Reckoning [Bonus Tracks]

Reckoning [Bonus Tracks]

by Grateful Dead

CD(Remastered / Bonus Tracks / Digi-Pak)

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In the fall of 1980, the Grateful Dead played a series of shows at the Warfield Theater in San Francisco and Radio City Music Hall in New York City (venues considerably smaller than they had grown accustomed to) for the purpose of filming and recording. The group opened these special concerts with a special acoustic set at which Jerry Garcia and Bob Weir played acoustic guitars, Brent Mydland played piano, and drummers Bill Kreutzmann and Mickey Hart played reduced kits. (Phil Lesh stuck to his electric bass, but at a modest volume.) Also special was the set list, as demonstrated by the track list on this album drawn from the shows. A batch of old folk and country tunes never before included on a Grateful Dead album make up half of the 16 songs, mixed in with originals. (And actually, three of those originals, "Cassidy," "To Lay Me Down," and "Bird Song," only appeared previously on Garcia or Weir solo albums.) The music deliberately harks back to a period most Deadheads weren't around for, the band's origins in the folk, bluegrass, and country groups Garcia led in Palo Alto, CA, in the early '60s, culminating in Mother McCree's Uptown Jug Champions, the band that went electric and became the Warlocks, renamed the Grateful Dead. Garcia in particular seems comfortable with this material, and he takes two-thirds of the lead vocals, with Weir spelling him every couple of tracks, usually with a song at least slightly more uptempo (although, for example, his version of "The Race Is On" has none of the breakneck pace of George Jones' original). Of the bandmembers, Garcia is the one who has shown the most affection for the Grateful Dead's folk and country roots, continually reintroducing them either with the band or in his side projects, and his ease with such selections as "Jack-A-Roe" and "Deep Elem Blues" is apparent. At the same time, the juxtaposition of such traditional material with originals by Garcia and his lyric partner Robert Hunter, such as the lead-off song, "Dire Wolf," and the closer, "Ripple," emphasizes the songwriters' deliberate effort to evoke and reshape the folk idiom in their compositions. The Grateful Dead have released numerous live albums, but this one takes a different approach, and it will appeal especially to the many fans of Workingman's Dead and American Beauty. A 1987 CD reissue of the original two-LP set from 1981 actually deleted one of the tracks, but the 2004 reissue included in the box set Beyond Description (1973-1989) and released here on its own not only restores that song ("Oh Babe It Ain't No Lie"), but also more than doubles the original running time with a second CD, including alternate versions of songs that had been featured already and several new songs -- "Iko Iko," "Heaven Help the Fool," "El Paso," "Sage & Spirit," "Little Sadie," and "Tom Dooley." (That last track and the alternate version of "Deep Elem Blues," which close the bonus disc, do not come from the 1980 shows; they are taken from a performance at Loyola University in 1978.) The extra material somewhat redresses the balance between the two singer/guitarists, with Weir getting to do his familiar rendition of "El Paso" as well as the instrumentals "Heaven Help the Fool" and "Sage & Spirit," both his compositions. The additions are interesting, but they do not lead to any second guessing of the songs and performances chosen by the original producers for the 1981 release. [Rhino reissued the CD with bonus tracks in 2006.]

Product Details

Release Date: 04/11/2006
Label: Grateful Dead / Wea
UPC: 0081227328221
catalogNumber: 73282
Rank: 2417

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Grateful Dead   Primary Artist
Mickey Hart   Group Member
Jerry Garcia   Group Member
Bob Weir   Group Member
Bill Kreutzmann   Group Member
Phil Lesh   Group Member
Brent Mydland   Group Member

Technical Credits

Jesse Fuller   Composer
Grandpa Jones   Composer
Marty Robbins   Composer
Elizabeth Cotten   Composer
Mickey Hart   Composer
Bob Dylan   Composer
Jerry Garcia   Arranger,Composer,Audio Production,Original Album Producer
Grateful Dead   Arranger
Bob Weir   Composer
Robert Hunter   Arranger,Composer
Charlie Monroe   Composer
Alan Lomax   Composer
James Austin   Reissue Producer
John Perry Barlow   Composer
Betty Cantor-Jackson   Engineer,Audio Production,Original Album Producer
John Cutler   Engineer
Donna Jean Godchaux   Composer
Keith Godchaux   Composer
Dan Healy   Concept Development,Audio Production,Original Album Producer
Bill Kreutzmann   Composer
Phil Lesh   Composer
Ron "Pigpen" McKernan   Composer
Don Rollins   Composer
Gary Lambert   Liner Notes
Dennis Leonard   Engineer
Don Pearson   Engineer
Barbara Anne Hawkins   Composer
Rosa Lee Hawkins   Composer
Joan Johnson   Composer
Rick Griffin   Cover Illustration
Reggie Collins   Discographical Annotation
Peter Barsotti   Artwork
Bill Browning   Composer
Frank Warner   Composer
Traditional   Composer
Cameron Sears   Executive Producer
David Lemieux   Reissue Producer
Dennis Larkins   Artwork
James "Sugarboy" Crawford   Composer

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Reckoning [Abridged CD] 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Recorded live at the Warfield September 25- October 14, 1980, and Radio City Music Hall, New York, October 22-31 1980. It's a beautiful album.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Intimate, acoustic, wonderful...