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Apocalypse Now Sessions

4.8 out of 5 stars 14 customer reviews

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Audio CD, October 25, 1990
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Editorial Reviews

From the Label

Director Francis Ford Coppola was in the process of conceptualizing his musical underpinnings of "Apocalypse Now" when he attended a Grateful Dead concert at the invitation of the late impresario Bill Graham. In the "Drums" segment of the evening, when Hart and Kreutzmann let loose with their percussive underworld of innovative instruments, he found the perfect accompaniment for his cinematic vision of the Apocalypse. Hart and Kreutzmann were recruited to bring together the myriad sounds and "colors" for this retelling of the primal myth.

To the subsequent 1979-80 sessions at the Grateful Dead's Marin County studios as well as Mickey's famous "Barn" in Novato, each musician contributed a personal selection of instruments and objects, resulting in a massive assemblage of possible sonic palettes. Instruments were arranged in sound groups, and the musicans moved among them as they watched the film being screened before them. This album is a collection of the resulting jungle of sound and passion, and features an extra track ("Kurtz") and an extended version ("Napalm for Breakfast") not included on the original LP release.

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. Compound
  2. Trenches
  3. Street Gang
  4. The Beast
  5. Steps
  6. Tar
  7. Lance
  8. Cave
  9. Hell's Bells
  10. Kurtz
  11. Napalm For Breakfast


Product Details

  • Audio CD (October 25, 1990)
  • Original Release Date: August 15, 1979
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Rykodisc
  • Run Time: 153 minutes
  • ASIN: B0000009N8
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #121,203 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
One of the best percussion records ever (as someone pointed out earlier) got a little bit better when released on CD. The technically excellent recording was finally unshackled from a horrible vinyl pressing. Previously unreleased material was added to this release, and some resequencing was done, bringing the original, short running time out to a little over 38 minutes.

The music is absolutely stunning. This is real-time scoring work, with the Dead's backline getting a lot of help from their friends. Primal, unforced, experimental, and raw, Here is proof of a listening experience unlike any other. The insert is informative, with insights into the creation of the music, and including a fair amount of technical detail on the recording and mastering processes.

While "Napalm For Breakfast" will be a brutal low frequency response test of you system, it's time for another update. At a minimum, a two channel, 24/96 & 24/192 Classic Records release.

A very acquired taste, and very recommended.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
When I first bought this album it was in '83 in a used record
store in Frederick MD, down on Market st. I asked the guy behind
the counter if I could hear a cut and he said, "It's just a bunch
of drums." Later when I went back to CO I put it on for my mates
very early one morning and it was probably one of the coolest
albums we had ever heard. Truly scary. It will have you in it's
grip until it blows you up softly. I think Mickey Hart is pretty
much running the show on this one. Hells Bells.
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Format: Audio CD
The Rhythm Devils are true genuises. I bought this CD years ago, but just brought it back out into my rotation. No one else could have captured the feeling of the movie except for Mickey Hart. This is my favorite Hart CD. Truly a classic.
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Format: Audio CD
When I first bought this CD some years ago, it became a solid favorite quickly. I put it on and hit the repeat button so it didn't end, just like the river. Excellent, powerful music!
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By A Customer on August 19, 2002
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Let this CD take you to the jungle. Mickey Hart and Co. use pecussion to help you with that trip.
Too bad this is such a short album, because the rhythms are so awe-inspiring! You just don't want the album to stop! I can't believe I'm hearing this!
Only the Rhythm Devils (and Mickey Hart in particular) can evoke the images of places that you can travel to while listening. It is hard to describe but his percussion arrangements with the other famous musicans around the world does this!
Check out the closing track - Napalm for Breakfast to test your stereo speakers.
Just an awesome album. Mickey will continue making superb albums that will take the listener to other places and beyond!
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
When I first bought this album it was in '83 in a used record
store in Frederick MD, down on Market st. I asked the guy behind
the counter if I could hear a cut and he said, "It's just a bunch
of drums." Later when I went back to CO I put it on for my mates
very early one morning and it was probably one of the coolest
albums we had ever heard. Truly scary. It will have you in it's
grip until it blows you up softly. I think Mickey Hart is pretty
much running the show on this one. Hells Bells.
Comment 3 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Excellent Micky Hart and friends, if you can still find this get it! This is the basis for all the other Planet Drum/Global Drum Projects. I know some of you will point to earlier works like Diga Rhythm Band but I feel the Rhythm Devils sets the tone for all of the subsequent works.
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