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 Post subject: Grateful Dead primer (a newb's request for recommendations)
PostPosted: Fri Jun 05, 2015 10:25 am 

Joined: Sat Dec 04, 2010 8:51 pm
Posts: 478
Location: Columbus, OH
Har har har...all of the anticipated "get high first" and "just don't" responses aside, I'm asking for guidance on where to dig deeper into their giant archive of shows and side projects.

Apparently, at the age of 40 my synapses have corroded sufficiently enough that I've finally been able to appreciate some of their music. Terrapin Suite is a prog rock gem. Weir's solo Ace album is great. I like the first Jerry solo album with Deal and Sugaree. That acoustic Reckoning album and the Jerry/Grisman bluegrass and AatW stuff is hitting the spot. I've heard some of the Garcia w/Merle Saunders tunes, too. All fine with me.

While I totally get the love for PigPen's playing I find myself mostly enjoying the Dead's mid-70's run of studio albums Mars Hotel through Terrapin Station . I cherry pick songs from other studio records, but they seem pretty inconsistent to me so far. I read a lot of praise for the Europe '72 sets, but Donna's live singing, from what other shows I've heard, typically ruins it for me.

Any particularly stellar shows you favor? Liberty Caps? Damocles? Bueller?


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 Post subject: Re: Grateful Dead primer (a newb's request for recommendatio
PostPosted: Fri Jun 05, 2015 1:03 pm 

Joined: Wed Mar 02, 2011 7:48 pm
Posts: 517
Location: Richmond, VA
I suggest spending some time listening to some shows from various years on archive.org. There's everything from 1965/66 demos and rehearsals to bloated stadium shows from the nineties. Check out the most downloaded/most favorably reviewed shows.

I like 1968 which was a tumultuous year during which Weir and Pigpen were essentially fired. Shows in October of 1968 under the name Mickey and the Hartbeats were jam-oriented gigs at smaller venues where Garcia and Lesh were feeling out what they wanted the band to develop toward. Jack Casady of Airplane/Hot Tuna plays on some of those gigs. Still plenty of psychedelic weirdness but not quite the full-blown 1969 "Live/Dead" greatness which was probably the peak of the band's original psychedelic existence.

1970 and 1971 were cool because they fleshed out their repertoire and began including more roots covers and country stuff, 1973 and 1974 are cool because of the marathon shows and Wall of Sound gigs all across the US. Aficianados love 1977 specifically the spring shows in May of that year. 1978 will give you more of the Terrapin Station era material, the band was still going steady into the early 80's which was when the bigger crowds started showing up (frat bro's and whatnot) and the shows moved to almost exclusively arenas. Still some good playing during that time but the song selection became more predictable. I saw them about 20 times starting in 1983 but didn't bother seeing every show in my area by 1991 or so.

Just poke around in there, you can stream or download more that you could ever possibly listen to.


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 Post subject: Re: Grateful Dead primer (a newb's request for recommendatio
PostPosted: Fri Jun 05, 2015 1:10 pm 

Joined: Wed Mar 02, 2011 7:48 pm
Posts: 517
Location: Richmond, VA
From what you say you'd probably like the shows Garcia did at The Keystone in Berkeley where he regularly scheduled solo/Jerry Garcia Band/Legion of Mary shows too. Here's an excellent article about his doings at that spot from a very well-researched and informative blog 'Lost Live Dead' - http://lostlivedead.blogspot.com/2010/12/2119-university-avenue-berkeley-ca.html


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 Post subject: Re: Grateful Dead primer (a newb's request for recommendatio
PostPosted: Fri Jun 05, 2015 3:06 pm 

Joined: Mon Oct 15, 2012 7:47 pm
Posts: 1882
Location: Concordia
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Current jumble of retail Dead & Jerry shows. Hope you can read most of the spines. I need to break down and build some shelving.

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 Post subject: Re: Grateful Dead primer (a newb's request for recommendatio
PostPosted: Fri Jun 05, 2015 9:20 pm 

Joined: Sat Dec 04, 2010 8:51 pm
Posts: 478
Location: Columbus, OH
Thanks, gents. Yeah, I was aware of the archive.org but there is so much there I never really knew where to dig in. I kind closed my eyes and threw a dart there at my favorite year of rock, 1971, and came away with what sounds like an exceptionally tight and energetic show from the Berkeley Community Theater, 8/14/1971. The bass playing is my favorite part so far, nearing the epic rolling rumble of Mel Schacher. THIS I can fully dig. It's some of the random later era stuff that seemed too marred with bum notes and stutters.


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 Post subject: Re: Grateful Dead primer (a newb's request for recommendatio
PostPosted: Fri Jun 05, 2015 10:59 pm 

Joined: Mon Dec 06, 2010 4:55 am
Posts: 101
I don't have much to add to HH Word's very accurate synopsis. I will say that 1972 has been my favorite Dead year over the past decade, whereas before I was all about 1968-69. Donna doesn't get really annoying until a little later IMO. With Kreutzmann as the only drummer, this period saw them really lock in and groove hard. Love the set lists too. I pretty much stop at 1978 but there are some good shows sprinkled through the rest of their existence.


