What are the best Grateful Dead cds?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by John Randolph, Oct 9, 2002.

  1. John Randolph

    John Randolph Stunt Coordinator

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    I'm just getting into GD, and I was wondering what their best CD's are (excluding Greatest Hits/compilations)
     
  2. KevinJ

    KevinJ Supporting Actor

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    the best ones to get are in the golden road boxed set...if you can afford it
     
  3. Jeff Savage

    Jeff Savage Second Unit

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    Most of the Dick's Picks are awesome too. Do you like their live stuff or studio stuff best? Early or later years? If you know post here and we may able to give you some specific albums.

    Laters,
    Jeff
     
  4. Carl Miller

    Carl Miller Screenwriter

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    Absolutely agree with Kevin, if you want to take a big giant dive into the Dead. That set's a mighty big dive!

    If not, check out Workingmans Dead and American Beauty to see if you like them. Probably the two most non-Deadhead friendly albums. Good way to see if you fall into the love them category or the hate them category.

    If you like these consider Wake of the Flood, Blues for Allah and Terrapin Station though if you're going to buy Blues and Wake, I'd recommend taking a jump into live Dead and checking out One From the Vault instead. It's an absolutely outstanding live recording containing most of Blues for Allah.

    The earlier stuff like Anthem of the Sun, and The Grateful Dead are well worth a listen, as is Aoxomoxoa and Mars Hotel.

    If you like the live stuff, jump into the Dicks Picks series. Most of them are at least good, some of them are outstanding...especially those from the early 70's shows.
     
  5. John Geelan

    John Geelan Screenwriter

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    Start with American Beauty and Workingman's Dead. Two very fine albums that are also available as DVDA's BTW.
    If you have a HT with a DVD player, you can use these discs. They'll play as DD 5.1, not too shabby.
     
  6. Carl Miller

    Carl Miller Screenwriter

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    John, how's the audio quality on the Workingmans Dead DVD-A? I didn't even know those two were out in that format, but I think I'm going to have to take a ride to Tower!
     
  7. Paul D Young

    Paul D Young Second Unit

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    I have to agree with Workingman's Dead and American Beauty.
    Furthermore, I select American Beauty as my favorite and first purchase.
     
  8. Michael Gilliam

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    Carl,
    I think the quality of the Workingman's Dead and American Beauty DVD-As is excellent, you should definitely make the trip.
     
  9. Dean DeMass

    Dean DeMass Screenwriter

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    The Dead DVD-Audio's are incredible. Mickey Hart personally re-mixed these discs and they are impressive. Personally, I am a bigger fan of the live material than the studio stuff.

    Get the Dicks Picks discs. My favorite is Dick's Picks Vol. 8: 5/2/70 (This is in my top 3 favorite shows)

    Here are some other good Dick's Picks:
    Volume 18 (2/3/78 and 2/5/78)
    Volume 17 (9/25/91)
    Volume 15 (9/3/77)
    Volume 10 (12/29/77 and 12/30/77)
    Volume 11 (9/27/72)

    Other good live CDs:
    Ladies and Gentleman....The Grateful Dead (Awesome 4 disc set from the April 1971 Fillmore East shows)
    One from the Vault
    Nightfall of Diamonds (Great show, Bob Weir's birthday, and I believe the return of Dark Star and Attics)
    Fillmore East 2/11/69 (Wonderful 2 disc set that contains both shows from that day)
    Dozin' at the Knick (Worth it just for the Terrapin)


    My favorite studio discs:
    Terrapin Station
    American Beauty
    Workingman's Dead
    Mars Hotel
    Shakedown Street

    If you have any questions about the Dead, feel free to contact me.

    -Dean-
     
  10. Greg_Y

    Greg_Y Screenwriter

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    Some points:
    1. You've made a good choice to stay away from compilations and starting with AB and WD is good too.
    2. The Rhino boxed set The Golden Road: 1965-1973 includes remastered HDCD versions of all the albums released on WB. The remastered versions are not available for single purchase (at this time.)
    3. The DVD-A titles contain completely different mixes of the songs. Nothing wrong with that, per se, but you may not want to start there.
    4. The Dick's Picks series, as said above, are pretty darn good, although there are other live releases which are just as good. Without A Net, for example, is an excellent live compilation of material from the end of the Brent years (late '80s.) Fillmore East 2/11/69 is a classic show from the more bluesy, 'psychadelic' (stupid term) late '60s. There are many more.
    5. The best part about the Dead: the amount of live shows you can get for free in CD quality (legally too!) Check out Grateful Dead Live for a list of stuff available at that one site in SHN format. And see etree.org for more info on SHN. It's a lossless compression format that facilitates easy trading and distribution of shows. Gimme a shout if you need help getting started or want to B&P some shows.
     
