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Selections From the Arista Years 1977-1995

Grateful DeadAudio CD
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)

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Rock's longest, strangest trip, the Grateful Dead were the psychedelic era's most beloved musical ambassadors as well as its most enduring survivors, spreading their message of peace, love, and mind-expansion across the globe throughout the better part of three decades. The object of adoration for popular music's most fervent and celebrated fan following -- the Deadheads, their ... Read more in Amazon's Grateful Dead Store

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (January 13, 1997)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Arista
  • ASIN: B000024KCL
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,443,766 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
Format:Audio CD
The Grateful Dead's enduring piece of Americana lies in concert. There, 30 years' preserved performances grew a musical/social counterculture whose substance abuse finally struck its leader/shepherd, guitarist Jerry Garcia, then scattered its thousands of cross-country wandering sheep.
The 2CD set "Arista Years," covering the group's last 15 years' studio/live LPs for Arista Records, proves the studio was prison more than haven for America's greatest non-stop traveling show. Working with outside producers Keith Olsen (Fleetwood Mac) and Little Feat's simpatico Lowell George, and with studio musicians (including Tom Scott's cool funk solo on "Estimated Prophet") traded the Dead's musical meanderings for 70s studio precision, with inconsistent results.
Disc One's highlights include 1978's near-hit "Good Lovin'" (given Latin-style backbone by the legendary Lesh/Kruetzman/Hart bottom, plus growling Bob Weir vocal and ace Garcia solo), the bouncy half-disco groove of "Shakedown Street," 1980's country rock "Alabama Getaway" and Brent Mydland's LP debut on "Far From Me." Missing are the group's take on "Dancing In The Street" (with vocals by Donna and the late Keith Godchaux) and 1980's "Don't Ease Me In."
Disc two begins with songs from "In The Dark," on which the Grateful Dead hit beyond its wildest nightmares. Ironically, from strictly studio perspective, "Hell In A Bucket," "Throwing Stones" and 1987's anthemic Top 10 "Touch Of Grey" are among the Dead's most focused, pop-oriented, finest studio creations.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Nice compilation covering the Arista years September 15, 2006
Format:Audio CD
THE BAND: Several band members came and went during the Arista years, but these albums ALL have these players in common - Jerry Garcia (guitar, vocals), Bob Weir (guitars, vocals), Phil Lesh (bass), Mickey Hart (drums), Billy Kreutzmann (drums).

THIS DISCS: (1996) 2 discs containing 26 tracks clocking in at approximately 153 minutes of music (disc-1 at 77:50 minutes, and disc-2 at 74:57). Included with the discs is an 18-page booklet containing song credits/titles, a brief intro to the band, studio album cover pictures and insight into the goings-on at the time of each release covered here, and what songs came from which albums. The albums here range from "Terrapin Station (1977) through "Without A Net" (1990) only. Digitally remastered sound. Label - Arista.

ALBUM REPRESENTATION: Terrapin Station (4 songs), Shakedown Street (4), Go To Heaven (3), Reckoning/Live (2), Dead Set/Live (2), In The Dark (5), Built To Last (5), Without A Net/Live (1).

COMMENTS: Hardcore Deadheads will probably hate this (or any for that matter) compilation. Most long time fans claim you need the whole album experience to get into the Dead... or, see one of their 'live' shows. Indeed, I saw them live in the late 70's and it was an experience I'll never forget. I would agree with these sentiments for the most part... but, over the years I've never been a 'diehard' Grateful Dead fan. I like the band, and I like a lot of their songs... but I always considered myself a casual follower. I have several of their early era albums when they were on Warner Bros' label - "American Beauty", "Workingman's Dead", "Blues For Allah", and "Aoxomoxoa" (from 1969)... all Dead classics! I don't think anything the band did in the late 70's or 80's can match any of these albums.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Jumping off Point for YOUNG / NEW Dead Heads November 13, 2002
Format:Audio CD
Look... if you LOVE the Dead, I mean really LOVE them... then you're way past this collection. This is a great sampling of a large part of the band's catalog, and I would say anyone who is looking for a good "1st" Dead listen... YES this is a good collection. From here though, you will want to go out and get all the albums that this CD takes its songs from.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing grace! August 7, 2005
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
This is probably the best representation of the Dead there is in any collection. Their live recordings are great for the many deadheads who cannot get enough of that unique experience, but the quality of their studio music is far beyond the typical concert, in sound quality and in terms of actually singing on key. If you really want a live CD, try "The Closing of Winterland"--a truly amazing concert that also collects some of the best music of this period ... or perhaps "Dozin' at the Knick," a fine concert in Albany, New York. The Dead's years with Arista were indeed their most creative and productive in my view, giving us such classics as Terrapin Station, Estimated Prophet, Shakedown Street, and Fire on the Mountain, and so many more. Amazing songs, great playing, and on-key singing that the Dead never managed to surpass. These guys jammed during afternoons in the gymnasium at College of Marin (California) back in the early 60s, and I enjoyed them then, but in all my years of listening to the Dead (and going to several concerts, beginning in 66 at the Fillmore Auditorium in SF), it seems to me that they really got it together during the late 70s, when Kieth and Donna Godchaux played both with the Dead and with the Jerry Garcia Band (check out the remastered edition of "Cats under the Stars"). This is a great (I'd say the best) collection for both new and seasoned fans of the Dead.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars I Have A Strong Dislike For Any Compilation...
...from any band, but especially a band like the Grateful Dead, Pink Floyd or even the Beatles. With any band worth their salt an album is meant to be heard in its complete form. Read more
Published 14 months ago by J. Grant
5.0 out of 5 stars An Amazing Song Collection From Late Weaker Albums
I know what you are going to say. It's probably something like this, "I bought a cd from when the Grateful Dead where on the Arista label and was totally disappointed. Read more
Published 16 months ago by Craig Hamilton
3.0 out of 5 stars The casual Deadhead's first step into the Arista years (1977-1991)
For starters, I am a fanatical Deadhead. So obviously, I have all of the Dead's Arista albums (studio and live) from 1977-1991 anyway (including 'Infrared Roses,' which is not... Read more
Published on April 3, 2011 by Johnny Boy
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent collection of last album Dead
A good economical alternative to individual albums of later Dead years, especially In the Dark and Built to Last. Read more
Published on June 25, 2009 by aspiring saint
5.0 out of 5 stars Great GD album
A must have for any hardcore deadhead. A great version of 'Alabama Getaway' the best Ive ever heard. Shakedown St is pretty nice too. Read more
Published on November 11, 2008 by R. Bozzuto
4.0 out of 5 stars r.i.p. dead
even considering the number of years this cd covers, it is still an exceptional representation of arguably their best work.
Published on March 23, 2000 by dustin stone
5.0 out of 5 stars A Great CD for anyone, who is allready a huge dead fan, or j
The Arista Years is a Great CD for anyone, who is allready a huge dead fan, or just getting into them, it has all of their biggest hits from their years with "Arista"... Read more
Published on July 10, 1999
4.0 out of 5 stars Second Best of Another Golden Era
The only thing this album misses is live cuts (of course) The dead is meant to be heard live, but this album has a lot of studio highlights from one of the greatest dead periods... Read more
Published on July 7, 1999
5.0 out of 5 stars Good assortment of the newer stuff.
The real reason to get this set is that it illustrates the versatility and evolution of the band. For me, though, the real bonus is Brent Mydland. Read more
Published on February 1, 1999
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