From the Mars Hotel

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From the Mars Hotel
A painting of a multi-storey hotel on Mars
Studio album by Grateful Dead
Released June 27, 1974 (1974-06-27)
Recorded March 30 – April 19, 1974, at CBS Studios, San Francisco, California
Genre Acid rock, jam rock, psychedelic rock, blues rock, folk rock
Length 37:26
Label Grateful Dead
Producer Grateful Dead
Grateful Dead chronology
Skeletons from the Closet: The Best of Grateful Dead
From the Mars Hotel
Blues for Allah
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
AllMusic 4/5 stars[1]
Robert Christgau B− [2]
Rolling Stone 3/5 stars [3]

From the Mars Hotel is the seventh studio album by the Grateful Dead. It was mostly recorded in April 1974 and originally released on June 27, 1974. It was the second release under the band's own label, Grateful Dead Records, after fulfilling their contract with Warner Bros. Records.

This was the final album before the band's hiatus from touring in October 1974, during which time they would finish up the film editing of The Grateful Dead Movie.

Two songs from this album were rarely played live ("Unbroken Chain" was played 10 times in 1995; "Money Money" was played three times in May 1974) and one was never played live ("Pride of Cucamonga"). "Pride of Cucamonga" and "Unbroken Chain" are both sung by bassist Phil Lesh, making these Lesh's final lead vocal work for the Dead for over ten years.

The album cover artwork is of the Mars Hotel, a rundown, skid row flophouse located at 192 Fourth Street in San Francisco. When held upside down in front of a mirror, the graphic on the front of the album cover appears to say "Ugly Rumors". This inspired the name of former British Prime Minister Tony Blair's band, Ugly Rumours.[4]

The album was released in a variety of ways after its original run:

  • It was released again on LP in 1980 by Mobile Fidelity Records (MFSL 1-172).
  • It was released for the first time on CD in 1985 by Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab (MFCD830).[5]
  • It was released on CD and cassette in 1989 on its original Grateful Dead Records label.[6]
  • It was remastered, expanded, and released as part of the Beyond Description (1973–1989) 12-CD box set in October 2004.
  • The remastered version was then released separately on CD on March 7, 2006 by Rhino Records.


Musical group Animal Collective used a sample from the song "Unbroken Chain" for their song "What Would I Want? Sky" on their EP Fall Be Kind, and have received great praise from outlets like Pitchfork Media and Sputnikmusic for their respectful and interesting usage of the sample. It is also the first sample to ever be cleared for use by the Grateful Dead.[7]

Track listing[edit]

All songs written by Jerry Garcia and Robert Hunter and all lead vocals by Jerry Garcia, except where noted.

Side one
  1. "U.S. Blues" – 4:42
  2. "China Doll" – 4:10
  3. "Unbroken Chain" (Phil Lesh and Robert Peterson) – 6:46 (lead singer: Phil Lesh)
  4. "Loose Lucy" – 3:22
Side two
  1. "Scarlet Begonias" – 4:19
  2. "Pride of Cucamonga" (Lesh and Peterson) – 4:17 (lead singer: Phil Lesh)
  3. "Money Money" (John Perry Barlow and Bob Weir) – 4:23 (lead singer: Bob Weir)
  4. "Ship of Fools" – 5:27
2004 reissue bonus tracks
  1. "Loose Lucy" (alternate take, recorded August 7, 1973) – 4:43
  2. "Scarlet Begonias" (live at Winterland, San Francisco, California, October 16, 1974) – 9:09[a]
  3. "Money Money" (live at PNE Coliseum, Vancouver, BC, May 17, 1974) (Barlow and Weir) – 4:19
  4. "Wave That Flag" (early version of U.S. Blues) (live at Springfield Civic Center, Springfield, Massachusetts, March 28, 1973) – 5:34[b]
  5. "Let It Rock" (live at Jai-Alai Fronton, Miami, June 23, 1974) (Chuck Berry) – 3:22[c]
  6. "Pride of Cucamonga" (acoustic demo, recorded August 4, 1973) (Lesh and Peterson) – 4:24
  7. "Unbroken Chain" (acoustic demo, recorded August 11, 1973) (Lesh and Peterson) – 6:20


  1. ^ Another track from this concert was later released on The Grateful Dead Movie Soundtrack
  2. ^ Later released with complete concert on Dave's Picks Volume 16
  3. ^ Another track from this concert previously released on So Many Roads


Grateful Dead
Additional musicians
Technical personnel
  • Phil Brown – mastering
  • Mary Ann Mayer – illustrations, creation
Reissue personnel
  • James Austin – production
  • Hugh Brown – design, art direction
  • Reggie Collins – annotation
  • Jimmy Edwards – associate production
  • Sheryl Farber – editorial supervision
  • Tom Flye – mixing
  • Joe Gastwirt – mastering, production consultation
  • Robert Gatley – mixing assistance
  • Robin Hurley – associate production
  • Eileen Law – research
  • David Lemieux – production
  • Hale Milfgrim – associate production
  • Scott Pascucci – associate production
  • Richard Pechner – photography
  • Ed Perlstein – photography
  • Bruce Polonsky – photography
  • Cameron Sears – executive production
  • Roy Segal – engineering
  • Joel Selvin – liner notes
  • Steve Vance – design, reissue art direction



Year Chart Position
1974 Pop Albums 16[11]


  1. ^ Iyengar, Vik. From the Mars Hotel at AllMusic
  2. ^ Christgau, Robert. Grateful Dead album reviews at
  3. ^ The Grateful Dead Album Guide, Rolling Stone
  4. ^ 'He even wanted to rehearse' by Kamal Ahmed,, April 27, 2003, Retrieved October 21, 2010.
  5. ^ "Grateful Dead From The Mars Hotel". Retrieved February 14, 2010. 
  6. ^ "Grateful Dead, The – From The Mars Hotel at Discogs". Retrieved February 14, 2010. 
  7. ^ Rosen, Jody (23 November 2009). "Animal Collective Fall Be Kind Domino". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 26 September 2011. 
  8. ^