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The Good Ol' Grateful Dead

Posted by Gordon Rekcikssa 
Registered: 1 year ago
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avatar Re: The Good Ol' Grateful Dead
April 20, 2017 07:36AM
July 7, 1978 - Red Rocks Amphitheatre, Morrison, CO





This was the Dead's first show at Red Rocks. The following night is largely considered to be one of the essential shows of the era for the band, and that's kind of a shame, as the hype surrounding 7/8/78 overshadows this gig, which is just phenomenal in its own right.

Opening number Jack Straw sets the tone for a great evening. The first set has some real highlights in it, most notably a subdued take on Friend Of The Devil that sees Keith Godchaux playing some of his finest lines of the tour, and actually pushing Garcia's leads in a way he hadn't done for a couple of years at this point. This is followed by a nice combo of Cassidy, Tennessee Jed, Passenger, and Peggy-O before they break with The Music Never Stopped.

The second set sees the band open up with Cold Rain And Snow and a killer Beat It On Down The Line before taking on Scarlet Begonias > Fire On The Mountain. Dancing In The Streets leads into a frantic Rhythm Devils > Space that eventually winds its way back to reality with Not Fade Away > Black Peter > Around And Around. The double encore of U.S. Blues and Johnny B. Goode provides the icing on the cake for an evening of prime Dead.

Archive Audience Recording of 7/7/1978



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avatar Re: The Good Ol' Grateful Dead
April 24, 2017 08:57AM
Terrapin Station
Arista Records, 1977
- pressing pictured below by Analogue Productions, 2012



My own opinion on this LP is far different than that of the band. I think this is an absolute masterpiece, while they didn't care as much for this album as some others.

Clive Davis signed the Dead to the Arista label with the insistence that they take on an outside producer for the first time since the recording of Anthem Of The Sun in 1968. Keith Olsen was picked for the job as he was still hot off the success of Fleetwood Mac's 1975 self-titled album. To the chagrin of the band, Olsen made them play multiple takes of the songs over and over using the same arrangements, which is kind of the opposite of what the Dead are known for. After principal recording was completed, he went to London, completely unbeknownst to the band, and added overdubbed string, horn, and choral sections to several of the songs. The end result was an album that sounded contemporary by the standards of the day, and somewhat unlike the other albums in the Dead's catalog up until that point.

Estimated Prophet kicks things off with Garcia's signature guitar sound on full display, propelled by a funky bass line. The sax lines were added in post-production and supplied by Tom Scott. Then comes a disco take on Dancin' In The Streets that finds Donna Godchaux contributing some nice vocal harmonies with Bob Weir. Phil Lesh's Passenger follows in a similar vein. Weir contributes a new arrangement of Rev. Gary Davis' Samson And Delilah before side one closes out with Donna Godchaux's elegant and bluesy Sunrise. All of these songs would see radical reworkings over the course of the next couple of years in a live setting.

Side Two contains the title suite. The version on the LP has received quite a bit of criticism by the members of the band over the years. Jerry Garcia once said that Olsen had "...put the Grateful Dead in a dress", while Lesh has called it "...a classic example of gilding the lily." While I get where they're coming from, I personally think the album version is a stellar moment in the band's catalog. Garcia's guitar sounds like it's coming from the depths of outer space, and his haunting, multi-tracked vocals provide a mesmerizing vehicle for some of Robert Hunter's finest lyrics. (As an interesting side note, Hunter wrote a second part to the song that was never performed or recorded by the Dead.) This song would become one of the launching pads the band would use to explore the psychedelic cosmos in their live sets.

If you have this on a US CD release, the mix of Dancin' In The Streets is different than the original LP mix. It was issued as a single featuring a horn section that Olsen added after the fact, and this single mix appears on the domestic CD.

The pressing in the photo is from Analogue Productions, cut from the original master tapes. This is easily the finest version of this album I have ever heard. Everything in the mix is clear and present in the soundstage in a way the CD and original LP don't capture. I highly recommend this version if anyone is looking to pick up a copy on record.





Discogs - Terrapin Station



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Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 04/24/2017 09:05AM by Gordon Rekcikssa.
Registered: 1 year ago
Posts: 251
Status: Street Knowledge
avatar Re: The Good Ol' Grateful Dead
April 25, 2017 08:19AM
July 8, 1978 - Red Rocks Amphitheatre, Morrison, CO





The final show of this short tour, and one that's widely considered to be a definitive gig from this era.

