The Very Best of JG
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The Very Best of

 

 Jerry Garcia
 
 
 
 
 
 
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The Best of Jerry Garcia - Jerry Garcia review

The Very Best of Jerry Garcia

The Very Best of Jerry Garcia is a two CD collection. The first is disc is comprised of studio material and second side live cuts. There is only one song that was not yet released elsewhere, Reconstruction's interpretation the Beatles "Dear Prudence." Complete details are included in the track listing section.

This compilation is a good idea to present Jerry Garcia's diverse bands all on one purchase. It is not a complete look at Jerry's side bands. The inclusion of a song from his work with David Grisman both with The Great American String Band and from one of their solo albums would have made the release even better. There is no material from the Saunders line-up's.

The five re-mastered studio releases pack each individual albums generously so the first disc of this compilation only scratches the surface of that material. However, it may be enough for some, as the live performances is where Jerry was at his best. If you're inclined to explore Garcia's studio material beyond this compilation you'd be well served to pick up Compliments and Reflections as there is plenty on those releases to enjoy not on this collection, especially Compliments. I'm not a fan of the Reggae style of "Knockin' On Heaven's Door," otherwise, a solid selection of songs. 

It is very difficult to fit a bet of Jerry Garcia band live onto one disc so this would be far from comprehensive. It starts off with three acoustic numbers. First up is Old and in the Way, a bluegrass band. They are followed by The Jerry Garcia Acoustic Band from 1987 and 1988. Among the electric tracks, since the material is a compilation the sound quality varies from song to song. The Jimmy Cliff cover, "The Harder They Come" is the weakest track sonically. It also isn't the best way to show off the band with Keith and Donna. A selection from Don't Let Go would have been a better choice by including one of its two Motown covers, "Tore Up" or "I'll Take a Melody." 

The Very Best of Jerry Garcia is loaded with good music. If your not inclined to pick up the individual albums you'll be very happy with the release. Too, some of the live selections are from albums that are hard to find that adds to its appeal. The liner are written by Blair Jackson and includes photos and credits.
by Barry Small© 

Grade  A -

Garcia box-set: All Good Things: Jerry Garcia Studio Sessions  

The Best of Jerry Garcia - Jerry Garcia review
Track List

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CD 1: Studio recordings

Garcia
Deal 
Bird Song 
Sugaree 
Loser 
The Wheel 

Compliments
Let It Rock 
Russian Lullaby 

Reflections
Might As Well 
Mission In The Rain 
I'll Take A Melody

Cats Down Under the Stars
Rubin And Cherise 
Cats Under The Stars 
Rhapsody In Red 

Run For the Roses
Run For The Roses
Knockin' On Heaven's Door
Without Love 

CD 2: Live recordings
One track was previously unreleased, "Dear Prudence" and "Deal" was issued only on the bonus disc of orders placed directly on the Jerry Garcia website.

1973 Old & In The Way
That High Lonesome Sound
Catfish John

1987 Jerry Garcia Acoustic Band
Almost Acoustic
Deep Elem Blues
Ripple

1975 Jerry Garcia Band w/ Hopkins 
Garcia Plays Dylan
Positively 4th Street 

1977 Jerry Garcia Band w/ Keith Godchaux
Theatre 1839
The Harder They Come 

1990 Jerry Garcia Band
How Sweet It Is

Gomorrah 

1979 Reconstruction
Previously Unreleased
Dear Prudence

1990 Jerry Garcia Band
Jerry Garcia Band
Señor (Tales Of Yankee Power) 
Evangeline 

1980 Jerry Garcia Band
Way After Midnight Pre-order bonus disc
Deal 

The Best of Jerry Garcia - Jerry Garcia review
Musicians:       

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Jerry Garcia - guitar, vocals
Others vary depending on the album or live band.
Garcia, Compliments, Reflections, Cats Under The Stars, and Run For The Roses

The Best of Jerry Garcia - Jerry Garcia review
Notes:

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Label -  Rhino
Release Date 9/26/2006
In-depth essay from Blair Jackson. 

All pre-orders for The Very Best of Jerry Garcia will receive 2 additional discs of bonus material. The first, "Twisted Radio Waves," features in its entirety, a 1972 radio conversation with Jerry presented by Dr. Demento. 

EXCLUSIVE: More of the Best Track Listing:
1. That’s What Love Will Make You Do – 11:47 (Legion of Mary, 5/21/75)
Jerry Garcia (vocal, guitar), Merl Saunders (keyboards), John Kahn (bass), Ron Tutt, (drums), Martin Fierro, (sax)

2. The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down – 10:14 (Jerry Garcia Band, 7/24/77)
Jerry Garcia (vocal, guitar), Keith Godchaux (piano), John Kahn (bass), Ron Tutt (drums). Donna Jean Godchaux (vocals)

3. Dire Wolf – 3:28 (Jerry Garcia with John Kahn, 6/3/84)
Jerry Garcia (vocal, guitar), John Kahn (bass)

Press Release
This special 2-CD collection salutes one of the most legendary figures in all of rock 'n' roll, beloved Grateful Dead lead guitarist, vocalist and eternal good will ambassador Jerry Garcia, who pursued a broad array of folk, bluegrass, blues and roots rock side projects throughout his storied career. Both acoustic and electric, purely solo and jamming with the Jerry Garcia Band, his albums outside the massive flow of the Dead's releases capture the heart & soul as well as the rich talents of an incomparable music icon. 

Spanning 1972-1982, Disc 1 pulls key tracks from his five historic studio albums. Disc 2 delves into the archives and presents seven previously unreleased live jams from the '70s, performed with various configurations of the JGB.

*2-CD set is the first-ever retrospective compilation of the legendary artist's solo work. 
*Disc 1, spanning 1972-1982, pulls highlights from all five of Jerry's studio releases: Garcia, Compliments, Reflections, Cats Under The Stars and Run For The Roses. 
*Disc 2, spanning 1973-1990 from performances by a range of Jerry Garcia Band line-ups. 

The Best of Jerry Garcia - Jerry Garcia review

 

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