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on April 21, 2006
I can't think of any recording that seemed to give more to me than this one. Many albums are cherished by me from many a great band, but this one is what I most remember from the days of my youth in the 70's. I played guitar to this endlessly, I cycled it over and over some days (the music literally never stopped). It carried me off to the sand castles on many an evening. This GD studio album is about as good as any of their best material in my opinion (I love many other albums of theirs, of course, but this one captured my imagination the most for the journey it takes you on). I was going to their concerts in the late 70's and this is the highlight material if it made it onto the show any particular evening. What more intricate material does the Dead have to work with than this? Older Dead was great, but for this period of their journey, this is a crown jewel. They really get the collaborative energy going like it may be their last adventure. Again, what more beautiful instrumental is there than Sage & Spirit in their whole repertoire? Is there a sweeter and more expressive guitar lead than the Crazy Fingers tearjerker on any studio album? The build-up of Help/Slipknot/Franklin's Tower into the Roll Away Mantra is like coming out of a dream! And that jazzy but powerful feedback lead that punctuates the trip is heavenly. They are on a tear on King Soloman's Marbles, Mahavishnu might fall behind! All of side one (or even the first six songs) was a perfect transition. Marbles scattered on a vortex coming together at the end to complete the experience. Feels like an concept album that flows over you like a wave (it might have been the wind). This album is inspired to say the least. Everybodies dancin'! I will vouch for the weirdness of BFA/Sand Castles, and I like it. It always feels like that end of a trip feeling when you start noticing all of the sounds around you - you've gone through the vortex to the new space on the other side (with crickets)! What a trippy little treat The Dead had up their sleeve here. Like an epiphany and gift for the fans during this wave of the dead story...Let's get to the studio cause we've got somethin' to say!

I got this Rhino remastered version of my favorite Dead studio album from the box set (identical to this), and it is the highlight of the bunch! Not only does the sound quality sparkle, but the extras are really fun, many extended jams featuring Jerry having fun grooving on this or that, or having fun with texture or effects (check out Distorto). Get out your guitar or whatever and play along, these are a blast - and thoughtful addition to the material available from this great but kind of obscure period. There's a band out on the highway, they're HIGHsteppin' into town, it's a rainbow full of sound...the stars were spinnin' dizzy, the band kept us so busy, we forgot about the time...WAS IT EVER HERE AT ALL (The Music Never Stopped)? Enjoy this treasure, FEEL IT, DON'T ANALYZE IT!
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on August 31, 1999
The Dead emerged from their mid 70's break from touring with this powerhouse of jazzy, spacey soon-to-be classic tunes. Many remained in their repertoire throughout the remainder of their touring career. Help On The Way/Slipknot/Franklin's Tower was the trio that first grabbed my ear, and embodied a wholly new sound for the Dead. The Music Never Stopped became mainstay, and Crazy Fingers was an occasional treat that always made the trip worthwhile. King Solomon's Marbles displayed another spurt of growth in the bands new sound, and the beautiful Sage and Spirit carries you like a breeze through the rushes. Blues for Allah is leap for even some hardcore heads, but well worth an occasional listen when playing the rest of the collection. Irecommend this title hands down over just about any other Dead studio album out there.
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on February 21, 2005
I'll betray my age right from the beginning by saying the strength of this CD lies in its first "side" -- referring to the old LP format, of course. From "Help on the Way" to "The Music Never Stopped," the Dead blast away with an energy they rarely found in the studio; the best of these songs are no less than NIMBLE, and that's saying something for this band. The "Help on the Way"/"Slipknot"/"Franklin's Tower" axis alone would be enough to recommend this disc -- and that medley of tunes became an absolute monster in concert. But "King Solomon's Marbles" weighs in to show off a band that was feeling its rhythmic oats, thanks in part to the return of Mickey Hart to the fold after an absence of about three years. And the Weir/Barlow "Music Never Stopped" really works as a summation of everything the Grateful Dead stood for: Individual identity flourishing within committed community.

