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Author Topic: Grateful Dead - where next?  (Read 283666 times)
Jules Gray
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« Reply #20 on: February 23, 2010, 09:09:51 PM »


As incredible as it may seem, Grateful Dead have completely passed me by. So it is a genuine request, and I'm ready and prepared to receive the deluge, can anyone suggest a good CD/LP as a good starting point. Note, I can't afford to go out and buy loads, so I'm wanting to spend my money wisely.

So it's, at least for me, not where next, but where to start...


American Beauty.  And then either Grateful Dead (aka "Skull & Roses", live 1971) or Live '72 to see if you dig the live stuff.  And then Workingman's Dead for your next studio purchase.  Get those four and either stop or continue.   Smiley

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« Reply #21 on: February 23, 2010, 09:12:16 PM »





 Get those four and either stop or continue.   Smiley

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« Reply #22 on: February 23, 2010, 09:19:16 PM »

PS
I currently stare blankly at the rows of Dead albums in my collection - I have them all, though the last 3-4 years of releases have passed me by. Indeed, where to start? That's a good question.
Studio: I stand by what I say above.
Live: er, um, well. I often return to '72 and '77 shows on the whole, more than other years. But there are so many releases: which live highpoints are on which CD? It's been a while since I had a long Dead phase ('tis time for one actually). Maybe, live, you're better off getting advised on years rather than albums. For instance, I like 1972. Rockin' The Rhein and Hundred Year Hall are excellent live 72 albums in addition to earlier mentioned Europe '72.
Oh, and should you like Workingman's Dead and American Beauty, do try the debut album by close cousins New Riders Of The Purple Sage. Same era and comes from the same womb, with several key Dead members having been a member in its pre-debut album stage. And it features Jerry Garcia.
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« Reply #23 on: February 23, 2010, 09:19:33 PM »

It would be ever so much easier to say which ones to stay away from, though certainly even their worst have some merit. Stay away from Aoxomoxoa, Shakedown St., Terrapin Station, Steal Your Face and their last one where they have the deck of cards, name escapes my mind. Before anyone comes rushing to the defense of say, Aoxomoxoa much of it is taking up by drek such as Whats Become of Baby. BTW many would include Go to Heaven and the big one with Touch of Grey on it as ones to stay away from, i would not. The Touch of Grey one, In the Dark that was it, is merely guilty, along with MTV's Day of the Dead of opening the door to Metallica fans and mallworld from which the Dead "scene" was dealt a mighty blow to the group mind, simply, most people don't behave and many ended up in prison including the not guilty, that new wave never got "it" and were there for their belligerent party, essentially peeing in what in many aspects had been a place of group worship and life celebration, and not necessarily of the band itself .  And doubtless many of the ones I mention as ones to stay away from include material that fleshed out in live performance become real milestones, god knows Terrapin Station was, but the albums were not really happening, it is a correct and long held opinion of thousands at least that the Grateful Dead is something that happens in real time and cannot be accurately captured under glass as it were. I would so heartily recommend a visit to any of the following sites, sugarmegs, internet archive, the grateful dead hour, dead to the world, or the deads own site where freebies are regularly available. If you are from France maybe glom onto some of their French shows, I know they did one I think at a castle in Dijon in 74 before maybe 200 people, all dosed including the band, I recall that was a good one. I am pretty sure last time thru Paris they played quite well, in 90, though David MJS may disagree Kiss Beware though, people who end up liking the Dead usually don't like them just a little, unless they are approaching the band thru the familiar American Beauty or Workingman's Dead corridor, nice albums though they may be, they speak more to the mindset of the Band  or CSNY filtered thru the Grateful Dead prism. I always find a gentle, if not particularly representative starting point to be the double live largely acoustic Reckoning from 80. So there.
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« Reply #24 on: February 23, 2010, 09:27:57 PM »

That sort of narrows things down a bit... lol
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« Reply #25 on: February 23, 2010, 09:31:35 PM »


Stay away from Aoxomoxoa, Shakedown St., Terrapin Station, Steal Your Face and their last one where they have the deck of cards, name escapes my mind. Before anyone comes rushing to the defense of say, Aoxomoxoa much of it is taking up by drek such as Whats Become of Baby.


