Monday, November 18, 2013
Eric said...i have too much respect for u sal as a music maven, a mensch, and a guy who wears his heart on his sleeve...yet, to mention the dead with hall Oates/eagles/and POCO...pass the cyanide....
This was a comment from last week's post about the Grateful Dead's 1980 release "Go To Heaven." I'm not surprised by the anti-Hall & Oates/Eagles/Poco sentiment. No one is expected to like everything, though I happen to like all three of those bands. But what came to mind after reading Eric's comment was this. All those years I resisted the Grateful Dead was because of comments like these. Okay, not completely, but...
For years I was forcefed cassette tape after cassette tape of the Dead, featuring B+ audio of the band noodling for minutes upon minutes until, as each particular owner of said tapes would point out, "okay...right here...listen...to the transition and how they peak for the next 1:44." Such work for a small return.
Why hadn't anyone ever said, "You know you should listen to the studio recordings. There is amazing songwriting and some really fine playing."
Eric also pointed out in his comments the difference between the Stones by-the-book live sets versus the Dead's ability to "put you on another planet."
Personally, it wasn't until I discovered the beauty of "Workingman's Dead" & "American Beauty," or the psychedelic blues of the debut, or the pleasantly erratric and daring sounds of "Aoxomoxoa" that I was able to appreciate what the band could do live. Actually, the specific recording that turned it all around for me was "Dick's Picks Volume 8" from Harpur College in 1970. It was the opening acoustic set that made me realize just how amazing Jerry Garcia was on guitar.
In my naive little world, records like the majority of Hall & Oates output in the 70's and early 80's coexist with Poco and David Bowie and Genesis and Joe Jackson and the Grateful Dead. The music to be found on most of the Dead's studio LPs isn't exactly "pop music," though what is found on "Go To Heaven" sure is. And it's quite enjoyable.
I'd still rather listen to any one of the Dead's studio recordings over any one of their live shows. And I'd still like to know why even the most loyal Deadhead, at least the ones I know, feel the opposite.
What is so unappealing about a clean, 5 minute song with good lyrics and great playing? Why must it always be taken to another planet?