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Thread: Grateful Dead for beginners

  1. #26
    Quote Originally Posted by Dana5140 View Post
    I am surprised to hear of someone not familiar with the Dead, So saying, it all starts with Live Dead. :-)
    Agreed. Then add:

    Workingman's Dead
    American Beauty
    Blues for Allah
    Europe '72
    Skull & Roses

    I'd also pick up some well-recorded and mastered albums (so from dead.net or HDTracks/ProStudioMasters) from 1974 (The Grateful Dead Movie 5CD Soundtrack is a good one for breadth of repertoire), 1976, 1977 (Cornell University is highly recommended), 1978 (Red Rocks), 1989 (the two-show Formerly the Warlocks or RFK Stadium get you a good sampling), and 1990 (the show with Branford Marsalis guesting, taken from the bigger Spring 1990 (The Other One) box is a good place to start.. Particularly good years, IMO. Me? I can't get enough of them.

    Cheers!
    John
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  2. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave (in MA) View Post
    Not sure what emoji 106 is, but I'll assume it's good.
    Hah! tapatalk :thumbsup

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  3. #28
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    re: Cornell 77

    Like many mid-late 80s converts to the Dead, Cornell 77 was a gateway into understanding/grokking the Dead.

    While never a superfan - I enjoyed them enough to see them 12 times, and have a modest collection of shows.

    And yet, Cornell's somewhat love/hate_overrated status in the community is understandable. Taken individually, none of the tunes are a "top 5" version (whatever that maybe). Maybe its was its "quality" recording in an era of more inferior recorded circulating tapes? perhaps...

    In any event, I have fond remembrances of hearing the wah in Scarlet -> Fire wafting thru the house as we got ready for that evenings social activities.



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  4. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by StarThrower View Post
    Red Rocks was over hyped. It doesn't strike me as anything special. I was lucky to snag one of the last affordable new copies of the movie soundtrack 5 disc set last year. The Dead at their peak. And the sound on this set is superb.
    Long Strange Trip?

  5. #30
    I'm here for the moosic NogbadTheBad's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jkelman View Post
    Agreed. Then add:

    Workingman's Dead
    American Beauty
    Blues for Allah
    Europe '72
    Skull & Roses
    Thanks, I have Blues For Allah & Workingman, was wondering what to pick up next
    Ian

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  6. #31
    Member StarThrower's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chalkpie View Post
    Long Strange Trip?
    Haven't been on one since last year. And I haven't had the urge so far this year. But I'm not exactly a devoted Deadhead.

  7. #32
    Quote Originally Posted by MudShark22 View Post
    re: Cornell 77

    Like many mid-late 80s converts to the Dead, Cornell 77 was a gateway into understanding/grokking the Dead.

    While never a superfan - I enjoyed them enough to see them 12 times, and have a modest collection of shows.

    And yet, Cornell's somewhat love/hate_overrated status in the community is understandable. Taken individually, none of the tunes are a "top 5" version (whatever that maybe). Maybe its was its "quality" recording in an era of more inferior recorded circulating tapes? perhaps...

    In any event, I have fond remembrances of hearing the wah in Scarlet -> Fire wafting thru the house as we got ready for that evenings social activities.



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    Here's my take on Cornell 77: The reason it became so "mythical" or whatever you want to say is, at one time, there were very high quality soundboard tapes in circulation. There were people who did have them, who were hoarding them, and when they did give out copies, they'd tell people "Don't copy this for ANYONE!". And I think at the time, Cornell (along with the Sunshine Daydream show from August 72, and the Fillmore East shows from February 13-14, 1970) were among the few you get that weren't skivvy sounding audience tapes. So I think that's why they became so rated initially, and as new fans have come into the fold, those always seem to be among the first they hear, and so they fall in line behind everyone else and toe the party line.

    I thikn it's telling that one of the more highly rated Dead shows occurred on a college campus, because that's what it sounds like to me: a frat house party version of a Grateful Dead show. Coincidence?

    To me they were already a bit past their prime by this point. They'd ditched a lot of the more open ended improvisations that made the 72-74 era so interesting to me (gone also, incidentally were Phil Lesh's occasional bass solos) and they'd also dropped most of the more interesting psychedelic songs from the 67-69 era. They didn't even play Dark Star at all in 1977 (and apart from a couple occasions in 78 and 81, they wouldn't until 1989).

