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Best Grateful Dead ?

Discussion in 'Recordings [BG]' started by nonsqtr, Nov 20, 2004.

  1. nonsqtr

    nonsqtr The emperor has no clothes!

    Aug 29, 2003
    Burbank CA USA
    I've been told that when it comes to the Dead, the live recordings are the best.

    So, what's the best one? Which one should I get?

    I'm open minded, so if there's a particular compilation or studio disc that comes to mind, please clue me in.

    Thanks! :)
  2. zillo


    Jun 5, 2003
    Live Dead is about the top of the heap.

    There are a lot of concert recordings available in shops these days...the Dicks Picks series and the Vault series have some great offerings.

    Live Dead though is a pretty good example of what Deadheads went to all those shows hoping to catch :p
  3. James Hart

    James Hart

    Feb 1, 2002
    Endorsing Artist: see profile
    http://bt.etree.org or http://www.easytree.org

    all it takes is time, bandwidth and drive space. Lots of great shows ready to listen to.

    I'm kinda the anti-dead head... Shakedown Street is my favorite disc :ninja:

    [singing to self]
    Nothin’ shakin’ on shakedown street. used to be the heart of town.
    Don’t tell me this town ain’t got no heart. you just gotta poke around.
    [/singing to self]

    *queues up some dead for the evening tunes*
  4. There's one called What a Long Strange Trip:The Best of the Grateful Dead, which I think is all live, although it's material from difrent shows, which is pretty damn good. However, if you're thinking of building a collection of live shows and you have the computer l337ness, I would reccomend downloading as many shows as possible since they are, after all, perfectly free. I'm not as good at remembering specific dates as many deadheads.

    Live Dead is good, but I don't think it's 25% as good as lots of shows out there which are available for perfectly free.
  5. archive.org

    I really like a lot of the early 70s shows
  6. zillo


    Jun 5, 2003
    Absolutely true. There are a ton of great shows available, but if you are new to the music, not familiar with the various eras and players, it can be kind of daunting. What to listen to, if you just want to check it out? You can download shows from the Acid Tests to 1995.

    Live Dead, I think, does present a good off-the-shelf picture of the boys at a high point. This one presents the ban in an era of long, adventurous improvisation with a really bluesy-psychedelic bent, if you like that sort of thing. Of course , if you can dowload most any 1968-69 show you can't go wrong (that's my favorite time period :) )

    Of course, different people like different incarnations and eras, some folkier, more rock and roll, etc. Those guys made a lot of music.
  7. sargebaker

    sargebaker Commercial User

    May 2, 2004
    Montreal QC CA
    owner/builder, ISLAND Instrument Mfg.
    SO many great discs to chose from... I dunno if they made a CD of lThe closing of Winterland but the DVD is awesome!
  8. duke2004

    duke2004 Supporting Member

    Mar 29, 2004
    Cambridge, Mass.
    Live Dead is great but a bit rough around the edges, which many like, and has the experimental edge to it. You cant go wrong with nearly ANY show from 1971-1974. Europe 72 is as great an ensemle work as any.
  9. 2/18/71-Capitol Theater
    That Dark Star>Wharf Rat>Darkstar is gorgeous, and there's a thing called 'Beautiful Jam' (not mentioned on my setlist but counted as part of dark star I think) which is one of the sweetest things ever recorded in my opinion. Plus Loser and Hard to Handle....all around great show.

    I'll probably come up w/ more.
    edit: I'ts highly possible that 'Beautiful Jam' is just a name that some fan attached to to this particularly nice jam, but I recall being under the impression that it was something that they had played a few times.I'm almost to it as we speak, and boy I sure likes me some Wharf Rat.
  10. Bayou_Brawler

    Bayou_Brawler The most hurtful thing ever realized

    Oct 23, 2003
    Ann Arbor, MI
    i don't dig their live jammy stuff too much. i really like their acoustic, western, bluegrass side. my favorite dead album is "reckoning"
  11. slam

    slam Guest

    Mar 22, 2000
    The Dead went through such a range of styles in their career that you kind of have to narrow it down as to what you are looking to hear. Personally my favorites are 1967-1974 and also 1977.
  12. A long time ago I really liked the GD. If you're set on commercially released live stuff Europe 72 rules. American Beauty and Workingman's Dead are great folksy studio albums. Highly recommend American Beauty.
  13. Live Dead

    Europe '72


    Three different eras and sounds, all exceptional. Mandatory CDs.

