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Performances Song History Jamming Chart

Also Sprach Zarathustra

Also Known As: 2001

Music: Strauss/Deodato

Vocals: Instrumental

Original Artist: Strauss, as interpreted by Deodato

Original Album: Prelude (1972)

Albums: Live in Brooklyn, Vegas 96, Live Phish 02, Live Phish 04, Live Phish 07, Live Phish 10, Live Phish 15, Live in Brooklyn DVD, The Clifford Ball, Chicago '94

Debut: 1993-07-16

Historian: Chris Bertolet (bertoletdown)

Last Update: 2014-01-18

This 1895 tone poem, one of the oldest compositions Phish has covered, achieved pop-culture prominence on the soundtrack to Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey. But Deodato’s discotheque remix – featured in the 1979 Hal Ashby film Being There – is clearly Phish’s direct inspiration. In the movie, the song serves as accompaniment to naïve savant Chauncey Gardener (Peter Sellers) as he takes his first solo stroll through the mean streets of the city and marvels in childlike wonder, oblivious to the naked peril that surrounds him. It seems fitting that Ashby chose this song to punctuate his hero’s worldly rebirth, since it also punctuates a moment of cosmic rebirth in Kubrick’s classic.



Deodato, "Also Sprach Zarathustra" – Prelude (1972)

Which makes it a mighty nice choice for a millennial sunrise, too...

 “2001” leapt onto the playlist as a catalytic second set opener, and a showcase for Chris Kuroda’s operatic fog machine. And though it wasn’t jammed in its early years, “2001” often served as a springboard for centerpiece jams like “Mike’s,” “Maze,” “Bowie,” and “Antelope." It even found itself sandwiched within the 7/16/94 Sugarbush "Harpua" on the first anniversary of its debut.

On 10/31/96, guest percussionist Karl Perazzo inspired Phish to extend the lead-in to each of the two ascending stanzas, locking down a chunky groove that stretched the song to a full seven minutes. Subsequent fall ‘96 versions (like 11/18 in Memphis and 12/6 in Las Vegas) earned “2001” bona fide jamming tune status, and offered a taste of the bovine funk that would lubricate Phish’s live sound in 1997.

Throughout that year, “2001” remained one of the standard bearers for the new sound, and creative appearances abounded. At The Great Went on 8/17/97, Phish used loops to sustain a liquid soundscape as they painted a mural in the background. The 11/26/97 Hartford version glided out of “Character Zero” and into “Cities,” and featured extended “Superbad” jamming in between. The expected 12/31/97 Madison Square Garden “2001” proved a visual feast as well as a sonic one, with morphing udder balls and breakfast foods projected onto an overhead screen. The 7/17/98 Gorge workout laid down a bed of relentless raunch, and set the stage for one of the finest “Mike’s Grooves” of the late ‘90s.

Since 1998, “2001” assumed a somewhat lower profile in the rotation (for obvious reasons, “2001” was not played at all in 2001), and gravitated away from deep-space improvisation. Still, must-hear versions abound. They include the seminal wake-and-bake from Big Cypress (simply jaw-dropping synth work from Page, and mysterious sampled "whooshing" sounds that would never be heard again); the 6/14/00 Fukuoka mix (tranced out); the 2/21/03 Cincinnati gem (listen for the artful quote of Bach’s “Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring”); the uber-funky 12/30/03 Miami getdown (which teases “Sand” and “Gin,” and foreshadows the P-Funk Allstars guest shot later that night); the 8/2/09 Red Rocks mission with the Grateful Dead's Billy Kreutzman doubling up on drums; the 6/25/10 dance party in Camden, which honored Michael Jackson on the one-year anniversary of his passing by referencing "Wanna Be Startin' Somethin'," "Thriller," and "Billie Jean"; and the powerful 6/8/11 Darien reading laced with "What's the Use?" quotes.



Phish, "2001" – 6/25/10, Camden, NJ

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Recommended Versions: 1998-07-17, 1998-12-29, 1999-09-29, 2004-06-17, 2010-06-25, 2013-10-20

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hiddenaway Reply
How is it possible that the 1998-04-04 Providence version is not mentioned here? Sorry it blows the Gin 2001 and all the others away. Is there really an argument? Island Tour Phish tapped into a different level
Score: 2
GitDown Reply
@NickelCopper said:
So saw this in camden in 2010 with the triller and billie jean teases, but during the show they kept singing someting, it sounds like the alias, "Also Sprach Zarathustra" just repeated but i was wondering if anyone could confirm or deny that cause it took it to a whole other level
Trey is saying, "mama-se mama-sa mama-ku-sa," a reference to MJ's "Wanna Be Startin' Something"
Score: 0
LuckynKentucky Reply
MSG 12/31/2012 Needs to be one here. Straight Funky breakout into an almost electric dance hall/house feel.
Score: 0
stella Reply
stella @NickelCopper said:
So saw this in camden in 2010 with the triller and billie jean teases, but during the show they kept singing someting, it sounds like the alias, "Also Sprach Zarathustra" just repeated but i was wondering if anyone could confirm or deny that cause it took it to a whole other level
I don't recall this. I will have to listen back..
Score: 0
dkast85 Reply
dkast85 @HuPua said:
I agree with hidden the island tour 2001 is the best I've ever heard no question for thre not to be a mention is a travesty also the 2001 from the pyramid in Memphis are the best in my opinion!!
Came in here to see what they had to say about the PYramid 2001. NOTHING! Wow
Score: 0
Carini710 Reply
My top 10 versions
9/29/99
12/31/99
12/29/98
8/17/97
11/26/97
8/17/98
4/4/98
8/8/98
12/18/99
6/25/10
Score: 0
Phaster Reply
Phaster AAAHH yes the 12-31-99 is a must hear
Score: 0
HuPua Reply
HuPua I agree with hidden the island tour 2001 is the best I've ever heard no question for thre not to be a mention is a travesty also the 2001 from the pyramid in Memphis are the best in my opinion!!
Score: 0
NickelCopper Reply
So saw this in camden in 2010 with the triller and billie jean teases, but during the show they kept singing someting, it sounds like the alias, "Also Sprach Zarathustra" just repeated but i was wondering if anyone could confirm or deny that cause it took it to a whole other level
Score: 0
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