Posted: Sat Mar 12, 2011 2:41 pm Post subject: Jerry Singing
He went through several phases with his voice. My least favorite may be the froggy 84-85 Jerry, although I still love it. But he's never worse than when he's bad in the late '60s-early '70s, no matter what happens to his vocal chords at least he learns to sing a little after that. For "clear" Jerry the peak is patently 1977, after that he gets rougher. He starts thickening up in 80 or 81, which is promising to compensate for the loss of smoothness, only to head into frogville soon thereafter. But post-coma is the greatest voice ever, peaking in 88 through 90 or so. Then the voice becomes fragile, still pleasing and soulful but not as much as other eras, probably second worst after 85 but with a high ceiling still.
The interesting thing is how beloved a singer he was without actually being a good singer...just put on Merle Haggard and then try to listen to Jerry butchering Sing Me Back Home. Only a hardcore deadhead could understand why anyone would listen to Jerry singing Merle. The weird thing about the Dead in general is their vocals were so terrible, but sometimes they'd pull off really difficult harmonies and things. Like most other things about them, I guess---it was sloppy and amateurish but sophisticated and brilliant.
Anyway I'll go with, to be generous, 1987-1991 as the period of Jerry's voice that is my favorite. He's got so much soul when he develops his "old" voice that it's ridiculous.
Speaking of "old," now that I'm 42 I look at pictures of Garcia when he was a similar age and say, what the fuck? It's like he had a degenerative disease or something--the guy looked like he was 70 by the time he died.
Joined: 03 Mar 2010 Posts: 286 Location: Rhode Island
Posted: Sat Mar 12, 2011 6:36 pm Post subject:
If i were put on the spot to choose what years jerry sounded the best, and remember guys this is only my opinion I was say 74-78, and then 87-90.
_________________ NOBODY NOTICES WHAT I DO UNTIL I STOP DOING IT!!!!! fucking bullshit if you ask me, because I always have to explain what I'm doing. Miss the old days of touring and not having a care in the world.
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