Freshly back from hiatus, the Grateful Dead delivered the potent yet polarizing Blues for Allah in September 1975. Containing soon-to-be set staples like “Help on the Way,” Slipknot,” Frankin’s Tower,” “Crazy Fingers,” and “The Music Never Stopped,” Blues for Allah has all the hallmarks of a classic Dead record. Still, it’s hard to make the case that these versions are definitive, especially with so many incredible live takes yet to come. In some ways, Blues for Allah is like software in beta—absolutely necessary to future iterations, but still a little buggy. That doesn’t mean it’s not worth revisiting or checking out for the first time. Stately, intoxicating, and occasionally impenetrable, this is a record that demands your full attention. And that’s exactly what we give it.
We’re part of the Osiris podcast network. Osiris is creating a community that connects people like you with podcasts and live experiences about artists and topics you love. To stay up to date on what we’re up to, visit our site and sign up for our newsletter. Osiris works in partnership with JamBase, which connects music fans with the music they love and empowers them to go see live music.