The Grateful Dead - Wake Of The Flood (1973)

The Grateful Dead were an American rock band renowned for their lengthy musical improvisations in concert.

1973's Wake Of The Flood was an important release for the Grateful Dead, for many reasons. It was their first studio album since 1970's American Beauty (the three albums in between having been live recordings), and the first on their own record label. It was also their first without founding member Ron 'Pigpen' McKernan, who had died earlier that year. And it was their first studio recording with Keith Godchaux and his wife Donna - they had joined the band back in 1971, but had so far only appeared on the live album Europe '72. With McKernan gone, Keith was now the band's one and only keyboard player, and he had brought a different sound to the group, favouring the piano (McKernan had mostly played the Hammond organ) and bringing in new jazz elements to their mix.
Wake Of The Flood turned out to be an interesting album, with a fragile, summery mix of rock, folk and jazz. Jerry Garcia was most prominent as lead vocalist and songwriter, though Godchaux got to sing lead on his own "Let Me Sing Your Blues Away" (written in collaboration with the band's lyricist Robert Hunter). It actually turned out to be his only songwriting contribution throughout his history with the band. The album also featured guest appearances from fiddler Vassar Clements (who would play with Garcia in Old And In The Way later that year), Matthew Kelly (on harmonica), Doug Sahm (on bajo sexto), and a numer of horn players.
The most interesting song was the closing twelve-minute "Weather Report Suite", written and sung by Bob Weir. It was a departure of sorts for the band, with its carefully structured sequence of movements, and could be called their first foray into progressive rock.

Bear's Choice (1973) <|> From The Mars Hotel (1974)
More from The Grateful Dead


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

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