Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Dancing in the Street - Grateful Dead Song Review

Dancin' Dancin'.... Dancin' in the Street!

Okay, I admit this song is legendary for its meaning and the time it represents. Dancing in the Streets is a song that I picture the Dead playing on the back of a flatbed truck in Golden Gate park circa 1968 (I think I've seen some video of an event like this).

Dancing in the Streets is a Motown song (I just found out Marvin Gaye had a hand in writing it) and the Dead would play it often early in their career. I think that this song became an anthem of sorts that symbolized the liberal movement of the civil rights era.

Dancing in the Streets has never "done it" for me. Maybe my subconscious was violated by the David Bowie and Mick Jagger video that I grew up watching on MTV. Although the song's tempo is upbeat it still seems like it just drags on because the various sections seem to unfold painfully slow. Also, I associate the song with Donna Godchaux as she had a strong presence in many versions I've heard (strike two). Finally, it seems that most of the versions I've heard are at least 10 minutes long - sometimes well over 10 minutes (strike three).

If I had been "dancin' in the streets" in the 60's and 70's and witnessed this song in concert, it would probably have a lot more sentimental memories. As much as I am proud of the history of California and the Summer of Love and Civil Rights era, I can't fast forward this song quickly enough when it comes on.

Dancing in the Streets Song Rating on a Scale of 1-10: 5.0

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).


LP said...

Hi Mike. Would love it if you would consider linking to my site: I already link to you. Cheers.

GDmike said...

I'm going to do this very soon, hopefully by the tie you see this reply (if you ever see it) Sorry for the late reply, I was 'locked out' of the blog for close to 3 years due to some gmail/google issues (due to my user error!)