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In the Dark (Expanded) Original recording remastered

4 out of 5 stars 21 customer reviews

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58th Annual GRAMMY Awards
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (May 5 2006)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Original recording remastered
  • Label: Rhino-Atlantic
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Audio Cassette  |  LP Record
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars 21 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #5,345 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
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1. Touch of Grey
2. Hell in a Bucket
3. When Push Comes to Shove
4. West L.A. Fadeaway
5. Tons of Steel
6. Throwing Stones
7. Black Muddy River
8. My Brother Esau (Single B-Side) (Bonus)
9. West L.A. Fadeaway (Alternate Version, 1984) (Bonus)
10. Black Muddy River (Studio Rehearsal) (Bonus)
11. When Push Comes To Shove (Studio Rehearsal) (Bonus)
12. Touch of Grey (Studio Rehearsal) (Bonus0
13. Throwing Stones (Live) (Bonus)

Product Description

Product Description

Touch of Grey did the unthinkable in '87: it lifted the Grateful Dead into the Top 10. Here's that surprise smash and the rest of this #6 album ( Hell in a Bucket; West L.A. Fadeaway , and more) plus bonus rare rehearsal takes of Black Muddy River; When Push Comes to Shove , and more!

Hardcore Deadheads always equate this 1987 comeback record with commercial acceptance and a watered-down fan base, but while those assertions are indeed accurate, step back and you'll hear an album full of strong material and equally solid, live-in-the-studio performances. It's more than coincidence that songs such as "Touch of Grey" (the band's only top 10 hit), "Hell in a Bucket," "West L.A. Fadeaway," and "Throwing Stones" all became staples of the Dead's last decade of touring. While longtime fans will probably have no use (or desire) for this release (especially since the CD version omits the brilliant "Brother Esau"), it remains one of the band's most successful studio forays and the quintessential icebreaker for newcomers. --Marc Greilsamer --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
This album has had so much radio and commercial success that it is easy to overlook the songs that are on here. For starters, it was this first album they did in 7 years, which allowed the material to come off sounding road tested, rehearsed and fresh. Garcia had just come back from nearly joining the Dead, and that exuberance floods over into these songs. Lesh had resumed his role as a singer in the band, and lends his baritone voice to some of the harmonies too. Though Brent only has one song on the album, he had become a full part of the Dead's sound and is prominently featured.
Touch of Grey is infectious and it is easy to see why it charted in the top 5. Garcia plays a good solo, and it reminds everyone why this band attracted such a following. Hell In a Bucket is a strange Weir song (the video being even stranger) about a night out with a biker with S&M implications. Still it is a good rocker and moves the album forward. When Push Comes To Shove is a medium shuffle blues with a good beat, and good singing by the original trio of Lesh, Garcia and Weir. Tons Of Steel shows Brent improving in his singing and songwriting. Phil again lends his harmony singing (although he's somewhat buried by the mix). West L.A. Fadeway is a good song with interesting work by the rhythm section. More Dylan-esque than the usual Hunter material. Throwing Stones was Bob Weir's environmental call to arms, and also a pretty good song. One of the band's more political songs. And then to cap it off, one of the finest songs of their later years, Black Muddy River. I'd rank it up with Knockin' On Heavens Door as a great end of the road ballad. It is a perfect close to this solid late period album. It may not be the Dead at their peak, but is still a strong collection of songs by a band having survived a mid-life crisis, and was rejuvenated through it.
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Format: Audio CD
Apart from the above complaint, I can't fault much on In the Dark. Sure, there are the usual natterings - that it's too mainstream, that they didn't copy American Beauty for the 28th time - but these fall flat. Sounding exactly the same after 20 years is a ludicrous thing to expect from a band that changed every song from one concert to the next.
Expectations aside, this is a fine album. Some rock, some country, some jazz influence, all filtered through the Dead's sunny blend of rainbows and grassy hills and underlying hopefulness even in melancholy. You've likely heard "Touch of Grey," "Hell in a Bucket" and "Throwing Stones" whether you realize it or not, but it's the overlooked gems that really shine; especially Black Muddy River. ... it remains a favorite of mine to this day.
This being a studio album, it still can't quite - quite - match up to the magic that came through on stage, but it's a worthy addition nonetheless. Newcomers, go for American Beauty, Without a Net or One From the Vault first. Pick up In The Dark if your interest goes further.
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Format: Audio CD
The best thing about this record is the song you're least likely to have heard on the radio.
The last track, "Black Muddy River," is Jerry Garcia's response (put to words by Robert Hunter) to recovering from a diabetic coma that nearly killed him in 1986. When Garcia revived, his coordination was fried and he literally had to re-learn how to play guitar. His joy in doing so successfully was evident in exuberant performances over the next few years. This song captures both that joy and its terrible cost, without ever referring directly to these events. The tune is plaintive and affirming at the same time and, sadly, was the last number Garcia sang lead on with the Grateful Dead. It's well worth many listens.
As to the rest of the record, the Amazon review correctly points out that many of the songs were concert staples from the mid-to-late 80s. In fact, with the exception of "Black Muddy River," the best numbers -- Garcia/Hunter's "Touch of Grey" and "West L.A. Fadeaway;" Mydland/Hunter's "Tons of Steel;" Weir/Barlow's "Throwin' Stones," and "Hell in a Bucket" -- were live favorites for years BEFORE they were recorded. Small wonder, then, that the album (and the ensuing hit status of "Touch of Grey") felt anticlimactic to longtime fans.
The album's use of electronic gimmickry (motorcycle sounds on "Hell in a Bucket;" guitar processing on "Touch of Grey," etc.) to "enhance" the songs only underscores the futility of trying to capture their live energy. Nevertheless, the songs ARE strong, and this album stands among the Dead's best studio efforts, excepting the magnificent "American Beauty" and "Workingman's Dead."
For my money, THOSE records are the best overall introduction to the music of the Dead.
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Format: Audio CD
I'm only 14, but I've been listening to the Dead for about 4 years. I just picked up "In the Dark" today and for the most part liked what I heard. "Touch of Gray" (The Bands Only top 10 song ever)and "When Push Comes To Shove" are great examples of Jerry making his guitar talk, and Robert Hunter's great lyrics. Brent Mydlands' Tons of Steel was interesting, but nothing special. If you want Dead piano, pick up Europe '72, with Pigpen on Keyboards. The album as a whole has a more bluesy feel than the early folk style American Beauty Dead, which isnt a totally bad thing. After a few years off, the Dead deliver a good, solid, effort. Personally I love American Beauty, Europe '72, and Workingman's Dead, but In the Dark is worth your $13. Jerry, Bob, and Phil proved that the Dead wasn't Dead. This album should also be treasured as one of the last Dead Studio Albums, before Jerry's 1995 death. May the Four Winds Blow You Home. Forever Grateful, Forever Dead. Also, if anyone wants some Dead style music, pick up Dave Matthews Band, or Phish.
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