The Grateful Dead
Workingman's Dead


5.0
classic

Review

by Badmoon USER (65 Reviews)
January 14th, 2005 | 35 replies


Release Date: 1970 | Tracklist


Review
In the year of 1970 and 1971 The Grateful dead released two albums, each were released within a few months of each other. The two albums were Workingman's Dead and American Beauty. Each album was had many elements that made them both fabulous albums, but American Beauty seemed to have stood out among the two. I also not necessarily agree that American Beauty was a greater album, because Workingman's Dead explored more boundries that The Grateful Dead have yet to get a good look at. So even if this album was a flop, and was no good it would still have my respect. PS, it's not a flop.

Some boundaries Workingman's Dead brok for them, was having an album based upon their musical upbringing. Which was Blues, Folk, Rock n Roll, and Bluegrass. And that is so easily seen. And they learned how to stack their vocals from their good friends Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young. Since they taught The Grateful Dead how to stack vocals, Jerry decided to lend his pedal steel guitar talent to their song "Teach your Children".

1. Uncle John's Band: A Grateful Dead classic. Combining folk, dual acoustic guitars, and some fabulous emotional lead guitar from Jerry. The song is sung almost in complete unison, with some nicely stacked vocals. The lyrics on "Uncle John's Band" are some of best from The Grateful Dead, and Robert Hunter. The only downside in this song is that they occasionally try to fit to many lyrics into too little of a bar, but other than that, it is an extremley great song. My old band even covered this song. 5/5

2. High Time: This emotionally sung recording combines a great mix of electric and acoustic guitar playing that intertwines fabulously. The drumming and electric bass flow nicely with the rest of the instruments, and each other. Jerry lends his steel guitar skills to this song, which is always interesting to hear. So, overall this is just a pretty great song, it doesn't necessary stand out from the rest of the songs on this album, but non the less, it's great. 4/5

3. Dire Wolf: This song use to annoy me, but now I always find myself listening to it before any other song on this album. It includes song great acoustic bass and rythm guitar playing, and it also has some great steel guitar playing. The line "Don't murder me" gets quite annoying, but does flow with the song nicely. I also like the line "When I awoke the Dire Wolf, 600 pounds of sin..." Definatley one of my favorite songs now. 5/5

4. New Speedway Boogie: This recording is a bit more bluesy than the rest of Workingman's Dead, with the exception of "Easy Wind". This song really seems to tell great a story, but also resembles a regular formulated song more so than the others. "New Speedway Boogie" also includes some background clapping that flows and matched with the song to a great extent. The song actually happens to be about a newspaper columnist. This writer tackled The Grateful Dead's Marijuana bust in the late 60's. But, he wrote it quite late, and simply stated what each other writer did. So, the lyrics are a stab at him. "Please don't dominate the rap Jack. If you got nothin' new to say". The songs attitude really takes the song. The guitar tone and Jerry's almost erie voice make it for me. 5/5

5. Cumberland Blues: Now this song includes the word "Blues" in the title, but has only a small bit of blues in it. It actually seems to be more influenced by Bluegrass than anything else. The part that does include a tad bit of blues is the guitar solo, which is done well. Jerry's vocals and the backing vocals are extremely fabulous in this song. It also includes some banjo playing by Jerry, and being a musician who plays the banjo, the song is very appealing to me, even more that it would to someone who doesn't play the banjo. I love a certain part in the song where Jerry simply sings "Gotta get down to the Cumberland mine", and then in unison, everyone else repeats it. Fabulous, extrodinary Bluegrass song. 5/5

6. Black Peter: Here is an okay acoustic, slightly Blues influenced tune, mainly Country though. It has some nice stacked vocals, and some nicely flowing organ playing, and harmonica playing by Pigpen. There is not much else to say about this song, it just mediocre for The Grateful Dead, but for some reason loved by many. 3.5/5

7. Easy Wind: Almost everything about this song is great. It has some nice bass playing. The vocals are sung by Pigpen. The guitaring is done fabulously, and the combined drumming of Hart and Kreutzmann is great, they also seem to stick to playing the toms more than anything else on this song. There is also a great harmonica solo that is highly emotional and seems to have great feeling to it. Pig sings the Blues better here than in any other track, he is truly amazing. 5/5

8. Casey Jones: "Casey Jones" is probably one of the most loved and most reconized Grateful Dead songs. It has some great guitar playing, and the rest of the instruments are played nicely. The vocals are great, and of course they include the famous "Driving that train high on cocaine, Casey Jones you better watch your speed". The track is actually a song written about a song. The song it is written about is an old Illinois folk song (Home state, represent :cool: ) about a train crash a long time ago, that seemed to be blamed upon the driver being under the influence. Just an overally fabulous song. 5/5

5/5, too great and unique.


Band
Jerry Garcia - Guitar
Bob Weir - Guitar
Ron "Pigpen" Mckernan - Organ
Phil Lesh - Bass
Bill Kreutzmann - Drums
Mickey Hart - Drums



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user ratings (214)
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Comments:Add a Comment 
ZEROthirtythree
March 7th 2004


234 Comments


good review. I havent listened to this cd in years though. I like American Beauty much more.

3/5

Kingadamx
June 29th 2004


120 Comments


My Dad's favorite dead record. I like this album a lot but I prefer American Beauty.

Badmoon
June 29th 2004


384 Comments


I'll edit it up to my thoughts now. Definatley a 5/5, you have to be a Country and Bluegrass fan to really apreciated it.

Kingadamx
September 30th 2004


120 Comments


^ Yeah this album is sort of the Bluegrass companion to American Beauty. For me it seems that those two albums are linked, they are two great albums that I think everyone should own.

BlackDeathMetalJazz or really ANYTHING else please-
December 4th 2004


200 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Great Reveiw! Love it 55 still perfer American B.

MidnightRider
March 18th 2006


18 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Nice review for a great album. 5/5

BludgeonySteve
May 13th 2006


558 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

! Excellent review and album.

DesolationRow
May 13th 2006


833 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

One of their better albums. Uncle John is a favorite.

MUNGOLOID
April 15th 2008


4305 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

some of the songs are too country for my taste but otherwise, there are more superb songs that make up.

ShoeSoup
December 26th 2010


782 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

finally got this on vinyl. excellent.

xfearbefore
December 7th 2011


1245 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I guess the Dead aren't for everyone.

Was just listening to Casey Jones earlier. Such a great song. Classic album too.

Ire
May 12th 2012


41780 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

also great

sonic is gay

random
May 26th 2012


2262 Comments


"Casey Jones" is great.

pissbore
January 13th 2013


9935 Comments


rules hard

pissbore
January 13th 2013


9935 Comments


driving a train high on cocaine probably rules hard

manosg
May 21st 2013


6094 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Too many awesome tracks on this one. Maybe their most consistent effort.

Digging: John Coltrane - Ballads

Pestiferous
May 21st 2013


1258 Comments


agreed

Titan
May 21st 2013


4884 Comments


make good money 5 dollars a day

pissbore
June 27th 2013


9935 Comments


liiiiiiiiiiiiiiviiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiin the goooooooooooooood liiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiife

Psobesri
July 7th 2013


291 Comments


in the timbers of finario



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