Post Number: 966
|Posted on Friday, June 14, 2013 - 12:39 pm: |
Curious as to what era of the GD others on here consider their favorite. I saw all of my shows in the 80s, but anymore I rarely listen to anything but the 70's. I will listen to some early 80s stuff once in awhile, but very rarely. Anything past 1988 or so I don't listen to at all..
Not that I consider the later stuff bad, its just that for me I prefer the sounds of the instruments in the 70s better, and of course I like the improvising during that time better.
Reason I am asking is that I am friends many dead fans who hardly listen to anything from the 70s, and jam with a couple groups of deadhead musicians who really only play the 80s versions of the songs...
Post Number: 130
|Posted on Friday, June 14, 2013 - 2:03 pm: |
I find the 80's obsession some folks have interesting too. Some of the later stuff is good, and I will listen to 89-90 occasionally, but it's not a go-to period for me.
90% of what I listen to is 65-74, and I generally lean toward the earlier part of that range, particularly '68. The other 10% is mostly Furthur etc., with some late period Dead just for completeness sake.
Perhaps, along this same line of questioning, can someone explain why such a fuss is made over 1984 shows?
Post Number: 368
|Posted on Friday, June 14, 2013 - 3:11 pm: |
The only thing I've found superior in the 80's shows is the sound quality (and most of this is only with respect to audience taping versus the direct sound board stuff). My personal preferences range from about 70-74.
Post Number: 934
|Posted on Friday, June 14, 2013 - 5:07 pm: |
I'm having a blast lately on YouTube seeing videos of some choice late 80s early 90s tapes that I used to have in my collection..... My visual image that i had vs the actual environment really throws me for a loop...
That said, my favorite era is still spring-winter of '73. I also had a fun time listening to all the college shows from spring '77 on archives.org a year or so ago.... There's so much out there to sift thru, and ever since the Rhino deal went down, it's been really hard for me to dust off good recordings of some of my favorites~ especially the 80-82 stuff...
Post Number: 11086
|Posted on Friday, June 14, 2013 - 5:16 pm: |
Obviously, one of the things that makes the 80's shows what they are is Brent Mydland. He's fun to watch on videos, and his B-3 work adds a lot. Both his playing and his vocals are an important part of the 80's Dead.
Of course with the 70's, you can say similar things about Keith Godchaux. His playing was a big part of the 70's Dead.
Post Number: 1503
|Posted on Saturday, June 15, 2013 - 12:05 am: |
I don't find myself listening to much '65-'67, and nothing after July '90 (Vince was a great player, but he just didn't work in the Dead, IMO). Other than that, it's all good (well, all eras are good; you may find an off night here & there).
As to '84, I seem to remember (I think) that Alpine Valley was pretty darn smokin' that year.
And Uptown Theater Decemember '79 was fun.
And July '90 at the World Music Theater - Brent's next-to-last show - was amazing.
And Alpine '82 (John Cippolina & Zakir Hussein sitting in).
And lately I've given several listens to Filmore East Feb '70 (with the legendary Garcia/Kreutzmann/Lesh/McKernan/Green/Kerwin/Lee/Trucks/Allman/Allman/Oakley jams) - and will be doing so again very soon, I assure you!
And everything I've heard from the '72 European tour cooks.
But I really did love Brent. After the '90 World show, the friend I went with & I spent the next 2 days talking about how much he added to the band. His death was real kick in the gut.
Post Number: 1754
|Posted on Saturday, June 15, 2013 - 7:49 am: |
For me, the prime period was from 67-78, although I also enjoy the Brent period as well.
Post Number: 11088
|Posted on Saturday, June 15, 2013 - 12:45 pm: |
Doing some follow up reading inspired by this thread, I learned that Godchaux only wrote one tune for the Dead; but what a great tune. Let Me Sing Your Blues Away from Wake of the Flood; the chord progression is very nice with lots of surprising turns, and the band's studio recording of it is great. But the cover by Jazz Is Dead shows off just how interesting the chord progression is. Both versions make for some fine listening. And I imagine that it would be a blast to play.
Post Number: 158
|Posted on Saturday, June 15, 2013 - 3:57 pm: |
I started seeing the Dead in 1979 (on my birthday, July 1st) and saw shows up until the end. I have extremely fond memories of every show I saw, but I'd have to say my favorite era would be the single drummer era. For me, the band was at the height of it's powers during that time and the music was nimble and energetic.
