Friday, March 4, 2016

Robert Hunter - Jack O' Roses (1980)

It's still Grateful Dead week on this blog, so here is some more rare Grateful Dead-related music. This is an out-of-print rarity by the band's resident lyricist Robert Hunter. In his day, Hunter never received as much critical acclaim as writers like Robbie Robertson or Bob Dylan, but time has proven him to be one of rock's best -- and most perceptive -- lyricists. Not only is the catalog of songs he wrote with Jerry Garcia ever-enduring, but he had the ability to coin phrases like no other ("What a long, strange trip" being one of many examples -- others can be found in this book).

The little-known Jack O'Roses album is an essential listen since it includes Hunter’s own version of "Terrapin Station" (here simply titled "Terrapin"). "Terrapin Station" was, of course, the title track of the Grateful Dead's ninth studio album, released in 1977. The a multi-part song suite, which was co-written by Garcia and Hunter, contains some Garcia's most gorgeous passages of music.

Hunter's version here includes some sections left out of the Dead’s version. The album also features his unplugged renderings of “Box of Rain,” “Friend of the Devil,” and “Ruben and Cherise,” here titled “Ruben and Cerise.” To add to the obscurity factor, this LP not only out-of-print, but it was never even officially released in the U.S., so a lot of people didn't even know it existed.

Related posts:
Keith & Donna - Keith & Donna (1975)
Brent Mydland - Unreleased Solo Album (1982)
Mother McCree's Uptown Jug Champions - Live at the Top of the Tangent (1964)
Diga Rhythm Band - Diga (1976)

Track list:
1. Box of Rain
2. Reuben and Cerise
3. Talkin' Money Tree
4. Friend of the Devil
5. Delia DeLyon and Stagger Lee
6. Lady of Carlisle
7. Book of Daniel
8. Terrapin
    a. Lady With a Fan
    b. Terrapin Station
    c. Ivory Wheels/Rosewood Track
    d. Jack O'Roses
9. Prodigal Town



  2. Thank you, very nice!