I could be wrong but I have a feeling there might be more rap and hip hop enthusiasts on here than Deadheads.
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dicks: vol 3, vol 4 are required. as in, if my house were burning, i'd grab those.
others: vol 7, vol 25, 29, and 36
really, the band was peaking in 71, 72, 77 and occasionally in 78. get all those.
(every so often an 80s or 90s show is incredible, like the nightfall of diamonds set, but they're more hit or miss).
You won't actually hear the wall of sound on the recordings, but perhaps it influenced their playing. I don't think so though. I favor everything from 1970-77, with just a tad less love for 72. My suggestion is that you get a trial membership for spotify (get premium for better sound quality). I think you can listen to quite a few Dick's Picks there.
Also, listening to soundboard recordings you can really hear how raw, unadulterated recordings also sound much better than highly processed studio recordings, even with their warts exposed!
I've been buying Dick's Picks since around the time that Jerry died. My favorites are #1 from '73, every song is excellent except "Weather Report" which I never liked. #2 from '71 has a great, jazzy "Dark Star". Volume #3 from '77 is excellent and widely regarded as one of the best. #4 from '70 is also outstanding especially Rider-High Time-Dire Wolf-Darkstar. I also really like #7 from '74. I have to say though that my all time favorite live show was from '80 - their superb Reckoning cd. I haven't been compelled to buy any Dave's Picks. Maybe you could recommend a show or two that I should check out.
Both Reckoning + Dead Set are tough to beat (no pun).
The thing about the GD, is that, we all have our fave year/line-up.
There are plenty of recordings to go around. I am intrigued by the wall of sound (WOS), so these short-lived shows are of interest to me.
Those early Fillmore shows are excellent w/ pigpen as well.
I think there's a reason that sets such as Reckoning and Dead Set are on the "big, important" label and some of the soundboard stuff is available with less fanfare. But there are some great moments on the soundboard tapes. I was cruising through Houston with the radio on the left end of the dial a few months back and heard a mind-blowing version of New Potato Caboose. I think the date was 8/24/68 (I could be off on the year). I had forgotten the sort of magic they could muster at times. Does anyone know where this track is available?
It took me about 3 years to get them all, but I just purchased the last two Europe 72 shows. That was the Grateful Dead at their finest hour. 1977 was also another notable year as I think Keith Godchaux added a nice soft touch on the piano and kept the music simple and true to the roots.......I have all of the Dicks Picks and some are better than others and No#25 stands out for me.......so far I have all of Dave's Pick's and actually waiting for No#17 to be delivered today. I have not found them as good as the shows picked for Dicks Picks....in my opinion,
The Dead also had some highlights in the eighties with Bret Mydland who was very good ......but they seemed to have moved away from the country / blue roots that I personally enjoyed. The band got even moved heavily involved with different drugs of choice from cocaine to heroin which unfortunately made Jerry just an average guitar player.......he got sloppy and lazy at live shows which I was there for a bunch and can attest to.
There are a couple of box sets for the 90-91 tour and one is sold out and they are good at best. You can totally dismiss the Vince Welnick era of Dead. That was a very dad time and was the ultimately the end of that band.
Two From The Vault is from 8/23,24/68 and has an excellent New Potato Caboose.
As far as "big label" releases, the primary criterion is not performance quality but rather sound quality. The vast majority of the major label releases are from multi-track masters rather than 2-track, and vice-versa for the Picks series.
Im late to the party...
I have it all. Im kind of a "Dead Freak" Deadhead and have been getting the releases as they come since their inception...
There are enough recommendations here and as mentioned, everyone will have there faves... I, of course, love the "best" years, 72, 77, 90. But the transition times right before the popular years are some incredible shows --late 71 and 73, late 76 and Im big Brent fan, so even 87 thru 90 are good with me... The Spring '90 boxset is better than 'good' (as mentioned) IMO. But maybe theres a touch of 'had to be there' involved, which I was. With that said, "Dozin' At The Knick" is a monster show from '90 that anyone can love.
