Tuesday, May 26, 2020

Completely Conspicuous 534: In the Dark

I'm joined by guest Phil Stacey as we discuss the Grateful Dead album In the Dark. Listen to the episode below or download directly.

Show notes:
- Recorded via Zoom
- We originally planned to do this in early March, but then something happened
- In the Dark was released in July 1987, seven years after the last Dead studio album
- Phil had just graduated from high school, Jay was going into junior year of college
- The band had been playing the songs in concert for years
- Jerry Garcia had gone into a diabetic coma in '86
- Had to re-learn how to walk, talk, play guitar
- Band was renewed after his recovery
- CDs were just starting to get popular
- We both didn't get CD players until 1989
- First CDs: Phil's was 10,000 Maniacs, Jay's were Cult, the Who, Joe Jackson
- The Best of Steve Miller was a college staple in the '80s
- Recorded live in an empty theater
- "Touch of Grey" was all over MTV and rock radio that summer
- Very catchy single
- Phil: Album was breath of fresh air after two disappointing releases
- "Touch of Grey" resonated with Boomers as well as younger listeners
- New fans were known as "Touch heads" by veteran fans
- People were going to Dead shows for the scene, not the music
- Released videos for "Hell in a Bucket" and "Throwing Stones"
- The one clunker is sung by keyboardist Brent Mydland
- Jay: His vocals didn't seem to fit
- They ladled on the synths
- Phil: Mydland was good at harmonies
- Vocals sounded like Kenny Loggins or Bob Seger
- Phil: Listening to at least one album he hasn't heard every day
- "West LA Fadeaway" may have been inspired by Belushi
- Phil gives it a B+
- The success of "Touch of Grey" was so unexpected
- Next up: We talk about the last Dead studio album

Completely Conspicuous is available through Apple Podcasts and anywhere else you get podcasts. Subscribe and write a review!

The opening and closing theme of Completely Conspicuous is "Theme to Big F'in Pants" by Jay Breitling. Voiceover work is courtesy of James Gralian.