Grateful Dead live, Dick's Picks etc - S&D

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With the odd notable exception like 'American Beauty', 'Anthem of the Sun' and a few other studio albums, the Grateful Dead have always been about live performance. It's when you see/hear them live that it all makes sense. And their live albums contain some extraordinary music (as well as some dodgier moments).

But there's just so much of it out there. By my reckoning they released eight regular live albums during the life of the band, but since then the floodgates have opened. There are now 29 Dick's Picks releases, most of them triple CDs, and about a dozen other albums like One/Two From The Vaults, Ladies & Gentlemen, Hundred Year Hall, The Phil Zone etc.

So, what have you heard and what do you like? Are there particular periods (the 80s?) that are no-go areas? Is it only worth bothering with stuff from 68-71?

James Ball (James Ball), Tuesday, 1 July 2003 16:00 (sixteen years ago) link

You've obviously got to start with 'Live Dead'. I listened to it again over the weekend, and it still sounds extraordinary. There may be better versions of 'Dark Star' out there, but as the first one I heard it'll always be the definitive one for me.

James Ball (James Ball), Tuesday, 1 July 2003 16:05 (sixteen years ago) link

yes can we have some ans here. I need to know what to look out for!

Julio Desouza (jdesouza), Tuesday, 1 July 2003 16:11 (sixteen years ago) link

I've been piling through a lot of my Dead live Cds/box sets over the last couple of weeks, but I still feel like I'm only scratching the surface. I've got several thoughts about it, but for the moment I'll just say:
1) I've not heard a version of 'Dark Star' that isn't awesome.
2) The quality of the version of a song bears no relation to how good the jamming is going to be after it (i.e. ignore the ropey vocals, there's some good stuff coming along in a minute).
3) Brent Mydland. Oh dear.
4) Donna Godchaux. Oh dear, oh dear.
5) They were something fucking special around 68-71. I feel like trying to pick up every single thing that's been released from this period.

James Ball (James Ball), Tuesday, 1 July 2003 16:14 (sixteen years ago) link

Julio, from the other GD threads you say you really like 'Live Dead'. From that era I'd definitely recommend Dick's Picks 4 (recorded at the Fillmore East in Feb 1970) and Two From The Vaults (from 1968).

James Ball (James Ball), Tuesday, 1 July 2003 16:23 (sixteen years ago) link

search: the dead from 1973-74. totally at the top of their game during this period.

chaki (chaki), Tuesday, 1 July 2003 17:20 (sixteen years ago) link

Reckoning -- The traditional "Live" album for LP release. Quiet, crisp performances. No flubs, all first rate versions, and a pleasure to listen to throughout. 9.6

Dick's Picks #4 -- Fillmore East, February 13-14, 1970 -- Better than Live Dead, but do have a chance of finding it? 9.4

Nightfall of Diamonds -- Winterland, 10/10/89 -- Great sound; a bit noodley in places, but right nice. 8.6

Dick's Picks #8 -- Harpur College, 5/02/70 -- Three-Quarters of this is impeccable; good form, nice song selection - one disc acoustic, one disc electric, and one disc rave-ups (i don't much care for their R&B covers like "Dancing in the Streets" and "It's A Man's Man's Man's World"). 8.5

Ladies & Gentleman... The Grateful Dead -- Filmore East, April 1971 -- A good listen, but it delves a bit too much into the Helter Skelter for strict listening. Works better as background -- but is noteworthy for the block of Pigpen's blues numbers. 7.8

christoff (christoff), Tuesday, 1 July 2003 17:46 (sixteen years ago) link

Harpur College

my alma mater! (aka "the liberal arts college of SUNY Binghamton")

Jody Beth Rosen (Jody Beth Rosen), Tuesday, 1 July 2003 18:04 (sixteen years ago) link

I've heard a good bit of Dead over the years, and own a fair amount of albums. I second Dick's Pick's Four... the best album I've heard from them. Live/Dead is of course essential, and I think Europe '72 is as well. It was the first Dead record I bought. It's from a bunch of shows from their Europe '72 tour which is among their very best tours (many would say there best. It's there last tour with Pigpen and their first with Keith). It contains little jamming (disk two has some) and was mainly released because the songs on there had yet to be put to vinyl. It was also a bit touched up in the studio, I believe. I know they recently released another cd from that tour, as well as an expanded Europe '72, though I don't think I've heard either, I believe they're quite good as well.

