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Roark
Dec 1, 2009

A moderate man - a violently moderate man.




The Grateful Dead. The Dead. Jerry Garcia. Phil Lesh. Bob Weir. Mickey Hart. Bill Kreutzmann. Pigpen, and all the others. 13 studio albums, 2,318 live shows, a ton of recordings, bootlegs, live albums, Dick's/Dave's Picks, and even one or two strange, early MTV music videos.

Unless you've lived in a cave for the past forty years and/or ignored music completely, chances are good that you've heard of the mother of all jam bands, the Grateful Dead. The Dead are an American cultural touchstone, and were/are renowned for their legions of fans - the Deadheads - and for being one of the great live bands of the 20th century.

What this thread is
A place to discuss the Dead, their music, Deadheads, related bands/acts (Phil Lesh & Friends, Furthur, New Riders of the Purple Sage etc.), new Dave's Picks and other new releases from the Dead's archives.

What this thread is not
File sharing. There are plenty of recordings of Dead shows out there (as the band actively encouraged taping), but keep them off of SA. It's always better to err on the side of caution.




Haight Street, San Francisco 1968



Music, Live or Otherwise

Studio Recordings
The Grateful Dead's reputation rests heavily on the fact that they put on a hell of a live show and were, with a few exceptions, basically on a never-ending jam tour from 1965 to 1995. If you ask your Dad, he'll tell you that they weren't much of a studio band when compared to, say, Led Zeppelin, the Stones, Pink Floyd, or the other 60s/70s heavies. That's not entirely true: they recorded 13 studio albums, and many of them are classics (and some are not).

If you're just starting out with the Grateful Dead and looking for studio recommendations, your best place to start (in my view) is with Aoxomoxoa (1969), Working Man's Dead (1970), American Beauty (1970) and Wake of the Flood (1973). Aoxomoxoa is '60s Dead at their experimental peak, while the other three contain some of the band's most recognizable (to the general listening public) songs. 1974's Skeleton's From the Closet, a compilation of songs from first three albums mentioned, is also a good jumping on point for the casual listener.

Live Recordings
As I've mentioned several times, the Dead were a prolific live band. And they were prolific in recording their live shows - the vast majority of the shows that the Grateful Dead played were recorded by the band and/or by tapers in the audience. Of the 2300ish shows that they played from 1965 to 1995, roughly 2200 are known to have some sort of recording out there.

Every Deadhead will have their favorite show and show recording, but some common and iconic favorites in the community are The Closing of Winterland, Europe '72, Fillmore West '69, Fillmore East '70, Barton Hall (Cornell) '77, and RFK'73. The huge volume of material out there means that even dedicated Deadheads can always find something out there that they haven't heard before. I'm in my 20s and haven't even scratched the surface compared to some people - and I've heard a lot of the Dead.

The band has put out Dick's Pick's, Road Trips and Dave's Pick's since 1993. Their archivist, Dick Latvala, went through the archives and picked out key/favorite shows and oversaw their mastering for commercial release. There were 36 Dick's Picks, followed by 17 Road Trips after Dick's death. The current series is Dave's Picks, overseen by new archivist Dave Lemieux, with 7 so far.

Some live Dead:
Dark Star
St. Stephen
Scarlet Begonias/Fire on the Mountain
Franklin's Tower

Some useful sites:
The Setlist Program: Let's you search through the Dead's live setlists from 1965 to 1995

Roark fucked around with this message at Aug 9, 2013 around 15:44

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Roark
Dec 1, 2009

A moderate man - a violently moderate man.

RECENT RELEASES:



Cornell 5/8/77


First set:
"New Minglewood Blues" (traditional, arranged by Grateful Dead) 5:34
"Loser" (Jerry Garcia, Robert Hunter) 7:58
"El Paso" (Marty Robbins) 4:51
"They Love Each Other" (Garcia, Hunter) 7:29
"Jack Straw" (Bob Weir, Hunter) 6:29
"Deal" (Garcia, Hunter) 6:10
"Lazy Lightning" > (Weir, John Perry Barlow) 3:26
"Supplication" (Weir, Barlow) 4:48
"Brown-Eyed Women" (Garcia, Hunter) 5:49
"Mama Tried" (Merle Haggard) 3:12
"Row Jimmy" (Garcia, Hunter) 11:14
"Dancing in the Street" (William Stevenson, Marvin Gaye, Ivy Jo Hunter) 16:32