Post Number: 5473
|Posted on Saturday, June 15, 2013 - 4:18 pm: |
I love the stuff with Pigpen. He added a pure blues dimension to the band that they never again achieved after his passing. The early 70's, when I started regularly attending shows, is also one of my favorite eras. And they seemed especially pumped after they returned from Egypt in '78. Unlike many "purists", I also loved a lot of the 80's stuff - I believe Phil referred to this era as the "turn-on-a-dime" Grateful Dead in his book. From the late/mid eighties on (after "Touch of Grey" was a hit), the scene became somewhat of a downer for me as it became more and more crowded, they played bigger and bigger venues, and the crowd more and more became people who just wanted to get f#&ked up and party and didn't really appreciate the band. It also appeared to me that the band themselves were feeling this way and not enjoying it as much as in the past.
And on the subject of chord progressions, I love Brown-Eyed Women. One of the most enjoyable tunes I've convinced my non-Dead band to play.
Post Number: 861
|Posted on Saturday, June 15, 2013 - 9:14 pm: |
I picked up a copy of Rolling Stone's Grateful Dead Special Edition before hopping a plane back to Chicago. It's interesting that Bob Weir is quoted as saying...
"For me, the shows we did in the late Eighties were our peak, our best era. We were real tight. We could hear and feel each other thinking, and we could feel each other, intuit each other's moves readily. Our vocal blend was at its peak too..."
I found that statement strange in that it's the opposite of everything I've ever heard to be true.
Post Number: 1505
|Posted on Saturday, June 15, 2013 - 9:32 pm: |
Phil's "turn on a dime Dead" was the second era of the original quintet1 (starting Feb '71); the addition of Keith in Oct. '71 made them "the turbo-charged turn-on-a-dime" Dead.2
1Phil Lesh, Searching For The Sound: My Life With The Grateful Dead (New York: Little Brown & Co., 2005), 194.
Post Number: 5475
|Posted on Saturday, June 15, 2013 - 10:49 pm: |
I sit corrected.
Post Number: 2953
|Posted on Sunday, June 16, 2013 - 1:54 am: |
In the beginning from The Warlocks through the" Pigpen "era through 1978 is my favorite and most easily assimilated as a Bassist and as a listener . I also enjoy the rest all the way to the remaining incarnation as well but those earlier years when Pigpen was here with us in this dimension had the "here and now" visceral quality and combustible energy that touches my soul.
Post Number: 132
|Posted on Sunday, June 16, 2013 - 10:25 am: |
Well put, Wolf.
Post Number: 136
|Posted on Monday, June 17, 2013 - 11:49 am: |
For me, '69 - '74 with '72 being the peak.
I agree there are great (and not-so-great) shows from every year '65 - '95, but IMO the shows from '69 - '74 are consistently more energetic, experimental, eclectic and exciting.
Despite several changes in personnel, there were many interesting stylistic and compositional changes through this period as the band was quickly maturing both individually and as an ensemble.
And, of course, starting in '69, Alembic contributed several technical improvements to the electronics, which had a positive affect on the tone of the instruments during this time.
Post Number: 4
|Posted on Monday, June 17, 2013 - 1:43 pm: |
My favorite period was the early to mid-70’s.
I wonder how much of that is because I started attending shows then? (first show, Roosevelt Stadium in Jersey City)
It’s also possible that the combination of smaller venues and Alembic/McIntosh has something to do with it. I saw them in the Boston Music Hall where they had filled the entire rectangular opening of the stage curtains with speakers. Almost to a person, people walked in, smiled and said “Holy ****”. When Phil played the “pipe organ” part in “Morning Dew” the balcony shook. Other low notes made your pants legs vibrate around your legs (I have corroborating witnesses).
Anyway, that was my favorite, but I attended and enjoyed shows right till the end.
Post Number: 626
|Posted on Monday, June 17, 2013 - 11:05 pm: |
May '77 box set just arrived today! Have only listened to May 13, second show at the Auditorium Theater in Chicago. Very tasty and an interesting memory from the past - I have this show on cassette buried somewhere in the house. It's one of the first low-gen soundboard recordings I ever got hold of.
Lots of great shows from '77. I also really like '73, '69, and a bunch of the shows with Bruce Hornsby.
And, in case you missed it -- Veneta, OR 8/27/72 will be playing in a theater near you (well, some of us, anyway) on August 1.
Post Number: 56
|Posted on Tuesday, June 18, 2013 - 4:52 am: |
I definitely blame the Dead for dragging me into this Alembic family! I remember seeing the name Alembic on albums like Live Dead when I was a 12-year old kid just getting into the Dead.
Ed, the Boston Music Hall show from 12/2/73 is one of my favorite shows! I was way too young (3) to see it, but I have listened to it many times. I love the Playin'>He's Gone>Truckin' sequence. A lot of weirdness going on in that jam! I could imagine the intensity of being there!
