Thursday, July 19, 2012

Eternity - Grateful Dead Song Review


Wow, it feels like I just reviewed Easy Answers and that was hard enough.  Now, this.  I wish I could skip Eternity (like I always do on my iPOD). 

As soon as Eternity starts you're just so disappointed - it just starts on a horrible chord.  I don't even feel like figuring out what chord - I don't want to know.  Eternity made it's debut right around the time I started seeing shows (1993) and then was played very frequently thereafter. I definitely got an earful of this song.

Eternity is a total "miss" by Wasserman and Weir.  It's scary that Willie Dixon wrote the lyrics, I don't even know what to think of that.  Just like Neil Young's "involvement" on Easy Answers, I'm guessing Eternity is one that Willie Dixon would just as soon forget.  

I defy anyone to make an argument that Eternity is a good song (I'm all ears).

Eternity's presence really detracts from some great shows in my favorite era of The Dead.  It is one of the list of embarrassing late era Grateful Dead songs like:

- Wave to the Wind
- Samba in the Rain
- If the Shoe Fits
- Childhood's End

I'm going to point out again that at this late stage in the band's career, Jerry was busting out killer new songs and covers, like:
  • Lazy River Road
  • Days Between
  • So Many Roads (thanks for the reminder Sundar)
  • Visions of Johanna 
  • I Just Want to Make Love to YOu
So when you hear someone tell you that the band was running on empty in the 1990s because of Jerry's  health issues, just remember that he was still bringing the wood a lot of the time and having to pick up the energy of a show that was horribly marred by songs like Eternity.

Eternity Song Rating on a Scale of 1-10: 0.0

Disclaimer: This is part of my blog that reviews all things Grateful Dead for fun. Music is a beautiful thing because it is so personal and subjective, so keep in mind that this is one man's opinion. 


Sundar said...

and don't forget So Many Roads, which was also a latter-day awesome Jerry song.

simon george said...

Though I consider the Allman Brothers to be the best jam
band ever, its really hard to hate the dead. Its always great to have a front
man who is both the lead singer and lead guitarist (Jerry).Great post keep up
the hard work. Check these out IStillGotMyGuitar.

gdjake said...

I don't disagree with your assessment of the latter years Jerry tunes but I VEHEMENTLY disagree with regards to Eternity! You want an argument that it's a good song? Here it is brother!! :) If Furthur breaks that song out this Fall Tour (feel blessed to have tix for all 13 shows) it would make the whole tour for me. I could go home happy then. The song has BEAUTIFUL lyrics (have you ever read them?) with deep spiritual meaning and musically is quite simple which is interesting because it's common for Dixon but NOT SO for Weir. Almost as if he wrote it in the style of good Ol' Willie! It has a nice blues/jazz flow and while it didn't feature much in the way of Jerry solos (also unique for Dead tunes) it REALLY allowed Bob to stretch out and play with some nifty chord progressions. It also (per Bob himself) showed Bobby how sometimes less is more. A seemingly simple song that opened up to show amazing beauty lyrically and musically.

bdog1963 said...

I'm with you jake. would make my tour as well for Bob to bust this out. My absolute fave of his from that last batch of songs

GDmike said...

I really want to like Eternity, but it's a black hole of energy and momentum in any set it appears (just my opinion)... you say it is your favorite, so you like it better than Days Between and So Many Roads? Wow.

GDmike said...

I'm pleased that people really are here defending Eternity. I wonder if Further ended up busting out Eternity no the Fall Tour... I''m guessing they did not. I've definitely given the song a chance (I saw a handful of shows and saw it repeatedly and also I obsessively listen to show recordings during the period when Eternity was played).

I am curious is you feel the same way about Easy Answers, I recently reviewed that one too and have a similar distaste for it.

GDmike said...

I just added it

Roger said...

although I agree with everything else that you said, Eternity is a cool song

Roger said...