However the rest of Aoxomoxoa is a great document of their early trippy style.  I was much impressed by the album.  It's dense and certainly not easy listening, but to tell someone to stay away does the record a serious injustice IMO.

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« Reply #26 on: February 23, 2010, 10:07:02 PM »



Stay away from Aoxomoxoa, Shakedown St., Terrapin Station, Steal Your Face and their last one where they have the deck of cards, name escapes my mind. Before anyone comes rushing to the defense of say, Aoxomoxoa much of it is taking up by drek such as Whats Become of Baby.


However the rest of Aoxomoxoa is a great document of their early trippy style.  I was much impressed by the album.  It's dense and certainly not easy listening, but to tell someone to stay away does the record a serious injustice IMO.

Jules
I, and far more importantly, the band, would dispute that claim, indeed it includes the milestone that is China Cat in a form slightly lame as compared to nearly any of its live performances, including poor interpretations of what became quality live tracks in the form of Mountains of the Moon and Cosmic Charlie. Forgot to mention Rosemary, also in the running for their worst track ever, and one, like What's Become of Baby were never afforded the dignity of a live performance, best kept a secret. The best example, right down to the tantric cover of their early psychedelic style, if it absoloutely has to be a studio record, is Anthem of the Sun, pretty nearly flawless Grateful Dead front to back, probably my favorite of any of their standard releases, and again, don't ask me, ask the band and people for whom the Grateful Dead have been upwards to a 45 year way of life. For everyone? Of course not. The Rolling Stones sound guy Dave Hattinger tried to be the producer of Anthem of the Sun and when, on top of all the other weirdness going on, Weir requested the sound of "thick air", (they had actually recorded the sound of both the desert and downtown LA to try and acheive this effect on their own)Hattinger threw up his hands and ran from the studio screaming, never to return. Surely out of the amount of money and time I have spent in support of the Grateful Dead I am entitled to a "serious injustice" uh, guvnor. After all its just an opinion then innit?
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« Reply #27 on: February 24, 2010, 12:11:16 AM »

The Further Tour has been absolutely wonderful.  Saw them in Asheville NC a couple of weeks ago.  The guitarist from DSO is doing the trick for 'em.  They sound like the Dead again!  Thomas Wolfe Auditorium is only a 2300 seater, so it felt a lot more like '77 too - except for the ticket price ($83 vs $6!!)

If you haven't gotten the movie soundtrack from the Winterland '74 shows, that's a definite must.  David's right about '72 - any show from the Europe or the US Fall tour from that year will reward you well.

You can pin me down on a show here and there after '81, but........life's too short to sort through most of that stuff.  
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« Reply #28 on: February 24, 2010, 12:41:21 AM »


The Further Tour has been absolutely wonderful.  Saw them in Asheville NC a couple of weeks ago.  The guitarist from DSO is doing the trick for 'em.  They sound like the Dead again!  Thomas Wolfe Auditorium is only a 2300 seater, so it felt a lot more like '77 too - except for the ticket price ($83 vs $6!!)

If you haven't gotten the movie soundtrack from the Winterland '74 shows, that's a definite must.  David's right about '72 - any show from the Europe or the US Fall tour from that year will reward you well.

You can pin me down on a show here and there after '81, but........life's too short to sort through most of that stuff.  
I don't know how many shows u saw after 81 Wiley but I saw about 90 and I would mark in real time live performance their live "batting average" was never higher or more reliable than 83 thru 90. People reflexively mark 69, 72 or 77 as their peak, all excellent choices but the sophistication of their level of improvisation got ever higher, although with wide open favorites like Dark Star, New Potato, Born Cross Eyed regrettably put into dry dock, occasional appearances from Dark Star but sometimes as many as five years in between, all Jerry's idea. Yep, that part was Jerry's fault. One happy development over their last 15 years or so is their catalogue became so large that in those years you would never see a song played more that once every four shows, with always a surprise or two popping up, like Death Don't Have No Mercy being brought back after 20 years in 89, I think the same night Dark Star made its first reappearance since the show at the Greek I saw in 84, it was greeted like the Ark of the Lost Covenant being brought in the arena, that was the night I think in Charlotte when they had billed themselves as the Warlocks, their original name, to ward off the aggressive party creeps who had bulldozed their way in, leaving garbage in their wake. Prior to that when the Dead left towns after 3 or 4 day runs parking lots would be clean and local opinion was very positive, man did that change.
But man are u spot on in recommending that October run at Winterland in 74, especially considering the sound monstrosity it was upon original release as Steal Your Face in 75 or 6. The sound on that re release is so good as to be astonishing, and the animation sequences in the movie from a guy named Gary Gutirez, who remarkably was not even a Deadhead is well worthwhile, as well as the 2 year olds dancing on the stage. Only the Grateful Dead.
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« Reply #29 on: February 24, 2010, 07:45:59 AM »


