A Tragically Overlooked GRATEFUL DEAD Classic
T. Kasuboski | Winneconne, Wisconsin United States | 08/05/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Maybe it was the cover art, who knows? Or else, maybe the rock world in 1980 just wasn't as receptive(to a new DEAD album) as they were in 1970. Whatever the cause, THE GRATEFUL DEAD-"Go To Heaven" was destined to remain a black sheep of the DEAD's back catalogue. It is truly tragic that so many DEAD fans have avoided "Go To Heaven" over the years. In many cases, the album is verbally trashed by people who have never actually heard it! Admittedly, I fell victim to this phenomenon. Due to the constant bad-mouthing of "Go To Heaven" I just assumed that it must really be THAT bad. Well, when I finally HEARD the album I was quite surprised. Actually, I was rather shocked! "Go To Heaven" is a GREAT album!!! Flawless no, but certainly vintage DEAD. Now without a doubt this album will be most enjoyed by fans of the post-1975 albums. The DEAD circa-1980 were quite different from the DEAD of 1970. However, the quality of music produced by the GRATEFUL DEAD did NOT change during this period. "Go To Heaven" is filled with powerful tracks such as the forgotten Hunter/Garcia classic "Althea" and Bob Weir's brilliant "Lost Sailor" and "Saint of Circumstance"(two of Weir's most emotional and mature compostitions). New guy keyboardist Brent Mydland contributes two tracks which despite their commercial appeal are both well written and quite enjoyable. The album opens with the classic "Alabama Getaway" one of the DEAD's most rockin' tunes. Another highlight is Bob Weir's killer "Feel Like A Stranger" which is probably the DEAD's most funk-based tune(next to "Shakedown Street", of course)and sure to get you in the groove. The album ends with a short and uptempo version of "Don't Ease Me In". As added bonuses, the remastered Rhino version of "Go To Heaven" adds studio outtakes of "Peggy-O", "Jack-A-Roe", and a totally AWESOME tune which should have made the album called "What'll You Raise". Furthermore, you get KILLER live versions of "Althea", "Lost Sailor" and "Saint of Circumstance" recorded at Radio City Music Hall in 1980. Add on an excellent booklet with great liner-notes and you have a truly great re-issue of this album with an excellent and much deserved remastering job. So now's your chance to check out an album you may have overlooked or shied away from at the time. Revisit "Go To Heaven" and discover its hidden charm and lost brilliance...."
Excellent sonics - nice bonus tracks. And Jerry's only 38.
Rubén | US | 06/21/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I compared this CD with my LP I bought in 1980 - still in near-mint condition (cartrdge: Shure M97x, Turntble: technics SL1200 MK2, components @ a similar-level). Verdict: CD beats my vinyl by a noticeable, not great amount (and granted, it's not today's "audiophile" 180g product, but sounds quite good on its own). If you're in this situation and on the fence, get the CD for the sound (I always liked "Don't Ease me In," but since it's the last track on side 2, the fidelity on the LP was not as good as the side's 1st track - on the CD it sounds really nice)and ALSO for the bonus tracks. Three outtakes and 3 live tracks. Since I have no live GD from after '78, this tipped the scale for me. As with the main album, the bonus material is very well recorded and transferred to CD. As someone else said, it definitely not Amer Beauty, but it's probably better than 70% of what else was released in 1980, and better than 90% of what's on the radio today. One more thought: I also thought the Dead were close to finished back then, but Jerry was only 38, which to me now seems oh, so young!"
An Old deadhead's review
Cat In the Hat | Manassas Va, USA | 03/15/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I am a dedicated "deadhead" you might say, and I absolutely adored them! They are amazing live, I saw them throughout the sixties and seventies, & eighties. some shows through the 90's, but not so much then. I also saw Jerry Garcia's last show before he died. This is not the grateful dead's best album, but it is still one of those albums that can stand the test of time, and is good for the occasional listen. I still have the record, and I play it alot. Even if you are new to the grateful dead music scene, you should still check this out. But the best dead I have ever listened to was July 4th, 1989. I was at the concert, i remember everything that was happening like it was yesterday. Buy that First, then american Beauty and terrapin station. i would then recomend Aoxomoxoa or anthem of the sun. Workingman's dead is very good. dont get built to last unless you want to, it is probaly their worst studio album. This album was released in 1980, and it was not their last studio album, for the idiot reviewers put the wrong information before me. Get this cd or record, however you can get it is fine. dont buy it for 2 or 3 songs either. get the whole thing and listen to it all the way through it every single time. that is the only way to listen to the Grateful Dead"