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Blues for Allah

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iTunes Review

The mid-'70s were a time of great creativity for the members of The Grateful Dead, both within the group and on solo ventures. They enjoyed a brief hiatus from the road as they assembled this fine album, which also benefitted from the return of second drummer Mickey Hart and his exotic rhythms and techniques. The break from touring meant the players were hungry to get their kicks playing together once again. The opening cuts—"Help On the Way/Slipknot," "Franklin's Tower," and "King Solomon's Marbles"—reflect that excitement with some of the group's finest studio play, as keyboardist Keith Godchaux indulges his interests in jazz to great effect. Bob Weir's "The Music Never Stopped" oddly enough comes closer to the slick '70s studio work of Steely Dan and The Doobie Brothers. "Crazy Fingers" dips the rhythms into reggae. Weir's "Sage & Spirit" captures the beauty of the band's bucolic, acoustic side, with Steven Schuster's flute adding the right touch.

Customer Reviews

And they said the Grateful Dead never caught their groove in the studio.....

I have to think that this album captures elements of the Grateful Dead's live shows almost flawlessly. Some of the mix and musicianship is as stellar as any bootleg and with pristine recording quality.

Five stars for this old head.

Paradise Waits

Great studio album, next to Wake of the Flood it is my favorite. Everything is perfect.... the vocals and harmonies are some of the best they ever laid down in the studio. The musicianship sounds closer to live Dead than any other studio release. It also features the coolest album art work of all time IMO!

The Apogee of The Dead

Not only does the album contain some of the best studio performances by The Dead since American Beauty and Mars Hotel it is also incredibly well recorded. Thankfully so, because the caliber of the musicianship represents The Dead at their most innovative in writing and performing. The songs really do break from tradition and the band merrily goes about weaving a variety of world music into their classic boogie woogie sound. The results are incredible, especially The Music Never Stopped, Help On The Way/Slipknot and Franklin's Tower . As an album, side one never lets up on expanding the classic Dead motifs and signature musical cues. Then, as an album, you turned to Side 2 and a whole new musical Dead experience awaited. More leisurely, with definite world influences and crystal clear spacious arrangements and performances. This is an album any lover of great music should own. Plus it has the Dead's greatest and most iconic cover. A true masterpiece.


Formed: 1965 in San Francisco, CA

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s

Rock's longest, strangest trip, the Grateful Dead were the psychedelic era's most beloved musical ambassadors as well as its most enduring survivors, spreading their message of peace, love, and mind expansion across the globe throughout the better part of three decades. The object of adoration for popular music's most fervent and celebrated fan following -- the Deadheads, their numbers and devotion legendary in their own right -- they were the ultimate cult band, creating a self-styled universe all...
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