Second set:
"Scarlet Begonias" > (Garcia, Hunter) 11:15
"Fire on the Mountain" (Mickey Hart, Hunter) 15:40
"Estimated Prophet" (Weir, Barlow) 8:49
"St. Stephen" > (Garcia, Phil Lesh, Hunter) 5:03
"Not Fade Away" > (Norman Petty, Charles Hardin) 16:20
"St. Stephen" > (Garcia, Lesh, Hunter) 1:54
"Morning Dew" (Bonnie Dobson, Tim Rose) 14:17

Encore:
"One More Saturday Night" (Weir) 5:10

Roark fucked around with this message at Jun 8, 2017 around 16:39

Roark
Dec 1, 2009

A moderate man - a violently moderate man.

LordPants posted:

Yay! A Grateful Thread!

I've been making my way through '82, and I'm pretty much near the end. A pretty solid year. There were some real highlights for sure, some nights they'd still take the music to places you wouldn't expect but it was mostly by the numbers, jam wise. Speaking of Casey Jones they busted that out twice out of nowhere as encores, only one of which we have a board of as far as I know.

Also, useful website is Setlists.net - Dead shows by date, region, country, venue, song, year. drat near anything. If you're looking to see how many times they played Help-> Slipknot! -> Fire (once), or shows that opened with Alabama Getaway but also had The Other One then that's your website.

I'm just going to through Dick's Picks 19 as the perfect first live show to listen to. It's on spotify and everything. Go wild.

Added Setlists to the OP - I completely blanked out on that. And seconding Dick's Pick's 19; I had that on in my office the other day while working, and it's a super tight show.

HollisBrown posted:

Also I like studio Dead. No I Love studio Dead. American Beauty deserves to be in the same conversation as Kind of Blue or Dark Side of the Moon. Anthem of the Sun is also brilliant. I even like the albums most other Deadheads don't like such as Wake of the Flood and Blues for Allah. Also Garcia from '72 is my all time favorite album.

I always feel like Blues for Allah is severely underrated. The studio version of Franklin's Tower is very solid, and I have a weird soft-spot for the almost never played live title track.

Roark
Dec 1, 2009

A moderate man - a violently moderate man.

BigFactory posted:

I like Black Throated Wind, but there are a lot of bad Bobby songs.

We can link to archive.org, right?

I'd err on the side of caution, and just point people towards the show/date that you're talking about. While the stuff on Archive.org is public domain (the Dead released it all, so long as it isn't used for commercial purposes), this should stay a discussion thread and not become a dump.

As far as live stuff goes, nothing - for me - tops some of the early, epic performances of "Dark Star". The hour long "Dark Star">"St. Stephen">"Not Fade Away">"Turn on Your Lovelight" from the May 15, 1970 late show at Fillmore East still gets me, even after hearing it more times than I can count.

Roark
Dec 1, 2009

A moderate man - a violently moderate man.

BigFactory posted:

Early 80's dead is the best dead.

Early 70's Dead would like to have a word with you.

Roark
Dec 1, 2009

A moderate man - a violently moderate man.

BigFactory posted:

They just had such a bigger catalog in the early 80's. How could a show with the possibility of an Althea not be better than a show without it?

Because there's no Pigpen.

Seriously, though, I'm a big fan of most of the Dead eras, except for the periods in the later 80s and in the 90s where Jerry was in really rough shape/strung out. Some of the stuff from like 94/95 is really painful to listen to, with his guitar work all over the place and mumbling lyrics.

On that note, on August 9th it was 18 years since he died.

Roark fucked around with this message at Aug 12, 2013 around 18:11

Roark
Dec 1, 2009

A moderate man - a violently moderate man.

Dat Kush posted:

Cool thread idea, thanks. I have been listening to the dead for a lot of years now, and I have almost all of the studio albums. I never really dug in to the live shows (and had no idea they were so readily available) so I think i'll start checking them out.

