This album like the two that preceded it is very psychedelic and late 1960's sounding. Though, unlike
Anthem of the Sun that focused heavily upon jamming, these compositions are more song oriented. Noteworthy is that
they were all written by Jerry Garcia and Robert Hunter with
the exception of bassist Phil Lesh assisting on "St. Stephen."
From this album only "China Cat Sunflower" survived
through the years; originally this song frequently appeared in their
concerts between "Dark Star" and "The
This CD includes "St. Stephen," the song that smartly replaced
"China Cat Sunflower" as their live staple to serve as the filling between the "Dark Star" and "The Eleven."
It is a powerful piece of music rhythmically which was dropped from
the repertoire shortly after Keith Godchaux joined the band. It did appear
on rare occasions in the late 1970's and early '80's, but sounded best in
the band's early years.
Several of the shorter songs are more folk oriented and are a
prelude as to the direction the band was evolving towards; as would be heard
in their next two studio albums.
The bonus material is a treasure. It
includes three separate studio jams recorded on 8/13/68. These
special compositions include the progressive "Clementine
Jam," the bluesy "Nobody's Fault Jam," and the psychedelic
"The Eleven Jam."
The additions to Aoxomoxoa are
of a kind that make this album more than worthy of consideration. It is
noteworthy to mention the outstanding versions of many of these songs
on Dick's Picks 26.
Original Album - C +
Bonus Material - A
Final Grade -
The remastered version of Aoxomoxoa is
available in the box set The