Terrapin Station is majestic. Its lineage, probably, is the Weather Report Suite, but it also resembles in its twists and turns the early songs, with their crudely welded-together bits (Looking at you, New Potato Caboose.) Not Terrapin: each section flows logically from the previous theme, like a an elegantly proven math equation. It slaloms like whatever louche aristo is the skiing champion this year. It requires finesse and exquisite timing to pull it off; some nights they had neither. But when they did it was the emotional highlight of any show. It is a grand entry into the canon.
Terrapin Station, a bit less. This was the album wherein, no longer able to generate drug addicts in-house, were forced to draft a drug addict from another band. They also tried to trade Keith for a speed freak and an alcoholic to be named later, but the deal fell through.
Terrapin Station was produced by
Lowell George from Little Feat Keith Olsen, as much as anyone can produce the Grateful Dead. He tried to erase a percussion track of Mickey’s, and if you’ve been a loyal reader of this blog, you’ll know what happened next: everybody’s favorite fun game, Mickey Physically Assaults Business Associates. None of their records were any good. Common knowledge.
So: we can either spend 400 more words mocking In the Dark, or we can check out Phil (with GREAT HAIR!) leading the way through a 1972 China>Rider in some city that had been occupied by Nazis within the decade.
Addendum: In the comments below, a Fellow Enthusiast points out that I originally conflated Lowell George, who was actually the producer for Shakedown Street with Keith Olsen, the true producer of Terrapin Station. This commenter is correct and wins a year’s supply of “Brent Mydland’s Silky!” The hair products for men with silky hair. Keep it Silky, boys!