I know there is an absolute fuckton of live shows/recordings, but does anyone have a suggestion on where to start?

I would prefer the shows that have a lot of jamming and less of the structured set lists. Thanks for any suggestions.

Seconding the Cornell show from '77.

As I'm pretty partial to early 70's Dead, I'll also throw out the show at RFK in DC on June 10, 1973. The playing is tight in the first two sets, and the third set...well, the Allman Brothers Band sit in on the third set. It's hard to beat that in terms of guest appearances.

Roark
Dec 1, 2009

A moderate man - a violently moderate man.

I'm not usually as big a fan of 90s Dead, but I picked up So Glad You Made It this week. It's better than I expected, considering it's a compilation of various Spring 1990 shows.

Roark
Dec 1, 2009

A moderate man - a violently moderate man.

Ok, fellow Deadheads: recommend me your favorite live versions of St. Stephen.

Roark
Dec 1, 2009

A moderate man - a violently moderate man.

HollisBrown posted:

I guess this a good time to post my favorite youtube video of all time https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UcJUuxv8oCE.

This is beautiful.

My vinyl copy of Sunshine Daydream just arrived this afternoon. I'll post a more detailed write-up when I've had a chance to listen to it all but, so far, I can say I'm enjoying it: the remastering is really well done. My only "what the hell?" moment so far has been looking at the (vinyl) track list, where they've broken up Dark Star into two parts and put it on two separate sides.

Roark
Dec 1, 2009

A moderate man - a violently moderate man.

After giving it two listen throughs, I can safely recommend Sunshine Daydream. The remastering is really, really good, and the show sounds really crisp and sharp (especially when you compare it to the Veneta tapes out there). It's peak early 70's Dead, with a really strong "China Cat Sunflower">"I Know You Rider" and an even stronger 20 minute "Playing in the Band", along with "Jack Straw" and "Bird Song". The highlight (for me) is the really jazzy 31 minute "Dark Star", where Phil has a long bass solo and Jerry's guitar work is really tight. It's one of the better Dark Stars from '72, and that includes the Europe '72 versions.

Well worth a listen, particularly if you're a big fan of early 70's Dead. This is them at their peak for the era, and you don't get the overdubs from Europe '72.

Roark fucked around with this message at Sep 20, 2013 around 15:44

Roark
Dec 1, 2009

A moderate man - a violently moderate man.

MixMasterMalaria posted:

Thinking of going to see Furthur in LA next month but I'm having sticker shock on the $60 tickets. I'm a fan of the dead (listen to stuff from the archives, go frequently to local cover/tribute bands) so I feel like its probably worth it, but the price combined with the fact that its assigned seating (used to dancing it up at GA tribute shows) makes me hesitate. Anybody with experience seeing Furthur or with knowledge of the venue have thoughts on what I should expect?

People will completely ignore the seats and still dance. I saw them at a venue in the Northeast last year that was a mix of open standing space and seats, and the seats didn't get in the way.

I'd definitely go see them, though. Furthur won't go on tour in 2014, so it might be your last chance to see them as the Furthur lineup until 2015.

Roark
Dec 1, 2009

A moderate man - a violently moderate man.

HollisBrown posted:

What doesn't?

The Donna Jean Godchaux Band. It is bad.

Ratdog isn't bad (Furthur is better, though), but you kind of have to be a Bobby fan. I am a Bobby fan.

Roark
Dec 1, 2009

A moderate man - a violently moderate man.

HollisBrown posted:

I generally agree, I really like 70-72 a lot and the few 75 shows. But I'm really digging some of the sleepy/dreamy late 70's stuff. I especially have been digging some of the really slow versions of St. Stephen from the late 70's.

I'm obviously a huge early 70s fan, but I've actually been getting into the late 80s/early 90s stuff. It's really uneven, but the stuff that's great is great (although the stuff that's bad is really bad). I've really been digging the March 1990 shows in Maryland, and there's some great Scarlet Begonias>Estimated Prophet jams (not songs that I'm usually a huge fan of).

Roark
Dec 1, 2009

A moderate man - a violently moderate man.

It's Bob Weir's 66th birthday today. Throw on some "Me and My Uncle" and celebrate.