It would be ever so much easier to say which ones to stay away from, though certainly even their worst have some merit. Stay away from Aoxomoxoa, Shakedown St., Terrapin Station, Steal Your Face and their last one where they have the deck of cards, name escapes my mind.


Some may not be surprised to know that little list includes, imho, 2 of my favourite Dead albums  Grin
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« Reply #30 on: February 24, 2010, 09:18:51 AM »


I, and far more importantly, the band, would dispute that claim


Oh I never let an artist's opinion of their own work get in the way of the truth.   Wink

But yes, I agree that Anthem is the better album of that period.  I was just saying that Aoxomoxoa is no slouch.  It is, however, a difficult word to type.   Shocked

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« Reply #31 on: February 24, 2010, 09:38:29 AM »


Auxomoxoa It is, however, a difficult word to type.   Shocked

Jules


As you have just proved!  Grin

I couldn't agree more with not taking artist's opinion of their own work at face value. If we did that there would have been no need for Dylan's Bootleg Series albums. This is a man who thought that Blind Willie McTell was somehow not good enough or not appropriate to be included on Infidels and therefore didn't release it at all for over a decade!

Back on topic and following on from the discussion in Listening To, I would like to point out that I am far too young to have had the benefit of seeing Grateful Dead live.  Grin

Actually I did have one opportunity on their last visit to the UK. I intended to go but to my eternal regret I didn't make it. The received wisdom is that "live" is their real constituency and you can never get the full effect from the records but the records are all I have to go on. Like Jules, I prefer the more structured song based stuff and my first encounters with the Dead were their 80s material, which I like, so that inevitably colours my approach to their ouevre. So, for example, at the risk of speaking heresy, I admire Dark Star more than like it but my first response to it was that it was more jazz than rock. On the other hand I love extended workouts on Truckin' or Terrapin Station or One More Saturday Night.

But live or on record, I don't think I would ever enjoy drum solos!
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« Reply #32 on: February 24, 2010, 09:50:57 AM »



Aoxomoxoa It is, however, a difficult word to type.   Shocked

Jules


As you have just proved!  Grin


I don't know what you're talking about.  [innocent whistle]

Quote
I couldn't agree more with not taking artist's opinion of their own work at face value. If we did that there would have been no need for Dylan's Bootleg Series albums. This is a man who thought that Blind Willie McTell was somehow not good enough or not appropriate to be included on Infidels and therefore didn't release it at all for over a decade!


Indeed.  There's dozens of examples with Bob.  Artists are not always their own best editors or critics.

Quote
for example, at the risk of speaking heresy, I admire Dark Star more than like it but my first response to it was that it was more jazz than rock.


And at the risk of further heresy, I think Live/Dead was the CD I enjoyed least in the entire Golden Road box, for similar reasons.

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« Reply #33 on: February 24, 2010, 10:31:33 AM »


[/quote]



, I admire Dark Star more than like it but my first response to it was that it was more jazz than rock. !
[/quote]

Allegedly based on Miles Davis' "So What?"  Smiley
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« Reply #34 on: February 24, 2010, 12:31:09 PM »

While I have never heard or read that the opening notes are not dissimalar, while not being the out and out copying that Steely Dan did with Horace Silvers Song For My Father. Not surprisingly all the Dead but particularly Lesh are massive Miles fans and had the very frightening, to them, experience of having Miles Bitches Brew band open for them at the Fillmore West. Miles had the kindest things to say about the Dead but Steve Miller also on the bill, Miles said, "is a no talent mf." Not a fan of Steve Miller but I kinda felt bad for him.
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« Reply #35 on: February 24, 2010, 12:59:37 PM »


Not surprisingly all the Dead but particularly Lesh are massive Miles fans and had the very frightening, to them, experience of having Miles Bitches Brew band open for them at the Fillmore West. Miles had the kindest things to say about the Dead but Steve Miller also on the bill, Miles said, "is a no talent mf." Not a fan of Steve Miller but I kinda felt bad for him.


