Long Strange Trip

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Long Strange Trip
A skull with roses on it, colored to suggest the Grateful Dead lightning bolt skull logo.
Long Strange Trip film poster
Directed by Amir Bar-Lev
Produced by
  • Eric Eisner
  • Alex Blavatnik
  • Nicholas Koskoff
  • Justin Kreutzmann
  • Ken Dornstein
Starring Grateful Dead
Edited by Keith Fraase
Production
company
  • Double E Pictures
  • AOMA Sunshine Films
  • Sikelia Productions
Distributed by Amazon Video
Release date
January 23, 2017
Running time
238 minutes
Country United States
Language English

Long Strange Trip is a documentary film about the rock band the Grateful Dead. It premiered on January 23, 2017, at the Sundance Film Festival. It had a one-night only nationwide screening on May 25, 2017, and a week-long limited theatrical release in New York and Los Angeles starting on May 26, 2017. The film became available for streaming on Amazon Video on June 2, 2017.[1][2][3][4][5]

Long Strange Trip was directed by Amir Bar-Lev, and has a running time of almost four hours.[6][7] Martin Scorsese was one of the executive producers. Justin Kreutzmann, the son of Grateful Dead drummer Bill Kreutzmann, was one of the producers.

The film features newly conducted interviews with living band members and friends including Bob Weir and his wife Natascha, Mickey Hart, Bill Kreutzmann, Phil Lesh, John Perry Barlow, Donna Godchaux, Dennis McNally, Barbara "Brigid" Meier, Nick Paumgarten, Steve Silberman, and Alan Trist.

A soundtrack album was released on May 26, 2017.[8]

Long Strange Trip was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Music Film.[9]

Critical reception[edit]

Owen Gleiberman wrote in Variety, "At three hours and 58 minutes, it has the sprawl and generosity of a good Dead show, yet there’s nothing indulgent about it – it's an ardent piece of documentary classicism.... Deadheads will drink it in and debate it, poring over every detail it works in and leaves out, yet the ultimate recommendation I can give the movie is this: I'm one of those people who can't stand the Grateful Dead... yet I found Long Strange Trip enthralling. For the first time, it made me see, and feel, and understand the slovenly glory of what they were up to, even if my ears still process their music as monotonous roots-rock wallpaper."[10]

Jordan Hoffman wrote in Vanity Fair, "The film's first half is a typical, though very well-polished rock doc: getting the band together, how they found their sound, their struggles and successes. After intermission, the narrative goes to unexpected and extremely emotional places: an examination of intense public adoration and the burdens of fame. For lack of a better term, it becomes a real movie.... But I do think that Bar-Lev has done the impossible: his film will make those who normally scoff at those patchouli-smelling ersatz flower children tap their feet, maybe even join them for a dance."[11]

In the Los Angeles Times, Robin Abcarian said, "I can’t imagine that anyone will walk away from Long Strange Trip, Amir Bar-Lev’s remarkable four-hour documentary about the Grateful Dead, without a newfound appreciation for the band’s music and its place in American popular culture."[12]

Soundtrack album[edit]

Long Strange Trip
A skull with roses on it, colored to suggest the Grateful Dead lightning bolt skull logo.
Compilation album / Soundtrack album by Grateful Dead
Released May 23, 2017
Recorded 1969 – 1994
Genre Rock
Label Rhino
Producer Grateful Dead
Grateful Dead chronology
Cornell 5/8/77
(2017)
Long Strange Trip
(2017)
Dave's Picks Volume 23
(2017)

The documentary's soundtrack album Long Strange Trip contains songs compiled from various live and studio recordings by the band, many of which had been previously released. There are two versions of the album – one with two CDs, and another, available only from Amazon.com, with three CDs. It was released on May 26, 2017.[13][14] The longer version of the album will be released as a six-disc vinyl LP on August 4, 2017, in a limited edition of 2,500 copies.

Critical reception[edit]

Stephen Thomas Erlewine wrote on AllMusic, "Like the film, the Long Strange Trip soundtrack skips entire portions of the Dead's history because it focuses on the bigger picture. Some eras are soft-peddled and some classic songs are missing but by threading in studio cuts with the live tracks, this gives a good idea of everything the Grateful Dead did and why they matter."[15]

Track listing[edit]

