In 1987, the Grateful Lifeless have been unwittingly about to enter into their industrial peak. After 20-plus years of evolution, the Lifeless had already secured their place as America’s hottest cult band. With out platinum information or mega chart singles, the band had as a substitute created their very own world of fandom and lore that inspired followers to dedicate as a lot time and vitality to the band as humanly doable.
However then got here Within the Darkish, the band’s twelfth studio album. Despite the fact that they by no means paid a lot consideration to studio work and hadn’t really launched a studio LP since 1980’s Go to Heaven, the Lifeless had a shocking hit report on their fingers. The mainstream all of the sudden had loads of time for the Lifeless, largely due to the plain catchiness of the album’s lead single ‘Contact of Gray’.
“I first heard ‘Contact of Gray’, I heard [Robert] Hunter do it,” Jerry Garcia revealed within the documentary Lifeless Ringers, which coated the making of the ‘Contact of Gray’ video, the band’s first. “He does it with a distinct melody so I rewrote the melody. He did it fully completely different however I liked the best way it labored.”
With jaunty rhythms and an uplifting singalong refrain, ‘Contact of Gray’ was the elusive pop-friendly tune that almost all informal followers assumed the Lifeless would by no means make. However after they did, ‘Contact of Gray’ was embraced from its very first dwell efficiency in 1982 to its eventual hit-single standing 5 years later.
“The tune has was an anthem on this final tour. Everyone loves it,” Garcia defined. Garcia additionally opinioned that his authentic interpretation of the tune is moot now that the viewers has run with the tune. “It doesn’t matter what it initially means anymore. I wish to not tie issues down if doable. That factor of floating… nevertheless it’s a fantastic tune to sing. It’s a fantastic tune to carry out. It actually works effectively. So from a musician’s standpoint, does the tune have a lifetime of its personal? It has a lifetime of its personal.”
Try Garcia’s rationalization of ‘Contact of Gray’ and watch the video for the tune down beneath.