    I suppose normal logic dictates that Cornell is a good place for a beginner, if you're, ya know, like a "normal person" who has no background in listening to adventurous music, but I maintain the really bad ass stuff was the 72-74 era. Others have mentioned the Grateful Dead Movie Soundtrack set, which I preordered, along with the DVD set of the movie, and a Grateful Dead Movie t-shirt, directly from dead.net (as I recall, the deal was if you pre-ordered all three, you got a couple frames from one of the "orphan" prints of the movie, i.e. ones that were missing reels). That's definitely one place I'd go. And there's lots of great shows on Youtube.

  8. #33
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    If your into the psychedelic improv stuff, dial up one of those 3-4 hour Dark Star comps on YT at night in your easy chair with a pair of headphones. That's pretty much where my interest lies as I'm not really in to the folk rock, or Bobby Weir country covers.

  9. #34
    OK, here's an earlier thread I started a couple years ago, that has a bunch of my favorite Dead shows. Most of them are cued up right to the fun parts:

    https://www.progressiveears.org/foru...ful-Dead-stuff

  10. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by StarThrower View Post
    Haven't been on one since last year. And I haven't had the urge so far this year. But I'm not exactly a devoted Deadhead.
    Ha...I meant is the set you have The Long Strange Trip documentary soundtrack? Time to drop some orange sunshine blotter Reidster

  11. #36
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    Cornell is an exceptional show, and yes—as tape trading grew as a hobby, it was one of the highest quality tapes in circulation, with just enough reverb to balance the cleanliness of the soundboard feed to make it sound particularly great. 1977 was also a year that for the Dead—while not at their most experimental/jammy—was probably their tightest/best rehearsed, so some of the late 60s primal psychedelic freakouts are nowhere to be found, nor the “Dead by numbers” that really began to rear its head in the 80s. 77 was also the last year where Garcia hadn’t yet found himself in the tight grip of heroin addiction, so his voice and playing are still really strong. Not that he didn’t have plenty of moments of both post-77, but I saw plenty of 80s shows where he was literally nodding off with his chin on his chest, or found myself cringing as his gravelly, shot voice attempted to croak out a lyric that he used to delivery with ease.
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  12. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by JKL2000 View Post
    Tangential, but the Dead hasn't released a big box set since the Giant Stadium set from a year or two ago, have they? I feel like they skipped last year (which wouldn't be surprising), but I can't be sure.
    I must be psychic! This was just announced!:

    https://store.dead.net/special-editi...ubid=144813148
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  13. #38
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    re: may 77

    personally I think the next show in Buffalo is superior (once I heard it later on) and perhaps has one of my fave 1st sets ever.

    I get the less "experimental" view, but as GJ noted above, the Band was rarely this tight again (taken as a tour overall). As someone who only saw post-87 shows - I really appreciate that.



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  14. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by JKL2000 View Post
    I must be psychic! This was just announced!:

    https://store.dead.net/special-editi...ubid=144813148
    Thanks for the heads-up. For some reason, no matter how many times I click "Not Junk," Apple Mail always delivers GD emails to my spam folder.
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  15. #40
    Oh: I forgot this.

    If you can find a copy, there was an official album called Infrared Roses, in which they (or, rather, their producer) took various "Space and Drums" segments from their concerts and placed them sequentially to create new soundscapes. Amazon has one for $50 (new) but maybe somewhere else will be cheaper.

    Ooh! Just looked at Discogs. There they can be had as low as three bucks.

    https://www.discogs.com/Grateful-Dea...release/446248
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  16. #41
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    yeah Infrared... was mentioned some posts back - definitely in my top 5 Dead discs I own.

