Saturday, February 9, 2013

Kind Tune Anniversary


Grateful Dead, Eyes of the World

Forty years ago today, the Grateful Dead debuted Eyes of the World, along with six other original first timers. Wake of the Flood would be released in September of 73, about 3 years since their previous studio album, American Beauty. While Garcia had released his first (self-titled) solo album in 72, he obviously had some tunes in the can. Amazing thing about Eyes, it didn't need any fine tuning, and they jump right in with a 19 minute monster that flows into another debut, China Doll. These two were paired a number of time over the next few years. The first two versions of this tune that I loved are drastically different: the one from Without a Net featuring Branford Marsalis on sax, and the space jazz version from One from the Vault. Both versions demonstrate how the song changed with the band over the years, fitting perfectly into whatever style they found themselves to be in at the moment. 

1: Promised, Row Jimmy, B. T. Wind, Deal, Me & My Uncle, Sugaree, L. L. Rain, Loose Lucy, Mexicali, B. E. Women, El Paso, H. C. Sunshine, Playin
2: China Cat> I Know You Rider, Jack Straw, TLEO, Truckin> Eyes> China Doll, Big River, Ramble On, Box Of Rain, Wave That Flag, Sugar Magnolia, Uncle John, Around E: Casey Jones
"Beer Barrel Polka" tuning before "Mexicali" - first "China Doll" - first "Eyes" - first "H. C. Sunshine" - first "Loose Lucy" - first "TLEO" - first "Row Jimmy" - first "Wave That Flag"

Note that the track list is a little messed up on that link, with Eyes actually being labeled as China Doll. Also, Wave That Flag is the early version of US Blues. 


Here's a fine version of the tune from the Grateful Dead Movie, audio of which was also included on the So Many Roads box set.



Here's a version with Branford:



And here's an excellent pro-shot video version of the tune that opened the first set at Giant's Stadium in 91: