Celebrating 30 Years Of The Grateful Dead's 'In The Dark' July 06, 2017 10:07

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On this day in 1987, the Grateful Dead released its 12th studio album, In The Dark. This was the band's first album in six years, and its first studio album since 1980's Go To Heaven. It became unexpectedly popular, achieving double platinum certification in the U.S. It reached #6 on the Billboard 200 chart, the Grateful Dead's only top ten album. The peppy "Touch of Grey" peaked at #9 on the Billboard Hot 100, the band's only top forty single; it also became a frequently played music video on MTV. This would be the second to last studio album to feature legendary keyboardist Brent Mydland.
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Most of the songs had been played by the Dead since 1982 or 1983, which gave them a five-year edge on perfecting them for the album. After the critically panned Go to Heaven, which contained songs that were mostly under a year old, the maturity of In the Dark was significantly more appreciated. Since the band had been playing the songs for some time, they decided to record the baseline tracks for the album in a darkened empty theater ("In The Dark"), on a stage with the same lighting as they would use on tour. The idea was to capture the "feel" they had for the songs as if they were playing them to a live audience. This was done at Marin Veterans Memorial Auditorium in San Rafael, California
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The cover art for the album was designed by Randy Tuten. The lettering forms the shape of an eye. Inside the lettering are photos of the band members' eyes. On the original LP, the photos were right side up, but when the album was released on CD in 1987, the photos were upside down. Though the band joked that the extra eye belonged to the Ayatollah Khomeini, it actually belonged to their long-time promoter, Bill Graham.
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Watch the official music video for "Touch Of Grey" here:
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