GD-LA494-G Blues For Allah
Produced by The Grateful Dead
Released on September 1, 1975
US CHART POSITION #12 . . . UK CHART POSITION #45
Find it at GEMM
GD-LA494-G cover
[high resolution photo]
 

T his is a perennial favorite among Dead Heads, and it’s easy to hear why. Graceful melodies that melt like butter, intricate arrangements that build bridges between folk and jazz, what more could anyone ask for? Like the band’s live shows, the album centers on songs that soon drift off into long, instrumental passages. Thus the distinction between “Stronger Than Dirt...” or “Sand Castles & Glass Camels” isn’t that important; these are simply names given to the nameless, organic interplay that arises during the band’s musical communion. Yet the better part of Blues For Allah lies in its songs, some of which (e.g., “Franklin’s Tower”) have ascended to sacrosanct status among fans. As expected, the Hunter/Garcia compositions are wise and winsome, while the lone Weir/Barlow song (“The Music Never Stopped”) is an earthy sermon for the faithful. The lone knock on this album, for me anyway, is the title track. “Blues For Allah” is one of those eerie, experimental epics where good and evil seem to get swirled together in an unholy incantation. Maybe it resonates more deeply when you’re high (of course, so would amplifier hum), but to my ears it just ends things on an odd note. Still, this album provided much fodder for the revolving Dead sets that followed, and remains a staple in the Dead diet. Among their studio albums, Blues For Allah is one of the rare cases where the band brought their stage magic into the studio with them. Perhaps since the band wasn’t touring at the time, that magic had no where else to go.

GD-LA494-G back cover GD-LA494-G lyric insert
GD-LA494-G back cover GD-LA494-G lyric insert

TRACK LISTING

  1. HELP ON THE WAY    (Robert Hunter/Jerry Garcia)    3:15
  2. SLIPKNOT!    (Jerry Garcia/Keith Godchaux/Bill Kreutzmann/Phil Lesh/Bob Weir)    4:03
  3. FRANKLIN'S TOWER    (Robert Hunter/Jerry Garcia/Bill Kreutzmann)    4:37
  4. KING SOLOMON'S MARBLES    (Phil Lesh)    1:55
  5. STRONGER THAN DIRT OR MILKIN' THE TURKEY    (Mickey Hart/Bill Kreutzmann/Phil Lesh)    3:25
  6. THE MUSIC NEVER STOPPED    (Bob Weir/John Barlow)    4:35
  7. CRAZY FINGERS    (Robert Hunter/Jerry Garcia)    6:41
  8. SAGE & SPIRIT    (Bob Weir)    3:07
  9. BLUES FOR ALLAH    (Robert Hunter/Jerry Garcia)    3:21
  10. SAND CASTLES & GLASS CAMELS    (Jerry Garcia/Donna Godchaux/Keith Godchaux/Mickey Hart/Bill Kreutzmann/Phil Lesh/Bob Weir)    5:26
  11. UNUSUAL OCCURRENCES IN THE DESERT    (Robert Hunter/Jerry Garcia)    3:48

CREDITS

JERRY GARCIA -- guitars & vocals
DONNA GODCHAUX -- vocals
KEITH GODCHAUX -- keyboards & vocals
MICKEY HART -- percussion & crickets
BILL KREUTZMANN -- drums & percussion
PHIL LESH -- bass & vocals
BOB WEIR -- guitars & vocals
Steven Schuster -- reeds & flute
The Grateful Dead -- mixing
Dan Healy -- engineer, mixing
Ramrod -- production assistant
Steve Brown -- production assistant
Betty Cantor -- production assistant
Brett Cohen -- production assistant
Bob Matthews -- production assistant
Philip Garris -- cover painting

return to THE GRATEFUL DEAD discography

REGION RELEASE DATE LABEL MEDIA ID NUMBER FEATURES
US September 1, 1975 Grateful Dead LP/CS GD-LA494-G lyric insert, picture label
UK 1975 United Artists LP/CS UAS-29895 lyric insert, picture label
AUS'L 1989 Festival LP L30165 lyric sleeve
US October 10, 1995 Grateful Dead LP/CD/CS GDV/GDCD/GDC-4001 lyric insert

 

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