In the 30 year history of the Grateful Dead, perhaps no concert was as remarkable as the one at the Great American Music Hall in San Francisco on August 13th 1975, which was first officially released in 1991 as One From The Vault. It has just been announced that the album will be released on vinyl later this month.
Having put their live concert operation on hold for most of 1975 while working on The Grateful Dead Movie, the band re-defined themselves as they put away some of their most played songs from the early part of their career and honed a more innovative and polished sound. In a way, the band was moving more toward progressive rock than psychedelic rock in their new songs, embracing more precise and unusual arrangements.
Ah, the beauty of technology. Listen to One From The Vault on Spotify:
Beginning with the completely unique 3 song suite of "Help On The Way / Slipknot!" into "Franklin's Tower" the band flexes their chops with exceptional songwriting and musicianship that combined rock, jazz, folk, blues, and reggae into a cohesive singular sound that transcended boundaries and had a profound impact on their audience. Bill Graham's introduction of the band members, as they begin playing the music, is a truly special moment and the energy is palpable.
They follow that revolutionary explorative suite with the first ever public performance of "The Music Never Stopped" which is one of my favorite songs by any artist. These tunes would be released on the studio record Blues For Allah just a short time later, on September 1st 1975, and continue as staples in the Dead's live canon through their extensive touring career.
Through the rest of One From The Vault, the Dead show their versatility. Straight ahead bluesy rockers like Chuck Berry's "Around And Around" and Johnny Cash's "Big River" as well as the traditional "Goin' Down The Road Feelin' Bad" remind you that at their core, the Grateful Dead are a guitar driven rock and roll band deeply rooted in tradition. However, they certainly love to explore on their completely original songs "Eyes Of The World," "Crazy Fingers," and "The Other One." Some other exploratory tunes may take patience for even dedicated fans to sit through, like "King Solomon's Marbles / Stronger Than Dirt," "Sage and Spirit," and the 21 minute "Blues For Allah" where you can actually hear crickets chirping.
The 3-disc vinyl will be released on November 26th and retails for $50. Check it out at Future Days Recordings official website.