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  17. #42
    Quote Originally Posted by chalkpie View Post
    Long Strange Trip?
    No, the soundtrack to The Grateful Dead Movie, a concert film recorded in 1974 and released, I believe, in 1976 (or maybe it was '77). The five-CD soundtrack has everything, again I believe, that was recorded for the film, even if it all wasn't used.
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  18. #43
    Quote Originally Posted by NogbadTheBad View Post
    Thanks, I have Blues For Allah & Workingman, was wondering what to pick up next
    In the Dark

    After that, while some studio albums are good, the Dead really shine live, so of the "commercial" releases I'd get:
    Europe '72 (volumes 1 & 2)
    Dead Reckoning (live acoustic Dead from early '80s) and Dead Set (the electric cousin, bu get the expanded 2cd edition)
    Skull & Roses (the recently remastered/expanded 50th anniversary is well worth it)

    From there, if you're not into the mega box sets (I am), a couple more live suggestions:
    Red Rocks 7/7/78
    SAINT OF CIRCUMSTANCE: GIANTS STADIUM, EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ, 6/17/91
    RFK Stadium 1989 (two show box set, so not outrageously priced)
    Cornell U 1977 (I know it's controversial and, as someone posted, there are few (I'd not say no) top five performances perhaps, but somehow as a whole it hangs together really nicely and is worth it for that, showing how the arc of a Dead show can sometimes transcend individual songs).

    That ought to spend enough of yer bucks!
    John Kelman
    Senior Contributor, All About Jazz since 2004
    Freelance writer/photographer

  19. #44
    Quote Originally Posted by JKL2000 View Post
    I must be psychic! This was just announced!:

    https://store.dead.net/special-editi...ubid=144813148
    Immediately preordered the 24/192 high res FLAC box. I tend to do that now, as I've already got one whole shelf of GD box sets, so I can't find more space...and the high res editions usually sound fabulous.
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  20. #45
    Member StarThrower's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chalkpie View Post
    Ha...I meant is the set you have The Long Strange Trip documentary soundtrack? Time to drop some orange sunshine blotter Reidster
    Oh yeah, right! This one!

    Last edited by StarThrower; 1 Week Ago at 06:49 PM.

  21. #46
    Quote Originally Posted by jkelman View Post
    The five-CD soundtrack has everything, again I believe, that was recorded for the film, even if it all wasn't used.
    They recorded five nights at Winterland for both the movie and the infamous (dodgy mix and song selection) Steal Your Face live double album. The 5-CD set has one of the same performances as Steal Your Face, I think, but doesn't have everything that was recorded. It does have most of the best stuff but there was some good improv from the first night that isn't included.

  22. #47
    Quote Originally Posted by JKL2000 View Post
    I must be psychic! This was just announced!:

    https://store.dead.net/special-editi...ubid=144813148
    It would be just too damn difficult to release the shows separately, wouldn't it.

    At any rate, I'm familiar with the shows from 72 and 73, but those two shows from 71 looks like your standard, boring '71 shows, with way too many covers, way too much Pigpen (really, did the world ever need a 22 minute version of Good Lovin'?!) and not enough "weirdness".

    But those Dark Stars and Other Ones from 72 and 73 are fantastic. The last disc of the has a great Dark Star/Stella Blue/Eyes Of The World/Weather Report Suite. And as I recall, Phil gets a couple good bass solos in there too.
    Last edited by GuitarGeek; 1 Week Ago at 09:22 PM.

  23. #48
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  24. #49
    Quote Originally Posted by jkelman View Post
    No, the soundtrack to The Grateful Dead Movie, a concert film recorded in 1974 and released, I believe, in 1976 (or maybe it was '77). The five-CD soundtrack has everything, again I believe, that was recorded for the film, even if it all wasn't used.
    They recorded all five nights in their entirety. I think the 5 CD set was an attempt to present all the music that was:

    a. considered for use in the movie (including a lot of stuff that didn't make it to the final cut)

    and

    b. the assorted jams and songs that surrounded that material. So for, instance you get the full 30 minute long Playin' In The Band, as well as the full 10/17/74 second set suite (which was something like He's Gone/The Other One/Spanish Jam/Mind Left Body Jam/The Other One/Stella Blue), which was excerpted in the film, and you get most of the Dark Star, which actually preceded Morning Dew on 10/18/74 (but in the movie they cut Weirdness and Morning Dew together to make it seem like that was the segue that happened on the night, but in fact they're taken from two different nights).

    But they still managed to leave off the Phil and Ned stuff, and Ned's still mixed out during Dark Star (on the bonus disc in the DVD set, you can see Ned playing during Dark Star...actually, in the original movie you could see him during Morning Dew, also).

