Grateful Dead, Shakedown Street
The Dead goes full-blown disco
The Dead goes full-blown disco with this turn in the road. The Young Rascals' "Good Lovin'," which the band played loose 'n' live for years, gets the life squeezed out of it. The presence of Little Feat's Lowell George, who served as producer, should have made Shakedown Street a contender; instead it's nearly a bust. Garcia's guitar is practically unrecognizable, and there is a disturbing sheen throughout. But all is not lost: "Fire on the Mountain," co-written by Mickey Hart and Robert Hunter, gained needed dynamics when played live; the Hart-Kreutzmann percussion piece "Serengetti" is a meditative respite, and the dance-pop title track is annoyingly catchy, a guilty pleasure. Donna and Keith Godchaux, both prominently featured here, exited the band the following year.