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Customer Review

on May 17, 2000
I came to the Grateful Dead because--well, because of who they are, long before . . . very long before I actually was sober and straight-headed enough to contemplate their music. By and large I'm a Jerry fan and his signature guitar-work transporting (lazy hazy summer days in a lawn chair with a beer under a tree listening the Grateful Dead . . . camping . . . it's all good!). This album is grossly underrated because it really does underscore their popular genius despite their youthful musical limitations. The songs on this album capture the organ-tinged psychedelia of the Height-Ashbury scene, but do not totter into overly-indulgent "jams" that turn many listeners off (only one song does, and its a pretty good listen anyhow). Here, too, we get a strong sense of the Dead's blues roots, and why they let Weir sing. Early on, at least, Weir's youthful voice can actually carry a tune! The album is a good, head-nodding groove and rivals most of the studio albums that have been released to date. While the production and engineering is not top notch for its day, it really does highlight their talents. A must for any serious music collecter for its historical AND musical signficance. Ultimately, however, the reason why this album deserves high praise is because it manages to capture a sense of "fun." One of the best recordings of "fun" this century.
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