Built to Last

Built to Last

Their previous album, In the Dark, had done the unthinkable and given The Grateful Dead their first Top 40 hit on their first (and only) Top 10 album. Naturally, the record label was anxious for the band to get back into the studio. The Dead themselves felt they'd captured a legitimate sound with producer John Cutler, even enjoying the process, so why not get back there? The Jerry Garcia/Robert Hunter track "Foolish Heart" did well at AOR FM stations, and keyboardist Brent Mydland, working with longtime Dead lyricist John Perry Barlow, wrote four of the nine tracks. The title track let Garcia and Hunter play further into the band's position as long-term philosophers in search of meaningful things from a temporary life in an eternal world. The sound is slicker, with reverb creating a wider soundstage layered with sleeker electric guitars and keyboards that spookily sound like Bruce Hornsby, who toured with the band and was a brief member after Mydland's 1990 death.

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