Sunday, January 11, 2009

Believe it or Not - Grateful Dead Song Review

Believe it or Not

A great ballad, a wonderful song. I love the version on the So Many Roads box set, and I’ve heard at least one live version that had heartfelt singing at the end, but was sloppily played by the band and Jerry, probably owing to it not being played often. It has the same coda as Gomorrah and that riff is killer, I don’t blame Jerry at all for trying to get more mileage out of it.

This song’s lyrics were written by Robert Hunter (I just had to look and verify that in the songbook – it is kind of difficult to tell, isn’t it?). This song has a kind of classic “Old Timey” ballad feel to it almost like a period piece. I’m surprised the song didn’t make it into the JGB repertoire – it would have been the perfect fit.

If anything, I would say this song should score higher because it is a Jerry Ballad that he sings a soulful repetitive phrase at the end of (like So Many Roads and Standing on the Moon) but it's "old timey" lyrics and traditional composition just make it feel a little less like a Grateful Dead Song.

Believe it or Not
Song Rating on a Scale of 1-10: 8.1

Disclaimer: This is part of my review of every Grateful Dead song from A-Z. Music is a beautiful thing because it is so personal and subjective, so keep in mind that this is one man's opinion (and be sure to read my blog manifesto to understand a little more about where I'm coming from).

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