  25. #50
    Quote Originally Posted by pb2015 View Post
    They recorded five nights at Winterland for both the movie and the infamous (dodgy mix and song selection) Steal Your Face live double album. The 5-CD set has one of the same performances as Steal Your Face, I think, but doesn't have everything that was recorded. It does have most of the best stuff but there was some good improv from the first night that isn't included.
    Nor does it have any of the Phil and Ned stuff. And I agree, the second set on the first night opened with a great Phil & Ned/Wharf Rat/Eyes Of The World suite with the a long improv linking Wharf Rat to Eyes Of The World, which I think is fantastic and deserves to be on an official release.

    Also, some of the songs on the Soundtrack set were edited, e.g. a great big chunk was cut from the 10/19/74 Eyes Of The World (as in several minutes worth) for the movie, and it appears that way on the soundtrack album also.

    Steal Your Face was a major debacle. It was basically Phil's project (along with the infamous August Owsley Stanley III, aka Bear), whereas The Grateful Dead Movie was Jerry's. I believe I read once that Steal Your Face was more or less a contractual obligation, which came about when Ron Rakow, who was running Grateful Dead Records, struck a deal with United Artists (who by this time were distributing Grateful Dead Records), in exchange for more money and time to work on the film project. In theory, it was supposed to be the soundtrack album, but as I said, Phil and Jerry were working on the projects separately, and the two of them went in different directions.

    While Jerry sort of tried to reflect the various elements of the band's music during the October 74 Winterland run, Phil decided he wanted to focus on "songs, not jams". That's probably why the brilliant Eyes Of The World/China Doll sequence from 10/19/74 was left off the album, even though it would have made a brilliant side of an LP. He also managed to leave off Weather Report Suite, among other things.

    And of course, this was by now their fifth live album, and one imagines there was some logic that dictated they not include any songs that were on any previous live album, so things like Playin' In The Band, Dark Star, The Other One, Not Fade Away, Goin' Down The Road Feelin' Bad, weren't even considered, though again, many of the best highlights of the shows were during those songs.

    Instead you get six cover tunes, some decent original songs, the wrong version of Stella Blue (Jerry chose the correct one for the movie, from 10/17, which is therefore heard on the Soundtrack album), and SEVEN FRELLING MINUTES of Casey Jones (thankfully, this same version appears in edited form on the Soundtrack album, mercifully edited down to 5:20). Oh yeah, and Steal Your Face also includes one song that's not on the Soundtrack album, It Must Have Been The Roses (though in truth, the studio version that's heard during the closing credits in the movie is way better).

    And all of this, mixed in quad (because, ya know, at the time "Quadraphonic is going to be the way forward", or whatever), and then to create a stereo mix, they simply folded the quad mix down to stereo (Wait, where I've heard that story before...didn't ELP pull that same stunt on Welcome Back My Friends To The Show That Never Ends), and by Phil's reckoning, the results were sonic mud. He says he went to Rakow and said "We can't release this", and Rakow said "We need the album, don't worry, they'll buy it anyway". In the event, though, Grateful Dead Records collapsed a few months later, so the album ended up being unavailable for something like a decade, before the CD era brought the first reissues. It's interesting that it wasn't included in the Beyond Description boxset (understandable, they probably wanted to retcon that one).

    In the Deadhead Tapers' Compendium Vol. I book, Bear makes some very disparaging comments about the entire project surrounding the Winterland run projects. First he talks about how badly the music was recorded, i.e. "the mic on Weir's guitar amp not only got knocked over on the first night, it stayed knocked over for the entire run" and "We had to do a lot of overdubbing to make the music useable". He then goes onto say the performances sucked, "Nothing could change that" and were "filmed poorly".

    Bear claimed he had the two track tape for the album in his hands, at his house, and seriously considered throwing it in the fireplace, when Rakow suddenly called and demanded to know what the status of the album was.

    Bear's comments about how bad the performances and filming were suggests me to that Bear was getting high on his own supply (contrary to the suggestion of Tony Montana) and as George Carlin wouldn't say, probably couldn't tell shit from shinola. I've always thought the movie looked great, thought everything was very shot, using camera techniques and editing you dont' see in concert films anymore (watch Stella Blue in particular to see what I'm talking about, nearly the entire song is one single shot of Jerry, and the way the cameraman captured everything showed a level of artistry that apparently doesn't exist in that kind of work anymore). And the band totall rocked!
    Last edited by GuitarGeek; 1 Week Ago at 09:54 PM.

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