One From the Vault is strong, too. It's from '75, and was from one of two shows celebrating the release of Blues for Allah. It contains every song from that album (in a better version)--including the title track which is, unfortunately, a total dud, IMO (though I'm hardly alone). The Dead didn't tour in '75 or '76, but this is a strong performance though not essential.

I agree on 68-71 being strong. But so is the Europe '72 tour - 74.Dick's Pick's 12 features the quite famous "Mind Left Body" jam as well as the glorious return of "China Cat Sunflower" to their catalogue.

Pretty much all of '77 is great. 5-8-77 Cornell is their most frequently bootlegged show, and thus essential, though not their best performance. It shouldn't be hard to find. '78 is good too, and then they hit a lull.

I believe it's '83 that I've heard good things about, but I've never taken the time to investigate. '78 was the last time they released a studio album until '87, so I kind of avoid it. In '87 bounced back from a heroin-induced coma, and the band was strong again so I'd seek out some stuff from this era too.

Hope this helped a little. I also have to highly recommend the Jerry Garcia Band (which is mostly just a cover band) release Don't Let Go from '75 with Keith on acoustic piano. It's a very tight, mellow session. With only one guitar in there, you can really hear how good of a guitarist Jerry was when he was on.

Aaron M., Tuesday, 1 July 2003 18:45 (sixteen years ago) link

The other thing about '77 is that it's when they became really, really funky. That's why it's so popular. And as usual, when they were on--which was often that year--they were really on. Many would say it's their best year, and I agree it's definitely one of them.

Aaron M., Tuesday, 1 July 2003 18:48 (sixteen years ago) link

''Julio, from the other GD threads you say you really like 'Live Dead'. From that era I'd definitely recommend Dick's Picks 4 (recorded at the Fillmore East in Feb 1970) and Two From The Vaults (from 1968).''

will do

Julio Desouza (jdesouza), Tuesday, 1 July 2003 18:52 (sixteen years ago) link

apologies for the faulty spacing there...

Aaron M., Tuesday, 1 July 2003 19:09 (sixteen years ago) link

Dick's Picks #4 -- Fillmore East, February 13-14, 1970 -- Better than Live Dead, but do have a chance of finding it?

You can still get any of the Dick's Picks from the Dead's own site ( DP4 is $21 plus postage.

James Ball (James Ball), Wednesday, 2 July 2003 15:13 (sixteen years ago) link

No shit? I've been looking for a "gift" copy for years -- Thanks, JB.

christoff (christoff), Wednesday, 2 July 2003 17:16 (sixteen years ago) link

The new Dick's Picks 39 is a six-disc set of two 1977 shows.

Sam J. (samjeff), Wednesday, 2 July 2003 17:45 (sixteen years ago) link

Whoops, that's 29.

Sam J. (samjeff), Wednesday, 2 July 2003 17:46 (sixteen years ago) link

The thing with a lot of live Dead stuff is that even the better gigs have a lot of average stuff on them, but they're worth hearing for the moments where the inspiration hits and they really take off.

So I don't know why they don't release more albums that take stuff from a variety of performances (and eras), cherry-picking the really juicy tracks. 'The Phil Zone' is a good example of this - it's got a great range of stuff, even some not-bad performances from the late 80s. And it's got an absolutely monster version of 'Hard to Handle', which not only rocks like a bastard, it's from an audience tape so you can hear everybody going mental as they crank it up.

(I also wish you could hear more audience on a lot of the Dick's Picks. They capture the music well, but not always the whole occasion. OK, I know they're mostly taken from the mixing desk so maybe that's not possible.)

Aaron or chaki - could you recommend any good Dick's Picks from 73-4 or 77?