Neil Young & Crazy Horse were on the same bill, and I think Miles gave them the thumbs up too.

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« Reply #36 on: February 24, 2010, 01:03:43 PM »



The Further Tour has been absolutely wonderful.  Saw them in Asheville NC a couple of weeks ago.  The guitarist from DSO is doing the trick for 'em.  They sound like the Dead again!  Thomas Wolfe Auditorium is only a 2300 seater, so it felt a lot more like '77 too - except for the ticket price ($83 vs $6!!)

If you haven't gotten the movie soundtrack from the Winterland '74 shows, that's a definite must.  David's right about '72 - any show from the Europe or the US Fall tour from that year will reward you well.

You can pin me down on a show here and there after '81, but........life's too short to sort through most of that stuff.  
I don't know how many shows u saw after 81 Wiley but I saw about 90 and I would mark in real time live performance their live "batting average" was never higher or more reliable than 83 thru 90. People reflexively mark 69, 72 or 77 as their peak, all excellent choices but the sophistication of their level of improvisation got ever higher, although with wide open favorites like Dark Star, New Potato, Born Cross Eyed regrettably put into dry dock, occasional appearances from Dark Star but sometimes as many as five years in between, all Jerry's idea. Yep, that part was Jerry's fault. One happy development over their last 15 years or so is their catalogue became so large that in those years you would never see a song played more that once every four shows, with always a surprise or two popping up, like Death Don't Have No Mercy being brought back after 20 years in 89, I think the same night Dark Star made its first reappearance since the show at the Greek I saw in 84, it was greeted like the Ark of the Lost Covenant being brought in the arena, that was the night I think in Charlotte when they had billed themselves as the Warlocks, their original name, to ward off the aggressive party creeps who had bulldozed their way in, leaving garbage in their wake. Prior to that when the Dead left towns after 3 or 4 day runs parking lots would be clean and local opinion was very positive, man did that change.
But man are u spot on in recommending that October run at Winterland in 74, especially considering the sound monstrosity it was upon original release as Steal Your Face in 75 or 6. The sound on that re release is so good as to be astonishing, and the animation sequences in the movie from a guy named Gary Gutirez, who remarkably was not even a Deadhead is well worthwhile, as well as the 2 year olds dancing on the stage. Only the Grateful Dead.


I can give you a nod for some great shows in '83 and '84.  Garcia looked like death warmed over but he still had some chops left.  After the coma in '86 though, I feel his playing never truly recovered, although he was listening and paying more attention during '89 - '91.  However, if you think the shows between '85 and '88 were better than, say, '79 thru '81, you were on better drugs than me during that time - and that's saying a lot! Wink

The Warlocks show was Hampton - Fall '89.  And it was spectacular for Attics of My Life and the return of Help-Slip-Franks as well.  I was there, "starry-eyed and laughing."  

Being at the Greek in '84 must have been transcendental when they broke out Dark Star for the encore, but when I listen to it, the Bird Song they played earlier in the run was far more exploratory.  

By the same token, even the longer later Dark Stars were tedious, confused and not extremely interesting.

Yes, I'm a horrible snob about it all.  I'm sorry.

Now, Raymond, I would assume you were at the Uptown shows in Oct. '80, right? That Playing-Comes a Time-Playing out of Drums has always been one of my all time favorite Dead moments!!! Grin



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« Reply #37 on: February 24, 2010, 01:37:00 PM »




Yes, I'm a horrible snob about it all.  I'm sorry.



Lol.  Don't worry about it...that's a tag that would stick to most of us, I guess  Wink Smiley
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« Reply #38 on: February 24, 2010, 02:49:00 PM »




The Further Tour has been absolutely wonderful.  Saw them in Asheville NC a couple of weeks ago.  The guitarist from DSO is doing the trick for 'em.  They sound like the Dead again!  Thomas Wolfe Auditorium is only a 2300 seater, so it felt a lot more like '77 too - except for the ticket price ($83 vs $6!!)

