Out of the Grey (The Dream Syndicate album)

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Out of the Grey
Cover of The Dream Syndicate, Out of the Grey.jpg
Studio album by The Dream Syndicate
Released May 23, 1986
Genre Alternative rock
Length 66:29 (1997 reissue)
Label Big Time Records/Chrysalis
Producer Paul B. Cutler
The Dream Syndicate chronology
Medicine Show
(1984)Medicine Show1984
Out of the Grey
Ghost Stories
(1988)Ghost Stories1988

Out of the Grey is the third studio album by The Dream Syndicate, a Los Angeles-based alternative rock band, released in 1986.


Out of the Grey was released in 1986 as the first studio album after the band was dropped from A&M Records due to disappointing sales after the release of the 1984 album This Is Not the New Dream Syndicate Album......Live!. The band pondered its future and even retired temporarily,[1] while lead singer and songwriter Steve Wynn made a record with Dan Stuart (as Danny & Dusty).[2] The duo's album, Lost Weekend (1985), was produced by Paul B. Cutler, who has also produced The Dream Syndicate's eponymous first EP (1982). Jamming with Cutler, a guitar player, rekindled the desire in Wynn to bring The Dream Syndicate together again.[3] The band reformed after some personnel changes,[1] most notably the replacement of lead guitarist Karl Precoda by Cutler.[4] The band's sound changed also, to a "considerably more aggressive, but simultaneously country-inflected outlook".[1] The "more mainstream" sound, however, did not lead to commercial success.[5]

The response to the album from fans and critics was positive, and after its release the band toured Europe before going on its first American tour in two years.[2] Right after the release of the record, when the band seemed to be "back on track", the label, Big Time Records, folded, to the band's detriment—it went back into inactivity and Wynn played acoustic solo dates for a while.[3]


The album was followed by an EP, 50 in a 25 Zone, which contained additional tracks including Slim Harpo's "Shake Your Hips". Two singles were released from the album: Alice Cooper's "Ballad of Dwight Fry" in mid-1986, and Eric Clapton and Bonnie Bramlett's "Let It Rain" in 1987.[1] The song "Boston" is an homage to Van Morrison;[4] Wynn explained that the song references the time Morrison spent in Boston between the breakup of Them and the start of his solo career.[6]

Originally released on vinyl, the album was released on CD with a few bonus tracks, and in 1997 on Normal Records with 5 more tracks than the original album.


According to Mikal Gilmore, Out of the Grey was a "bracing work of redemption" after the band's breakup; he considers it their finest album.[7] According to Don Waller, writing for the Los Angeles Times, "the brain-cloudy 'Boston' and the violent '50 in a 25 Zone' are stark and dark and mark this still-developing outfit as a force to be reckoned with long after all the local New York Dolls imitators have settled down into comfortable lives as light-truck salesmen".[8] A reviewer for The Michigan Daily commented on the "relatively polished sound" and singled out "Boston", "50 in a 25 Zone", and "Now I Ride Alone" for praise.[9]

Track listing[edit]

All songs by Steve Wynn except otherwise indicated.

  1. "Out of the Grey"
  2. "Forest for the Trees"
  3. "50 in a 25 Zone" (Steve Wynn, Dennis Duck, Mark Walton, Paul B. Cutler)
  4. "Boston"
  5. "Blood Money"
  6. "Slide Away"
  7. "Dying Embers" (Steve Wynn, Mark Walton, Scott Walton)
  8. "Now I Ride Alone"
  9. "Drinking Problem"
  10. "Dancing Blind"
  11. "You Can't Forget"
  12. "Let it Rain" (Eric Clapton, Bonnie Bramlett)

Extra tracks on the 1997 re-release[edit]

  1. "Cinnamon Girl" (Neil Young)
  2. "Ballad of Dwight Fry" (Michael Bruce, Alice Cooper)
  3. "Shake Your Hips" (Slim Harpo)
  4. "I Won't Forget"
  5. "The Lonely Bull" (Sol Lake)


  • Steve Wynn – vocals, guitar
  • Paul B. Cutler – lead guitar, backing vocals
  • Mark Walton – bass
  • Dennis Duck – drums
  • Johnette Napolitano - vocals on 'Let It Rain'


  1. ^ a b c d Thompson, Dave (2000). Alternative rock. Miller Freeman. pp. 339–. ISBN 9780879306076. Retrieved 26 April 2013. 
  2. ^ a b Hochman, Steve (7 December 1986). "Steve Wynn Renews His Dream". Los Angeles Times. p. 86. 
  3. ^ a b Rosen, Craig (5 January 1989). "A new day dawns for restless Dream Syndicate". Chicago Tribune. p. 9E. 
  4. ^ a b Morris, Chris (13 September 1986). "Talent in Action: The Dream Syndicate". Billboard. pp. 33–34. Retrieved 26 April 2013. 
  5. ^ Buckley, Peter (2003). The Rough Guide to Rock. Rough Guides. p. 319. ISBN 9781843531050. Retrieved 26 April 2013. 
  6. ^ "Interview #23: Steve Wynn". SteveWynn.net. Retrieved 26 April 2013. 
  7. ^ Gilmore, Mikal (2000). Night Beat: A Shadow History of Rock & Roll. Knopf Doubleday. pp. 284–85. ISBN 9780385500296. Retrieved 26 April 2013. 
  8. ^ Waller, Don (13 August 1986). "Wynn Battles Back". Los Angeles Times. p. 62. 
  9. ^ Tractenberg, Joel (5 September 1986). "Dream Syndicate Hits U-Club". The Michigan Daily. p. 16. Retrieved 28 April 2013. 

External links[edit]