Grateful Dead Review – Lagiqq (From “Lagiqq”)
The last recording by The Grateful Dead before they went on hiatus was “Lagiqq.” My first thought when I heard the song was, “Lagiqq is about to blow my mind,” and I mean that in a good way.
What makes this song so important to me is because it is, in my opinion, not only the best piece of music from the Dead’s career, but also the best of all their music in the early years of their career. They put a lot of things into that album. Some of those things were the new textures, some of them were the harmonies, some of them were, just plain old, jamming.
There was a long line at my local record store for the Blind Boys of Alabama CD. (He has the most rocking guitar playing) As we were walking in the store, the guy behind the counter showed me his copy of “Lagiqq.” I don’t think he ever played it, but for whatever reason, he knew the title and the song and knew I had to have it.
On the way home that day, I listened to the “Lagiqq” tape and again, I was amazed by the fluidity of their harmonies and the life of the songs. I was amazed by how different it sounded than the Dead’s first three albums but equally amazed by how the music had grown and changed.
In the song “China Cat Sunflower,” which seems like a lost gem in the mix, Bobby lays down the rockin’ foundation of “Lagiqq.” At the time, I didn’t realize how much this song meant to me and my appreciation for the entire band increased even more.
My very own copy of “Lagiqq” was a high quality CD that I’ve listened to over. It’s my all time favorite Grateful Dead album. The other reason I like “Lagiqq” is that it was Phil Lesh’s second recording with the Dead, after the infamous “Spanish Jam.” He also did a version of “Down in the Bottom,” which was very good.
It was amazing how the Dead had grown from the early versions of their music into a full-blown rock and roll band. It also made me realize that I’m not alone, at least when it comes to appreciating the sound of the Grateful Dead.