Run Jerry Run!
Todd and In Charge | Miami, FL | 09/26/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This is an excellent re-release of an underrated early 80s' Jerry solo album. Those of you familiar with the many posthumous Jerry live cds that have come out lately will know most of these selections, but here they are overdubbed and polished a bit more -- the overall effect is something similar to Terrapin Station-sounding vocals and grooves, with almost-identical production.
There are some real gems here: "Midnight Getaway" has some of Jerry's most heartfelt vocals and guitar work; the studio version of "Valerie" is a good-time winner, should have been a hit single; and his loose and joyous take on "I Saw Her Standing There" is a clear highlight.
While I usually detest the grafitti-like additions of bonus tracks to classic cds, this is a rare case of it actually improving the overall listening experience. In particular, the studio version included here of "Peggy-O," called "Fennario" on the cd, is truly special -- a classic Americana tale, classically told. While there are many versions of this song on various live Dead releases, I am partial to the careful, deliberate performance included here. Also a great version of "Dear Prudence" and "Tangled Up in Blue" and you've basically got one winner of an album.
"Reach for the stars/Smack into the sky/You don't want to live/but you're chicken to die." We miss you Jerry."
Chris Luallen | 11/24/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)
"the cover of "knockin' on heavens door" makes it a must have!4 stars for the album, 5 stars for the song!sweet and beautiful sound."
Overproduced But With A Few Worthy Songs
Chris Luallen | Nashville, Tennessee | 12/29/2007
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Like most of the Grateful Dead studio albums of the late 70's - early 80's, this Garcia solo effort suffers from overproduction. This is a shame since it does feature some excellent songs. My CD also includes 6 bonus tracks: 1) Fennario 2) Alabama Getaway 3) Tangled Up In Blue 4)Simple Twist Of Fate 5) Dear Prudence 6) Valerie (Alternate Mix). So I am going to comment on those tunes as well.
For me "Run For The Roses" and "Alabama Getaway" are the highlights here. They are played with energy and are catchy enough to work in a studio setting. I like the bluesy "Valerie" and the two Beatles' covers - "I Saw Her Standing There" and "Dear Prudence" are decent efforts. But most of the rest of the album is a disappointment. "Fennario", more commonly known as "Peggy-O", is one of my favorite Dead tunes when played live. But this version lacks passion and groove. "Tangled Up In Blue" is one of Bob Dylan's greatest songs. But here Jerry plays and sings it too speedy and the background singers on the chorus are just flat out corny. Another Dylan song, "Simple Twist Of Fate" is somewhat better. But it doesn't come anywhere close to the sublime version of this song on the Jerry Garcia Band's live album released in 1991. I don't especially like "Leave That Little Girl Alone". But the song did become more interesting to me after I read that Robert Hunter wrote it for his daughter Jessie. She was getting into punk rock and Hunter was trying to stop himself from becoming an overprotective parent. Funny and ironic considering that Garcia and the Dead were icons of the hippie counterculture as well as pioneers in the use of mind altering substances. I doubt that Jessie was doing anything that Hunter himself had already tried many years before. But, of course, papas are inclined to fret over their daughters.
Garcia/Dead completists may still want this. But there are much better albums to purchase first."