James Ball (James Ball), Friday, 4 July 2003 15:39 (sixteen years ago) link

I've been meaning to contribute to this thread, but I wanted to wait for a free moment to audition a bunch of my stuff again. One good thing this thread has done is get me to finally listen to the package of Dick's Picks I got a couple months ago but hadn't listened to yet (well, I threw them when I got them but wasn't able to listen as closely as I'd like): 22 and 26. So far, 26 sounds great! A bunch of rare live Aoxomoxoa songs!!

Mr. Diamond (diamond), Friday, 4 July 2003 15:56 (sixteen years ago) link

#4 and #8 are my favorites (though i kinda stopped paying attention after 16 or so - not for lack of interest but lack of cash)

search GRAYFOLDED - Oswald's "plundering" of over 100 versions of Dark Star from 69-95. Essential drone

Anthem of the Sun and Live/Dead are pretty much perfect legit albums btw

roger adultery (roger adultery), Saturday, 5 July 2003 06:05 (sixteen years ago) link

I was thinking of getting 26, Mr D. The track listing looks very promising, but I'd be interested in hearing your thoughts.

And I've just looked at the tracks for 22, that also looks tempting. I listened to Two From The Vaults over the weekend, from the same year (and with a similar set). There's something about the sound of the band/Garcia's guitar from that time (68/69). I can only describe it as having a lot more bite.

Completely agree with you roger about Live/Dead - that's the benchmark for me, both the version of Dark Star and the album as a whole.

I was surprised the first time I heard Grayfolded how 'ordinary' a lot of it sounded i.e. not ordinary as such but just like a great extended version of Dark Star, the first CD at least. The vocal 'swooshes' and 'folds' sound good though.

James Ball (James Ball), Monday, 7 July 2003 13:54 (sixteen years ago) link


James Ball (James Ball), Thursday, 10 July 2003 19:43 (sixteen years ago) link


James Ball (James Ball), Wednesday, 16 July 2003 11:51 (sixteen years ago) link

ten months pass...
Revive, please.

Just listening to vol 12's lovely version of China Cat Sunflower, as mentioned above by Aaron M.

Any new opinions?

frankE (frankE), Wednesday, 9 June 2004 13:45 (fifteen years ago) link

I really like #16. I feel like the only Dead I ever buy is stuff from 68-70. I just saw #4 at a store and it looks great, after reading this I've decided I need it. Hundred Year Hall is a great set and I enjoy a lot more than the Europe 72 album, which I think sounds kind of neutered. There is a lot of inspired jamming and an absolutely beautiful Pigpen vocal on "Two Souls in Communion." I haven't listened to it in years, though, since my copy was stolen. I have a hard time buying Grateful Dead discs sometimes, although I have no problem listening to them.

Sean Witzman (trip maker), Wednesday, 9 June 2004 13:56 (fifteen years ago) link

Closing of Winterland looks promising.

christoff (christoff), Wednesday, 9 June 2004 15:25 (fifteen years ago) link

one month passes...
the dvd? it's fucking awesome! Possibly my favorite music DVD ever!

i'm too tired to elaborate, but if you consider that Neil Young has Candian citizenship, and if you exclude the American contingent of Fleetwood Mac at their absolute peak, The Dead are the greatest American rock and roll band of all time.

Trux and the Drive By Truckers are tied for me personally, but we're looking through history's lens here, people. The Dead. the fucking DEAD!!!!

roger adultery (roger adultery), Saturday, 24 July 2004 06:16 (fifteen years ago) link

I spent last weekend listening to Ladies and Gentlemen... the Grateful Dead, that 4cd set that Arista put out a couple years back. Fucking PRIME '71 era shit. Absolutely G=god-like. Rog, you gotta get that one if ya don't have it...

Monetizing Eyeballs (diamond), Saturday, 24 July 2004 06:23 (fifteen years ago) link

Also, I really want to see this..

I do have to admit, I didn't get that excited about Closing of Winterland though. THen again, I watched it at like 3 in the morning a couple months ago when I was pretty wiped out. I'll give it another go.

