Monday, December 07, 2009

How Sweet It Is!

I can't stop listening to this - the Grateful Dead performing the Motown classic "How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved By You)" in New York, March '72 (just before the celebrated European tour):

Listen Here (Track 3)

I don't usually blog about the Dead, or it would just be endless, but I'll make an exception here. Even non-Deadheads should appreciate the exuberance and joy that's bursting from Jerry's guitar here. It's hard to understand why they never played it again, after this particularly wonderful version. I know it was part of the Jerry Garcia Band's rotation for twenty years, but I've checked some versions and nothing compares to this one.

Jerry Garcia
Jerry Garcia, a.k.a Captain Trips

This show has been released as Dick's Picks 30 (the series put together by Dead tape archivist Dick Latvala), so only this slighly rough audience recording is available at The first set featured Bo Diddley, hence lots of bluesy jamming.

Also, this appears to have been Donna Godchaux's first show. I don't have a problem with Donna's singing like most 'heads do (OK, there were some pretty awful moments, but some of the ballads in '76-'78 are coloured so beautifully by her backing vocals - "Ship of Fools", "Must Have Been the Roses", "Row Jimmy", etc. - that I can forgive her the occasional bit of shrieking. And what about Phil's painfully flat singing?) She's appropriately raucous, yet tuneful, on this one.


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