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Krautrock, Psychedelia, Progressive Rock, "Outsider" Rock, Etc.

Posted by LionsMouth 
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avatar Re: Krautrock, Psychedelia, Progressive Rock, "Outsider" Rock, Etc.
April 06, 2017 09:24AM
Quote
Gordon Rekcikssa
Grateful Dead - Rocking The Cradle: Egypt 1978
Rhino Records, 2008


Interesting back story there. Don't remember if I said this before, but The Dead are one of those groups I wrote off as bad hippy music when I was younger and haven't really given much time to since. I think the only thing I have is the Live/Dead CD I picked up on whim a few years back at a big box store for $5. What do you think are some good entry points to try to get into them?



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avatar Re: Krautrock, Psychedelia, Progressive Rock, "Outsider" Rock, Etc.
April 06, 2017 11:08AM
So I was in the same boat that you are with the dead LionsMouth . I just couldn't and didn't want to get into them ( with the exception of the song Casey Jones ) . But 2 record store days ago , a kid showed up with a portable turntable and put on their first album . I thought it was great !! I will definitely cop it if I see it . I suggest you start there . That is coming from a complete noob to the whole dead culture , but that album is something special in my eyes ..
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avatar Re: Krautrock, Psychedelia, Progressive Rock, "Outsider" Rock, Etc.
April 06, 2017 12:20PM
Quote
LionsMouth
Quote
Gordon Rekcikssa
Grateful Dead - Rocking The Cradle: Egypt 1978
Rhino Records, 2008


Interesting back story there. Don't remember if I said this before, but The Dead are one of those groups I wrote off as bad hippy music when I was younger and haven't really given much time to since. I think the only thing I have is the Live/Dead CD I picked up on whim a few years back at a big box store for $5. What do you think are some good entry points to try to get into them?

I should be honest in saying that I'm a huge fan of the Dead, so my opinion is more than slightly biased. They were my gateway drug (pun intended) for all the weird, far-out stuff I've gotten into over the years. They went through so many distinct phases that it's hard for me to recommend a starting point, but I'll give it a shot.

The live stuff is where it's really at for me. As a jumping off point for someone not too familiar, I would say start with the Without A Net album from 1990. The fall '89 - spring '90 tours are a real golden period late in their history, and some of the performances on this set are among their best ever. The band is really tight, but never loses that adventurous feeling that made their shows so special. Plus Branford Marsalis contributes a stellar sax performance to the version of "Eyes Of The World" that's on this album.

If you want to get into some true heavy-duty acid freakout psychedelia, check out Grayfolded. John Oswald put this album together using 25 years worth of performances of "Dark Star". Some of his samples are less than a second long, some as long as ten minutes. He layered all of these together to produce one mammoth version of the song that features every single person that ever played in the band.

For some prog rock excellence, I would recommend the studio album Terrapin Station. The whole record is great, but the epic title track is one of the standouts of the genre to me.

The first four albums (The Grateful Dead, Anthem Of The Sun, Live/Dead, Aoxomoxoa) are the "hippy" albums. All very good to me personally, but I can see where they may be off putting to some with the super strong flower-power vibe they can give off. You can practically smell the patchouli oil and pot smoke as soon as you drop the needle.

After that, American Beauty and Workingman's Dead are absolute classics from their studio catalog. Wake Of The Flood is solid, as is Blues For Allah. After Terrapin Station, throughout the ten year period up until In The Dark was released in 1987, the quality of their studio output pales in comparison to any live stuff you'll find from the same time. In The Dark and the final studio album Built To Last are very, very good.

One thing I absolutely have to mention in any serious conversation about the Dead is LSD. I don't think it's necessary to have ever taken it to enjoy the music. However, my experience with them is absolutely colored by the fact that I didn't really get where they were coming from until I saw them when I was under the influence of it. I don't do it anymore, and haven't for a couple of decades, but I hear them differently now than I did before, while still remembering what it was like prior to that. If that sounds like a strange thing to say, it's because it's a strange thing to experience. No other band is like this for me. They are the absolute pinnacle of psychedelic music as opposed to plain psych rock. Their whole sound was centered around the drug, and no amount of revisionist history can cover this up.

With all that being said, I have a ton of albums from them, ranging from the official studio releases through their never-ending live output (including over a thousand shows that have never had an official release, hundreds of which I was lucky enough to see in person), and the various related projects from different members of the band. If anyone is interested, I'll pick some of the more interesting stuff and make some posts about it here and there.



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avatar Re: Krautrock, Psychedelia, Progressive Rock, "Outsider" Rock, Etc.
April 06, 2017 01:11PM
^Awesome write up, thanks for that.

I am not a HUGE Grateful Dead fan however I really do appreciate their music and Jerry was an undoubtably amazing guitarist on multiple levels. I have some of his side project works with David Grisman "Plays Miles Davis" that is stunningly beautiful Jazz renditions of staple miles songs. I like the classic Dead tracks and I like all the oddball hippy jam shit too for the most part. They put out an amazing live album Europe 72 Live that was almost strictly straight up blues.



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Registered: 1 year ago
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avatar Re: Krautrock, Psychedelia, Progressive Rock, "Outsider" Rock, Etc.
April 07, 2017 07:43AM
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rchecka
They put out an amazing live album Europe 72 Live that was almost strictly straight up blues.

If you dig that Europe '72 album, they have released multiple volumes now covering most of that tour. The Hundred Year Hall album is a great set recorded in Germany on that tour that includes some of the more blues-based stuff, including a killer version of "Turn On Your Lovelight", and a truly epic psychedelic jazz jam of "Cryptical Envelopment" that goes for almost 40 solid minutes.



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