Monetizing Eyeballs (diamond), Saturday, 24 July 2004 06:28 (fifteen years ago) link

I'm a ridiculous Godchaux apologist, FWIW.

haven't tracked down that Arista set - 71, eh? I'm more a 72-77 kinda guy, but will check it out - thanks!

roger adultery (roger adultery), Saturday, 24 July 2004 06:35 (fifteen years ago) link

Wow, a 72-77 guy! I'm impressed. I'm still trying to get with the Godchaux era. I think it will come to me in due time. Do you have that One From the Vault? That one's pretty good, as I recall.

Yeah, the Ladies and Gentlemen thing is '71 but it's pretty song-oriented. Sort of midway between the psychedelic blow-outs and the Europe '72 stuff. It's a nice, pleasant listen. GREAT version of "Bird Song".

Monetizing Eyeballs (diamond), Saturday, 24 July 2004 06:42 (fifteen years ago) link

im a 73 guy and yah the new dvd is great!!

Sir Chaki McBeer III (chaki), Sunday, 25 July 2004 06:23 (fifteen years ago) link

ok, fuck it, Chaki I trust you.. I will watch it again!! It just kind of seemed goofy to me. With the whole dude riding in on a joint at the beginning of the concert. Like, you almost want to shake Bill Graham and the Dead and say, "the 60's are OVER!! Didn't you guys watch 'gimme shelter'??" Plus, the Godchaux. And "Fire on the Mountain" goes on entirely too long. I LOVE LOVE LOVE the Dead, don't get me wrong, but that 'FOTM' just goes on too long, sorry. But I will check it out again, as I said...

Monetizing Eyeballs (diamond), Sunday, 25 July 2004 07:20 (fifteen years ago) link

Hmm.. I just started watching it again, midway through the set. You know what? This version of "Friend of the Devil" is really kind of beautiful! Even Donna is kind of endearing right here! Mea culpa.

Monetizing Eyeballs (diamond), Sunday, 25 July 2004 07:45 (fifteen years ago) link

"Even Donna" - wtf?

Donna was probably just as proficient a musician as Phil Lesh (making her twice as proficient as Bob Weir) and an all around great, great vocalist. Her live performances were hit and miss due to lack of proper monitor support, everyone knows that.

She never gets a fair shake. It's not like she was Linda McCartney fer chrissakes.

The Godchauxes broght so much life (not to mention a a very vital jazz-informed musical eloquence) to The Dead. I love Pigpen and Mydland as much as the nxt guy, but the 70s are where it's AT because of Keith and Donna!

roger adultery (roger adultery), Sunday, 25 July 2004 17:54 (fifteen years ago) link

two months pass...
Disk one of Vol. 23 rules. I have to admit, though, that the "China Cat Sunflower" / "I Know You Rider" medley gets sooo tiresome after listening to Dick's Picks.

Rocking the Rhein is good stuff as well.

frankE (frankE), Wednesday, 29 September 2004 18:48 (fourteen years ago) link

the "Dark Star" on Rockin' the Rhein is eyeball-melting

Matos W.K. (M Matos), Wednesday, 29 September 2004 18:54 (fourteen years ago) link

I bought Dick's Picks 22 on a fleeting whim a few days ago.
I'm a little regretful of it now.
Feb '68 show at a Lake Tahoe bowling alley. Vocals are rarely audible (which I guess isn't always a bad thing, har har).
Now I'm wanting Rockin the Rhein.
I think I need a break from the Dead.

Sean Witzman (trip maker), Wednesday, 29 September 2004 19:11 (fourteen years ago) link

I just listened to Reckoning this past Friday night. Always a treat to pull that one out.

Roy Williams Highlight (diamond), Wednesday, 29 September 2004 19:27 (fourteen years ago) link

'Two From the Vault' is's mastered or mixed really well for headphones. And at the end of 'Morning Dew' the house pulls the electricity from them, great moment.

57 7th (calstars), Wednesday, 29 September 2004 20:26 (fourteen years ago) link

"It's when you see/hear them live that it all makes sense."

Au contraire. Au contraire.

Hurting (Hurting), Wednesday, 29 September 2004 21:42 (fourteen years ago) link

"The Dead are the greatest American rock and roll band of all time."

i take umbrage with this comment.
and so would CCR.

me rawk.
you snow.

eedd, Wednesday, 29 September 2004 23:18 (fourteen years ago) link

Regarding my last post, in case it's not clear, I mean to say that they SUCK LIVE. I don't get it.

