AL 9508 Go To Heaven
Produced by Gary Lyons
Released on April 28, 1980
US CHART POSITION #23
Find it at GEMM
AL 9508 cover
[high resolution photo]
 

H eaven, hell, as if any of it has to do with mediocre music like this. And the only ones going to Heaven were Dead keyboard players. Who were still lucky because they didn’t have to wait in the ground as in olden days. (Following the death of Christ, souls go directly to Heaven, according to the Roman Catholics of which I am so sorry one.) Thus those who died before the death of Christ ascended into Heaven late but not as late as they thought, to spend an early eternity chastising the newly dead with stories that begin “When I was dead, you stayed in the ground and you were thankful. You young people today get your wings for doing nothing. My generation had to earn their wings. Don’t smirk at me. Three hundred years in the ground would take the smirk right off your face.” Really, I’m sure it’s a lovely place. Anyway, back to the Dead. Mydland in this mortal coil was no mere fill in but a full-fledged member, contributing two tracks out of the gate and singing them: “Far From Me” and “Easy To Love You.” Rolling Stone (the magazine, not the band or mythical torture) thought these the best things about Heaven. They hate the Dead, so maybe it was just spite. Mydland’s songs had me thinking of Dead Eagles (not dead bald eagles, which would I’m pretty sure would be a thought crime), two bands I prefer to keep separated by a word or at the very least some sort of imposing piece of punctuation like an em dash. The two Garcia/Hunter compositions are good but played at the wrong speeds; “Alabama Getaway” is too fast, “Althea” too slow. What intrigued me most on Heaven were a pair of Weir/Barlow numbers, “Lost Sailor” and “Saint of Circumstance,” that are very sophisticated. Lots of minor key things happening in those including a little cocktail jazz swirled into a mystical vision. Sirius stuff. But Heaven is ultimately no better than Shakedown, which was already at the bottom of the dog pile. Mana compared to Bobby & The Midnites though.

AL 9508 back cover
AL 9508 back cover

TRACK LISTING

  1. ALABAMA GETAWAY    (Jerry Garcia/Robert Hunter)    3:36
  2. FAR FROM ME    (Brent Mydland)    3:40
  3. ALTHEA    (Jerry Garcia/Robert Hunter)    6:51
  4. FEEL LIKE A STRANGER    (Bob Weir/John Barlow)    5:07
  5. LOST SAILOR    (Bob Weir/John Barlow)    5:54
  6. SAINT OF CIRCUMSTANCE    (Bob Weir/John Barlow)    5:40
  7. ANTWERP'S PLACEBO (THE PLUMBER)    (Mickey Hart/Billy Kreutzmann)    0:38
  8. EASY TO LOVE YOU    (Brent Mydland/John Barlow)    3:40
  9. DON'T EASE ME IN    (traditional, arr. by Grateful Dead)    3:13

    CD reissue bonus tracks
  10. PEGGY-0
  11. WHAT'LL YOU RAISE
  12. JACK-A-ROE
  13. ALTHEA (LIVE)
  14. LOST SAILOR (LIVE)
  15. SAINT OF CIRCUMSTANCE (LIVE)

CREDITS

JERRY GARCIA --
MICKEY HART --
BILLY KREUTZMANN --
PHIL LESH --
BRENT MYDLAND --
BOB WEIR --

return to GRATEFUL DEAD discography

REGION RELEASE DATE LABEL MEDIA ID NUMBER FEATURES
US April 28, 1980 Arista LP AL 9508  
UK 1980 Arista LP SPART-1115  
JPN 1980 Arista LP 25RS-96 lyric insert
US 1985 Arista LP/CS ALB6/ALC6-8332 reissue
JPN September 6, 2000 Arista CD BVCM-37137 digital remaster
US April 11, 2006 Rhino CD 73281 digital remaster w. bonus tracks

 

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