7 Songs, 40 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

It makes a funny bit of sense that The Grateful Dead's most commercially successful studio album would come in 1987—20 years after their debut—on the back of the band's only Top 40 single, "Touch of Grey." Deadheads always swore the albums never caught the chemistry of the live shows, so why not find their heroes enjoying a second wind at a point when they could use it? Garcia had suffered through a near-fatal illness in the mid-'80s and had to rebuild his strength. This sense of mortality can be heard on the hit single and on "Black Muddy River," a song he might have been thinking would be his last. Other Garcia/Robert Hunter tracks ("When Push Comes to Shove," "West L.A. Fadeaway") catch an easygoing, natural bluesy sway. Bob Weir and John Perry Barlow hold up their end with the smooth and professional "Throwing Stones," which recalls Dire Straits with Garcia's sleek guitar sounds. "Hell in a Bucket" featured input from keyboardist Brent Mydland. Both tunes found their way to classic rock radio. 

Apple Digital Master

EDITORS’ NOTES

It makes a funny bit of sense that The Grateful Dead's most commercially successful studio album would come in 1987—20 years after their debut—on the back of the band's only Top 40 single, "Touch of Grey." Deadheads always swore the albums never caught the chemistry of the live shows, so why not find their heroes enjoying a second wind at a point when they could use it? Garcia had suffered through a near-fatal illness in the mid-'80s and had to rebuild his strength. This sense of mortality can be heard on the hit single and on "Black Muddy River," a song he might have been thinking would be his last. Other Garcia/Robert Hunter tracks ("When Push Comes to Shove," "West L.A. Fadeaway") catch an easygoing, natural bluesy sway. Bob Weir and John Perry Barlow hold up their end with the smooth and professional "Throwing Stones," which recalls Dire Straits with Garcia's sleek guitar sounds. "Hell in a Bucket" featured input from keyboardist Brent Mydland. Both tunes found their way to classic rock radio. 

Mastered for iTunes
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Ratings and Reviews

4.7 out of 5
14 Ratings

14 Ratings

ChippenPaul ,

Awesome!

Loved it when it was released. Still love it. Stands the test of time. Black Muddy River is a gorgeous song.

HeadfullaTunes ,

The eyes are upside down!

Dear iTunes: look closely at the cover art. The one currently displayed (I am writing this in March 2018) is the botched cover art from the original CD release, in which the photos of the eyes were upside down.

Rank1mage ,

Not quite complete

I love this album. I first bought it on cassette back in the ‘80’s, and fell in love with the entire album. Which brings me to my frustration with this release: My Brother Essau is missing.
Sadly, after ten years of waiting, and a former review stating the same issue, no change was made to fix this problem. Fortunately, the track can be found on their Best of the B-sides album.

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