In the Dark (Grateful Dead album)
|In the Dark|
|Studio album by Grateful Dead|
|Released||July 6, 1987|
|Recorded||January 6–13, 1987|
|Producer||Jerry Garcia, John Cutler|
|Grateful Dead chronology|
In the Dark was the band's first album in six years, and its first studio album since 1980's Go to Heaven. It became unexpectedly popular, achieving double platinum certification in the U.S. It reached #6 on the Billboard 200 chart, the Grateful Dead's only top ten album. The peppy "Touch of Grey" peaked at #9 on the Billboard Hot 100, the band's only top forty single; it also became a frequently played music video on MTV. "Hell in a Bucket" and "Throwing Stones" also achieved significant album-oriented rock radio airplay.
Most of the songs on this album had been played by the Dead since 1982 or 1983, which gave them a five-year edge on perfecting these songs for this album. After the critically panned Go to Heaven, which contained songs that were mostly under a year old, the maturity of In the Dark was significantly more appreciated.
The album title, "In the Dark", represents how the band compiled the album. The Dead are well known for their striving for that "perfect" sound (e.g. the Wall of Sound) as well as their experimental episodes. Since live music is their forte, they decided to try to capture a "hybrid" live sound for this album.
Since the band had been playing the songs for some time, they decided to record the baseline tracks for the album in a darkened theater ("In the Dark") that was empty (no audience), on a stage with the same lighting as they would use on tour (just to have the band perform in a more comfortable, familiar setting). The idea was to capture the "feel" they had for the songs as if they were playing them to a live audience. This was done at Marin Veterans Memorial Auditorium in San Rafael, California.
Drummer Bill Kreutzmann reminisced, "We ran all the electric instruments through amplifiers in the basement, in isolation rooms, and kept the drums bright and loud on stage. Everything was fed to a recording truck parked outside the venue. Everybody played their parts in real time, together. When we took breaks, we’d go into the wings by the stage door and sit there and talk about what we’d just done. Talking about the music, then going right out to play the music, then talking about it some more was something that we really should’ve done more often — the analysis served the songs and the camaraderie served the band. It really put us in a good spot."
They then brought these recorded tracks to the studio and then if needed, "cleaned" them up, overdubbing them or redoing a guitar, vocal, keyboard, or drum track in the studio using the same "riffs" they used on the stage recording.
From deaddisc.com: Garcia spoke about the recording in an interview; "Marin Vets turns out to be an incredibly nice room to record in. There's something about the formal atmosphere in there that makes us work. When we set up at Front Street to work, a lot of times we just sort of dissolve into hanging out. Going in [Marin Vets] without an audience and playing just to ourselves was in the nature of an experiment..."
In the Dark was released on CD in 1987 by Arista Records before being re-released in 2000 by BMG International. It was then remastered, expanded, and released with new cover art 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 April 11, 2006, by Rhino Records.
The cover art for the album was designed by Randy Tuten. The lettering forms the shape of an eye. Inside the lettering are photos of the band members' eyes. On the original LP, the photos were right side up, but when the album was released on CD in 1987, the photos were upside down. Though the band joked that the extra eye belonged to the Ayatollah Khomeini, it actually belonged to their long-time promoter, Bill Graham.
- "Touch of Grey" (Garcia, Hunter) – 5:47
- "Hell in a Bucket" (Barlow, Weir, Mydland) – 5:35
- "When Push Comes to Shove" (Garcia, Hunter) – 4:05
- "West L.A. Fadeaway" (Garcia, Hunter) – 6:39
- "Tons of Steel" (Mydland) – 5:15
- "Throwing Stones" (Barlow, Weir) – 7:18
- "Black Muddy River" (Garcia, Hunter) – 5:58
- "My Brother Esau" (Barlow, Weir) - 4:20
Note: "My Brother Esau" was omitted from the LP and CD releases of In the Dark, but was included on the cassette and on international releases, as well as the 2004 reissue.
