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Thread: Grateful Dead for beginners

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    Grateful Dead for beginners

    The Grateful Dead are a band I've heard of, but never got round to actually trying, until now.

    As an absolute beginner, the Dead's catalogue can seem overwhelming, so I opted for two compilations put together by the band's official legacy manager. Suffice to say, I'm now a committed Dead Head.

    I've just published a blog piece on these two compilations, so for anyone reading this and wondering whether to try the band out, perhaps my article will help:

    https://momentstransition.wordpress....ead-live-2018/

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    All Things Must Pass spellbound's Avatar
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    Welcome to the club.

    The Grateful Dead have an abundance of live recordings from all the years of the band's existence, and live is the best way to hear them. Official live releases, including the Dick's Picks and Dave's Picks series, are HDCDs.

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    Member Vic2012's Avatar
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    I've heard the early albums from 1967 through the Americana period. Start at the beginning with the psychedelic era.

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    Man of repute progmatist's Avatar
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    Start with a pint of Cherry Garcia ice cream.
    "Well my son, life is like a beanstalk, isn't it?"--Dalai Lama

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    Member Vic2012's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by progmatist View Post
    Start with a pint of Cherry Garcia ice cream.
    Not a bad idea. Start at the beginning, after having smoked a joint, and then a pint of Cherry Garcia....:fofl.

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    Member Vic2012's Avatar
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    :fofl.....

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Valen View Post
    The Grateful Dead are a band I've heard of, but never got round to actually trying, until now.

    As an absolute beginner, the Dead's catalogue can seem overwhelming, so I opted for two compilations put together by the band's official legacy manager. Suffice to say, I'm now a committed Dead Head.

    I've just published a blog piece on these two compilations, so for anyone reading this and wondering whether to try the band out, perhaps my article will help:

    https://momentstransition.wordpress....ead-live-2018/
    I read your blog piece. You can save a lot of money by going to http://www.sugarmegs.org/ , where they have literally hundreds of dead and related shows (plus many other acts), all available for free download in your choice of mp3, wma, or asx format. These are all legit under the Dead's "tape & trade" policy; for other acts, use your own ethics & best judgement.

    Enjoy!
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  8. #8
    Big fan of sugarmegs here.

    Just be advised that they are very low bit rate.
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    Member Digital_Man's Avatar
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    As for sugarmegs couldn't you find pretty much the same thing on youtube? The sound quality might even be better on yt than sm. Plus you would likely see them playing stuff live. I haven't really researched this much so I don't know. I'm just guessing that youtube probably has a lot.
    Last edited by Digital_Man; 07-18-2021 at 09:09 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sturgeon's Lawyer View Post
    I read your blog piece. You can save a lot of money by going to http://www.sugarmegs.org/ , where they have literally hundreds of dead and related shows (plus many other acts), all available for free download in your choice of mp3, wma, or asx format. These are all legit under the Dead's "tape & trade" policy; for other acts, use your own ethics & best judgement.

    Enjoy!
    Thanks for the tip.

    At the moment, I'm well occupied just acquiring the official cds, and finding the time to work through them. Pacific Northwest's set is a mighty one, with its 45 minute version of Playing In The Band.

    Throw in Cornell '77, Sunshine Daydream, Europe'72 original, Skull & Roses, Live Dead, Red Rocks and the first five studio albums, and I reckon that's a fair helping to get started with.

  11. #11
    I am surprised to hear of someone not familiar with the Dead, So saying, it all starts with Live Dead. :-)
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    I went to a high school full of Deadheads (early 80s) so I couldn't avoid the band even if I had wanted to. I ultimately went to two shows during college and enjoyed them both. But I couldn't do any more than that. On the one hand I enjoyed the shows, on the other hand the ridiculousness of the Dead scene made me not want to go again. Even though subsequently I have bought several live GD shows on CD and do occasionally really enjoy them, there are other times when I'm sure the band are completely full of shit.

    And so it has gone for the last 30 years. I love 'em for a few months, particularly Jerry's playing, then I get bored of it. Can't listen to them for a year or two, and then I find myself getting interested again. I suppose in the end the world is a better place for having had the Dead around for an all too brief time.

    Anyway good luck with your new discovery. I'd be very interested in hearing how you feel about the Dead in a year.

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    Man of repute progmatist's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by arturs View Post
    I went to a high school full of Deadheads (early 80s) so I couldn't avoid the band even if I had wanted to. I ultimately went to two shows during college and enjoyed them both. But I couldn't do any more than that. On the one hand I enjoyed the shows, on the other hand the ridiculousness of the Dead scene made me not want to go again. Even though subsequently I have bought several live GD shows on CD and do occasionally really enjoy them, there are other times when I'm sure the band are completely full of shit.

    And so it has gone for the last 30 years. I love 'em for a few months, particularly Jerry's playing, then I get bored of it. Can't listen to them for a year or two, and then I find myself getting interested again. I suppose in the end the world is a better place for having had the Dead around for an all too brief time.

