"Funky fresh, I believe I have one more shout out left for the Grateful Dead at least. SHAKEDOWN STREET, the bands eclectic offerings from 1978. This album was recorded near the end of the DONNA JEAN/KEITH GODCHEAUX era. These years closed when Keith Godcheaux died in a severe bike accident. Most will say what he brought to the band was a more funky feel- he also brought his wife- who had sex with everyone in the band on the reg.(Don't quote me on that.) I'm really no extreme DEAD HEAD, but I can hold my own. Hey, I know what I like and what I don't, ain't that good enough. I play this record at parties all the time. Its great fun times. GOOD LOVIN' yeah, its that one you are thinking of covered by Bobby Weir on vocals. Of course Pig Pen covered it years earlier with the Dead and was WAY better, this version isn't bad. FRANCE is a strange worldly track with Donna Jean on vocals. Theres steal drums and stuff going on, you better not leave your seat. SHAKEDOWN STREET* this song kicks. Very groovy, with a hard steady drum beat and cool lyrics. Don't tell me this town ain't got no heart.... SERENGETTI another worldly tune, still good. FIRE ON THE MOUNTAIN* More funky stuff, this song goes well to accompany a white reggae revolution. bands like SUBLIME took there cues from this song. I NEED A MIRACLE* A bluesy one by Bobby Weir. Some good lyrics in the Bobby weir fashion. "I need a woman 'bout twice my age..." FROM THE HEART OF ME a little too much Donna Jean for one album but still, I can dig it here and there. STAGGER LEE This song makes me picture Jerry pimpin' on a sidewalk. This is a lost time for the DEAD I think and that is why these tracks are so underated. I love this stuff. NEW NEW MINGLEWOOD BLUES Oh wait, I'm sorry, this is the ALL NEW MINGLEWOOD BLUES, this is a rehashed version of a song they covered way back in the mid sixties. The original was better, but they added more verses on this one that are quite enjoyable. IF I HAD THE WORLD TO GIVE as is usual, Jerry closes us out with a nice somewhat lengthy inspirational jam. God bless, Jerry.
SO thats it. SHAKEDOWN STREET is a classic studio DEAD. I would recommend ONE FROM THE VAULT first for anyone trying to break into the DEAD, but if you want a funky, reggae, blues, psychedelic disco album for your next FREAK OUT....you don't gotta poke around, get SHAKEDOWN STREET."
Stop what your doin', cause' I'm about to ruin...
K. Hancock | California | 02/22/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Alright, those who are not yet converted to the GD flock: here is your opportunity to ease you in. Purchase this cd then feel yourself being whisked away to such global locations as France, a mountain, Serengetti, Donna Godchaux's heart, and Minglewood. It is clear that this cd was recorded with the intent to win over the entry level GD listener. Let me say, Mission Accomplished. It is a precious gift waiting for you to unlock its mysteries. All you have to do is buy it. I can hear the cd calling to you right now... Mortimer... Kristen... Charles... Buy the cd and be born again in the living fire of the mountain."
Grateful Feat or is it Little Dead
Jerkat1 | San Diego | 03/27/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"As a newly appointed 'Deadhead' I have to say that this album was a pleasant suprise. As you can tell from the reviews this is not one of the Dead's most likable albums. Maybe it's the purists that are still praising the material from the 60's and early 70's needlessly maligning this album, but for what ever reason just give it a chance.
This album was produced by Lowell George of Little Feat, and his presence is certainly noted here. It has that funky Little Feat feel to it. If your a fan of island/funk/reggae/rock this is the album for you, even if you don't expect it to come from the Grateful dead...."
Mediocre, but some great songs
PositiveVibration | South Florida | 12/16/2007
(2 out of 5 stars)
"I'm not anti-studio, but I've always been disappointed by Shakedown Street. As rock studio releases went in the late 70s, it didn't measure up to the Stones' Some Girls, Joe Walsh's Life's Been Good, or Blue Oyster Cult's Agents of Fortune.
It just seemed like Arista called and said "time to get into the studio" -- and the guys (and Donna Jean) only brought 3 songs. The title track, Shakedown Street, is typical Dead -- funky, catchy, bouncy hippie pop. Other standouts are Good Lovin' and Fire on the Mountain. Thanks to Lowell George, the record sounded good -- well-produced but still honest with a bright, consistent mix like the later Little Feat stuff. And, the cover art is way cool from the same artist who brought us the Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers.
Instead of this, if you must have the best songs from Shakedown Street, I recommend that you get the compilation "The Arista Years" which includes all the best stuff on this album. Also consider the re-issued, expanded version of Shakedown Street with Fire on the Mountain recorded live in Egypt and some other stuff. But that's really just collector bait because lengthening a mediocre album doesn't improve it.
Check out dead.net for the Road Trips Vol. 1 and then you'll hear the song Shakedown Street in a 15-minute jam version! It also appears live elsewhere, and you can get this one on Amazon -- the expanded 2-disk "Dead Set" issued in 2006 which includes Shakedown Street on the bonus CD. Be sure to get the 2-CD Dead Set and not the crummy 1-CD version or you'll miss out.
For a solid live "Fire on the Mountain", just order "The Closing of Winterland." It's tremendous. You'll also hear Good Lovin' in that set and at a bunch of other shows, too. If you must have the studio version, go back to your Arista Years. And -- isn't this convenient? Winterland also includes a live "I Need A Miracle" from Shakedown Street. So as you can see, Shakedown Street as a studio album becomes completely unnecessary.
Government Warning Label: If you do get sucked into this studio album, you may experience symptoms of an approaching coma. The only cure for this coma is a large dosage of Fillmore East, followed immediately by a cocktail composed of Live/Dead, Europe '72 and One, Two and Three from the Vault -- in that order! Administer pre-1981 Dick's Picks for the remainder of your treatment, with regular follow-up visits to Steppin' Out (England) and Hundred Year Hall. Those crisp, high-energy, mind-expanding, soul-affirming mixtures of folk songs, soul, blues, psychedilia and rock and roll jams on those recordings do indeed blow away anything recorded after 1980 or in the studio."