Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Cream Puff War - Grateful Dead Song Review

This song is a fun old school song that sounds like the very early Grateful Dead trying to emulate the British Invasion. I kind of can't take it seriously for some reason. It was released on the eponymous debut album which I think the Grateful Dead were still trying to find their identity in the studio (they were already a powerhouse live of course). The fact that Cream Puff War ends with a fade out gives you an idea that it is a bit of a filler song.

Don't get me wrong though, Cream Puff War is a pretty good tune. It comes complete with a time signature change to 3/4 (pretty nicely integrated actually) and a ripping bluesy Jerry solo.
It is notable because music and lyrics written by Garcia (one of only a couple Dead songs that I know of that Garcia wrote both music and lyrics*)

Those lyrics are ... interesting. Here is the first and most memorable line:

No, no, she can't take your mind and leave
I know it's just another trick she's got up her sleeve

It sounds like Jerry is singing to a friend who's gotten himself involved with a bad woman. Here are the final lines:

Well, can't you see that you're killing each other's soul
You're both out in the streets and you got no place to go
Your constant battles are getting to be a bore
So go somewhere else and continue your cream puff war

You know I'm a Jerry fanatic but since this review comes on the heels of Crazy Fingers, I just have to kind of smile as I listen to this one.

Cream Puff War
Song Rating on a Scale of 1-10: 7.5

*what are the other songs (if any) with lyrics and music by Garcia alone? Did someone once tell me Cryptical Envelopment falls in this category?

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).

1 comment:

carsonlaura said...

I just got this album after not hearing it for 35 years. Amazing. I do want to say that I think "Cream Puff" is the best cut on the album. Just wish I knkew the story behind it.