Blues for Allah

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Blues for Allah
A painting of a skeleton with long white hair wearing a red robe and sunglasses, playing a violin
Studio album by Grateful Dead
Released September 1, 1975 (1975-09-01)
Recorded February 27 – May 7, 1975
Genre Acid rock, jam rock, jazz rock, psychedelic rock, psychedelic folk
Length 44:13
Label Grateful Dead, United Artists[1]
Producer Grateful Dead
Grateful Dead chronology
From the Mars Hotel
Blues for Allah
Steal Your Face
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 4.5/5 stars [2]
Robert Christgau C−[3]
Rolling Stone (mixed) [4]
Sputnikmusic 4.5/5 stars [5]

Blues for Allah is the eighth studio album by the Grateful Dead. It was recorded between February 27 and May 7, 1975, and originally released on September 1, 1975. It was the third release under the band's own label, Grateful Dead Records, after fulfilling their contract with Warner Bros. Records. In Britain, the record was issued on United Artists Records, the band's only release on that label.[6]

It was the first album with Mickey Hart in over four years, and the band's first album since their short hiatus from touring in 1974. Possibly because of his late arrival, Mickey Hart's picture does not appear on the back cover.

The album's title track was only performed a handful of times in 1975 and never played again after that,[7] while several other tracks on the album were performed regularly for the rest of the Dead's career, such as "Franklin's Tower," "Crazy Fingers," and "The Music Never Stopped."

The album was released for the first time on CD in 1995 by Arista before being remastered, expanded, and released as part of the Beyond Description (1973–1989) 12-CD box set in October 2004. The remastered version was later released separately on CD on March 7, 2006 by Rhino Records.


Robert Hunter wrote[8] that the title track for the album is a eulogy to Saudi Arabia's King Faisal. Hunter claims that King Faisal was a fan of the Grateful Dead. King Faisal was assassinated by his nephew Faisal bin Musaid in the year the album was released.

Track listing[edit]

Side one
  1. "Help on the Way" (Jerry Garcia and Robert Hunter) – 3:15 (lead singer: Jerry Garcia)
"Slipknot!" (instrumental) (Garcia, Keith Godchaux, Bill Kreutzmann, Phil Lesh, and Bob Weir) – 4:03
  1. "Franklin's Tower" (Garcia, Hunter, and Kreutzmann) – 4:37 (lead singer: Jerry Garcia)
  2. "King Solomon's Marbles:"
"Part 1: Stronger Than Dirt" (instrumental) (Lesh) – 1:55
"Part 2: Milkin' the Turkey" (instrumental) (Mickey Hart, Kreutzmann, and Lesh) – 3:25
  1. "The Music Never Stopped" (John Perry Barlow and Weir) – 4:35 (lead singer: Bob Weir)
Side two
  1. "Crazy Fingers" (Garcia and Hunter) – 6:41 (lead singer: Jerry Garcia)
  2. "Sage & Spirit" (instrumental) (Weir) – 3:07
  3. "Blues for Allah" (Garcia and Hunter) – 3:21 (lead singers: The Grateful Dead)
"Sand Castles and Glass Camels" (Garcia, Donna Godchaux, Keith Godchaux, Hart, Kreutzmann, Lesh, and Weir) – 5:26
"Unusual Occurrences in the Desert" (Garcia and Hunter) – 3:48
2004 reissue bonus tracks
  1. "Groove #1" (Garcia, Keith Godchaux, Hart, Kreutzmann, Lesh, and Weir) – 5:45
  2. "Groove #2" (Garcia, Keith Godchaux, Hart, Kreutzmann, Lesh, and Weir) – 7:35
  3. "Distorto" (Garcia) – 8:14
  4. "A to E Flat Jam" (Garcia, Keith Godchaux, Hart, Kreutzmann, Lesh, and Weir) – 4:39
  5. "Proto 18 Proper" (Garcia, Keith Godchaux, Hart, Kreutzmann, Lesh, and Weir) – 4:18
  6. "Hollywood Cantata" (Hunter and Weir) – 4:14
  • "Groove #1", "Groove #2", "A to E Flat Jam", and "Proto 18 Proper" – instrumental studio outtakes on February 27, 1975
  • "Distorto" – instrumental studio outtake on February 28, 1975
  • "Hollywood Cantata" – studio outtake on May 7, 1975


Grateful Dead
Additional musicians
Technical personnel
Reissue personnel
  • James Austin – production
  • Hugh Brown – design, art direction
  • Reggie Collins – annotation
  • Jimmy Edwards – associate production
  • Sheryl Farber – editorial supervision
  • David Fricke – liner notes
  • Joe Gastwirt – mastering, production consultation
  • Robin Hurley – associate production
  • Eileen Law – research
  • David Lemieux – production
  • Richard McCaffrey – photography
  • Hale Milfgrim – associate production
  • Scott Pascucci – associate production
  • Ed Perlstein – photography
  • Cameron Sears – executive production
  • Rob Taylor – assistant engineering
  • Steve Vance – design, art directtion



Year Chart Position
1975 Pop Albums 12[citation needed]

Singles – Billboard

Year Single Chart Position
1975 "The Music Never Stopped" Pop Singles 81[citation needed]


  1. ^ "Grateful Dead Records (1973–1976)", The Grateful Dead Family Discography
  2. ^ Planer, Lindsay. Blues for Allah at AllMusic
  3. ^ Grateful Dead album ratings at
  4. ^ Altman, Billy (October 9, 1975) Blues for Allah, Rolling Stone
  5. ^ Blues for Allah at Sputnikmusic
  6. ^
  7. ^ "The Annotated "Blues For Allah"". 
  8. ^ Hunter, Robert (1993). Box Of Rain. Penguin Books. ISBN 9780140134513. 

External links[edit]