Stolen Roses: Songs of the Grateful Dead ? Various Artists
- Grateful Dead/Arista
Most definitely for Deadheads, this Grateful Dead homage is more adventurous than a similar 1991 disc, Deadicated, but nowhere near as musically consistent.
What could have been the disc's most enchanting moment, Bob Dylan's version of "Friend of the Devil," is marred by subpar sound quality. Like a lot of Dylan's recent European B-sides, it's a live audience "field recording," which is unfortunate because it's an otherwise superb rendition of the song.
There is an erratic feel to a lot of the rest of Stolen Roses. Cuts such as the Cache Valley Drifters' sparkling "Cumberland Blues," Elvis Costello's mini-medley of "Ship of Fools," and "It Must Have Been the Roses" work well, as does The Persuasions' gospel-styled a capella spin through "Black Muddy River." But the Patti Smith Band's sloppy "Black Peter" (recorded the night Jerry Garcia died) is a disaster, and songs like Leftover Salmon's flat-out goofy "Pasta on the Mountain" don't fare much better.