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Blues For Allah

Grateful Dead

Initial release : September 1, 1975

Grateful Dead Records LA-494

The third LP on the Grateful Dead label.

Tracks

  • Help On The Way (Hunter / Garcia)
  • Slipknot! (Garcia / K.Godchaux / Kreutzmann / Lesh / Weir)
  • Franklin's Tower (Hunter / Garcia)
  • King Solomon's Marbles *
    Part I: Stronger Than Dirt (Lesh) *
    Part II: Milkin' The Turkey (Hart / Kreutzmann / Lesh) *
  • The Music Never Stopped (Weir / Barlow)
  • Crazy Fingers (Hunter / Garcia)
  • Sage and Spirit (Weir)
  • Blues For Allah (Hunter / Garcia)
  • Sand Castles and Glass Camels (Garcia / K.Godchaux / D.Godchaux / Kreutzmann / Lesh / Weir)
  • Unusual Occurrences In The Desert (Hunter / Garcia)
On some releases the tracks marked with asterisks are listed as;
  • King Solomon's Marbles
  • Stronger Than Dirt or Milkin' The Turkey
Bonus tracks on CD version released in the Beyond Description box set in 2004 and as a separate CD in 2006;
  • Groove #1 (Garcia / K.Godchaux / Hart / Kreutzmann / Lesh / Weir) - Instrumental studio outtake, 2/27/75
  • Groove #2 (Garcia / K.Godchaux / Hart / Kreutzmann / Lesh / Weir) - Instrumental studio outtake - 2/27/75
  • Distorto (Garcia) - Instrumental studio outtake, 2/28/75
  • A To E Flat Jam (Garcia / K.Godchaux / Hart / Kreutzmann / Lesh / Weir) - Instrumental studio outtake, 2/27/75
  • Proto 18 Proper (Garcia / K.Godchaux / Hart / Kreutzmann / Lesh / Weir) - Instrumental studio outtake, 2/27/75
  • Hollywood Cantata (Hunter / Weir) - Studio outtake, 5/7/75
Musicians

Grateful Dead;

  • Jerry Garcia - guitar, vocals
  • Keith Godchaux - keyboards, vocals
  • Donna Godchaux - vocals
  • Mickey Hart - percussion, crickets
  • Bill Kreutzmann - drums, percussion
  • Phil Lesh - bass, vocals
  • Bob Weir - guitar, vocals
Guest musician;
  • Steven Schuster - reeds, flute
Credits

  • Producer - Grateful Dead
  • Engineer - Dan Healy
  • Assistant engineer - Rob Taylor
  • Mixing - Grateful Dead, Dan Healy
  • Cover Painting - Philip Garris
  • Production assistants - Ramrod, Steve Brown, Betty Cantor, Bob Matthews, Brett Cohen
  • Special thanks to Steve Barncard, Joe Winslow, Frankie, Rondelle and Otis
  • Recorded at Ace's, Mill Valley, CA, 6/4/75 - 7/13/75
  • Mastered at Artisan Sound Recorders
Notes

Recorded at Weir's studio during the Dead's break from touring in 1975.

During the recording of the album Garcia said of it;

... it's musically the most adventurous album we've done in a pretty long time. Our development has been to synthesize various forms ... Now we're working on creating styles rather than being eclectic of synthesizing other styles. This it's a little bit more difficult, and considerably more experimental. It's still questionable as to whether the thing will be successful musicially...
Garcia spoke of the recording of Blues For Allah in an interview collected in The Grateful Dead : A Look Back;
I think that's the first record we've made in years where we really had fun. ... We laughed a lot and got good and crazy. We had an opportunity to get weirder than we normally get to getting.

We all went on the trip of 'Well, we're gonna make a record, and we're gonna go in the studio with no preconceptions and with no material'...

Garcia also spoke about Blues For Allah in a later interview;
We kind of made a ground rule for that record: 'Let's make a record where we get together every day and we don't bring anything in.' .... The whole idea was to get back to that band thing, where the band makes the main contribution to the evolution of the material. So we'd go into the studio and jam for a while, and then if something nice turned up we'd say, 'Well let's preserve this little hunk and work with it, see if we can't do something with it.' And that's how we did most of the album.
Related releases

Two singles were released in conjunction with this LP;

Released on CD in 1988 by Grateful Dead Records GDCD 4001.

A remastered, expanded version of Blues For Allah was included in the box set;

This remastered, expanded version was released as a single CD in 2006.

The Music Never Stopped and Franklin's Tower were included on the UK only sampler;

  • For Dead Heads, Various Artists, 1976, Round Records / United Artists FREE 2
Franklin's Tower and The Music Never Stopped were included on; A 'live performance' of Blues For Allah was performed on August 13, 1975 at The Great American Music Hall and recorded. This was subsequently released as the first 'from the vaults' release;
Buy expanded CD from amazon.com

Buy regular CD from amazon.com

album cover

Expanded version
album cover

album cover


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