Before the rise of the Dead, Hunter and Jerry Garcia played together in a band in the 60s. For the Dead’s third studio album, Aoxomoxoa, Hunter was tapped to provide the lyrics, and the rest is musical history. Hunter continued to collaborate as a songwriter with the Dead (primarily Garcia) for the rest of the way, and is rightly regarded as a member of the band. His lyrics, rich with epigrammatic wisdom, have few equals in the American songbook; a folksy Bob Dylan might be the closest comparison.
During the Dead’s mid 70s hiatus, Hunter released his first solo album, Tales of the Great Rum Runners. It featured members of the Dead, with Hunter playing guitar and singing in a serviceable voice that suggested a cross between Bob Dylan and Johnny Cash. He followed it up with Tiger Rose, again featuring members of the Dead. “It Must Have Been The Roses,” from his first album, has since become a staple in the Deadshow.
Hunter continued to release new albums throughout the 80s to a loyal cadre of fans, most of them Deadheads. In the late 80s, he collaborated with Bob Dylan on two songs for Down In The Groove. In 1994, he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame along with the other members of the Grateful Dead.
TALES OF THE GREAT RUM RUNNERS (1974)
Lady Simplicity / That Train / Dry Dusty Road / I Heard You Singing / Rum Runners / Children’s Lament / Maybe She’s A Bluebird // Boys In The Barroom / It Must Have Been The Roses / Arizona Lightning / Standing At Your Door / Mad / Keys To The Rain. Released on elpee in 1974 in the US (Round, RX101). Re-released on elpee and CD in 1989 in the UK (Grateful Dead, GDV/GDCD-4013), and on CD and cassette on March 30, 1990 in the US (Rykodisc, RCD1/RACS-0158).
It Must Have Been The Roses (1974)
b/w Rum Runners. Released on 7-inch in 1974 in the US (Round, RX4505).
TIGER ROSE (1975)
Tiger Rose / One Thing To Try / Rose of Sharon / Wild Bill / Dance A Hole // Cruel White Water / Over The Hills / Last Flash of Rock ‘N’ Roll / Yellow Moon / Ariel. Released on elpee and 8-track in March 1975 in the US (Round, RX/RXT 105). 8-track features different track listing. Re-released on elpee with recut vocals in 1988 in the US (Grateful Dead, GDV 4010). Re-released on white vinyl elpee in 1989 in Germany (Grateful Dead, GDLP 4.00653). Re-issued on CD and cassette in the US (Grateful Dead, GDCD/GDC-4114). Re-released on compact disc and cassette in 1989 in the US (Rykodisc, RCD/RACS-10115) with different track listing.
Tiger Rose (1975)
b/w Sea Stones. Released on 7-inch in 1975 in the US (Round). The B side is credited to Phil Lesh.
JACK O’ROSES (1980)
Box of Rain / Reuben And Cerise / Talkin’ Money Tree / Friend of The Devil / Delia DeLyon And Stagger Lee / Lady of Carlisle / Book of Daniel // Terrapin: Lady With A Fan – Terrapin Station – Ivory Wheels/Rosewood Track – Jack O’ Roses / Prodigal Town. Released on elpee in 1980 in the UK (Dark Star, DSLP 8001).
PROMONTORY RIDER: A RETROSPECTIVE COLLECTION (1982)
Boys In The Barroom / That Train Don’t Run Here Anymore / Tiger Rose / Hooker’s Ball / Standing At Your Door / Promontory Rider // Touch of Darkness / It Must Have Been The Roses / Rum Runners / Drunkard’s Carole / The Lady of Carlisle / Prodigal Town. Compilation released on elpee, gold vinyl elpee and picture disc elpee and cassette in 1982 in the US (Relix, RRLP/RRLP-C-2002). Re-issued on compact disc in 1989 in the US (Relix, RRCD-2002). Re-released on CD (Castle, CCR-110).
AMAGAMALIN STREET (1984)
Roseanne / Amagamalin Street / Gypsy Parlor Light / Rambling Ghost // Ithica / Don’t Be Deceived / Taking Maggie Home / Out of The City / Better Bad Luck / Streetwise / Face Me* / Where Did You Go? / 13 Roses. Released on 2LP in 1984 in the US (Relix, RRLP-2003). Re-issued on edited compact disc in 1986 (Relix, RRCD-2003) with one track (*) deleted.
LIVE 85 (1985)
Live tracks: Promontory Rider / Jack Straw / Red Car / Sweet Little Wheels // Amagamalin Street / Rose-Rose / EZ Wind / Franklin’s Tower / Boys In The Barroom. Live album released on elpee in 1985 in the US (Relix, RRLP 2006).
FLIGHT OF THE MARIE HELENA (1985)
First Day / Second Day / Third Day / Fourth Day // Fifth Day / Sixth Day / Seventh Day. Released on elpee and CD in 1985 in the US (Relix, RRLP/RRCD-2009).
ROCK COLUMBIA (1987)
Eva / End of the Road / I Never See You / Aim At The Heart / Kick It On Down / What’ll You Raise / Who, Baby, Who? / Rock Columbia. Released on compact disc and cassette in 1987 in the US (Relix, RRCD/RRCA-2019). Re-issued on compact disc in 1994 (Castle, CCR-102).
Liberty / Cry Down The Years / Bone Alley / Black Shamrock / The Song Goes On / Do Deny (Lying Man) / Worried Song / Come And Get It / When A Man Loves A Woman. Released on elpee, compact disc and cassette on March 1, 1988 in the US (Relix, RRLP/RRCD/RRCA-2029).
A BOX OF RAIN (1990)
Live tracks: Box of Rain / Scarlet Begonias / Franklin’s Tower / Jack Straw / Brown-Eyed Woman / Reuben & Cerise / Space / Deal / Promontory Rider / Ripple / Boys In The Barroom / Stella Blues. Live album released on compact disc and cassette in December 1990 in the US (Rykodisc, RCD/RACS-0214).
Pride of Bone / Gingerbread Man / Idiot’s Delight (excerpt) / A Red Dog’s Decoration Day / Trapping A Muse / Jaaz #3 / Toad In Love / Rimbaud At Twenty / Rain In A Courtyard / Way of the Ride / Sentinel / Preserpie And Senti Yagoya / Poets On Poets / Like A Basket / Yagritz / Cocktails With Hindemith / Blue Moon Alley / The New Jungle / Full Moon Café / Tango Hit Palace / Exploding Diamond Blues / Rainwater Sea / Holigomena. Released on compact disc on October 12, 1993 in the US (Rykodisc, RCD 20265).
FRIEND OF THE DEVIL (2016)
Live tracks: Rose of Sharon / Rum Runners / Tiger Rose / Battle of New Orleans / Must Have Been The Roses / Wild Bill / Let Me Go (Out Into The Valley) / Keys To The Rain / Cruel White Water / Last Flash of Rock And Roll / Talking Money Tree / Friend of the Devil / Boys In The Barroom / That Train. Live album credited to Robert Hunter & Comfort recorded in 1978 and released on compact disc on January 15, 2016 (Echo, ECHOCD2066).