Year of the Dead, a studio moment.
I have mostly been listening to live dead albums but I found a really nice copy of Wake of the Flood the other day and decided that it was worth another shot.
Wake of the Flood was the first Dead album to appear on their own label and the first with the Godchaux’s and the change in sound that brought. Gone is Pigpen and his blues hollering and in is a funkier jazzier sound that has that halting stop start feel to it especially on Row Jimmy. There is also Stella Blue which may just be one of the more beautiful songs by the Dead and the sprawling Weather Report Suite.
It has a less than inspiring cover, not sure what the intention is, it has always appeared a little creepy to me. An old lady with sheaves of wheat near the ocean. I am sure it is supposed to inspire some sort of hippy earth mother idea. As far as I can tell the cover has nothing to do with the music and nowhere is their a picture of the band. There is also the scary crows on the back.
It’s a mournful album and that may be why it was seldom played by Dave as he tried to indoctrinate me into the Deadhead cult. It does however reward with repeated listenings and of course the live versions of some of these songs are legendary.
I think that as I am several months into this that my Dead problem is beginning to mellow a little. Maybe I am getting it, or as Dave may have said “you always did get it man, you just never knew until now.”