Hurting (Hurting), Wednesday, 29 September 2004 23:20 (fourteen years ago) link

Blues for Allah is the best thing they ever did, according to me

Help/Slip/Frank rules

Jackson, Wednesday, 29 September 2004 23:22 (fourteen years ago) link

Donna's "soulful" scream at the end of "Scarlet Begonias" on Dick's Picks 7 is the most out-of-key singing I've heard on an officially released record.

Mark (MarkR), Thursday, 30 September 2004 03:11 (fourteen years ago) link

apparently there's a letter to the editor in the new Arthur from me regarding The Dead, but i haven't seen it. i can't get it here

roger adultery (roger adultery), Thursday, 30 September 2004 04:49 (fourteen years ago) link

one month passes...
HELP - I'm visiting a well-stocked Deadhead (over 300 shows) who has kindly offered to let me borrow whatever I want from his stash - any suggestions as to what I shld look out for - keep in mind that I generally prefer Dead Stuff w/ LOTS of guitar solos, the freakier the better, and am less concerned abt 'songs' per se

Thank You

Uncle John, Saturday, 27 November 2004 21:20 (fourteen years ago) link

one month passes...
I just got this Jerry Garcia Band 3-CD Kean College set from 1980 that Rhino put out last fall. S'good! I'm just a dabbler in the Dead, but this is close to perfect -- nice sparse 4-piece, warmly recorded, the grooves don't overwhelm the songs and vice-versa -- I mean, the grooves are songlike, and the songs are groovelike. And maybe because he doesn't have to work to make himself heard, Jerry's playing is even more loose and gentle than usual. The solos are like barstool conversations. I think I'm going to be listening to this a lot.

gypsy mothra (gypsy mothra), Sunday, 9 January 2005 08:49 (fourteen years ago) link

yah that shit kicks ass

chaki in charge (chaki), Sunday, 9 January 2005 09:05 (fourteen years ago) link

two months pass...
May check out that Jerry band thing. Has anyone heard the No. 29 6CD thing from '77? Curious about that as well.

Mark (MarkR), Thursday, 31 March 2005 18:07 (fourteen years ago) link

One more chance at an answer re No. 29. I orderd the Jerry Band thing yesterday.

Mark (MarkR), Friday, 1 April 2005 14:01 (fourteen years ago) link

i think that now i'm easing closer to middle age i'm gonna get super into the dead, just feels right imo

gbx, Saturday, 15 September 2018 20:06 (one year ago) link

i found my two favorite dick's picks at the record shoppe, vols 3 and 4 just sitting there right next to each other :)

global tetrahedron, Saturday, 15 September 2018 20:52 (one year ago) link

i think that now i'm easing closer to middle age i'm gonna get super into the dead, just feels right imo

this has been me over the last 2 weeks. 45 was the magic number as it turns out.

Dicks Picks 3 has been in constant rotation

Scam jam, thank you ma’am (Sparkle Motion), Sunday, 16 September 2018 05:15 (eleven months ago) link

two months pass...

i...don't understand why they ever had two drummers. it makes sense on occasion, certain eras (earlier, especially), and different songs where they play in a complimentary way. but for the most part, whenever i have the chance to watch a grateful dead clip and both billy and mickey are playing, they're pretty much playing the exact same thing. it is weird.

Karl Malone, Sunday, 25 November 2018 03:55 (nine months ago) link

in 68/69 i feel the duo drumming did have good effect, when mickey rejoined after the hiatus i fail to hear anything interesting coming from the pair. they were certainly more dynamic and got into some of my favorite stuff with just bill. that said, i do appreciate that mickey is and was a really far out spacey dude and kept a lot of weirdness present as they got bigger and lamer. this read on the beam is pretty cool even if a lot of it is over my head:

and he seems the most curious and restless member even into the current day-

global tetrahedron, Sunday, 25 November 2018 04:59 (nine months ago) link

Thanks for linking that interview... I skimmed over some chunks of it, but it’s really interesting. Mickey is cool.

my guitar friend wants his money (morrisp), Sunday, 25 November 2018 07:15 (nine months ago) link

holy shit, the beam

i didn't know about ANY of that.

