The Complete Annotated Grateful Dead Lyrics Paperback – May 8 2007
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From Publishers Weekly
Even the most hardcore Deadheads will be impressed by this obsessively complete look at the Grateful Dead's lyrics written by Robert Hunter and John Barlow, as well as selected traditional and cover songs that were basic parts of the Dead's repertoire. In 1994, Dodd (The Grateful Dead Reader) founded the first Web site of annotated Dead lyrics, and this book is the product of that project, which united academics and fans in finding "new references, resonances, and refractions" in favorites like "Dark Star" and "Uncle John's Band." The annotations range from a look at the influence of "Swing Low, Sweet Chariot," Stephen Foster's "Oh Susanna," and Chaucer's Troilus and Criseyde on Hunter's "New Speedway Boogie" to a recipe for cream puffs by Denver Post food critic John Kessler to illustrate "Cream Puff War," an obscure tune by Jerry Garcia. But the heart of the book is Hunter's exquisitely written foreword, which is equal parts love letter to the lyric tradition, impassioned argument on the importance of songwriting and creativity, and reverie for the Grateful Dead themselves and his luck in being their primary lyricist: "I lived lyric year in and year out for decades and never lost my taste for it." Illus., photos. (Oct. 27)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
The Grateful Dead, that legendary band born of the counterculture of the 1960s, possessed such an extensive catalog of original songs that it would take an academic 10 years to annotate them all. Enter David Dodd, Dead fan and cataloger at a major university. In 1994, Dodd needed a research project and hit upon the idea of annotating all the lyrics of his favorite band. He spent untold hours tracing possible allusions in the Dead's songs and posting them on his Web site. The end result is this comprehensive book that presents possible sources for lyrics without ever offering definitive interpretations. The songs are arranged chronologically by date of first performance and span from 1965 to 1995. For Deadheads, the work is mesmerizing, as many of the band's once enigmatic lyrics are now illuminated, if not completely. As one of the band's chief lyricists, John Barlow, says in the afterword, "We always tried . . . to give you plenty of room to flesh your own song around the bones of what we gave you." Jerry Eberle
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
Top Customer Reviews
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
This book has every Grateful dead song lyric and splits them up in order of the year that they where recorded or played live from 1966 to 1994. There are several hundred songs in all. Everything you can think of from Can't come down 1965 to 1994's Childhood's end and in between Candyman, Truckin, Casey Jones, Alabama getaway, China cat garden, Down the road and a few hundred more songs. Some of the cover songs are also in the book.
There is a lengthy forward in the book by Robert Hunter that goes into song writing and the spirit that goes into it that is very nicely written and gave me some insight to Mr. Hunter that I had not seen before.
The book is thoughtfully and beautifully laid out. Almost every page has artwork that is outstanding in its own right and very appropriate for a book involving the Dead. Most of the art work is black and white but there is some color artwork as well. There are also some well placed Biblical quotes. On most songs there are notes that give you the recording date and the first date of performance. The notes, artwork commentary and Biblical passages all provide a nice insight to the songs and how they took shape.
Dead head or passive follower, even if you know all the lyrics and are familiar with the Grateful Dead story this is a great book to look at and read.
Taken from the back cover "This book is great I will never have to explain myself -Bob Weir"
I feel like I'm Truckin got my chips cashed in, truckin like the Doodah man when I pick up this book.
10 stars in a 5 star limitation.
The illustrations, especially those drawn from the original Grateful Dead Songbook (which documents tunes from the Workingman's Dead and Amercian Beauty albums) are fantastic and often thought provoking illustrations of aspects of the band's huge repertoire.
The Grateful Dead was all about the music. This book will enrich anyone's understanding of American music. It is an absolute must for Deadheads.
And it provides tantalising insights into the creative processes of the Grateful Deads great lyricists, Robert Hunter and John Perry Barlow.
BEWARE! THIS IS NOTHING BUT A REPRINT OF THE 2005 EDITION WITH A NEW DUST JACKET.
There's absolutely nothing new in this latest edition of this book. So if you already own the 2005 edition there's no need to purchase this unless you want the new dust jacket with the cool graphic, or you're a collector. The five "stars" is for the content--NOT because there's anything new or different in the contents. If you check the Amazon page for this book the publishing info says "Reissue Edition".
But if you don't own this book and are thinking of buying it--it's a very good book with informative annotations which add insight into many of the tunes. The illustrations add to the overall "coolness" of the book. And Amazon's price is very good. But everything--from Hunter's long Foreward to Alan Trist's Preface, to David Dodd's Introduction, to Barlow's Afterword is exactly the same.
The Dead's main lyricists frame the body of the book with essays about their craft, their role and creative process. Hunter's forward is inspiring - playful, serious, insightful and educational all in one. Barlow's afterward is grounding and tender making a fitting tribute to the band and an era and a fine gift to us all.
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