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Terrapin Station

Terrapin Station

July 27, 1977
4.4 out of 5 stars 58 customer reviews

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Terrapin Station
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
Ok, it's hold my hands up time.
I've had an absolute field day on these reviews pages at the expense of the Dead (and others!) in general, and 'hippy types' in particular.
I've penned reams about faded loons, floral shirts, 10 minute mellotron solos, and, my particular favourite, the enjoyably ubiquitous centre-parting.

I suppose it's my inadequate way of coming to terms with the fact that I've been immersed in an art form that's completely alien to me. I've sneered, scoffed and chortled my way round some strange, intoxicating music, which I've usually grudgingly acknowledged, while at the same time, sarcastically pointing out every fallibility I can find. In short, I've stretched a point to breaking, with no other justification than narky inexperience.
Well that ends here.

My latest stop is 'Terrapin Station' and it's MAGNIFICENT on every level. A devastating mix of funk, rock and reggae, from the steely opening chords of 'Estimated Prophet' to the jumping climax of the 16 minute 'Terrapin Station pt1,' we're on a winner in a big way.
There's lyrical and melodic strength that's joyous and delightful, there's serious cohesion (my favourite rock term), clarity, and huge swathes of justified confidence. Justified because The Dead are on some kind of creative summit here-and don't they know it. The swagger is unmistakable. Each exquisitely crafted hook, each spray of feisty brass, every huge orchestral sweep is definite indication of a group on fire.

Despite the dodgy labeling, this is almost pure pop. It has a funny kind of sisterhood with Captain Sensible's album 'Revolution Now', in that its surface sheen and pomp is (incredibly!) just the bait that draws you in, ultimately to discover the width and depth of what lies beneath.
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Format: Audio CD
Speaking strictly as a recent person recently introduced to the Grateful Dead,hearing their post 1972 studio albums (especially as I am by way of Grateful Dead: Beyond Description (1973-1989)) really brings to the forefront how there ended up being a whole lot more to the bands sound then a mere San Fransisco psychedelic jam band from the 60's.The 70's offered up a number of new musical forms for rock to draw from in general,everything from fusion to reggae to funk and soul.On a series of albums on the own self titled label all of these styles worked their way around the bands overall sound culminating in a masterpiece called Blues for Allah in 1975. A year or two later the Dead took their label to Arista and created an all new masterpiece.As if they were expected to they easily equalled (if not topped) the previous album in terms of innovation.Again the main thrust of the is funk,and hard funk for that."Estimated Prophet" has a hefty,kicking groove that for this point really knows where it's going.A similarly high octane "Dancin' In The Streets" has the same effect;it cannot beat the orginal of course (NO ONE can) but they create their own excellent interpretation."Passenger" and "Samson & Delilah) find a harder rock and lightly reggae/caribbean influence on a traditional arrangement.Donna Godchaux gets her own song here in the etheral,folksy "Sunrise",the one thing on this albums that assures the music's deep San Francisco "hippie" backround.Read more ›
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When The Grateful Dead switched to Arista Records in 1977, the band had decide
to take a different, but somewhat unexpected path in their music by the time this rec-
ording came out that same year Released at a time when rock changed its dynamic
tune to a more realistic and commercialized sound without ever missing it’s powerful
beat, Terrapin Station was met with mixed results, where Unlike there classic albums
The Dead had recorded for Warner Bros’ and Atlantic (under their own private label),
they managed to add an occasional brief dash of disco as they have maintained their
original merit, which didn’t sit well with some Deadheads who have claimed the band
hit a sour note, while many fans and admirers alike thought it was overproduced and
did not keep up with The Dead’s more unpolished free form style, but The Dead had
openly stated that they would always stay true to their musical art no matter what the
odds were. As the title track set is featured in it’s extended suite format, it starts with
the reggae-funk backed opening track Estimated Prophet and it is well proceeded on
a disco-rock reindition on Dancing In The Streets and Samson And Delilah, while the
expanded edition include Catfish John, a Bob Dylan folk favourite titled Peggy-O and
the instrumental hit The Ascent where the extended edition give the CD (and MP3) a
better and almost satisfying sound. Terrapin Station had mark several milestones for
the band: it was their first studio album in two years, return to a major label and even
a new sound, even though The Grateful Dead denounced “selling out” as a naughty
word. Long obscure since it’s release, it deserves a second chance.
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