Karl Malone, Sunday, 25 November 2018 08:15 (nine months ago) link

i also have no idea what the beam is about, for the most part, but it strikes me as something where only mickey hart thinks he understands and everyone else is like "well either we're friends with mickey or paid by him to work on this beam, so fuck yeah the beam"

Karl Malone, Sunday, 25 November 2018 08:17 (nine months ago) link

Karl Malone, Sunday, 25 November 2018 08:19 (nine months ago) link

He should have kicked Mayer in that clip, jfc

MaresNest, Sunday, 25 November 2018 14:33 (nine months ago) link

Duke, Sunday, 25 November 2018 15:05 (nine months ago) link

it strikes me as something where only mickey hart thinks he understands

this is why it’s cool btw

global tetrahedron, Sunday, 25 November 2018 17:01 (nine months ago) link

What band title is that Hart beam thing from. Not being paying attention to what they are going out under these days.

Stevolende, Sunday, 25 November 2018 19:44 (nine months ago) link

is the amazon series worth watching, btw


gbx, Sunday, 25 November 2018 22:15 (nine months ago) link

see discussion starting here: should i give the grateful dead a chance?

my guitar friend wants his money (morrisp), Sunday, 25 November 2018 22:29 (nine months ago) link

yeah it's good!

tylerw, Sunday, 25 November 2018 22:30 (nine months ago) link

XXP - It's a treat, definitely!

MaresNest, Sunday, 25 November 2018 23:07 (nine months ago) link

and yeah, i've listened to a fair amount of post 74 Dead and it seems to me that Hart is usually at his best when you forget he's even there. the main argument you could make for him is that he kept the band's experimental edge in the mix on the drums > space situations (which can be the most interesting parts of 80s/90s shows). but in a lot of cases he keeps things in a weird rhythmic zone — too bad, because between 72-74, Kreutzmann was proving himself to be a pretty incredible drummer. After that he's a little bit checked out. But I can only assume he wanted Hart there ...

tylerw, Sunday, 25 November 2018 23:39 (nine months ago) link

two months pass...

Anyone else think about this commercial all the time?

peace, man, Friday, 1 February 2019 23:38 (seven months ago) link

I read that the Dead paid everyone in their crew -- roadies, drivers, techs, soundpeople -- the same amount that the band members got paid for a show. So, whatever Jerry made on a show, that's what the truck driver made, too.

Anyone know if that was true? And if so, did it continue into the '80s and '90s?

Montgomery Burns' Jazz (Tarfumes The Escape Goat), Saturday, 2 February 2019 01:03 (seven months ago) link

i don't know if that's true but i know they paid health insurance etc

global tetrahedron, Saturday, 2 February 2019 06:28 (seven months ago) link

Wow, I do faintly remember that ad

i stan corrected (morrisp), Saturday, 2 February 2019 06:46 (seven months ago) link

I totally remember that but it meant nothing to me at the time as I was still pissed that the Dead didn’t sound like sabbath.

Also is that Spike Lee in there?

joygoat, Saturday, 2 February 2019 16:19 (seven months ago) link

He directed the ad iirc.

peace, man, Saturday, 2 February 2019 16:35 (seven months ago) link

from the same campaign as the rob liefeld levis ad. heady times

adam, Saturday, 2 February 2019 16:55 (seven months ago) link

I feel like that was a trend in the early ‘90s, high-profile directors bringing “prestige” to TV commercials... guess it doesn’t really happen now (maybe b/c commercials are often skipped)?

i stan corrected (morrisp), Saturday, 2 February 2019 16:59 (seven months ago) link

yeah David Lynch, PTA, and I think even Tarantino did commercials in the 90s.

afaik that detail about pay could be correct, perhaps exaggerated, but in the 4 hour doc from a couple years ago, it was stressed how much Jerry felt obligated to keep the machine going despite his poor health and addiction issues because if he stopped, even for a season, he'd be putting hundreds of people out of work.

flappy bird, Sunday, 3 February 2019 22:36 (seven months ago) link

the '90s was definitely lynch's ad-making peak, he's done ads since then but not as many as he did in the '90s

his playstation 2 ad was pretty memorable

you know, in '81 he did a music video (sparks' "i predict"), in the 2000s he did online videos. the man adapts with the times.

