Ranking the Discography: Grateful Dead Part X: Shakedown Street (1978)

Shakedown Street was released a year after Terrapin Station. It was the last album to feature Keith Godchaux and his wife Donna Jean, as both left the band after its release. It was produced by Lowell George of Little Feat.


Jerry Garcia: lead guitars, vocals

Bob Weir: guitar, vocals

Phil Lesh: bass

Keith Godchaux: keyboards, vocals

Mickey Hart: drums, percussion

Bill Kreutzmann: drums, percussion

Donna Jean Godchaux: vocals

The Tracks:

  1. “Good Lovin'”: I feel like the Dead were thinking “Do we have to cover this song?” This is a bad cover. Not a good start.
  2. “France”: Bob and Donna Jean’s vocals are great together. This is one of the best songs on the album.
  3. ” Shakedown Street”: This song was first performed live three months before the album was recorded. The song deals with inner city decay. The song’s title would later refer to the vending area outside Grateful Dead concerts. It’s a great song.
  4. “Serengeti” : A short percussion track showing off Kreutzmann’s talents.
  5. “Fire on the Mountain”: This is my favorite song on the album. It was often paired with “Scarlet Begonias” when played live. It was included as downloadable content for Rock Band. The song has been covered by Keller Williams and Daniel Donato.
  6. “I Need a Miracle “: Another banger to start side 2. Bob sounds great on this one.
  7. ” From the Heart of Me “: Donna Jean sounds beautiful on this one.
  8. ” Stagger Lee”: Garcia sings lead on this excellentrendition of the folk ballad about the murderer Stag Lee Shelton and his killing of Billy Lyons. The song was first recorded in 1923 by Fred Waring’s Pennsylvanians. It’s also been by Ike and Tina Turner, Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, Wilson Pickett, and even Pat Boone.
  9. “All New Minglewood Blues”: A great cover with some great vocals from Bob.
  10. “If I Had the World to Give”: Jerry Garcia sings lead on this great closer.

Final Verdict: The album has a weak start, but makes up for it as you go, especially in the second half. I enjoyed it!

Grade: B+


Author: rocklobsterjwt

I am a Christian and an anime fan. My blog will cover anime reviews and maybe an occasional story

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