Monday, February 25, 2013

Saw Dick's Picks Volume Three in South Pasadena library and thought - remembering that great New Yorker piece on Deadheadism - "oh, I'll give 'em another try".

Listening, it struck me that the problem with the Grateful Dead is:

They're shit at song writing.

They're shit at singing.

As a groove band, they're ain't that hot either.

Really it's only the noodle, and those moments, few and far between, when the noodle takes off, that just about redeem them...   To get to those moments involves waiting through protracted stretches of  shit-song and shit-sing ....

But the remarkable thing about the Dead is that so shit are they at singing, they can take someone else's song and make it their own in the worst possible sense, i.e. make it as bad as something they wrote themselves.

Viz, this -  one of the greatest pop songs ever, turned to shite...

I quite like the disco-ish groove here, the glinting meshwork of the guitar lines and the keyboard. But is it enough to make up for the enshitenment inflicted upon Martha and the Vandellas?