Grateful Dead

What do they believe? What do you think? Talk about religion as it exists today.
John2
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Re: Grateful Dead

Post by John2 »

A song I like that the Dead played in 1966 (including in the second show in the post above) and that never left their repertoire is a cover of an old-time song called I Know You Rider.


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/I_Know_You_Rider


In later years they tended to connect this song with an original called China Cat Sunflower, which became known as China/Rider and was a springboard for improvisational play in the transition between them. As a fan of late-era Dead, one of my favorite versions of it is this one, almost thirty years later (in a show that also features a great Long Way To Go Home and a spectacular Standing on the Moon). And I forgot how nice that Bird Song is!


https://archive.org/details/gd1993-08-2 ... 1d1t08.shn
Last edited by John2 on Thu Jul 09, 2020 3:17 pm, edited 7 times in total.
You know in spite of all you gained, you still have to stand out in the pouring rain.
John2
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Re: Grateful Dead

Post by John2 »

Part of the appeal of the Dead is that given their improvisational nature they never played songs exactly the same way twice, so each one reflects the quality of a particular moment in time. Consequently it seems like everyone has or wants to find the "best" version of a particular song, which depends on the person and is complicated by the Dead having a different sound depending on the year and because they didn't play certain songs every year.

A good example of this is one of their most popular songs, St. Stephen.

The sheer unlikelihood of a song about an early Christian martyr as rock anthem makes “Saint Stephen” a wonderful and intriguing and endlessly fascinating piece, both lyrically and in its many musical variants over the years.


http://www.dead.net/features/greatest-s ... nt-stephen

This was actually one of the first songs that converted me to the Dead, when I finally "got it." The trouble for me, as far as finding the "best" one goes, is that they didn't play it in the years that I like the most (1972-1974 and 1990). In fact, they only played it between 1968-1971, 1976-1979 and 1983, even though it was often requested. So all the versions of it that exist just aren't quite what I want them to be and I've had to make some compromises.

All things considered, and with some reservations (including an unpleasant audience recording patch over the first minute of it because there's no soundboard recording for that part), I pick this one from 1976. While it's not my favorite year, I like it, even more than 1977 (a favorite year for a lot of Dead Heads). The Dead took most of 1975 off, so when they came back in '76 they had an interesting fresh sound, and they brought back St. Stephen at one of their first concerts of the year and the crowd goes wild. It's not my favorite song, but it's in my head today.


https://archive.org/details/gd1976-06-0 ... d2t03.flac


A close second would be this one from 1977.


https://archive.org/details/gd77-03-20. ... 0d2t04.shn


But I'm resigned to the fact that there's no "perfect" version for me.
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arnoldo
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Re: Grateful Dead

Post by arnoldo »


Associated Performer, Composer, Guitar, Vocal: Bob Dylan / Bob Dylan
Associated Performer: Grateful Dead
Associated Performer: Bob Dylan And the Grateful Dead
Guitar, Producer, Vocal: Jerry Garcia
Engineer, Producer: John Cutler
Engineer: Chris Wiskes
Guitar: Bob Weir
Engineer: Billy Rothschild
Drums, Percussion: Mickey Hart
Drums, Percussion: Bill Kreutzmann
A& R Coordinator: Devito
Engineer: Guy Charbonneau
Engineer: David Roberts
Engineer: Gary Hedden
Keyboards: Brent Mydland
Engineer: Peter Miller
Mastering Engineer: Joe Gastwirt
Bass: Phil Lesh
John2
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Re: Grateful Dead

Post by John2 »

Yes, indeed, arnoldo. The Dead played a lot of Dylan songs. Dylan talks about his time with the Dead in his book Chronicles vol. 1 (which is excellent, by the way) and how they brought him out of his 1980's rut.

On another note, I have a sad song in my head today, So Many Roads from Jerry's last show with the Dead before he died ("all I want is one to take me home"). I used to have this show on a bootleg audience recording not long after it was performed, and this song is essentially Jerry's "last stand." This is also why the Dead (without Jerry) played their last shows in 2015 at Soldier Field.


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John2
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Re: Grateful Dead

Post by John2 »

While I'm a fan of late-era Dead, by 1995 the Dead were running out of steam. Their last show is a bit of a clunker, but it (like most shows) has its moments. But Jerry didn't look very good and he died a month after this show.

I remember when it happened. I visited some friends and we gathered in a park with other people to celebrate the Grateful Dead. I've never felt a part of anything like the Dead Head community. I had come a long way in the three years I'd been listening to them.

As I look back on that time now that all their shows are online, I see that I had some top notch shows on bootlegs thanks to some more knowledgeable friends to guide me. So what were some of their "best" shows? It's all subjective and depends on the year, I suppose, but if I had to pick some ...