My favorite Dead era is probably 71-74, although there were many highlights from other eras. I saw the majority of my shows between 1986 RFK and 1991. IMO, they lost a lot of steam when Brent died. I remember walking out of a show at RFK Stadium in 1992 during the second set because it was just so lifeless. My last show was at the Philly Spectrum, I believe in 1995, when they busted out "Unbroken Chain" for the first time. That is one of my favorite songs; however, I recall the version was a train wreck, and the show was lackluster as a whole. I had no idea that would be my last time seeing the Grateful Dead.
Fortunately, the magical moments far outweigh these Vince-era bombs. Can't wait to see "Sunshine Daydream"!
Post Number: 5
|Posted on Tuesday, June 18, 2013 - 8:26 am: |
Tom – I too loved the Bruce Hornsby shows, because he always brought so much. I even remember at one show, after “Brown Eyed Women”, thinking that Bruce’s solo smoked Jerry’s solo – and I never thought that when anyone else played with them.
Rob – I particularly remember the 12/2/73 show because it was my birthday. The Music Hall was an ornate old time theater – perfect place to see and hear a Dead show. It was a raucous night with a “Morning Dew” that they nailed for a closer.
Post Number: 1578
|Posted on Friday, June 21, 2013 - 8:59 pm: |
The Boston Music Hall was the site of my first show, but it wasn't until 6/11/76. I loved that room and saw a few more there after that.
My favorite era was probably 68-79 or so. Up through then, you could count on hearing new tunes, often very different from the previous material, on every tour. When Terrapin and Estimated Prophet came out, it blew everyone away. Plus, the format of the shows were less predictable. By the 80s, it had ossified considerably. But, I've got to give a shoutout to the 80s for some very interesting sound quality changes, notably the Modulus instruments, and some good songs here and there, like Brother Esau and Throwing Stones. But, I agree with some of the criticisms regarding the change in the audience as the 80s rolled on.
On a related note, so many of my heroes of the 70s became junkies in the 80s. Jerry, Jaco, Gil Scott-Heron. It was hard to watch.
Post Number: 1449
|Posted on Thursday, July 11, 2013 - 11:52 pm: |
Pre and post?
Post Number: 3396
|Posted on Friday, July 12, 2013 - 4:42 am: |
My favourite era for Dead music is right Now!.. I recently joined a dead tribute band and i've been having loads of fun working up a set liet with the rest of the guys...
Big Boss Man
Ramble on Rose
Goin' Down the road
Friend of the devil
around and around
Scarlett begonias / fire on the mountain
china cat / i know you rider.
it's interesting being given the freedom to slide on up past the 12th fret :-)
I reckon next time I visit Bill and Harry we'll have some common ground to jam on :-)
Post Number: 1762
|Posted on Friday, July 12, 2013 - 9:39 am: |
You've plugged into some prime GD from Workingman's Dead, American Beauty, Europe 72, and Mars Hotel.
You will have lots of fun! ;)
Post Number: 11121
|Posted on Friday, July 12, 2013 - 12:44 pm: |
Great start on a set list Graeme! In addition to being fun, Dead tunes can also be challenging. And for a bass player, Phil's lines are a whole 'nother way of approaching the role of the bass. His background in music theory and modern classical music has him landing on notes other bass players would never even think of.
Post Number: 3397
|Posted on Monday, July 15, 2013 - 12:36 am: |
"landing on notes other bass players would never even think of."
I'm already pretty adept at that Dave. Lol :-)
Post Number: 2118
|Posted on Monday, July 15, 2013 - 5:21 am: |
Yep I do it all the time to annoy the singer!
Post Number: 189
|Posted on Monday, July 15, 2013 - 10:41 pm: |
1968 thru october 1974 ((((O)))(((0))))
Post Number: 35
|Posted on Monday, July 22, 2013 - 5:58 pm: |
Love all of the collection...but 69 - 73 are cool transition years...also love the early 80's to the end of Brent shows!!!! Jah Guide!!
Post Number: 1492
|Posted on Monday, July 22, 2013 - 6:35 pm: |
"also love the early 80's to the end of Brent shows!!!!"
+1 The world needs way more Brent ,always : )
Post Number: 376
|Posted on Wednesday, July 24, 2013 - 10:45 pm: |
I got into the Dead late in my musical life - I was in my early 30s and in law school back in the mid-late 1980s before I really sat and listened. "American Beauty" first drew me in, but I eventually settled on the 1970s as my favorite era. Love Europe '72, One From The Vault, etc so I guess I'd have to say the Keith and Donna era is probably my favorite. JG was playing so beautifully at that time and the telepathy in the band was amazing.