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Grateful Dead
Aoxomoxoa


4.0
excellent

Review

by Badmoon USER (65 Reviews)
January 14th, 2005 | 50 replies


Release Date: 1969 | Tracklist


Following, The Grateful Dead's mediocre album Anthem of the Sun. They released a highly abstract, influenced, and psychedelic, album. The name of this album would be the odd and hard to pronounce title Aoxomoxoa. During the recording and release of Aoxomoxoa, The Grateful Dead were having problems, and were going through permanent and temporary changes.

Ron "Pigpen" McKernan was dealing with an alchohol addiction, which would help finish him off in 1973. He was also losing massive amounts of weight, and gaining a very ill image. So, the rest of the members of The Grateful Dead decided to recruit pianist and friend Tom Constanten. Who would fill in and remain in the band when Pig began to feel better. Tom did not remain in the band for a good amount of time, but he did help out for several albums.

The Grateful Dead also invited percussionist and overall great drummer Mickey Hart to the band. Mickey would drum beside Kreutzmann and would soon take a hiatus, because of emotional problems (His father who was helping manage them, stole a great deal of the band's money). Mickey would become a permanent member, and of course until the end.

I find Aoxomoxoa to be one of those albums that always sounds fresh. And if it's fresh, it's good. It really contains something for almost everyone, while still keeping a psychedelic sound. Some great tracks are as follows, "St. Stephen" which is a Grateful Dead classic. "Dupree's Diamond Blues", "Mountains of the Moon", "Doin that Rag", and "China Cat Sunflower". If your looking for an album to get you into The Grateful Dead, by all means buy Workingman's Dead or American Beauty. This is more of an album that just adds icing to the cake.

St. Stephen
"St. Stephen" is a terrific track. It contains many different speeds tempos, feelings, ect. It has a great fun attitude to it. The songs (near 1:20) takes a very slow turn from it's aggresive intro and begining. After a medium amount of time, it breaks into a great drum driven solo, and then goes through a few verses and a few solos. Excluding the one part driven percussion (As I said before), the song is ran by Phil Lesh's strait up bass lines. His playing is quite similar to the playing of Jack Bruce of Cream. In other words, in a lead fassion. You will surely find this track on any Grateful Dead complication. Great opening track :thumb: 5/5

Dupree's Diamond Blues
Here's just a great, good feeling song. It is based arounf organ playing, that gives it a similar sound to what you might hear at a carnival. Garica and Hunter wrote some very interesting lyrics for this track. The song also includes some great acoustic playing, and the occasional banjo add in. Which is of course played by Jerry Garcia. I love this song. 5/5

Rosemary
"Rosemary" is not a favorite of mine. It is very calm, peaceful, and slighly melancholy. The acoustic guitar and bass playing is great as usual. But the song just overall annoys me. Plus it only runs at a short 1:58. It's kind of the Aoxomoxoa intervention. "Rosemary = Song to boot. 2/5

Doin' that Rag
This is basically a free flowing, folk song. Kind of unhateable. Some of the lyrics Jerry sings (especially in the opening) really creep up on you when listening. I remember being a little freaked out the first time I gave this song a listen. Not much more to say. 4/5

Mountains of the Moon
This number gives off a very medieval feeling. I'm guessing the feeling is given off by the harpsichord (I believe it's a harpsichord) playing. Other than the odd usage of an rarely seen instrument in Rock, the song incorporated great lyrics, and some interesting acoutic finger picking. The bass is also done perfectly, once again solidifying Phil Lesh as a great bassist. 3.5/5

China Cat Sunflower
Now, here is a unique, psychedelic, positive, and obviously 60's tune. It has some fabulous lyrics, some noodeling like guitar playing, great solos, and an extremely odd chorus. That is simply "Na na na" sang in an odd manner. Very intriguing song ;) 4.5/5

What's Become of the Baby
Obviously a filler track, "What's become of the Baby" only includes Jerry Garica's vocals, and some odd back ground, wind sounding noises. The song sounds like it was recorded in a stadium. Similar to how the the national anthem sounds when sang in some kind of stadium. The song isn't that great, and it isn't that bad. 2.5/5