    For late 70s try Cornell University 5-8??-77. The room sounds great, great very circulated soundboard, great playing.
  14. mr e

    mr e

    Nov 17, 2003
    this record is amazing - sometime released under the title 'for the faithful,' a great way to get into the dead

    for electric dead, try from the vault one!
  15. mr e

    mr e

    Nov 17, 2003
    Betty Board!
    Great show!
  16. WillPlay4Food

    WillPlay4Food Now With More Metal! Staff Member Supporting Member

    Apr 9, 2002
    Orbiting HQ
    I used to have this show on tape and it is definitely a keeper.

    I love Wharf Rat too, there are some great early 70's shows with this tune.

    From the Europe '72 tour, GD put out a two CD set of their Hundred Year Hall (Germany) concert that I enjoy even better than Europe '72. It's a pay CD but I dig it.

    If you want to check out the different 'shades' of GD, then you need to get some late 60's stuff to start out with. Find shows with the following songs, Cold Rain & Snow, Viola Lee Blues, Darkstar->St. Stephen->The Eleven->Lovelight. If you can find the Lovelight with Pigpen & Janis Joplin you will be quite blissful listening to their rendition. Their 60's stuff is really worth a listen, even if it is imbued with a heavy tinge of LSD. :D

    For 70's stuff, I love the studio CD's American Beauty and Workingman's Dead. Some real staples came off these CDs. American Beauty is rock like, while Workingman's has a more folksy rockabilly accent.

    Early 70's shows have great stuff like That's It for the Other One, Alligator, Mr. Charlie, Black Throated Wind, Bertha, Jack Straw, Deal, Sugaree, and many more wonderful tunes.

    For mid-70's stuff, check out shows with the following, Lazy Lightning->Supplication Jam, Friend of the Devil, Trucking, He's Gone, Help On The Way->Slipknot->Franklin's Tower, Not Fade Away, Brokedown Palace, Unbroken Chain, U.S. Blues, Terrapin Station, Shakedown Street and more.

    What separates early 70's from mid 70's? Basically, the death of Pigpen and his replacement by Keith & Donna Jean Godcheaux. I really wish Donna Jean was never allowed to sing in the band. But, that's just my personal opinion.

    Jump to the 80's. Keith & Donna Jean are gone, to be replaced by his awesomeness, Brent Mydland. This guy was an octopus on the keyboards. This guy was truly amazing. Songs from this era include; Lost Sailor->St. of Circumstance, Althea, acoustic stuff like the Reckoning CD (The Race Is On, Deep Ellem Blues, Dire Wolf, Monkey & the Engineer), Feel Like A Stranger, Alabama Getaway, Don't Ease Me In, West LA Fadeaway, Throwing Stones and much, much more.

    These are all songs I dig. There are many more tunes I didn't list that are just as good (Stella Blue, The Music Never Stopped, Weather Report Suite, Estimated Prophet, Eyes of the World, Morning Dew, I dig all these songs too) so you really need to download some concerts from each era to experience the different aspects of this great band.
  17. WillPlay4Food

    WillPlay4Food Now With More Metal! Staff Member Supporting Member

    Apr 9, 2002
    Orbiting HQ
    I have the 5-8-77 show and it's like a taste of heaven. :)

    Also, another timeless show is the one performed on 8-13-75 at the Great American Music Hall. This was one of only three shows performed in '75 by the Dead (all at the same location). I've heard these shows were performed to comemorate the end of the Vietnam Way but I could be wrong. This shows performs almost all of 'Blues for Allah' live, so if you liked Blues for Allah, this concert would be the perfect companion CD.
  18. WillPlay4Food

    WillPlay4Food Now With More Metal! Staff Member Supporting Member

    Apr 9, 2002
    Orbiting HQ
  19. Much agreed. She was pretty good for studio stuff, though. But she always ruins Playin' in the Band w/ her "AohAowAAAAAAAowaowahaaaAAAAAAAAAAA" crap :D
  20. jkritchey


    Jul 23, 2002
    Northern Va.
    More love for 5-8-77. Also, try 5-7-77. Truly a great weekend of Dead music.

    Favorite song to look for : "They Love Each Other" from 1973. By the following year they had taken this funky upbeat 5 min song and slowed it down to almost a dirge. But the 1973 versions are fabulous....

    Can't stress enough: Go here
    http://www.archive.org/audio/etreelisting-browse.php?collection=etree&mode=mp3&cat=Grateful Dead

    This is the list of all Dead shows that you can STREAM with out downloading. There are 2594 of them currently. Figure out what era you like most. Report back in 5 years and let us know what you've found. ;)