The Grateful Dead – From The Mars Hotel  (CD/MFSL)


The Grateful Dead ‎– From The Mars Hotel  (CD/MFSL)


The Grateful Dead ‎– From The Mars Hotel  (CD/MFSL)

Label: Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab ‎– MFCD 830
Series: Original Master Recording
Format: CD, Album, Reissue, Remastered
Country: US
Released: 1985

1     U.S. Blues     4:37
2     China Doll     4:09
3     Unbroken Chain     6:45
4     Loose Lucy     3:23
5     Scarlet Begonias     4:19
6     Pride Of Cucamonga     4:16
7     Money Money     4:21
8     Ship Of Fools     5:22

Manufactured By – Sanyo
Produced At – Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab
Distributed By – Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab
Licensed From – Grateful Dead Records

Produced and Distributed by MFSL, Inc.,
under license from Grateful Dead Records.
Originally released as GD-102 on June 27, 1974

CD in very fine condition. Inlay with two little dimples but in good condition.  See photo’s, they are of the actual object.


+++++++++++++ Released in 1974 and named after a seedy hotel, now demolished, in San Francisco. It has the two worst songs the DeaD ever recorded: LOOSE LUCY and MONEY MONEY, a sexist song about gold digging women, intended to be humorous. PRIDE OF CUCAMONGA is written by Lesh with his long time friend Bobby Petersen. UNBROKEN CHAIN is another tune written by and sung by Phil Lesh. On stage Donna Godchaux took over the vocals of Lesh. SCARLET BEGONIAS never appeared on a live album although it was a radio staple. As was US BLUES, a song about the Watergate era. SHIP OF FOOLS is a ballad with a crystal clear message about integrity and the power of the individual. CHINA DOLL is a delicate, mournful song in which a man tries to cope with his friend’s attempted suicide. Godchaux’s contribution was all over the album, supplying organ and piano lines that are nearly as dominant as Garcia’s guitar parts. The album sold reasonably well. The cryptic type beneath the title must be held upside down in front of a mirror, in order to read the words: UGLY RUMOR. +++++++++++++

nr.1  MARS HOTEL sits in between WAKE OF THE FLOOD and BLUES FOR ALLAH, though inconsistent in tone, is the most satisfying of the DeaD studio trilogy of the early seventies. Stand-outs are two of Garcia’s most plaintive ballads, CHINA DOLL and SHIP OF FOOLS, which capture the DeaD at their most sweetly desolate, and the two songs written by Phil Lesh. rating: * * * * MARK COOPER, Q no. 35, august 1989

nr. 2  Brighter and more up-tempo than WAKE OF THE FLOOD(which is not to claim it’s “high energy”), with almost as many as memorable tunes as AMERICAN BEAUTY. Robert Hunter is not progressing, however – even US BLUES, an entertaining collection of conceits, seems received rather than found. And a Weir-Barlow song about money is just one more way for rich Marin hippies to put women down. original grade: B+ rating: B- ROBERT CRISTGAU, ROCK ALBUMS OF THE 70’S, 1982

nr. 3  Four great Hunter-Garcia songs; US BLUES; the only version of the fabulous SCARLET BEGONIAS; SHIP OF FOOLS; and the moving CHINA DOLL, make this record worth owning. Unfortunately, the rest of the album is seriously flawed, from Weir’s sexist atrocity, MONEY MONEY, to the equally embarrassing LOOSE LUCY, to Lesh’s two poorly sung curiosities, CUCAMONGA and the intriguing UNBROKEN CHAIN. The good songs are available in better versions on a million different live-tapes. * * * BLAIR JACKSON, 1983

nr. 4  Thruthfully, there simply isn’t very much about this group that’s impressive, except the devotion of its fans to a mythology created in Haight-Ashbury and now sustained in junior high schools across America. rating: * DAVE MARSH (him again), R.S. RECORD GUIDE

nr. 5  Although there is some great keyboard-work on US BLUES, this song really works live only. CHINA DOLL instead, gets a beautiful rendition and is a real gem, again with very good keyboard playing. UNBROKEN CHAIN is a very pleasant song that goes by almost unnotably. LOOSE LUCY is a nice song to skip, just like MONEY MONEY. PRIDE OF CUCAMONGA is another pleasant surprise from Phil Lesh. SHIP OF FOOLS is just like CHINA DOLL a song one has to get used too, before one can really understand the beauty of it. It’s a pity the album is not that interesting as the cover. On the back one can detect the Dead members as alien superman, Roman warrior on Duck shoes, clown, the holy mother Maria with a fishtail, an extra-terrestial swamp man, and a space traveller. And I sure hope that it ain’t Phil Lesh, dressed up as salamander, hanging on the wall of that spaceship….. * * ERIK SCHOTHANS, July 1992

nr. 6  Much more song-orientated than its predecessor. Jump-starting with US BLUES – whose irresistable beat has made it a natural encore tune – it quickly changes into the fragile CHINA DOLL, then into Phil’s last lead vocal, the evocative UNBROKEN CHAIN. The undisputed highlight is the side two opener, the only recorded version of the lovely SCARLET BEGONIAS. But the album includes also some of the most un-Deadlike songs imaginable, the jaded, somewhat misogynist MONEY MONEY – though exactly why this song is so objectionable and why DUPREE’S DIAMOND BLUES is so well-loved is hard to say. JAMIE JENSEN, BUILT TO LAST, 1990

nr. 7   Grateful Dead From The Mars Hotel – GD (Grateful Dead GD 102) also known as “Ugly Rumors” (hold the front cover upsidedown in front of a mirror to see why). Early releases have ‘AUTHENTIC’ stamped vertically on the left side of the cover to counter the record bootlegging that was rampant at the time. Released on June 27, 1974. John McFee plays pedal steel on “Pride Of Cucamonga”, which was written by Phil Lesh and Robert Petersen. Lesh and Petersen also co-wrote “Unbroken Chain”. The album also includes “China Doll”, “Scarlet Begonias”, and “U.S. Blues”, which had long been performed by the Dead as “Wave That Flag”. The Mars Hotel was a hotel for the down-and-out, located near the CBS recording studios, and has since been torn down.  I . W. Slabicky 1993

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