This is my favorite Dead album. Dire Wolf has the greatest pedal steel solo I have ever heard and
it must've sent every Nashville "steeler" scurrying. I was very impressed by Grateful Dead's use of lyric rhythm and how the
acoustics follow that rhythm on Uncle John's Band. It's like the lyrics were written first and they "strummed" to the rhythm
of the words. Casey Jones gets so intense - songs like this aren't written often today the difference being these guys played
like their lives depended on it! Rambling D
Of all the Dead albums I've heard, this is easily the best album they ever released. It's easily
the most CONCISE album the Dead ever released, too (never thought I'd use the word "concise" in describing a Dead album!).
This is basically straightforward country-rock. Even the less successful songs ("Attics of My Life") are still tasteful. "Box
of Rain" is one of their best, and actually quite moving. Best of all, they never really fall into pointless jamming.
I disagree with many of the negative remarks. "The Candy Man" is one of my favorites and one of the
best Dead songs ever. Don't forget that a song succeeds, as does a poem or movie, when it creates a convincing reality that
the audience can enter into and belive is actually existing and going on in some mysterious place. The pace and tone of this
song are perfect. One feels he is in the world of the Candyman and experiences the feelings of the Candyman. You actually
feel that you are the candyman. And what a world he lives in. Box of Rain, in my opinion is one of the three or four greatest
Dead songs. As I listen to this song I find myself looking out of a window and seeing the visions described. This song guides
a person to the fundamental truths of existence. The dead are the voice for the feelings and yearnings that cry out from the
depths of the listener's soul. They provide a voice and words for those words unspoken and thoughts unsung that have half
twisted out tongues. Their voice, their understanding and recognition of our pain and needs is the box of rain to ease our
pain and their love sees us through. To not be totally transformed by this song is to have had it fly by you, kind of like
being present for the sermon on the mount and asking "what was that all about?". I have a similar reaction to the disparaging
remarks about "the Attics of My Life". I find it to be a very gripping song. The images are powerful and conjure up specific
memories in my own life. My farovite verse is the one "I have spent my life, seeking all that's still unsung. Bent my ear
to hear the tune, and closed my eyes to see." This is a song of passionate struggle for understanding, disappointment, failure
and heartbreak, and gratitude and awe for the love and kindness that came when it was needed. I suppose there is no accounting
for matters of taste, but it seems you are just not connecting to what, at least for me, the Dead are all about. Maybe there
are many aspects to the music and we all connect to something a little different. But when I hear people dismissing such essential
Dead masterpieces as "Candyman" and "Box of Rain" as anything less than sublime, I wonder where their heads are. Sincerely,
Jack McGuire, third rate musician, and lover of American Beauty for more than thirty years.
Let's start this by saying, I do agree Terrapin Station is one of the more revolutionary
albums... it has a prog like style, kind of like that Close to the Edge, Yes album (one of their only good albums, but Yes
is another story)
Now I have to disagree with any positive comments about Donna Godchaux, who was
unfortunately put on this album because of the presence of her husband, Keith, on keyboard. Her singing almost ruins the album,
but luckily is infrequent.
Weir's guitar playing which was described as a "raunchy, rough kind of feel" is
almost that. His off meter playing is certainly not smooth, but has a rock edge to it and is part of what makes Terrapin Station
a revolutionary album that shows the Dead's versatility.
Samson and Delilah is not poorly done, but seems like more of a filler. DSO has
done it better. Also, the appearance of Tom Scott on the album seems totally unnecassary, much like that Godchaux chick. The
album would have been better without both of them...and an orchestra. Needless to say, I agree, an excellent album that belongs
in every Dead home.