35 years ago, the Grateful Dead released their first album in two years, Terrapin Station. The album's title track is the most ambitions song the Dead ever recorded. At just over 16 minutes, the title track features a string arrangements and a choir.
The Grateful Dead had long wanted to control their own destiny in the studio and be allowed to produce their own records. In the recording of their second album they actually drove the producer so crazy that he quit in the middle of making the record. Eventually the record company got tire of fighting and allowed the Grateful Dead to produce their own records. After the success of "Workingman's" and "American Beauty" the band decided to start their own record company. "Wake," "Mars Hotel," and "Blues for Allah" were all self produced albums that failed to sell well.
"Terrapin Station" marked a change of philosophy and the record sold well, peaking at 28 on the album chart in 1977.
Dancing in the Street
Samson & Delilah
Fire on the Mountain
Dancing in the Street (live 5/8/77)
The album featured tracks written by, Weir, Lesh, Garcia, and the first song written by Donna Jean. This song was written for roadie Rex Jackson whom died in a car accident. The band later used Rex's name when they discovered the tax benefits of creating their own charity.
The studio version of "Dancing" lacked the funk and jam of the live version. Though as event in the 5/8/77 version, Bobby rarely got the lyrics right at the beginning of the song. Bobby commonly starts the "Calling out line," to early.
The bonus track of "Fire" has completely different lyrics then what they had been performing live up to this point.
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