  11. Dean DeMass

    Dean DeMass Screenwriter

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    Greg,
    Thanks for the correction. I am at work so I didn't have my trusty Dead Base with me to verify it. [​IMG]
    I am drooling for a Sunshine Daydream release. the 8/27/72 show is spectacular. I am surprised I have not worn out my tape of that show. [​IMG]
    -Dean-
     
  12. Dave Morton

    Dave Morton Supporting Actor

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    I started off with Skeletons from the Closet. It's a pretty good compilation of all the "hits" up until that time. Then I went from there. Eventually, though, you will just buy everything and won't need the compilations. My Skeleton's version is on vinyl so I won't be replacing that.

    In the Dark is a great disk too. "Sounds like it's live because it was recorded live in the studio" - R. Hunter in an interview with David Gans.

    You may also want to pick up some Jerry Garcia Band stuff. The live double album is great!
     
  13. Rich Malloy

    Rich Malloy Producer

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    The standards:
    Live Dead (compilation of performances from Jan-Feb. 1969)
    American Beauty
    Workingman's Dead
    From the Vault I - brilliant show from their "hiatus year" of 1975. Very nearly a recital, includes a live performance of "Blues for Allah", and one of the tightest live shows the Dead ever performed.
    Dicks Picks Vol. 8 - the legendary Harpur College show, 5/2/70, and easily one of my favorites. The acoustic set is stereo, but in a strange anomaly the electric set exists only in mono. Nevertheless, it's brilliant.
    Mostly, I'd recommend looking for bootlegs (which are not illegal or frowned upon unless someone asks you to pay, rather than to trade or provide blank media and postage for it). If you'd like to send me an email with your address, I'd be happy to burn and send you a favorite show. Possibilities could include 9/19/70, 8/6/71 (possibly the greatest audience recording ever), 6/18/74, 5/8/77, 12/31/78... perhaps others in this thread might be willing to do the same? Though the Dick's Picks and From the Vault series are great, for a variety of reasons many of the best shows haven't been released.
    richard_malloy@hms.harvard.edu
     
  14. Dean DeMass

    Dean DeMass Screenwriter

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    5/8/77 is an excellent show as is 5/7/77.

    One of my all time favorite shows is the 9/10/91 Madison Square Garden show with Branford Marsalis.

    Another favorite is 6/30/85.

    -Dean-
     
  15. Dean DeMass

    Dean DeMass Screenwriter

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  16. David Albrecht

    David Albrecht Stunt Coordinator

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    I wrote up a great reply last night with a bunch of recomendations, then lost it all by hitting the back button... d'oh!! [​IMG]
    I'll agree with much of what was said already. Its tough recommeding official releases, they all have their own merits depending on what era and songs your like. If you really feel the need to spend your money I would suggest 'Without a Net' from Arista (multi-track source). This has a very cool 16 minute Eyes of the World with Branford Marsalis, and many other great versions of songs.
    If you have a fast connection and a Cdr burner... I would definately suggest you get a free Download Accelerator program, and start downloading shows from GDLive. Even if you have a dialup connection this is a great way to grow your collection, it will just take much longer - just download files overnight.
     
  17. Greg_Y

    Greg_Y Screenwriter

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    Oh, and another thing, the Dead release as much stuff as Elvis or Jimi. Maybe more. There's usually a few Dick's Picks per year + a multi-track live show (like Nightfall of Diamonds) + a multi-disc compilation or two.

    This year there's already been Postcards of the Hanging: Dead Play Dylan and Steppin' Out, the latter of which is a 4-disc set of recordings from their '72 excursion to England (think Europe '72.) Next up is Go To Nassau, a double CD set from 1980 at the Coliseum. 2001 saw the release of the Golden Road set and 2000 had So Many Roads, which was like a giant 5-CD mix of demos, live stuff, and rehearsel/live tracks from the next studio album they would have released.
     
  18. LarryDavenport

    LarryDavenport Cinematographer

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    Anthem of the Sun is my favorite and the remaster in the Golden Road box is phenomenal. I am also very fond of Live Dead, Blues for Allah, and Two For the Road.

    The Dead are one of thos bands that were around so long (like Zappa) that they went through so many changes that they don't neccesarily sound thes ame year to year.

    Personally I am partial to 1965-1970 the most and do most of my collecting from that period.
     
  19. Carl Miller

    Carl Miller Screenwriter

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    Thanks Michael, I'm definitely taking a trip to Tower to get those. Haven't made much use of DVD-A, so this is a good place to start.

    Dean...Dicks Picks Vol 11 is my favorite of the series. Dark Star alone makes it a must. How is Dozin at the Knick overall? I've had it in my hands a dozen times and have usually walked out with something else.
     
  20. Dean DeMass

    Dean DeMass Screenwriter

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    Carl,

    Dozin' at the Knick is a compilation of the three shows they played at the Knick that year. I really enjoy the CD very much. The CD is worth it for Terrapin and Mud Love Buddy Jam alone. It also has some good Brent renditions (Never Trust a Woman and I Will Take You Home). Masterpiece, The Wheel, Stella Blue, and Brokedown Palace are all very good.

    The bad thing is that I have to re-buy this CD. It was one of the few Dead CDs that I lost in my divorce.

    -Dean-
     

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