Regarding the Wall of Sound, I do think you can tell these recordings apart from others (maybe not all?). There seems to be more power and immediacy, a bit more instrument separation, also where the drums sit in imaging and presence. Over the years a few band members have said the Wall did indeed change their playing, as they could hear each other much better. Billy says their interplay at those shows was phenomenal.
I have recently been going through the 30 Trips Around The Sun box (50th anniversary boxset w/ one show each year. i.e. "Boxzilla" haha) and I must say, these shows sound incredible! David Glasser's best work so far wit the Dead, IMO. with special note going to the early 67 and 68 shows. You will be hard pressed to find cleaner, quieter and detailed early shows than these. Just awesome. System dependent of course (;
I will agree that the Dick's Picks series has the more 'epic show' quality stuff over the Dave's Picks series. I mean, why wouldn't it, Dick Latvala was there through the '70s' and on and an expert on the shows and tapes, so not to take anything away from what David Lemieux has done. He is releasing some great shows. Off hand: Vol. one (great sound). Vol. 8 (the only Matrix recording release ever) and Vol. 11 (one of the best Other Ones you will hear).
On tap for todays listening is the newest Dave's Vol. 17...
PS: Don't forget to pick up the Sunshine Daydream movie bluray release. 8-27-72 film. what a fantastic time capsule with one of the best versions of Dark Star and Playin' you will ever witness.
Lets not forget the Road Trips series... They are not full shows but still some great stuff! Imagine a show with some killer versions of songs sprinkled throughout a few stinkers, they just give ya the goods from two shows in one release. OR if a shows tapes were marred in some areas, or missing reals for some, but otherwise really great stuff existing, they give it to ya...
Id have to look back a see what my faves were. I can think of the just back from Egypt shows as being one that is surprisingly good. And the all the bonus disks for Road Trips are all quite good. I don't know if they are including the bonus disks in the file format "Complete Road Trips Recordings" available on Deadnet or not...
If you like the Dick's Picks series there are a wealth of recordings circulating out there, anything from Charlie Miller particularly, that often sound better. Pretty much the entirety of 68 is out there much of 69 also if you like late 60s. For me some highlights are 2/13-14/70 Fillmore East, which makes up Dicks Picks 4, 4/28-29/71 Fillmore East which was an official release, no a Dicks Pick though. etree.org is a good site for shows if you are into torrenting. Also the recent 30 Trips Around the Sun has some very good shows, 8/15/70 Winterland and 1975 Golden Gate Park were highlights for me. For something more recent the entire 1990 Spring tour was released as a box set great shows i was fortunate to catch 8 shows on that tour, great stuff. I guess what I'm trying to say if there's a lot of stuff out there, beyond Dicks and Daves and official releases, so if you want to explore have fun! I have about 125 shows in my collection and counting.
Yes, to reiterate jond, the shows out there that have been "fixed up" by Charlie Miller are, I assume, all great! I have a hand full of em.
I'm not sure I would say they are better than the work Jeffery Norman does to the official releases but they are very good.
Is etree the best place to get Charlie's shows?
Someone should construct a comprehensive site of the Charlie Miller shows and DL links! That would be awesome.
jriggy to be honest I suck at techno stuff and don't torrent or anything myself but friends of mine do and they pretty much dropbox me stuff. I wish I could be more help but give etree a try. And when I say better than official releases a lack of compression is one thing that stands out to me particularly on Dicks Pick 4, Charlie's remaster is just more open sounding and extended at the frequency extremes.
I'm all over the place when it comes to live Dead recordings. But at this stage of my development, I'm hoping to collect the Europe 72 box set. Recently, a friend of mine ripped me a version of the Cincinnati Riverbed show from the 30 Trips set. That was a great show for me and I've always remembered it as one of the best I'd seen.