There's good reason for this show to be so highly regarded. The first set opens with Bertha, and you can tell the band is relaxed, enjoying the surroundings, and just glad to be playing together in such a setting. There are plenty of good moments here, including a fun version of Good Lovin', some great soloing from Garcia in Dire Wolf and a roaring set closer in Deal.

When the second set starts off with Samson And Delilah and Ship Of Fools it sounds like everyone is loose and having fun, but you could be forgiven at this point for wondering if they're really going anywhere on this night. And then this happens: Estimated Prophet > The Other One > Eyes Of The World > Rhythm Devils > Space > Wharf Rat > Franklin's Tower > Sugar Magnolia!

Garcia provides plenty of killer leads in Prophet, and for the last couple of minutes, as he explores some nebulous other universe, you can hear Lesh and Weir trading ideas on where to head to next before Lesh's bass lets out some thunderous rumbles and they dive into The Other One. Eyes provides some more stellar jamming before Hart and Kreutzmann take control for one of those Drums segments that show off the difference between being mere drummers and true master percussionists. The set closing triplet eventually brings everyone back around to solid ground, but they aren't done with the crowd just yet...

In a rare move, they pull out all the stops for a triple encore that takes off with a spaced-out Terrapin Station and tears straight into One More Saturday Night before leaving everyone elated with a romping version of Warren Zevon's Werewolves Of London

The set pictured above comes from the Complete Recordings box set of this tour, but this show is also available on its own as well. Below is a link to the soundboard recording available at Archive.org. If you've never heard this show before, do yourself a favor and check this one out ASAP.

Archive Soundboard - 7/8/78



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avatar Re: The Good Ol' Grateful Dead
April 26, 2017 07:30AM
Bob Weir - Blue Mountain
Columbia Legacy, 2016




Bob Weir's 2016 album was his first solo effort in over ten years, and his first of entirely original material in more than three decades. It was worth the wait. Made up of twelve of those great "cowboy songs" that he perfected early on in the Dead's career, this album is just amazingly good from one end to the other. Don't approach this one expecting long psychedelic jams. This is country music in its purest form. If Nashville were putting out albums like this instead of the typical redneck pop they regularly vomit onto the airwaves, they wouldn't be the subject of as much venomous derision as they currently are.

'Nuff said. Give this one a listen.











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avatar Re: The Good Ol' Grateful Dead
May 01, 2017 08:18AM
Grateful Dead - Sunshine Daydream: Veneta, Oregon August 27, 1972
Rhino Records, 2013




A legendary show the Dead put on as a benefit for Ken Kesey's dairy farm in nearby Springfield. Billed as "The Final Acid Test", there was definitely some chemical mischief going on this day.

Temperatures soared to over 100 degrees as more than 20,000 fans gathered at the Old Renaissance Faire Grounds to see the Dead and opening act New Riders Of The Purple Sage (the Riders' set was also released as a separate album). Despite a shortage of water combined with the blazing heat that made it hard to keep their instruments in tune, the Dead played three long sets and ended up putting on a phenomenal show that is still talked about in tones of awed reverence 45 years later.

After a first set that included fantastic runs through Sugaree, Black-Throated Wind, and a psyched out China Cat Sunflower > I Know You Rider among other gems, the Dead took a break to recover from the blistering sun before returning to the stage with one the all-time great versions of Playing In The Band they ever performed. Clocking in at almost 20 minutes, it takes off into a killer jam where the whole band seems to decide to see how far they can stretch the structure of the song before the eventually return to finish it off. There's also a great jamming version of Bird Song that happens here leading into a set-closing Greatest Story Ever Told.

The third and final set of the day begins as the sun is slowly setting. They lay out a truly epic Dark Star that stretches over half an hour in length. If there were an audible definition of the word "psychedelic", this would be it. By the end, there is howling feedback, Lesh's bass rumbling like a solar storm and Garcia gone so far out to the fringes of reality that it seems there may be no way back. Just when all seems lost however, they swing in unison straight into Marty Robbins' El Paso and bring the world back into focus. They run through a jamming cover of Merle Haggard's Sing Me Back Home before closing out the festivities with a nice trio consisting of Sugar Magnolia, Casey Jones, and ending with One More Saturday Night.

This had long been one of the most requested releases from the band's legendary vault of live recordings. The Dead worked patiently for decades to secure the rights to the accompanying film Sunshine Daydream that was shot at this show and is included on the DVD in this set. It was worth it. While the film doesn't contain the entire concert, it is a great document of the gig, and includes some trippy animated sequences and some nice visual nods to the late Neal Cassady. There's a link to the full movie below on YouTube. Be forewarned, however, this is definitely NSFW as it contains copious amounts of nudity.







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