Cosmic Charlie
This tune has some great intertwining guitar playing that is recorded very oddly. The vocals are nicely sang in unison, with a great amount of passion and feeling. I also really enjoy the drumming in this track. It's slightly hard to hear, but does the job well. Definatley a strait up song, and one of my favorites. 4.5/5

I give this album a 4/5, it shows that The Grateful Dead can play Psychedelia great, and it shows that they can play it in many different forms. Another great album by an extrodinary band :)

Band
Jerry Garcia-Guitar
Phil Lesh-Bass
Bob Weir-Guitar
Billy Kreutzmann Percussion
Mickey Hart-Percussion
Ron "Pigpen" McKernan - Organ
Tom Constanten - Piano



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user ratings (245)
3.8
excellent


Comments:Add a Comment 
VoodooChild
June 14th 2004


12 Comments


I have the honor of posting first. YAY!!! Anyway, I think this album is high enough on the "must-get" list. "St. Stephen" and "China Cat Sunflower" are (IMO) two of the best songs The Dead ever wrote. I agree this is "icing on the cake" album but you have to get it if you're starting to listen to The Dead. Great review moon, keep them coming. I'm sooo lazy and tired lately but I will type up a review or two for a couple of albums in a week or so. I'll see you in the CR thread. Great job again.

Badmoon
June 14th 2004


384 Comments


^ Thanks

Next, I may try to tackle...

The Grateful Dead - S/T #2
Jefferson Airplane - Surrealistic Pillow

The 60's San Fransico Psychedelic scene music be more recognized these days!!

VoodooChild
June 14th 2004


12 Comments


The 60's San Fransico Psychedelic scene music be more recognized these days!!

Truer words have never been spoken. I'll help you out with some reviews of my own. Promise...

guitarist.py
December 5th 2004


7 Comments


good review.

This album is the pinnicle of the "San Fracisco Sound" IMO. 5/5!

NOTE: "What's become of the baby?" was recorded/designed to be listened to while "sucking nitrous oxide". It is far more interesting in that state.

Badmoon
December 6th 2004


384 Comments


[QUOTE=guitarist.py]good review.

This album is the pinnicle of the "San Fracisco Sound" IMO. 5/5!

NOTE: "What's become of the baby?" was recorded/designed to be listened to while "sucking nitrous oxide". It is far more interesting in that state.[/QUOTE]

I think I'd agree with you now. I've been meaning to update the review. Even "What's Become of The Baby" is a favorite of mine now .

ImTheFloor
October 22nd 2005


59 Comments


I'm listening to this album right now. What a great album. I love Mountains Of The Moon, I think it's my favorite song. Good review, and your words on the SF scene are too true.

CoRpSeSlAyEr
September 17th 2007


855 Comments


What would you guys say is their best album. I really like this, but i wanna hear more.This Message Edited On 09.17.07

420th Comment!!!!
Oddly enough it was on a Grateful Dead album which i did not plan.This Message Edited On 09.17.07

CoRpSeSlAyEr
September 30th 2007


855 Comments


You underrated Mountains of the Moon so much. It might be my all time favorite GD song. I'm so glad that i finally got into them.

JamieTwort
January 10th 2013


26988 Comments


I honestly prefer their debut to this.

BigRedSofa
January 10th 2013


139 Comments


This band is so overrated haha

pissbore
January 10th 2013


12778 Comments


first 5 albums all rule hard

pissbore
May 6th 2013


12778 Comments


obv i was counting their debut, one of their best albums

skull n roses rules too but i was referring to studio albums

JamieTwort
May 6th 2013


26988 Comments


Their debut is one of their best, agreed.

pissbore
May 6th 2013


12778 Comments


dude i feel like im in another universe when i comment on GD albums on sput like wtf

pissbore
June 27th 2013


12778 Comments


and it all rules

Permabanned
July 19th 2013


1180 Comments


Lol I rarely ever do

JamieTwort
July 19th 2013


26988 Comments


Rules.

Permabanned
July 19th 2013


1180 Comments


is it all fall down?

sleepysilverdoor
October 13th 2013


48 Comments


i dig clementine jam from the bonus track version

sleepysilverdoor
October 21st 2013


48 Comments


check it out dude http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UkD1cTyC2g4



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