Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Far From Me - Grateful Dead Song Review

"You are so far from me!"

I feel like I should have a disclaimer for all songs that I never got to see the Dead play live (which is most of them - and all Brent songs).  If I had been able to experience this song in the crowd happily dancing during a show maybe I would have great memories that would soften me toward Far From Me.

But to be honest, from listening to tapes, this is another Brent song that just doesn't really do it for me.

Far From Me has a nice shuffle and a really interesting chord progression (keyboardists always come up with great chord progressions).  There's a really unique "middle section" ("it's just too late, and we can't relate at all") which strangely reminds me of similar middle section in Billy Joel's It's My Life.

Far from Me appears on 1980's Go To Heaven and fits right in that album.  That album has some great songs but something about it is a little 'off.' Even the Cover art seems to say "too much cocaine." 

Certainly the 1980's were bizarre time culturally in America and there was a dearth of good music.  The Dead felt the oppressive energy with this lackluster album and wouldn't release another studio album for 7 years after Go To Heaven.

"Words and Music by Brent Mydland"

I've said this about Brent songs before but Far From Me sounds like a "singer songwriter" pop song from the 80s - like something from Michael McDonald or Kenny Loggins. It just doesn't feel like a Grateful Dead song. And of course, there's no other members of the band who get a writing credit on this one.

Didn't Jerry once posthumously talk about Brent's struggles in life by pointing out he had limited life experience (no college, no acid tests, etc)? I've always heard that Brent was insecure.

In the recent Easy to Love You review, I concluded that it was a "cheesy love song" and that's harsh, but I can't say that I don't feel the same way about Far From Me.

Easy to Love You Song Rating on a Scale of 1-10: 5.0

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.

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