The Grateful Dead – In The Dark (LP)
Label: Arista – 208 564
Format: Vinyl, LP, Album
Country: UK & Europe
Released: Oct 1987
Label Code: LC 3484
Rights Society: GEMA STEMRA BIEM
Price Code: D: 630
Price Code: F: RC270
Price Code: UK: HH
A1 Touch Of Grey 5:47
A2 Hell In A Bucket 5:35
A3 When Push Comes To Shove 4:04
A4 West L.A. Fadeaway 6:39
B1 Tons Of Steel 5:16
B2 Throwing Stones 7:19
B3 Black Muddy River 5:58
Art Direction [Robert Koch Gallery, San Francisco], Photography By [Robert Koch Gallery, San Francisco] – Herby Greene
Artwork [Cover Art] – Randy Tuten
Liner Notes – Robert Hunter
Performer – Bill Kreutzmann, Bob Weir, Brent Mydland, Jerry Garcia, Mickey Hart, Phil Lesh
Producer – Jerry Garcia, John Cutler
Programmed By, Effects [Spatial] – Bob Bralove
Housed in gatefold sleeve (faces upside down) with printed inner sleeve.
Basics recorded at: Marin Veterans Auditorium, San Rafael, California by Le Mobile.
Additional recording & mixing at: Club Front, San Rafael, California.
Album art © 1987 Grateful Dead Productions, Inc.
℗ 1987 Arista Records, Inc.
Distributed in the UK by BMG Records • Distribué en Europe par BMG Ariola • Vertrieb in Europe durch BMG Ariola.
A Bertelsmann Music Group Company • Printed in Germany by TOPAC • Imprime en Allemagne par TOPAC.
On Inner Sleeve:
Farewell to Otis.
Special thanks to: Jeff Briss – Leo’s Professional Audio, Fred Layn – Studer-Revox, Inc., Peter Miller – C.A.E. Sound, Tom Paddock, John Kahn, Ultra Sound, Fantasy Studios, Sandy Carroll, David Murphy, Burt Willey, S.f.i.a.t.s.e. – local 16, Jim Farley – Marin Veterans Auditorium , Eric Colby, David Faust
Track durations on labels do not fully comply with those on back cover.
Vinyl and Cover in very fine condition.This is the ‘Upside-Down’ sleeve. See photo’s for details.
++++++++++++++ The first studio album after seven years, it deals with aging and acceptance. The European cover has the eyes printed upside down. The seventh pair are
eyes of Bill Graham. WEST LA FADE AWAY seems to be about the tragic “speedball” death of comedian, and blues brother, John Belushi (a Deadhead himself). A TOUCH OF GREY was released as a single and as the Dead’s first 12-inch. It resembles SCARLET BEGONIAS and it’s the Deadheads new anthem of perseverence. THROWING STONES is the most political song the Dead have ever written. It’s an anti-nuclear song. BLACK MUDDY RIVER is a gorgeous ballad that recals The Band. Hunter says about the song: “it’s about the perspective of age and making a decision about the necissity of living in spite of a rough time and the ravages of anything else that’s coming at you.” ++++++++++++++
nr. 1 IN THE DARK is the Dead’s most coherent set since their mid-70’s hiatus. Polished on the road, where they outdraw but everyone, it indicates a band refreshed, neither relying on nostalgia nor becoming a bastard hybrid a la Starship. Jerry Garcia still sings with benevolent inertia but his guitar playing is worth the price of admission and Weir’s more butch approach is perfect foil to Jerry’s nuzzling bearlike hugs. Only pianist Brent Mydland, who sounds like a shopping mall and sings like one too, lets the side down with his caterwauling. Otherwise he does a good impression of vintage Pigpen. Six out of seven cuts isn’t bad and the Dead’s loyal punters will say that the seven year itch has done them good. They’ve enjoyed a rest and now they’ve woken up to find themselves almost fashionable again. * * * * MAX BELL, Q no. 12A, OCT. 1987
nr. 2 The band has produced perhaps its best recorded effort to date. Working with material that, for the most part, they’ve been playing live for many years, the DeaD offers fine songs, inventive rhythms, tight in-tune vocals, and superb guitar work. Jerry has never sounded better in the band’s 22 years; his warm legato phrasing and distinctive tone have steadily grown in nuance and depth. Bob Weir’s rhythm genius gives Garcia a frame work for his melodic excursions, and Phil Lesh’s thundering bass provides a rhythmic roadmap. All cuts feature strong guitar, but keep an ear open for Garcia’s liquid leads on TONS OF STEEL and TOUCH OF GREY and for his harder edge on HELL IN A BUCKET. This is probably as close as you’ll get to the real DeaD on record. JON SIEVERT, GUITAR PLAYER, 10/87
nr. 3 It took the DeaD only 22 years to get a record in the top ten – not bad for a bunch of die-hard rock ‘n’ roll anti-establish- mentarians. As they did without one iota of compromise; IN THE DARK was just as uneven as every other studio record they’ve made since the early seventies. It suffered from filler (TONS OF STEEL) and lacked the muscular locomotion and throw-away-the-script spark of the DeaD in high concert gear. But when IN THE DARK was good, it was very, very good. HELL IN A BUCKET packed an unusual aggro-rock kick, and TOUCH OF GREY combined a stately melody and rich, textured AMERICAN BEAUTY harmonies with a nice, rubbery groove and a warm message of rejuvenation and pride – “I will get by/I will survive”. Talk about truth in advertising. ROLLING STONE, no. 515, DEC. 1987