And then we come to ... Side Two. Arrgghhh. "Crazy Fingers" has not worn well musically for me, though Robert Hunter's haiku lyric construction still intrigues. "Sage & Spirit" is, in my opinion, a somewhat tepid instrumental, though with some beautiful melodies. But I think the "Blues for Allah" suite almost redeems the second side; it's challenging music, to be sure, with all the Middle Eastern sounds and atmospheres. Yet the closing "under eternity blue" motif is one of the most uplifting, purely spiritual pieces this band ever did.

To sum it up: I'll take this album over anything else the band did in the studio in the 1970s. If you're not that into the Dead but want one great disc from each of the band's three decades when they were making studio recordings, buy this for the 1970s, "Workingman's Dead" for the 1960s and "In the Dark" for the 1980s.
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on October 18, 1999
album has a flow of continuity. This, Mars Hotel and Wake of the Flood are the Dead's three strongest improvisational studio albums. Crazy Fingers is absolutely beautiful. Help On the Way> Slpiknot! are the Dead at their jazziest and I dare you to try to not smile during Franklin's Tower. The Music Never Stopped is a great rocker with great intro bass and guitar licks. Sage & Spirit is a lesser known Bobby instrumental that mimics children's laughter. King's Solomon's Marbles is an innovative number adding more credibility to the Dead's jazzy side. And Blues For Allah closes out the album with studio weirdness and sound effects. Give it a try, you won't regret it.
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on March 13, 2006
Of all the bonus tracks appearing on this remaster, all but one are

instrumentals; and all these instrumentals are far better than very good; so if you (as I do) like to collect Grateful Dead instrumentals, the remaster of Blues for Allah has a generous selection.
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on June 11, 2011
Blues for Allah [180 Gram Vinyl]

I've listened to this classic album countless times, but this is the first time I've ever heard it on (any) vinyl. The only version I have is the 1995 CD from Grateful Dead Productions (GDCD 4001) which I bought when it was first released and it still survives. While I know every note by heart, I haven't heard those notes like this before.

The famous mastering engineer, Kevin Gray, mastered this album from the original analog tape, keeping it analog all the way to my stylus (and then to my tubes). I heard details in this version that I could not hear on my CD. The warmth, depth and dynamics are outstanding. Kevin did a fantastic job.

The gatefold jacket is sturdy, vibrant and colorful. The vinyl is thick and nearly dead silent, I didn't hear one click or pop. It comes with a plastic inner sleeve. I will say that I do not like the barcode on the back cover. That should have been placed as a sticker on the outer plastic sealed bag.

I give this album and vinyl my highest recommendation, 5 STARS all the way.

Limited to 5,000 pressings
Mastered by Kevin Gray at Cohearent Audio
Marketed by Audio Fidelity
Pressed at Record Technology Inc.
Manufactured by Rhino Records, a division of Warner Music Group
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on October 5, 2004
This is the result of the Grateful Dead playing shows for 10 solid years and perfecting their songcraft with the help of other musicians, themselves, and the otherly world of creative process. This is a Master's Thesis of music, the greatest album the Dead ever recorded. It has the power of a tremendous live show juxtaposed with the fragility of flower petals. The intimacy that weaves through the songs is the big surprise and you may find that the relaxed mellow with surge into a huge amount of energy while listening. You'll dance in the dark. This is the Dead's smoothest, most exciting and powerful studio recording ever.

Get it for the songs. Keep it for how it will grow with you for a long, long time.

This is the CD for the deadhead who has peace with their old, useless, and passive listening style and seeks true artistic beauty to dance in their brain.