The Elvis of Nationalism and Amoral Patriotism (rushomancy), Sunday, 3 February 2019 22:45 (seven months ago) link

five years from now people will want to know the thread where david lynch's playstation 2 ad is discussed and it'll turn out to be the grateful dead live thread, and everybody will say "of course!"

The Elvis of Nationalism and Amoral Patriotism (rushomancy), Sunday, 3 February 2019 22:47 (seven months ago) link

three months pass...

from Rolling Stone---thanks Jon Blistein (I hope to catch up with the 50th Anniversary series this Fourth of July weekend):
The Grateful Dead will include a set of unreleased music taken from a handful of 1969 shows on the upcoming 50th anniversary reissue of Aoxomoxoa, out June 7th.

The set will feature two versions of Aoxomoxoa: A newly remastered version of the original 1969 LP and a remastered version of the band-produced mix the Dead released in 1971. The reissue’s bonus disc will boast live music recorded January 24th to 26th, 1969 at the Avalon Ballroom in San Francisco, California (the recordings were among the first live performances recorded to 16-track tape).

How Taron Egerton Became Elton John for ‘Rocketman’
Presented by
“In 1969, for their third album, the Grateful Dead eschewed outside producers and created Aoxomoxoa themselves, beginning a run of self-produced albums that would continue until 1977,” said Grateful Dead archivist Dave Lemieux in a statement. “Scrapping the first sessions, which were recorded to eight-track tape, the Dead now had 16 tracks with which to experiment their psychedelic sound, with an album that included entirely Robert Hunter-penned lyrics for the first time.”

The bonus disc of live material includes several gems, including two early versions of Aoxomoxoa tracks, “Durpee’s Diamond Blues” and “Doin’ That Rag,” as well as the final live performance of “Clementine,” a song the Dead began playing in 1968 but never released on a studio album. The Dead lineup at the time of the Avalon shows was Jerry Garcia, Bob Weir, Ron “Pigpen” McKernan, Phil Lesh, Tom Constanten, Mickey Hart, and Bill Kreutzmann.

The 50th anniversary version of Aoxomoxoa is available to pre-order and will be released as a two-disc CD set and a limited edition vinyl picture disc.

In This Article: The Grateful Dead

dow, Saturday, 1 June 2019 23:48 (three months ago) link

“Beautiful Jam” from ‘71 on the So Many Roads comp

calstars, Sunday, 2 June 2019 02:54 (three months ago) link

^^^ all-time great

tobo73, Sunday, 2 June 2019 02:59 (three months ago) link

“Durpee’s Diamond Blues”

☮ (peace, man), Sunday, 2 June 2019 11:37 (three months ago) link

Also enjoying Watkins glen rehearsal from that same album, which goes from spacey to hippie funk until jerry introduces a major key

calstars, Sunday, 2 June 2019 11:48 (three months ago) link

yesterday i went through and listened to all of the top-rated performances of the first album songs on headyversion. well, i didn't actually get through pigpen doing "good morning little schoolgirl" for 16 fucking minutes, the album version was excruciating enough, but i did run across this ten minute jam on "cream puff war" from '66 that i liked a lot, actually. i have a hard time thinking of the dead as a genuinely "psychedelic" band, at least not in a way i'm into, but this sounded like it in a way jerry's playing usually doesn't for me.

Flood-Resistant Mirror-Drilling Machine (rushomancy), Sunday, 2 June 2019 12:01 (three months ago) link

three months pass...

Just Bob.