2004 reissue bonus tracks
- 9. "West L.A. Fadeaway" (alternate version)(1984-03 Fantasy Studios, Berkeley, CA) – 7:09
- 10. "Black Muddy River" (studio outtake) 1986-12-05 Club Front, San Rafael, CA) – 5:41
- 11. "When Push Comes to Shove" (studio outtake)(1986-12-05 Club Front, San Rafael, CA) – 4:22
- 12. "Touch of Grey" (studio outtake)(1982-08 Club Front, San Rafael, CA) – 5:47
- 13. "Throwing Stones" (live) (1987-07-04 Schaefer Stadium, Foxboro, MA) – 9:36
- Jerry Garcia - guitar, vocals
- Bob Weir - guitar, vocals
- Brent Mydland - keyboards, vocals
- Phil Lesh - bass
- Bill Kreutzmann - drums
- Mickey Hart - drums
- Bob Bralove - programming, special effects, spatialization
- Guy Charbonneau, Dan Healy, Jeffrey Norman, David Roberts, Jeff Sterling - engineers
- John Cutler - producer, engineer
- Gail Grant - design
- Herb Greene - art direction, photography
- Randy Tuten - cover art
Bonus tracks production details
- "My Brother Esau" - single B-side, recorded on January 15, 1987
- "West L.A. Fadeaway" - alternate version, recorded in March 1984
- "Black Muddy River" - studio outtake recorded on December 5, 1986
- "When Push Comes To Shove" - studio outtake recorded on December 5, 1986
- "Touch Of Grey" - studio outtake recorded in August 1982
- "Throwing Stones" - recorded live at Sullivan Stadium in Foxboro, MA on July 4, 1987
Reissue production credits
- David Lemieux, James Austin - reissue producers
- Reggie Collins, Dennis McNally - liner notes
- Sheryl Farber - editorial supervision
- Cameron Sears - executive producer
- Joe Gastwirt - mastering, production consultant
- Tom Flye - mixing
- Robert Gatley - mixing assistant
- Hugh Brown, Steve Vance - art coordinator
- Jimmy Edwards, Robin Hurley, Hale Milfgrim, Scott Pascucci - associate producer
- Eileen Law - research
- Vanessa Atkins, Steven Chean, Bill Inglot, Randy Perry - project assistants
- Tom Ingalls - design
- Justin Kreutzmann- engineer
- John McEntire - coordination
- Susana Millman, John Werner - photography
Album - Billboard
|1987||The Billboard 200||6|
Singles - Billboard
|1987||"Touch of Grey"||Mainstream Rock Tracks||1|
|The Billboard Hot 100||9|
|"Hell in a Bucket"||Mainstream Rock Tracks||3|
|"West L.A. Fadeaway"||Mainstream Rock Tracks||40|
|"Throwing Stones"||Mainstream Rock Tracks||15|
|Gold||September 4, 1987|
|Platinum||September 18, 1987|
|Double Platinum||August 10, 1995|
- Allmusic review
- Robert Christgau review
- Rolling Stone review
- Albano, Ric (September 7, 2012). "In the Dark by Grateful Dead", Classic Rock Review. Retrieved March 22, 2014.
- Kreutzmann, Bill (2015). Deal. St. Martin's Press, New York. Chapter 18. ISBN 978-1-250-03380-2.
- In the Dark Notes - at deaddisc.com. Retrieved May 10, 2011
- In the Dark on deaddisc.com
- In the Dark at rtuten.com, official website of Randy Tuten. Retrieved December 6, 2011.
- In the Dark on deaddisc.com
- "Hell in a Bucket", dead.net. retrieved March 29, 2013.
- "Billboard album chart history-Grateful Dead". Retrieved March 1, 2009.
- "Billboard singles chart history-Grateful Dead". Retrieved March 1, 2009.
- "RIAA Gold & Platinum database-In the Dark". Retrieved February 28, 2009.