Unusual Occurrences in the Desert indeed....
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on February 5, 2005
I can't think of any recording that seemed to give more to me than this one. Many albums are cherished by me from many a great band, but this one is what I most remember from the days of my youth in the 70's. I played guitar to this endlessly, I cycled it over and over some days (the music literally never stopped). It carried me off to the sand castles on many an evening. This GD studio album is about as good as any of their best material in my opinion (I love many other albums of theirs, of course, but this one captured my imagination the most for the journey it takes you on). I was going to their concerts in the late 70's and this is the HIGHlight material if it made it onto the show any particular evening. What more intricate material does the Dead have to work with than this? Older Dead was great, but for this period of their journey, this is a crown jewel. They really get the collaborative energy going like it may be their last adventure. Again, what more beautiful instrumental is there than Sage & Spirit in their whole repertoire? Is there a sweeter and more expressive guitar lead than the Crazy Fingers tearjerker on any studio album? The build-up of Help/Slipknot/Franklin's Tower into the Roll Away Mantra is like coming out of a dream! And that jazzy but powerful feedback lead that puntuates the trip is heavenly. They are on a tear on King Soloman's Marbles, Mahavishnu might fall behind! All of side one (or even the first six songs) was a perfect transition. Marbles scattered on a vortex coming together at the end to complete the experience. Feels like an concept album that flows over you like a wave (it might have been the wind). This album is inspired to say the least. Everybodies dancin'! I will vouch for the weirdness of BFA/Sand Castles, and I like it. It always feels like that end of a trip feeling when you start noticing all of the sounds around you - tension and release brain flexing. You've gone through the vortex to the new space on the other side (with crickets)! What a trippy little treat The Dead had up their sleeve here. Like an epiphany and gift for the fans during this wave of the dead story...Let's get to the studio cause we've got somethin' to say!
0Comment|10 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on June 5, 2006
This remastered album is what I expected when I first heard they were adding bonus tracks to the boxset. I don't really want live versions of songs taken out of context, unless it's something really rare. What I want are intimate studio jams from the time when they were recording, and boy does this deliver! Don't get me wrong, the "Mars Hotel" remaster has some extra gems, like "Wave that Flag", but if I already have the entire show with that performance I'm not interested. However, NOBODY, as far as I know, has any of the jams that are featured here, and that's certainly saying something. So thank you, because we all know the tapes were always rolling.
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on January 13, 2013
I arent good at telling reviews but whatever, I read other reviews, anyway the music that never stops, franklin tower, etc.

I'm 33, and in the past I used too think the band was like heavy metal because of its name an skulls on cover of albums, before I even knew what were all about, until at early 2000s, I saw this ikes wee wee episode on south park jimboe says to mr mackey why dont you go to some grateful dead concert? That episode where he done drugs an got fired from showing kids the smell of pot. An his saying was Drugs are bad MMMM KAY.

A little about my history, I discover this band a couple of years ago by searching em on youtube, they are great s***, I saw truckin song, casey jones, which is a real song, not a made up cartoon character name on TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES.

I arent good at reviews but I always wanted too hear an know what this band was all about ever sense I saw one episode on south park comedy central.

I grew up listening too lots of JAZZ music, smooth jazz and fusion. Like Return to forever, Chick corea and Jean Luc Ponty, etc.

Most of dead songs sounds a little jazzy an country, blues etc. in it thats part of the reason I like it soo muhc, I used too HATE country music but not anymore sense I started listening to this band, this isnt 100% country but some of it does comes close like some songs on american beuty album.

I just arent a huge fan of girls singing on country music like Kelly Clarkson, because its sounds too girly for me, the music.

And if you love the dead, then check out other country rock, jam bands too like PHISH, STRING CHEESE INCIDENT, WIDE SPREAD PANIC, UMPHREYS McGEEE, etc.

Besides southern rock like these bands.

I am also a fan of FRANK ZAPPA music too, partly because my father liked zappa an I grew up hearing zappa music like dinah moe humm.

I search on internet and unfortunately Zappa never cared for Grateful Dead, and there's some thing like a discussoin like whos better playing the guitar? Frank Zappa or Jerry Garcia?

But screw it, anyway some one did said too me that I'm too young to like Grateful Dead, but who cares..

Most of todays music is lame anyway like rap, hip hop and rnb.
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