In 1973, The Grateful Dead started their own label, Grateful Dead Records. To start things off, they released this album on it. This was also their first album without PigPen, who had died of a gastrointestinal hemorrhage in March of that year. His replacement, Keith Godchaux, had joined them for three (official) live albums prior to recording. In fact, five of the songs were already in live rotation.
Jerry Garcia: guitar, pedal steel guitar, vocals
Bob Weir: bass, vocals
Keith Godchaux: keyboards, vocals
Donna Jean Godchaux: backing vocals
Bill Kreutzmann: drums
- “Mississippi Half-Step Uptown Toodeloo”: This is a great bluesy tune, with great keyboards from Keith. I especially like Vassar Clements ‘ violin work.
- ” Let Me Sing Your Blues Away”: Keith sings lead on this song, which he co-wrote with lyricist Robert Hunter. It’s a beautiful start for him. One of my favorite songs.
- “Row Jimmy”: Jerry brought this complex song into the studio, and it was difficult to play at first, according to Kreutzmann. “It’s trickier than it sounds. But once I locked into it, “Row Jimmy” became one of the best songs in our repertoire. ” I’m inclined to agree.
- “Stella Blue”: Great song to end side one.
- ” Here Comes Sunshine “: This is the song that inspired the album’s title, coming from the lyric “Wake of the flood, laughing water, ’49 Get out the pans, don’t just stand there dreaming, get out the way,” . The reference comes from a flood in Oregon.
- “Eyes of the World”: This and “Let Me Sing Your Blues Away” were released as singles, but neither charted.
- “Weather Report Suite”: The prelude to this suite was often part of the live set prior to its inclusion. It’s a pretty suite.
Final Verdict: Keith gets a great start and proves to be a great fit for the band.
One thought on “Ranking the Discography: The Grateful Dead Part 6: Wake of the Flood”
Jason; by the time “Wake’ was released on 10/15/73, ALL of its songs had been played live: Mississippi Half-Step: first played 7/16/72, Let Me Sing 9/8/73, Row Jimmy 2/9/73, Stella Blue 6/17/72, HC Sunshine 2/9/73, Eyes 2/9/73 ,WRS 9/8/73