    Anyway good luck with your new discovery. I'd be very interested in hearing how you feel about the Dead in a year.
    In one of the last episodes of Freaks and Geeks, the "cool" teacher convinced Linda's character to listen to American Beauty. She liked it so much, she played it over and over.
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    I play a few Dead songs on the streets,(Texas, NM and AZ) and only occasionally do I see someone who nods their head and smiles in recognition. Almost all of those people look like they are on deaths doorstep (me included).

    When I was younger we always called them the Dreadful Great - affectionately, of course
    I got nothin' :dgtest

    ...avoiding any implication that I have ever entertained a cognizant thought.

    live samples:
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    Highly Evolved Orangutan JKL2000's Avatar
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    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.
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    Jazzbo manqué Mister Triscuits's Avatar
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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 think the only big box that came out last year was the 14-LP vinyl set, which was just catalog reissues.

    I finally got off the bus and for the first time since the Road Trips days I did not subscribe to Dave's Picks this year. I always enjoyed those quarterly shows, but I just have SO many now that I've only ever listened to once. I even sold off a few of my giant box sets in order to free up a bit of room in my cave. Not letting go of the Europe '72 box, though.

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    I'm more than a casual fan, but much less than a devotee. I have all of the 70's studio albums and several live albums. The live albums were chosen to get live versions of all my favorite songs, recorded in the 70's with good sound quality. I also have the "Grayfolded" album, which is a sort of mashup of dozens of versions of "Dark Star", put together by "Plunderphonics" composer John Oswald. He's a Canadian Avant-Garde/Electroacoustic Music composer, who was given access to their master tapes; I'm a big fan of his work, and apparently so are Deadheads: it's been called the best version of "Dark Star" ever.

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    Highly Evolved Orangutan JKL2000's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mister Triscuits View Post
    I think the only big box that came out last year was the 14-LP vinyl set, which was just catalog reissues.

    I finally got off the bus and for the first time since the Road Trips days I did not subscribe to Dave's Picks this year. I always enjoyed those quarterly shows, but I just have SO many now that I've only ever listened to once. I even sold off a few of my giant box sets in order to free up a bit of room in my cave. Not letting go of the Europe '72 box, though.
    Thanks! At least that gave my wallet a break.

    I hear you, I got off the Dave's Picks bus a couple of years ago too. I wish I had the Europe'72 box, but I didn't find out about it until it was gone. I have all the box sets that came since. I ain't selling them though, at least not yet! They're too nice looking!
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    Highly Evolved Orangutan JKL2000's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Digital_Man View Post
    As for sugarmegs couldn't you find pretty much the same thing on youtube? The sound quality might even be better on yt than sm. Plus you would likely see them playing stuff live. I haven't really researched this much so I don't know. I'm just guessing that youtube probably has a lot.
    You can also stream and download a lot of the same shows at: https://archive.org/details/GratefulDead/
    Last edited by JKL2000; 07-20-2021 at 06:31 PM.
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    Parrots ripped my flesh Dave (in MA)'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by soundsweird View Post
    I also have the "Grayfolded" album, which is a sort of mashup of dozens of versions of "Dark Star", put together by "Plunderphonics" composer John Oswald. He's a Canadian Avant-Garde/Electroacoustic Music composer, who was given access to their master tapes; I'm a big fan of his work, and apparently so are Deadheads: it's been called the best version of "Dark Star" ever.
    Aside from a handful of older vinyl, my Dead collection on CD is Grayfolded and Infrared Roses.

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    Member Digital_Man's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JKL2000 View Post
    You can also stream and download a lot of the same shows at: https://archive.org/
    Cool. Maybe they have more King Crimson and the Flower Kings on there. I noticed that sugar megs does have a lot of Gentle Giant, Genesis, and Yes though.
    When you list all the qualities that you despise and you realize you're describing yourself.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave (in MA) View Post
    Aside from a handful of older vinyl, my Dead collection on CD is Grayfolded and Infrared Roses.
    [emoji106]

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    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.

  24. #24
    Parrots ripped my flesh Dave (in MA)'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MudShark22 View Post
    emoji106
    Not sure what emoji 106 is, but I'll assume it's good.

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    Your one-stop shop for Grateful Dead streaming in the best possible quality: https://relisten.net/ They also have an API so there are integrations for things like Sonos available here: https://github.com/relistennet and there’s also an iOS app for those with iPhones/iPads. I don’t know if they’ve hopped over to Android yet. The Dead library alone is over 2,000 shows, in many cases multiple sources so you can pick from Audience to soundboard, FOB to Matrix. And they’ve got tons of other bands too—thousands of shows from Phish, Umphrey’s McGee, Little Feat, all the Dead spinoff bands, and tons of old school jam bands like The Radiators, God Street Wine, and the Aquarium Rescue Unit.
    If you’re looking at the list of Dead and wondering where to dive in, pretty much any of the May 77 shows from 5/4 through 5/11 are excellent starting points. The Red Rocks 7/8/78 show is terrific. The Winterland Oct 74 run is classic. I’m fond of 8/6/74 where at times the Dead are almost flirting with fusion. 11/11 and 11/17/73 are jazzy and fun. The highlights of 8/27/72 (Playing in the Band, Dark Star, Birdsong) are great. Hear 4/8/72 London for the best Dark Star ever though.
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