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From the Mars Hotel [Bonus Tracks]

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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Vik Iyengar
The Grateful Dead made their reputation on the road with their live shows, and they always struggled to capture that magic in the studio. From the Mars Hotel, while not a classic, represents one of their better studio albums. Jerry Garcia sounds engaged throughout and takes the vocal reigns for most of the songs on the album -- although he's not the most gifted vocalist, he proves himself able and versatile. He sings the rollicking opener, "U.S. Blues," with a tongue-in-cheek seriousness that gives the political song an edge, and he lends emotional sincerity to the atmospheric ballad "China Doll." Garcia shines on guitar during the funk workout "Scarlet Begonias," but the ...
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CD (Remastered / Bonus Tracks / Digi-Pak)
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Vik Iyengar
The Grateful Dead made their reputation on the road with their live shows, and they always struggled to capture that magic in the studio. From the Mars Hotel, while not a classic, represents one of their better studio albums. Jerry Garcia sounds engaged throughout and takes the vocal reigns for most of the songs on the album -- although he's not the most gifted vocalist, he proves himself able and versatile. He sings the rollicking opener, "U.S. Blues," with a tongue-in-cheek seriousness that gives the political song an edge, and he lends emotional sincerity to the atmospheric ballad "China Doll." Garcia shines on guitar during the funk workout "Scarlet Begonias," but the ensemble work is best displayed on the album's centerpiece, "Unbroken Chain." During this song, all the musicians are allowed to shine: Phil Lesh, the bassist and songwriter, provides tender vocals over a piano-based arrangement while the bridge allows the guitars and drums to stretch out in classic Grateful Dead style. This album is highly recommended for fans, but casual listeners should start with American Beauty or Workingman's Dead. [In 2004, Rhino released a remastered, expanded edition of From the Mars Hotel as part of the exhaustive 12-disc box Beyond Description 1973-1989; in 2006, this expanded CD was released separately. The expanded disc contained seven bonus tracks: an alternate studio outtake of "Loose Lucy"; live versions of "Scarlet Begonias," "Money Money," "Wave That Flag," and Chuck Berry's "Let It Rock"; and studio acoustic demos of "Pride of Cucamonga" and "Unbroken Chain."]
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 3/7/2006
  • Label: Grateful Dead / Wea
  • UPC: 081227327729
  • Catalog Number: 73277
  • Sales rank: 19,360

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 U.S. Blues (4:40)
  2. 2 China Doll (4:10)
  3. 3 Unbroken Chain (6:45)
  4. 4 Loose Lucy (3:21)
  5. 5 Scarlet Begonias (4:19)
  6. 6 Pride of Cucamonga (4:16)
  7. 7 Money Money (4:24)
  8. 8 Ship of Fools (5:38)
  9. 9 Loose Lucy (4:43)
  10. 10 Scarlet Begonias (9:09)
  11. 11 Money Money (4:19)
  12. 12 Wave That Flag (5:34)
  13. 13 Let It Rock (3:22)
  14. 14 Pride of Cucamonga (4:24)
  15. 15 Unbroken Chain (6:20)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Grateful Dead Primary Artist
Jerry Garcia Guitar, Vocals, Group Member
Bob Weir Guitar, Vocals, Group Member
Ned Lagin Synthesizer
Donna Jean Godchaux Background Vocals, Group Member
Keith Godchaux Harpsichord, Keyboards, Group Member
Bill Kreutzmann Drums, Group Member
Phil Lesh Vocals, Group Member
John McFee Pedal Steel Guitar
Technical Credits
Chuck Berry Composer
Jerry Garcia Composer
Grateful Dead Producer
Bob Weir Composer
Robert Hunter Composer
James Austin Reissue Producer
John Perry Barlow Composer
Joe Gastwirt Mastering
Phil Lesh Composer
Roy Segal Engineer
Joel Selvin Liner Notes
Mary Ann Mayer Artwork
Reggie Collins Discographical Annotation
Cameron Sears Producer, Executive Producer
David Lemieux Reissue Producer
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 2 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Posted October 1, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    One of the Most Dreadfully Overlooked Gems in the Dead's Studio Catalogue.

    So, in 1974 the Dead found themselves having to pay for the monstrously expensive, but acoustically perfect Wall of Sound, a large coterie of employees, and themselves. They needed a hit album, badly. What they delivered could very well have been one, had it had the marketing muscle of Warner Brothers or Arista behind it. This album, like their best (and the other two studio albums released on Grateful Dead Records) comes across as a seamless whole, with the one exception of Bob Weir's "Money Money". I still cannot figure out if he's being quite facetious or if he's really that angry at some unnamed woman. The album's opener, "U.S. Blues", is yet another distillation of the Dead's patented psychedelic rock'n'roll boogie, this time with lyrics equally as contemptuous of the Nixon presidency's spectacular downfall as Stevie Wonder's "You Haven't Done Nothin'" or "He's Misstra Know-It-All". The songs "Loose Lucy", "Scarlet Begonias" and the Lesh-composed "Pride of Cucamonga" all hearken back to the loping country-blues of Workingman's Dead or American Beauty. Not that the Dead were looking backwards; these songs just fit in that particualar vein of their music. On the other hand, "China Doll" is a murder ballad framed by Garcia's delicate guitar and vocals and Keith Godchaux's amazing harpsichord playing. "Ship of Fools" is a slow, sad bluesy number, enlivened by Godchaux's organ and piano. The psychedelic heart of the album is Lesh's "Unbroken Chain", which proceeds from a fairly standard Dead sound into something that, in 1974, was absoultely stunning electronically and sonically. It says something that, despite repeated requests to play "Unbroken Chain" live, the band never felt ready to until 1995.

    The standout players here, if one can ever really say that about a Grateful Dead album, are Keith and Donna Jean Godchaux. Keith here quashes forever the opinion that he was merely a jazzy piano player brought in to dep for Pigpen when necessary, as his coloring touches on harpsichord, organ and synthesizer, coupled with his prowess at throwing out both jazz and barrelhouse blues piano, prove him the equal of his predecessors and successors in the band. Donna Jean, on the other hand, revealed her ability to add the right pinch of sugar (or salt) to push a song over the top. So, hats off to the late Keith Godchaux, and here's to the next unannounced appearance Donna Jean makes with what is now called "The Dead" (or any of its offspring). As for the album, get it if you're a casual fan or a true DeadHead. It's that good, and, twenty years after I first heard it, I've yet to get tired of hearing the moment in which one player yelps in joy when the whole band takes off during "Unbroken Chain".

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 28, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews