box-set, Beyond
Description, The individual CD's are now available. The
re-mastered versions include loads of bonus material. Be sure to get
My review is on the
original album before the bonus material.
Wake of the Flood
includes some of the better Grateful Dead compositions, and some of
their more complex arrangements, of which also worked well in live
Most of the material from Wake of the Flood
went onto become concert staples with the
exception of the Keith Godchaux led "Let Me Sing Your Blues
Away" that features horns. The song "Here Comes
Sunshine" is not too exciting in the studio format, but
they performed some stunning
live versions in 1973.
The album starts
wonderfully with a version of "Mississippi Half Step"
that is a keeper. It includes Garcia's band mate from Old and In The
Way, Vassar Clement's on the fiddle adding dazzling solos and
The meat of Wake of the Flood
are the last two tracks, "Eyes Of The World," and
"Weather Report Suite." With "Eyes Of The World"
the band creates the essence of the bright, flowing, jazzy upbeat
track quite effectively musically, though, Garcia's sings in a
higher range than usual. Meanwhile "Weather
Report Suite" is exceptional with the nice acoustic piece to open
and the instrumental passage that follows is quite good, this version offers
some horn arrangements to supplement.
Overall, Wake of the Flood
is a moderately satisfying collection of first class compositions.
For full satisfaction, crank up the live versions of these songs
especially from the 1973 - '77 period.