If you haven't gotten the movie soundtrack from the Winterland '74 shows, that's a definite must.  David's right about '72 - any show from the Europe or the US Fall tour from that year will reward you well.

You can pin me down on a show here and there after '81, but........life's too short to sort through most of that stuff.  
I don't know how many shows u saw after 81 Wiley but I saw about 90 and I would mark in real time live performance their live "batting average" was never higher or more reliable than 83 thru 90. People reflexively mark 69, 72 or 77 as their peak, all excellent choices but the sophistication of their level of improvisation got ever higher, although with wide open favorites like Dark Star, New Potato, Born Cross Eyed regrettably put into dry dock, occasional appearances from Dark Star but sometimes as many as five years in between, all Jerry's idea. Yep, that part was Jerry's fault. One happy development over their last 15 years or so is their catalogue became so large that in those years you would never see a song played more that once every four shows, with always a surprise or two popping up, like Death Don't Have No Mercy being brought back after 20 years in 89, I think the same night Dark Star made its first reappearance since the show at the Greek I saw in 84, it was greeted like the Ark of the Lost Covenant being brought in the arena, that was the night I think in Charlotte when they had billed themselves as the Warlocks, their original name, to ward off the aggressive party creeps who had bulldozed their way in, leaving garbage in their wake. Prior to that when the Dead left towns after 3 or 4 day runs parking lots would be clean and local opinion was very positive, man did that change.
But man are u spot on in recommending that October run at Winterland in 74, especially considering the sound monstrosity it was upon original release as Steal Your Face in 75 or 6. The sound on that re release is so good as to be astonishing, and the animation sequences in the movie from a guy named Gary Gutirez, who remarkably was not even a Deadhead is well worthwhile, as well as the 2 year olds dancing on the stage. Only the Grateful Dead.


I can give you a nod for some great shows in '83 and '84.  Garcia looked like death warmed over but he still had some chops left.  After the coma in '86 though, I feel his playing never truly recovered, although he was listening and paying more attention during '89 - '91.  However, if you think the shows between '85 and '88 were better than, say, '79 thru '81, you were on better drugs than me during that time - and that's saying a lot! Wink

The Warlocks show was Hampton - Fall '89.  And it was spectacular for Attics of My Life and the return of Help-Slip-Franks as well.  I was there, "starry-eyed and laughing."  

Being at the Greek in '84 must have been transcendental when they broke out Dark Star for the encore, but when I listen to it, the Bird Song they played earlier in the run was far more exploratory.  

By the same token, even the longer later Dark Stars were tedious, confused and not extremely interesting.

Yes, I'm a horrible snob about it all.  I'm sorry.

Now, Raymond, I would assume you were at the Uptown shows in Oct. '80, right? That Playing-Comes a Time-Playing out of Drums has always been one of my all time favorite Dead moments!!! Grin




Unbelievably enough I was dead straight for roughly half of the Dead performances I have witnessed, and all Tull shows since the early seventies, taab, passion play and war child i saw heavily dosed. But that Greek run I was dosed on both Saturday and Sunday, barely got in in time for the Friday show from Chicago. Have not looked again at the set list but I am quite certain the Birdsong to which u refer, as I remember it well with its uh, brilliant colors, was on either the Saturday or Sunday in the brilliant Cali sunshine. I lived in the Bay area all those years they were playing at the Uptown so I saw nothing but I have heard it, choice biscuits. We will just have to agree to disagree, particularly as regards 87, and surely at least you have heard some of the Jerry band discs from the nineties, sounds suspicially like a Jer bear at the top of his game to me, maybe happy to be freed of the sometimes geekazoid offerings of poor old Vinnie Welnick, doubtless a marvelous player but better suited to the Tubes from whence he came, even though i know he loved and deeply appreciated the job.
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« Reply #39 on: February 24, 2010, 02:55:07 PM »

I'd certainly agree that the JGB (and indeed his acoustic work with Grisman) is where Jerry was a) happiest, and b) did by far his best work in the last years of his life.  No doubt of that, in my mind.
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