As we hit the late 80s the Dead come out with their most popular album and reached the public ears really for the first time, ‘In the Dark.” Maybe not their most popular album with their fans but one that reached double platinum and even had a music video on MTV. I have no shame and can tell you right now I love this album and even “Touch of Grey” which is a blasphemy for Dead fans.
There is a lot I like about this album and it happens right off the bat. “Touch of Grey” is one of my favorite Dead songs, one of the first songs I heard on the radio. Yeah so what it is more poppy and was in the mainstream on MTV with a music video. It is a fun song that speaks a lot to me as a teenager. It made me very happy to hear this as the encore when I saw Dead & Co. in DC recently. Follow up this song with “Hell in a Bucket”, another fun and upbeat song that I really love. “When Push Comes to Shove” & “West LA Fadeaway” are both excellent tracks on the end of this side.
Side B gets just as good with a few of my favorite late Dead songs. Dead and Co. recently played “Throwing Stones” at the show I saw and threw some political comments into their lyrics. This is classic Dead to feed their fans with political freedom and Weir didn’t disappoint.
To get this album to sound like it was live the guys performed this album in an empty and dark theater, hence ‘In the Dark.’ It comes of exactly as they wanted and sounds great on vinyl. It had been about 6 years since they put out a studio album and they wanted to get it right. I think they really did and unfortunately would be really the last great album they put out. “Black Muddy River” is a slow nice song to sway to during a heavy set list. A great song that is very deep and dark.
Sadly Jerry would die in about 8 years after this. The Grateful Dead would never be the same, even with the traveling side shows (JRAD, Dead and Co. Ratdog, Further, whatever). The spirit of Jerry lives on with everyone in the band and their fans. This is something no band or music has ever done to me nor ever will.