Roark
Dec 1, 2009

A moderate man - a violently moderate man.

BigFactory posted:

Just a little light's not bad.

It's not bad, but it's not great. I appreciate his musicianship, but most of his songs are in the mediocre/unmemorable range.

Roark
Dec 1, 2009

A moderate man - a violently moderate man.

numbs posted:

I just can't get into this type of music. I'm a very musically open person though.

I went to a Phish concert a few months back, and the following is MASSIVE. There are some dedicated people following this band.

Yet, I can't seem to enjoy it. Someone explain this genre to me, because I'm not understanding.

I'll start off by saying - before everyone else dogpiles on with this - Phish ≠ the Grateful Dead, and a lot of Deadheads dislike Phish (myself included). The best way that I can put it is that Phish is a jam band, with the express purpose of being jam band and playing to stoner college students and at festivals; the Dead were a rock band who could and did jam - and, unlike Phish, didn't have to turn every single song that they played into a 20 minute long jam. They could do a 5 minute long "Me and My Uncle" or a 35 minute long Dark Star.

That might sound pedantic, but it's true: Phish plays a 30 minute, droning funk bassline with mediocre guitar work and totally unmemorable lyrics and melodies; the members of the Dead came from diverse musical backgrounds, and they wrote music that was often technically very complex. Most of Blues for Allah, for example, has Steely Dan levels of technicality. And when they jammed, they incorporated a level of technicality into their jamming that you don't get with Phish. To put it another way, Phish set out to be what the Dead are often stereotyped as being, but weren't. I find them to be sloppy and derivative, and their early stuff (when the Dead were still active) sounds like a college frat band trying to imitate the Dead.

But I'll stop sperging about Phish (and there's likely other views about them here; I was just going into a common Deadhead rant), and answer your question.

Like I said above, the Dead incorporated a serious level of musicianship into their playing, and when they were having a good period or a good night during a "bad period", they were drat impressive. They could go off on 30-minute long, exploratory improvisations during a rendition of "Dark Star" or "Playing in the Band" or "Help on the Way/Slipknot!", but it would still be tight for all 30 minutes and would go in directions that you didn't expect and pull in diverse influences. And then they could follow it up with a 4 minute long version of "Dire Wolf" almost by the book. That's the strength of the Dead and their huge, huge live back catalog: the diversity, the level of skill, and the fact that you can always find something new or a different spin on something that you're used to.

Roark fucked around with this message at Oct 22, 2013 around 14:45

Roark
Dec 1, 2009

A moderate man - a violently moderate man.

Earwicker posted:

When he's not completely hosed up

Another difference is that there was a chance of seeing the Dead coherent and on form even during the heaviest drug periods.

I've seen Phish 6 times, and 3 of those 6 shows were sloppy messes where Anastasio was high as a kite and all over the place in the way that Jerry was on bad days towards the end. Droning. Missed chords. Repeating lyrics again and again. The rest of the band was trying to cover it up, and the shows were just messy and sounded like the love child of 90s Dead and bad Pink Floyd with bad lyrics by frat bros(Got a blank space where my mind should be/Got a CLIF Bar and some cold green tea). For $100 a ticket at the Garden, you better bring your A-game and not...that.

I wouldn't pay again to see them, and it's soured me on them beyond the semi-usual Deadhead dislike at them - a jam band with heavy prog roots - being compared to the Dead.

Roark
Dec 1, 2009

A moderate man - a violently moderate man.

Updated the new release post (right under the OP) with some new, long-lost goodies coming out after Thanksgiving.

Roark
Dec 1, 2009

A moderate man - a violently moderate man.

Juaguocio posted:

I revisited the classic Feb.-Mar. '69 Fillmore shows recently, and I'm convinced that 2/28/69 is one of the best shows the Dead ever played. The 27th has the untouchable Mountains Of The Moon->Dark Star->St. Stephen, but it can't match the power of the Eleven, Lovelight and Alligator->Caution from the 28th. Pigpen is in fine form in the first bluesy set, which also features a Doin' That Rag that might be my favorite version.

I gave those shows a listen again yesterday during work after reading this, and it really is peak late 60's Dead. Mountains->Dark Star->St. Stephen is so smooth that it's really hard to remember that they're still a pretty young band at that point.