nr. 4 As any DeaD aficionado knows, this is a band that that can only harness its musical powers on the concert stage, and only through the collective energies of their mini-legions of devoted followers. But the fact is that this album has an if-i-knew-then-what-i-know-now perspective about it that simply freezes you in your tracks. Hunter sounds much wiser and less preachy as a bona-fide old fart than he did when he was just pretending to be one all those years ago. BLACK MUDDY RIVER is simply a gorgeous ballad that wouldn’t have appeared out of place at the end of WORKINGMAN’s DEAD, which is about as big a compliment as I could possibly give it. Again, the lyrics are splendid. Garcia’s guitar leads catch you almost unawares. Whether he’s darting and weaving through the arrangement, as he does on TOUCH OF GREY, or pulling out some perfectly apropos big-note blues riffs on WEST LA FADEWAWAY, Garcia keeps surprising you with an almost offhanded dexterity that can only be attributed to the fact that he ‘s been doing this for the rock’n’ roll equivalent of a millenium. Far out. BILLY ALTMAN, SPIN, SEPT. 1988
nr. 5 It’s seven songs-averaging six minutes each-hark back to the sprawling, easygoing charm of their hallowed AMERICAN BEAUTY era. Rather than trying to come across as ‘contemporary’, the band revels in its strengths: the kinetic rhythm section(which until now has been ill served on record), Jerry’s sneaky,slinky guitar leads and an overall tightness that makes the band sound not a day over ten years old. Alas, a DeaD album wouldn’t be complete without filler. Here, it’s in the form of TONS OF STEEL and THROWING STONES, a preachy seven-minute diatribe. But it’s the rehabilitated Garcia who is clearly the linchpin of IN THE DARK. Nowhere is that more clear than on the finale, BLACK MUDDY RIVER. A stately ballad that recalls the Great Plains grandeur of the Band. Singing their own song hasn’t always been the case with the aging Grateful Dead but with this album, they’re finally doing just that. DAVID BROWNE, R.S. no. 506, AUG 87
nr. 6 The DeaD have trimmed their sound to suit the new technology of the 80’s and, apart from the occasional flawed song, they sound better than ever! NEW MUSICAL EXPRESS, 1989
nr. 7 Recorded live in an empty theatre, a damn good record. The DeaD have had some seven years to fine-tune these songs live before committing them to vinyl. GOLDMINE, 9/87
nr. 8 Despite the hooks, highlighted unnaturally by do-or-die production, this is definitively the DeaD, not Journey or Starship. But only WHEN PUSH COMES TO SHOVE shows up the young ignorami and old fools who’ve lambasted them as symbols of hippie complacency since the 60’s were over. One problem with the cosmic is that it doesn’t last forever. rating: C+ ROBERT CRISTGAU, RECORD GUIDE THE 80’S, PANTHEON
nr. 9 The Dead are making themselves ready for the nineties and show people how one can grow older but doesn’t have to loose track of time. They come up with beautiful new songs, played with special effects and programming bits and did record it their own way. a success! * * * * ERIK SCHOTHANS, July 1992
nr. 10 Their most successful record ever, with the band’s first ever Top Ten single, TOUCH OF GREY, a somewhat wry look at getting older which features a locomotive rhythm, a catchy hook and an anthemic singalong refrain. Following hard on its heels is Weir, Brent and Barlow’s roaring HELL IN A BUCKET, and the whole album, almost all of which was recorded in a live situation (albeit without an audience), fairly throbs with life. JAMIE JENSEN, BUILT TO LAST, FANTAIL 1990
nr. 11 In The Dark – GD (Arista AL 8452) According to Arista, released July 9, 1987.
Available in stores on July 6, 1987. Only the cassette version of this
release includes “My Brother Esau”, inserted at the end of what is
side one of the album. The ‘eyeballs’ on the front cover are printed
right side up. “Tons Of Steel” was originally recorded by Brent
Mydland for his unreleased solo album. More that 100,000 right side
up covers, in all formats, were printed. “Day Job” was intended for
this album, but was not included, probably due to the poor audience
response to the song when it was performed live. The album reached
number seven on the charts. Much of the album was recorded “live”
on stage at the Marin County Veteran’s Auditorium. I. W. Slabicky