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 Post subject: Re: Grateful Dead primer (a newb's request for recommendatio
PostPosted: Fri Jun 05, 2015 11:48 pm 

Joined: Mon Oct 15, 2012 7:47 pm
Posts: 1882
Location: Concordia
The 1975 showcase before the hiatus One from the Vault show remains one of my top faves save the really messy "Blues for Allah" coda. Been getting into '77 & '78 stuff alot more lately too. Even dipping into the early 80's shows. Dave's Picks, Vol. 8: Fox Theatre, Atlanta, GA 11/30/80 is HDCD MATRIX (pristine sound) and the band is in full flight. A stunning show in every possible way. Been a fan forever. Back in the late 90's was tough when haters were in full. Fuck those assholes.

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Last edited by libertycaps on Wed Jun 10, 2015 2:22 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Grateful Dead primer (a newb's request for recommendatio
PostPosted: Mon Jun 08, 2015 12:00 pm 
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libertycaps wrote:
Dave's Picks, Vol. 8: Fox Theatre, Atlanta, GA 11/30/80 is HDCD MATRIX (pristine sound) and the band is in full flight. A stunning show in every possible way.


Thanks for the tip.

I had a long respite of the Dead when all of my tapes got stolen out of a car in the early nineties. I figured I would move on to new stuff because it was such a job getting that shit up until that point. Now I'm jonesing to hear this one Nassau Coliseum show that I had with Donna and a scorching Scarlet-Fire on it. I think it was late 70s but who knows....

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 Post subject: Re: Grateful Dead primer (a newb's request for recommendatio
PostPosted: Tue Jun 09, 2015 2:41 pm 

Joined: Mon Oct 15, 2012 7:47 pm
Posts: 1882
Location: Concordia
Dick's 1 3 4 5 8 10 11 13 15 16 18 19 32 36
Dave's 5 7 8 9 10 13 14
One Two Three from the Vault
(A few other's i can't be arsed to list..)
I tend to only buy Full Show retail sets. A few exceptions, but not many.

https://rateyourmusic.com/artist/grateful_dead
Scroll down a bit to expand all nearly 150 retail shows available.

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 Post subject: Re: Grateful Dead primer (a newb's request for recommendatio
PostPosted: Sun Jun 21, 2015 10:51 pm 

Joined: Sun Dec 05, 2010 12:22 pm
Posts: 318
The Dicks pick that's from Col is pretty good. Kyle usually has it so does Steve (RPM) generally.

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 Post subject: Re: Grateful Dead primer (a newb's request for recommendatio
PostPosted: Thu Jun 25, 2015 2:42 pm 

Joined: Mon Oct 15, 2012 7:47 pm
Posts: 1882
Location: Concordia
Crazy how the Dave's Picks sets sell out on the day of release. (And what they go for on ebay now.) I'll prolly do the yearly subscription again next year.

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 Post subject: Re: Grateful Dead primer (a newb's request for recommendatio
PostPosted: Fri Jun 26, 2015 11:43 pm 

Joined: Sat Dec 04, 2010 8:51 pm
Posts: 478
Location: Columbus, OH
libertycaps wrote:
Crazy how the Dave's Picks sets sell out on the day of release. (And what they go for on ebay now.) I'll prolly do the yearly subscription again next year.


This. Too rich for my blood, but I did recently track down a reasonably priced new/sealed copy of that 1980 Atlanta set you recommended, Dave's Picks 8.

I've been listening to the Wake Up To Find Out 1990 show that came out (officially) on RSD. Just waiting for the right price to grab that too.


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 Post subject: Re: Grateful Dead primer (a newb's request for recommendatio
PostPosted: Sat Jun 27, 2015 12:34 am 

Joined: Mon Oct 15, 2012 7:47 pm
Posts: 1882
Location: Concordia
Cool. You are gonna love that Dave's 8. Studio quality vocals from Jerry and every song is jammed out, blissed out and effortless. Because it's a "Matrix" (audience tape synched with the soundboard) you get a tangible feeling you are in the room. Loads of sincere spontaneous crowd response from a room full of Deadheads in rapture. I never thought a show from 1980 could be so time capsule contact high amazing. Glad you finally made it! Seems the older one gets the more this music seems to click.

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 Post subject: Re: Grateful Dead primer (a newb's request for recommendatio
PostPosted: Mon Jun 29, 2015 10:58 am 

Joined: Sat Dec 04, 2010 8:51 pm
Posts: 478
Location: Columbus, OH
I caught an audio stream of both Santa Clara FTW shows. Saturday was a little slow to get rolling, but by Sunday they had it together, especially that 2nd set. Hornsby nailed it on Loser.


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 Post subject: Re: Grateful Dead primer (a newb's request for recommendatio
PostPosted: Tue Jun 30, 2015 5:51 pm 
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Not too familiar with them, I only know them by their greatest hits album which I once put on during a bad acid trip during the late 90's(and funnily reversed my bad trip into a good one because their stuff is so mellow.)


