Posts Tagged ‘Grateful Dead’

Deals Aplenty This Month on Amazon MP3

Friday, May 1st, 2009

There's something for everyone this month at Amazon. The ever-thoughtful editors there have marked down 50 prime MP3 albums to $5 apiece for the duration of May. Among their choices:

Kenny Rogers, The Gambler:  Something of a concept album revolving around the iconic title track. It's regarded as one of his best full albums.


Jamey Johnson, That Lonesome Song:  Nashville's critical favorite of 2008 if you don't count Taylor Swift's Fearless as “country.”


Neko Case, Middle Cyclone: A well-received rock-leaning outing from the alt-country favorite. Has a very weird and very cool album cover.

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Dolly Parton, Backwoods Barbie: Parton's most recent album, which finds her embracing contemporary country styles more fully than she has in recent years. There's some fluff in this package, but some very solid songwriting, too.


Grateful Dead, American Beauty: Supposedly, it's one of the best country-influenced rock albums ever. I haven't heard it yet myself because a few sources have insisted it I make a proper experience of it.


And the page is well worth checking out for the non-country deals, too. Amazon even has the stereo version of The Beach Boys' Pet Sounds, universally acknowledged as one of the best, most important albums ever, for $1.99 here.

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Iconic Songs of the Last Decade

Friday, March 6th, 2009

I was listening to The Band’s album Music From Big Pink earlier this week, and something struck me about the song “The Weight.” Trust me, you know the song. It goes a little like this: “I pulled into Nazareth / Was feelin’ about half past dead / I just need some place / where I can lay my head.”  Ring a bell yet? No? Try this:

In the song, The Band, originally consisting of Robbie Robertson, Richard Manuel, Garth Hudson, Rick Danko and Levon Helm, draws from a familiar cast of characters and American mythology to tell a universal story set in the town of Nazareth, PA. First released in 1968, “The Weight” only reached #63 on the U.S. charts, but has since achieved iconic status. It has become an American standard in a way few songs have accomplished. Indeed, Rolling Stone lists it as the 41st greatest song of all time. 

Further cementing its iconic status, check out a very small sample of the artists  – across genres, of all ages – who have covered the song:

  • Van Morrison
  • Bob Dylan
  • The Black Crowes
  • Little Feat
  • Grateful Dead
  • Travis
  • Old Crow Medicine Show
  • Gillian Welch
  • The Staple Singers
  • Joan Osborne
  • John Denver
  • Deana Carter
  • Weezer
  • Lee Ann Womack
  • Cross Canadian Ragweed
  • Diana Ross, the Temptations and the Supremes
  • The Allman Brothers Band
  • The Marshall Tucker Band
  • Panic at the Disco
  • Aaron Pritchett

Songs with enduring power like “The Weight” are few and far between, and seem to be even more so nowadays. So tonight’s discussion asks:

What songs of the past decade have enduring power? What songs will we be listening to and hear covers of in the next 50 years?

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