Writers: Jerry Garcia and Robert Hunter
Producer: Gary Lyons
Recorded: Summer 1979 at Club Front in San Rafael, California
Released: April 1980
|Players:||Jerry Garcia — vocals, guitar
Bob Weir — guitar, vocals
Phil Lesh — bass
Brent Mydland — keyboards, vocals
Mickey Hart — drums
Bill Kreutzmann — drums
|Album:||Go To Heaven (Arista)|
The Grateful Dead's first single of the '80s, “Alabama Getaway” hit Number 68 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.
It was the group's first charting single since 1975, and only the fifth time they reached the chart in their career.
The song was one of singer-guitarist Jerry Garcia's few high-profile moments on the Go To Heaven album, which was dominated by other band members.
Go To Heaven marked the recording debut of new keyboardist Brent Mydland, who had been in the country-rock band Silver. He replaced Keith Godchaux who, along with wife and singerDonna Jean Godchaux, had left the group in the spring of 1979.
Gary Lyons, who produced Go To Heaven, had also worked with Foreigner and Aerosmith. He was recruited expressly to help the Grateful Dead achieve a more commercial, radio-friendly sound.
The group was less than pleased with the results, however. Singer-guitarist Bob Weir said, “We didn't have good, matured material while we recorded it,” and bassist Phil Lesh referred to it as horse manure.
Lesh also expressed the view that the band didn't need outside input in making their albums: “I hate producers. If I ever have to work with one again, I'll probably kill myself.”
Deadheads, meanwhile, reacted strongly — and negatively — to the album's cover image of the band members in soft focus, wearing white, disco-style suits.
Go To Heaven peaked at Number 23 on the Billboard 200 chart.