What I'd like to know is..Did the Grateful Dead ever do anything remotely heavy?


Many non-heavy bands from that era did a heavy song or two,and always wondered if the Dead ever did anything heavy.Some people even think they invented metal..

http://rateyourmusic.com/board_message? ... id=5056553

which is weird!! and curious why anybody would say that. Also what's some of their songs within the 'space rock' vibe? The stuff I've heard is like folk stuff,which I don't find bad but I was always more into heavy as opposed to folky.

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 Post subject: Re: Grateful Dead primer (a newb's request for recommendatio
PostPosted: Tue Jun 30, 2015 7:36 pm 

Joined: Mon Oct 15, 2012 7:47 pm
Posts: 1882
Location: Concordia
Anthem of the Sun and or Live/Dead 1968/9 prolly the Dead's "Heaviest" era, but i really couldn't say they had much to do with proto-Heavy Metal, etc...

Phil Lesh/Bass prolly the Heaviest player in the band.

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 Post subject: Re: Grateful Dead primer (a newb's request for recommendatio
PostPosted: Tue Jun 30, 2015 8:32 pm 
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Joined: Fri Aug 19, 2011 4:24 am
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Location: Cali
libertycaps wrote:
Anthem of the Sun and or Live/Dead 1968/9 prolly the Dead's "Heaviest" era, but i really couldn't say they had much to do with proto-Heavy Metal, etc...

Phil Lesh/Bass prolly the Heaviest player in the band.



Cool I'll have to check them out more then! :)


I know they did play a bunch of shows with Blue Cheer back in the late 60's also,and always wondered if that had any influence on the Dead. And according to this link, they did play a festival with Sabbath at one point...

http://www.dead.net/show/may-24-1970

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 Post subject: Re: Grateful Dead primer (a newb's request for recommendatio
PostPosted: Thu Jul 02, 2015 8:42 am 

Joined: Wed Dec 08, 2010 5:52 pm
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Location: North-Central Massachusetts
This is about the heaviest the Dead get, in terms of proto-metal. There are many Dark Stars that are heavy in a freaky, scary sort of way, especially in '74.



This one gets crazy towards the end.



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 Post subject: Re: Grateful Dead primer (a newb's request for recommendatio
PostPosted: Thu Jul 02, 2015 1:42 pm 

Joined: Mon Oct 15, 2012 7:47 pm
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Location: Concordia
Dick's Picks 18 from '78 has some "Heavy" (for the Dead, that is) moments. Phil drops plenty of biscuits and Jerry is fanning more than usual. Maybe they got inspired by Punk Rock around this time?!?

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 Post subject: Re: Grateful Dead primer (a newb's request for recommendatio
PostPosted: Fri Jul 03, 2015 3:17 pm 
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For me, it's Workingman's Dead and Europe '72. There are other great things the band did, but I believe they're the best material the band put out.


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 Post subject: Re: Grateful Dead primer (a newb's request for recommendatio
PostPosted: Fri Jul 03, 2015 4:39 pm 

Joined: Mon Oct 15, 2012 7:47 pm
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Location: Concordia
^Tough to argue that. There's a very good reason why Robert Hunter was made a full-fledged 'n salaried band member around that time.

Fuck this. It's too damn hot to type on the internets. Back to the cool of the basement Man Cave and some mellow Grateful Dead show. Thee panacea for Summer hot.....

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 Post subject: Re: Grateful Dead primer (a newb's request for recommendatio
PostPosted: Sun Jul 05, 2015 2:33 pm 

Joined: Mon Oct 15, 2012 7:47 pm
Posts: 1882
Location: Concordia
Just heard Dave's 15 will be a 1985 show. Cool.

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 Post subject: Re: Grateful Dead primer (a newb's request for recommendatio
PostPosted: Mon Jul 06, 2015 4:30 pm 
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Lurker Dave wrote:
This is about the heaviest the Dead get, in terms of proto-metal. There are many Dark Stars that are heavy in a freaky, scary sort of way, especially in '74.



This one gets crazy towards the end.




Thanks! :) I really enjoyed the first song alot to the point I actually threw it into my mix on the radio yesterday.

The first song reminds me alot of the band Sweet Smoke,and if the drums were heavier I'd say that would even qualify as proto-metal. They are heavier then the Stones without a doubt!

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 Post subject: Re: Grateful Dead primer (a newb's request for recommendatio
PostPosted: Thu Jul 09, 2015 9:49 am 
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poisin ivy wrote:
What I'd like to know is..Did the Grateful Dead ever do anything remotely heavy?

Hell No. not even remotely


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 Post subject: Re: Grateful Dead primer (a newb's request for recommendatio
PostPosted: Sun Jul 12, 2015 4:42 pm 

Joined: Mon Oct 15, 2012 7:47 pm
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Location: Concordia
Just added Dick's Picks Volume 22-Lake Tahoe, CA. 02/23-24/68 to the collection. Awesome shows with PigPen nice 'n loud in the mix. Primal, vintage grindhouse Dead.

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