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Postcards of the Hanging: Grateful Dead Perform the Songs of Bob Dylan

Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Steve Futterman
The Grateful Dead and Bob Dylan were part of a mutual appreciation society. The Dead began covering Dylan songs in their live sets early in their career and continued until the death of Jerry Garcia in 1995. Dylan, for his part, admired the group and particularly its lead guitarist "His playing was moody, awesome, sophisticated, hypnotic and subtle," Dylan once wrote of Garcia to such a degree that he joined the group for a landmark tour in the summer of 1987. Postcards of the Hanging captures nearly 20 years of live Dead renditions of classic Dylan songs, starting with "It Takes a Lot to Laugh, It Takes a Train to Cry" in 1973, with the San Francisco band joined by ...
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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Steve Futterman
The Grateful Dead and Bob Dylan were part of a mutual appreciation society. The Dead began covering Dylan songs in their live sets early in their career and continued until the death of Jerry Garcia in 1995. Dylan, for his part, admired the group and particularly its lead guitarist "His playing was moody, awesome, sophisticated, hypnotic and subtle," Dylan once wrote of Garcia to such a degree that he joined the group for a landmark tour in the summer of 1987. Postcards of the Hanging captures nearly 20 years of live Dead renditions of classic Dylan songs, starting with "It Takes a Lot to Laugh, It Takes a Train to Cry" in 1973, with the San Francisco band joined by two of its southern jamming buddies, guitarist Dickey Betts and drummer Butch Trucks of the Allman Brothers Band, and stretching to "Desolation Row" from 1990. The majority of the performances date from the '80s by 1988 the Dead were including a Dylan song in almost every show. And the band picked wisely, sinking their teeth into the cream of Dylan's wide repertoire; highlights include impassioned takes on "All Along the Watchtower," "Just like Tom Thumb's Blues," "She Belongs to Me," and "Ballad of a Thin Man." As an added treat, two tracks with Dylan fronting the Dead from tour rehearsals in 1987 are included.
All Music Guide - Ronnie D. Lankford
Manfred Mann has stated that since Bob Dylan's versions of his own songs are so idiosyncratic, it is easy to approach his material from a fresh angle. Perhaps, but few bands would return to Dylan as frequently and successfully as the Byrds and the Grateful Dead. Interestingly, collections were issued from both bands in 2002, each featuring a disc full of the master's covers. Postcards of the Hanging: Grateful Dead Perform the Songs of Bob Dylan gathers 11 live cuts from the Grateful Dead over a span of 27 years, reaching back to 1973 for a version of "It Takes a Lot to Laugh, It Takes a Train to Cry" and including a 1990 version of "Desolation Row." A quick glance at the song list reveals that the Dead chose their covers carefully, sticking to jewels like "Just Like Tom Thumb's Blues" and "Ballad of a Thin Man." Jerry Garcia delivers soulful vocals on "She Belongs to Me" and "It Takes a Lot to Laugh, It Takes a Train to Cry," and the band stretches both songs to pass the seven-minute mark. One of the joys, in fact, of the Dead's interpretations of Dylan is how they give a song room to breathe. Bob Weir allows "When I Paint My Masterpiece" to unwind at a leisurely pace, allowing the lyric to slowly unfurl as the band chugs along. There are also a couple of surprises. Phil Lesh offers a rare vocal on "Just Like Tom Thumb's Blues" and Dylan himself shows up on "Man of Peace," which is handled much better than the material issued on Dylan & the Dead. Postcards of the Hanging is a fun collection that lovingly documents the Dead's appreciation of rock's most celebrated poet.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 8/31/2004
  • Label: Grateful Dead / Wea
  • UPC: 081227894627
  • Catalog Number: 78946

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 When I Paint My Masterpiece
  2. 2 She Belongs to Me
  3. 3 Just Like Tom Thumb's Blues
  4. 4 Maggie's Farm
  5. 5 Stuck Inside of Mobile With the Memphis Blues Again
  6. 6 It Takes a Lot to Laugh, It Takes a Train to Cry
  7. 7 Ballad of a Thin Man
  8. 8 Desolation Row
  9. 9 All Along the Watchtower
  10. 10 It's All Over Now, Baby Blue
  11. 11 Man of Peace
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Grateful Dead Primary Artist
Mickey Hart Drums
Dickey Betts Guitar, Track Performer, Guest Appearance
Bob Dylan Acoustic Guitar, Vocals, Track Performer
Jerry Garcia Guitar, Vocals
Bob Weir Guitar, Vocals
Keith Godchaux Piano
Bill Kreutzmann Drums
Phil Lesh Bass, Vocals
Brent Mydland Keyboards, Vocals
Butch Trucks Drums, Track Performer
Technical Credits
John Cutler Engineer
Joe Gastwirt Mastering
Geoff Gans Art Direction
Emilie Burnham Illustrations
Billy Candelario Engineer
Mikal Gilmore Liner Notes
David Lemieux Tape Archivist
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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Posted October 1, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Bringing Out The Best in Both

    Although a posthumous release, Postcards of the Hanging might well be considered the last Grateful Dead album. They bring out the best in Dylan songs and the Dylan songs bring out the best in them. Garcia's vocal on She Belongs to Me is heart breaking, his best vocal ever. Weir does some remarkable vocal turns as well, particularly on Desolation Row, a lyric from which provides the CD's title. Even Lesh has some fun with Tom Thumb Blues. Dylan shows up with a great version Man of Peace. Sadly, the Dylan & the Dead release is terrible. If you like either the Grateful Dead or Bob Dylan, this release is pretty darn near essential. Please visit: timothyherrick.blogspot.com/

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    excellent!

    after hearing Dylan and the Dead i was skeptical about this release. But it's fantastic! my favorite tracks are anything from Highway 61 Revisisted. It's a really great album, you can tell the band really loved Dylan's work because Garcia really gives it his all on vocals and the band plays great. What's great about the grateful dead is how flawlessly they pull off these covers, they sound like Grateful Dead originals. highly recomended for Deadheads and Dylan fans!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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