Disc 1
No. Title Writer(s) Originally released Recorded Length
1. "Death Don't Have No Mercy" Reverend Gary Davis Live/Dead Fillmore West, San Francisco, CA, 3/2/1969 10:31
2. "St. Stephen" Jerry Garcia, Phil Lesh, Robert Hunter Live/Dead Fillmore West, San Francisco, CA, 2/27/1969 6:41
3. "Uncle John's Band" Garcia, Hunter Workingman's Dead 1970 4:46
4. "Dark Star" Garcia, Mickey Hart, Bill Kreutzmann, Lesh, Ron McKernan, Bob Weir, Hunter previously unreleased Fillmore East, New York, NY, 2/14/1970 23:51
5. "Easy Wind" Hunter Workingman's Dead 1970 5:01
6. "Candyman" Garcia, Hunter American Beauty 1970 6:16
7. "China Cat Sunflower" > Garcia, Hunter previously unreleased Château d'Hérouville, Hérouville, France, 6/21/1971 5:09
8. "I Know You Rider" traditional, arranged by Grateful Dead previously unreleased Château d'Hérouville, Hérouville, France, 6/21/1971 5:54
9. "Morning Dew" Bonnie Dobson, Tim Rose Europe '72 Lyceum Theatre, London, England, 5/26/1972 11:43
Disc 2
No. Title Writer(s) Originally released Recorded Length
1. "He's Gone" Garcia, Hunter Sunshine Daydream Renaissance Faire Grounds, Veneta, OR, 8/27/1972 8:52
2. "The Music Never Stopped" Weir, John Perry Barlow One from the Vault Great American Music Hall, San Francisco, CA, 8/13/1975 5:32
3. "Scarlet Begonias" > Garcia, Hunter Cornell 5/8/77 Barton Hall, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY, 5/8/1977 9:53
4. "Fire on the Mountain" Hart, Hunter Cornell 5/8/77 Barton Hall, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY, 5/8/1977 15:09
5. "Althea" Garcia, Hunter Go to Nassau Nassau Coliseum, Uniondale, NY, 5/16/1980 8:32
6. "Touch of Grey" Garcia, Hunter In the Dark 1987 5:51
7. "Dear Mr. Fantasy" > Jim Capaldi, Steve Winwood, Chris Wood previously unreleased Sullivan Stadium, Foxboro, MA, 7/2/1989 7:06
8. "Hey Jude" John Lennon, Paul McCartney previously unreleased Sullivan Stadium, Foxboro, MA, 7/2/1989 3:59
9. "Ripple" Garcia, Hunter American Beauty 1970 4:09
10. "Brokedown Palace" Garcia, Hunter American Beauty 1970 4:06
Disc 3 – Amazon exclusive
No. Title Writer(s) Originally released Recorded Length
1. "Playing in the Band" Weir, Hunter Europe '72: The Complete Recordings Beat-Club, Bremen, West Germany, 4/21/1972 9:48
2. "Eyes of the World" Garcia, Hunter Dick's Picks Volume 31 Roosevelt Stadium, Jersey City, NJ, 8/6/1974 18:35
3. "St. Stephen" > Garcia, Lesh, Hunter Cornell 5/8/77 Barton Hall, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY, 5/8/1977 4:47
4. "Not Fade Away" > Buddy Holly, Norman Petty Cornell 5/8/77 Barton Hall, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY, 5/8/1977 16:20
5. "St. Stephen" Garcia, Lesh, Hunter Cornell 5/8/77 Barton Hall, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY, 5/8/1977 2:04
6. "Dark Hollow" Bill Browning Reckoning Warfield Theatre, San Francisco, CA, 10/7/1980 4:04
7. "Stella Blue" Garcia, Hunter previously unreleased Zoo Amphitheater, Oklahoma City, OK, 7/5/1981 10:14
8. "Days Between" Garcia, Hunter previously unreleased Madison Square Garden, New York, NY, 10/18/1994 13:56

Personnel[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Abramovitch, Seth (October 23, 2014). "Martin Scorsese to Exec Produce Grateful Dead Doc". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved March 1, 2017. 
  2. ^ McNary, Dave (December 14, 2016). "Sundance Film Festival Adds Grateful Dead Documentary Long Strange Trip". Variety. Retrieved December 20, 2016. 
  3. ^ Bernstein, Scott (December 19, 2016). "Grateful Dead Documentary Long Strange Trip Spans 235 Minutes". JamBase. Retrieved December 20, 2016. 
  4. ^ McNary, Dave (January 18, 2017). "Grateful Dead Documentary Long Strange Trip Bought by Amazon". Variety. Retrieved January 24, 2017. 
  5. ^ Fear, David (January 24, 2017). "Sundance 2017: Grateful Dead Doc Long Strange Trip Is Heartbreaking Tribute". Rolling Stone. Retrieved January 24, 2017. 
  6. ^ Cornell, Jeff (May 25, 2017). "Amir Bar-Lev's 'Long Strange Trip' to Making the Definitive Grateful Dead Documentary". Variety. Retrieved May 27, 2017. 
  7. ^ Budnick, Dean (May 22, 2017). "Bringing the Grateful Dead to Life: Director Amir Bar-Lev on the Epic Long Strange Trip". Relix. Retrieved May 27, 2017. 
  8. ^ Bernstein, Scott (March 31, 2017). "Grateful Dead Documentary Long Strange Trip Coming to Theaters Ahead of Amazon Prime Release". JamBase. Retrieved April 1, 2017. 
  9. ^ McNary, Dave (November 28, 2017). "Grammy Best Music Film Nominations Go to Long Strange Trip, The Defiant Ones". Variety. Retrieved November 29, 2017. 
  10. ^ Gleiberman, Owen (March 17, 2017). "Film Review: Long Strange Trip". Variety. Retrieved March 21, 2017. 
  11. ^ Hoffman, Jordan (January 26, 2017). "Long Strange Trip Might Just Convince Naysayers to Care About the Grateful Dead". Vanity Fair. Retrieved January 29, 2017. 
  12. ^ Abcarian, Robin (April 16, 2017). "Deadheads Aren't the Only Ones Who'll Enjoy This Long Strange Trip". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved April 16, 2017. 
  13. ^ Bernstein, Scott (April 13, 2017). "Grateful Dead Reveals Long Strange Trip Soundtrack Details". JamBase. Retrieved April 14, 2017. 
  14. ^ Newcomb, Ming Lee (April 13, 2017). "Track Listings for Soundtrack of New Grateful Dead Documentary, Long Strange Trip, Released". Live for Live Music. Retrieved April 14, 2017. 
  15. ^ Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. "Long Strange Trip (Motion Picture Soundtrack)". AllMusic. Retrieved June 1, 2017. 

External links[edit]