☮ (peace, man), Monday, 2 September 2019 22:23 (one week ago) link

Bob Weir - Isolated Jorts

One more cup of yogurt for the road (morrisp), Tuesday, 3 September 2019 00:41 (one week ago) link

^ love that

calstars, Tuesday, 3 September 2019 19:26 (one week ago) link

Dick's Picks #8 -- Harpur College, 5/02/70 -- Three-Quarters of this is impeccable; good form, nice song selection - one disc acoustic, one disc electric, and one disc rave-ups (i don't much care for their R&B covers like "Dancing in the Streets" and "It's A Man's Man's Man's World"). 8.5

Listened to a lot of this on my commute this morning and it's great! I don't think I had ever heard live acoustic dead from that era before. A highlight of the electric portion for me is Viola Lee Blues

longtime caller, first time listener (man alive), Friday, 6 September 2019 19:32 (one week ago) link

I've been trying to spend some time with Cornell 77, but I still struggle with how almost supernaturally clean it sounds. Maybe that's part of the appeal, but I still prefer the grit of the earlier shows. 70-74 is my sweet spot. Obviously some of the performances on Cornell 77 are very good and the sound quality is great, but I still find something about it a little offputting.

longtime caller, first time listener (man alive), Friday, 13 September 2019 17:40 (two days ago) link

Meanwhile, been really enjoying Dicks Picks 28 - Lincoln NE and Salt Lake City UT 1973, and also Roosevelt Stadium 1974.

longtime caller, first time listener (man alive), Friday, 13 September 2019 17:42 (two days ago) link

I love Playing in the Band so much.

longtime caller, first time listener (man alive), Friday, 13 September 2019 17:42 (two days ago) link

DiP 28 is so great. That was the first "Eyes" I heard, and it's got one of my fave "Dark Star"s, where Kreutzman just keeps the momentum going through the whole thing (akin to the 8/27/72 Veneta, OR "Dark Star").

Montgomery Burns' Jazz (Tarfumes The Escape Goat), Friday, 13 September 2019 18:08 (two days ago) link

I think 77 is a bit over-celebrated due to the number of good recordings that have been circulating for a long time, way before the internet. Cornell is definitely over-hyped but there's no denying they were playing clean and tight that year. quite possibly their cleanest and tightest year, maybe alongside 72. Recordings from 78 are also super clean but they begin to slow things down and the cleanliness begins to approach a really thin sound (lack of reverb maybe?) that I find grating.

tobo73, Friday, 13 September 2019 18:17 (two days ago) link

hmm that's an interesting sort of historiographical (if that's the right word) point. I wonder if there were some significant advances in portable taping tech around that time.

longtime caller, first time listener (man alive), Friday, 13 September 2019 18:20 (two days ago) link

Fwiw I’ve read that once Dan Healy took over (not sure exactly when that was), he didn’t pay a ton of attn to the soundboard mix. That’s why the soundboards from 82 and 83 and 84 haven’t been released much. He is also blamed for turning Bobby’s guitar way down in the mix.

Those 77s tend to be credited to Betty Cantor, who maybe was more careful about mixing the soundboard for the purposes of replay at home.

I’ve always wondered about how they mix the drums in the 80s and beyond. The hi-hats are way too loud and the snares sounds like crap. Heard the 91 RFK show on Sirius yesterday and it sounds like the snares are on another stage. I don’t have the technical expertise to say why that is.

tobo73, Friday, 13 September 2019 18:28 (two days ago) link

That’s why the soundboards from 82 and 83 and 84 haven’t been released much.

Also, they stopped using reel-to-reel tapes around 1979, so the majority of early/mid-'80s soundboard recordings were made on hissy cassettes.

Montgomery Burns' Jazz (Tarfumes The Escape Goat), Friday, 13 September 2019 18:33 (two days ago) link

weren't they also mostly playing bigger venues in the 80s or at least in the 90s? That could impact sound a lot.

longtime caller, first time listener (man alive), Friday, 13 September 2019 21:14 (two days ago) link

the mixing itself on Cornell 77 is admittedly kind of incredible. Can't think of another live recording that sounds like that.

longtime caller, first time listener (man alive), Friday, 13 September 2019 21:15 (two days ago) link

Yes to your point about larger venues.

They made lots of great recordings in 89/90 for Without a Net. I assume they were using better equipment and being more careful about it. I love the way those sound and the best may be Hamilton Ontario in March 90. The Scarlet/Fire from that show made it to the big retrospective box set they released a few years ago.

tobo73, Friday, 13 September 2019 21:27 (two days ago) link

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