Here's one from 1974, which was arguably their "best" year. Check out that Loser (one of my favorite songs). And that Weather Report Suite into The Other One into It's a Sin into Stella Blue. Nice. And while I'm not into Eyes of the World as much as I used to be, this one is probably my favorite, and China Doll is nice too.


https://archive.org/details/gd1974-06-1 ... d1t06.flac
Last edited by John2 on Thu Dec 26, 2019 4:45 pm, edited 8 times in total.
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John2
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Re: Grateful Dead

Post by John2 »

I'm getting old. That Morning Dew in the show above was not the one I was thinking of so I edited out my reference to it (not that there's anything wrong with it). This song is similar to St. Stephen for me in that I can't seem to find the "best" version of it. But I like the one I was thinking of (which is in another good show from 1974 below) along with one from their last show of 1976. The 1974 show also has a great Jack Straw, my favorite Ship of Fools, a good Dark Star and my favorite It's All Over Now, Baby Blue.


https://archive.org/details/gd1974-02-2 ... d3t03.flac


https://archive.org/details/gd1976-12-3 ... 31d3t6.shn
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John2
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Re: Grateful Dead

Post by John2 »

Both of those Morning Dews above are fantastic, now that I refresh my memory. That's why I can't find the "best," because I've already heard the best. And check out this review of that 1976 show:

Subject: Holy Cow!

This Charlie Miller version is clearly my preferred source. It is funny that it has so few hits. The show is as remarkable as the set list. Though from Good Lovin on -yeah, oh yeah. The Good Lovin starts with a bit of that Bo Diddley rhythm to let you know it is on. The vibe continues into Sampson. I was lulled into a comfort zone and looked up about halfway through Scarlet knowing that there was something for the ages going on here. Then onto Around and Around which is a slowed down version. Initially I wondered if it would kill the energy -No way Jose. This is how they were playing it in 76, with tasteful fire and restraint. The mix has all the boys mixed in right. Keith brings his A game and compliments Jerry nicely throughout, but especially in Morning Dew. I love Jerry's tone on this occasion. The best of 76, hmmm maybe, but really I may have to give that accolade to one of the early June shows. I'll close my eyes and throw a dart at one of the Boston dates. Anyway, don't overlook this as the 2nd set is actually 77, but really retains what was great and exceptional about key 76 shows: Restraint and Tasty without a loss of vitality.
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John2
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Re: Grateful Dead

Post by John2 »

As the reviewer above noted, that is such a nice Scarlet Begonias in that show too, maybe even the best, and it takes me back and makes me feel happy. I don't have very many shows these days, just a few scratchy old CDs (and nothing to play them with), so I'm finding this thread to be a nice way to listen to some shows I used to have and new ones I'm discovering.

Among the former is this one from their twentieth year, 1985 (not that they made a big to do about it). By this year Dead shows had developed a structure of having a period of improvised drumming followed by a period of drum-free improvised playing that became known as "Drums" and "Space" (which included transitions "into" and "out of" each one), and this show offers a great Terrapin Station into Drums, a great Wheel out of Space, and my favorite Lost Sailor. The whole second set, really, is terrific (including the encore of Dylan's She Belongs To Me, which is track 9 in this recording).


https://archive.org/details/gd1985-06-1 ... d2t05.flac


As reviewers note:

Subject: Surprise! Surprise, '85!!!!

Well, knock me over with a feather. I saw a ton of shows in 1985 but almost all on the east coast and while I had a great time at all of them, objectively speaking, they were not great shows. In fact, I usually hold '85 quality-wise in something akin to contempt--the weak, creaky Garcia vocals, choppy playing, out-of-synch jamming, blown lyrics, & far too many TStones>NFA show closers. This show is none of that. The jamming is tight and inventive, and there are great versions of tunes they almost never nailed like they do here.

And:

Man, the energy in this show just ***seethes*** - they play like their very lives depend on it, like the stage is on fire.

The above 1985 show has my favorite "Space" (if that's possible, I guess), and as I listen to it again today I find myself wondering about other "versions" of it that people like and I found some listed on a blog that describes it well.

“Space” is most definitely an acquired taste – and most people never quite get it. If you want a surefire way to rid yourself of late-night stragglers, just put “Space” on the stereo and watch them scatter.

“Space” is where you separate the Deadheads from the other humans – and even other Deadheads. “Space” is the “endless noodling” that is often referred to by non-fans in the most unflattering of terms. Understandably so, it was primarily created for an in-person, in-the-moment experience. That’s not to say there aren’t more than a few versions of “Space” that hold up to further listening because there are ...

So what is “Space”? What it is not is a song in any traditional sense of the word. One definition is simply the assembling of notes, scales and feedback. “Space” is organized chaos, and other times it’s just plain chaos. The segment usually consisted of Jerry, Bobby, Brent and Phil, while the drummers took a break. Toward the end of “Space” the drummers would join back in ...

Space was where pure improvisation was the only rule. There were times when a member of the band would say a word or phrase before they went back onstage, like “breaking glass” or “space shuttle take off” or “tornado” and that would be the theme. As an audience member, sometimes you could guess the theme – most often times not.

The segment of “Space” meant something different to each member of the audience. Most seemed to use it – as did members of the band – to take a break during the show. Maybe use the bathroom, find friends, get a drink, sit down, grab a smoke, or like the band re-up on whatever substance you might be ingesting that night. Some in the audience would continue dancing while others would just listen while staring off into “Space.”

Every version of “Space” was truly unique. It couldn’t be duplicated even if the band tried. Performing “Space” in front of packed houses was truly an invention of The Grateful Dead. There was nothing like it before they did it – not even in jazz.


http://songmango.com/dead-best-10-perfo ... d-to-hear/
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John2
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Re: Grateful Dead

Post by John2 »

I'm looking for a good Here Comes Sunshine today, with an old standby being this one, and they only played this song in 1973-1974 and 1992-1995.


https://archive.org/details/gd1973-12-1 ... d1t10.flac
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arnoldo
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Re: Grateful Dead

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