The 'Formerly The Warlocks' box set is very good however that was late Jerry and it gets me a little depressed. But for sentimental reasons, I always go back to 'Skull and Roses' as that was my first ever Dead record and I wore that record out.
Aside from the Europe 72 tour, my interest is in procuring a copy of the infamous Cornell University show which many believe to be the Gold Standard by which all other shows are measured. I can't endorse that view but I do recall that I liked the cassette tape of that show even though I don't remember what was on it or even the date that it was recorded.
Right now I'm listening to 'Rocking The Rhein' (Mr. Charlie). And as far as Dick's Picks, 'One From The Vault' is still a classic. But yes, I certainly need to expand my horizons.
Which Dave or Dick's picks? I would not know where to start! The problem is that after 50 years in business, The Grateful Dead have an unbelievable catalog of recorded live shows. Certainly not all are great, but there sure are a ton of incredible tracks and concerts that will keep you busy for years of listening.
I like to get on a specific song kick and then listen to as many versions over the years as possible. What a music participating adventure the Dead brought us.
I am still looking for a copy of Richmond VA "The Mosque" concert... I heard it on Sirius this past year and its in my locater sights... (no luck yet)
Grate thread! Nice to see so many "friends" here on Audiogon. :)
I, too, prefer the shows from 71-80. I don't think you can wrong with any Dick's/Dave's from that era. I'm not much of fan of anything the band did with Brent- unfortunately those were the only shows I got to see. (Until he passed)
I am definitely an audiophile, but not necessarily when it comes to listening to the Dead. I love Reckoning and own some shows on vinyl but I really love "listening" to the studio albums. They really were/ are special and, in my opinion, under appreciated.
Like many of us, I fell in love with Dead listening to ratty many-Gen cassette tapes- so fidelity isn't of primary importance to me. There is an app (iphone maybe android?) called Relisten. It has every show- often times multiple copies of each show available to stream. It's almost overwhelming. I use it all the time. The best part is, it's free!
FWIW, I also "highly" recommend a band called Forgotten Space to anyone inclined to wanting to experience a great interpretation of the band from the 70's era live. They are based in Dallas but do tours through the central states often. As a matter of fact they will be St. Louis, Chicago, Milwaukee maybe Indy this month. Forgottenspace.net or on Facebook.
What a neat way to listen and learn the evolution of a song through the years!
I will usually listen to the newest release, then listen to the shows before and after it --kinda like 'doing a run of shows' in my own living/system room (;
Or, for more casual listening, I will ask my wife to name a song or a year or both, then I'll hunt us something from there. That method is great for the Relisten app to the bluetooth speakers in the kitchen.
Its the weekend, lets all put on some Dead!
The problem is, as I understand, those May 77 shows are not in the Vault... I don't know if they are ones in Dan Healy's possession or not but he does have A LOT of very good shows that he is not coming off of --they are his property.
There was rumor of him being in talks with Dave and Rhino but last I heard, a few years ago or so, is that he wanted to much money for them and Dead camp and/or Rhino could not afford them AND be able to make a dime.
I am actively seeking a copy of Dick's Picks #1: 5/25/77 "The Mosque" Richmond VA.
Its not just the Dead, its listening to anything I like: The visceral impact and the tireless involvement I find myself part of when I listen to music on a really well put together system. Last night, I rediscovered The Cowboy Junkies "Miles From Our Home" while driving back from a dinner event. Got home, turned on the "big rig", got out the spectrum analyzer and started up the same music I just heard in the car. Woof! Woof! Woof! (This is almost worse than being a newly horny teenager seeking new experiences...)
also, the OOP 5 show box set from May 77 is a no brainer. other than being OOP of course. but lately i've been head over heels w/ mydland shows: releases like "nightfall" (amazing) and "wake up to find out" (also awesome) and an 87 bootleg from MSG---good loving into la bamba. ---you want to hear a party in your house, wait til jerry sings la bamba.
jond, sent you a PM.