In other stuff, Dark Star Orchestra is playing around here in mid-December. Has anyone seen them recently? I saw them about 5 years ago, but the lineup has changed since then.

Roark
Dec 1, 2009

A moderate man - a violently moderate man.

Juaguocio posted:

Finally, there's the 8/27 Veneta show, also known as the Field Trip, the Springfield Creamery Benefit, or simply Veneta. Any way you slice it, it's the best August show, one of the best '72 shows, and right up there with the best Dead shows of all time. It puts the whole summer of '72 into perspective; taken together, the entire July through August period is a long buildup to this one, outstanding performance. If you're into the Dead, you've most likely heard about Veneta, but unlike some other highly-praised shows, this one lives up to the hype. China->Rider, "Playing In The Band," "Jack Straw," "Bird Song," "Greatest Story Ever Told" and "Dark Star" are all performed at a very high level, and the overall vibe of the show is as weird as it gets. Check out the film and you'll see what I mean, but beware the many naked hippies, especially the guy up on the pole: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1UHpx72ifdE

The officially released "Sunshine Daydream" audio is the best way to experience Veneta. It's a must for any enthusiast of the 1972 Grateful Dead.

Every Dead fan should give Sunshine Daydream a listen. It's really that good. And so is the newest official Dead release, "Wake Up To Find Out".

I've been away for quite a bit, but I'm going back through the thread and really digging some of the posts on '72 and other years. I'm planning on updating the original post in the next few days (with info on newish releases and other stuff), so if there's anything that anyone thinks should go in there, let me know.

Roark
Dec 1, 2009

A moderate man - a violently moderate man.

LordPants posted:

I also am an unabashed fan of "Easy to Love you" and whatever the other Go To Heaven Brent tune was.

I have a special place in my heart for "Easy to Love You", and he played keyboards on my favorite 80s/90s Dead song, "Feel Like A Stranger".

Speaking of strangers, I've been away from the forums for a long while. Now that I'm back, I'll update the OP to reflect the 50th anniversary stuff, big posts about '72 (awesome), and so forth.

Roark
Dec 1, 2009

A moderate man - a violently moderate man.

Jonny_Rocket posted:

Pitchfork is pretty much the last place I'd ever go to get live Grateful Dead recommendations from, to be honest.

On another note, it looks like the Dead & Company "Summer" tour starts in two days - anybody going to any shows? I'll be going to both Fenway shows as I did last year, and I'm really looking forward to it - last time was a blast. I also wanted to share this article I saw online with an interview from Bob Weir about the upcoming tour and I found this particular part intriguing:


I wonder what this "new wrinkle" is. I've seen on Instragram that Oteil might take lead vocals on a few songs, which would be a great move. Oteil is a great singer - he sang the lead on "Dark Star" with JRAD back in March.

Link to the Article: http://www.rollingstone.com/music/f...77-tour-w480777

I'm going to the Bristow, VA show on the 22nd. I never thought I'd be this excited for something featuring John Mayer.

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Roark
Dec 1, 2009

A moderate man - a violently moderate man.

Shark Sandwich posted:

I'm a Dead neophyte and only really listened to Live/Dead and Europe '72 prior to watching Long Strange Trip and listening to the official release of Cornell '77 which I freakin' love. I know this is a super broad question but what are some other shows that are essential?

A few recommendations, across the eras:

3/01/69 - Fillmore West (Part of a four-night stand; all four nights are really solid)

8/27/72 - Veneta, Oregon (Released as Sunshine Daydream. It's peak early 70s Dead.)

7/17/76 - Orpheum, San Francisco (Dave's Picks Vol. 18)

12/31/78 - Winterland, San Francisco (Released as The Closing of Winterland)

10/8/89 & 10/9/89 - Hampton Coliseum (Released as Formerly The Warlocks)

9/17/90 & 9/20/90 - MSG (Part of a multi-night stand in NYC; the September 17th show is Dick's Picks 9)

5/26/93 - Cal Expo, Sacramento (Not essential, but one of the last really solid shows before the roughness of '94 and '95; Road Trips Vol 2 No 4)

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