Getting into the Grateful Dead

Discussion in 'music, bands, clubs & festies' started by ska invita, Sep 15, 2016.

  1. ska invita

    ska invita back on the other side

    I was about to make this response on another thread:

    ....hah i had one of those attempts this year, also pretty successful.
    i really like it when they play slower, less busier//less peak-acid, more coming up (down?).
    youtube is filled with live bootleg recordings which seem to come across better than the albums to my ears.

    I know what you mean about the misseling, but i guess in the US that boundary between acid freaks and country is more natural and folky, whereas from the UK Country is too much of an exotic thing in itself. Would be up for a thread on Grateful Dead - theres so much music out there by them its seemingly endless

    In fact ill start one...

    Theres an old 2008 thread with near everyone saying how shit they are!
    The Grateful Dead
    Which makes me think lots of us are at the same place - never managed to get into them.

    This is the live set that I really got into this summer

    (especially the first couple of numbers)

    I wonder when the best era for Dead was? Definitely sounding great there in 68.
    I wonder if they got a bit burned out going into the 70s? Mustve surely....
    They formed in 65....

    Theres a definite California thing about them too - its not southern country - its never-raining, sun setting in the sea, palm trees, west coast music.

    Works well as music to put on and go and do something else - rahter than sit attentively and follow every note. though thats an option to if youre that way inclined i guess
  2. ska invita

    ska invita back on the other side

  3. ska invita

    ska invita back on the other side

    Someone asked the wuestion about eras in their music on reddit. First answer here, more reading here:

    '65-67: proto dead

    '68-mid/late '69: classic psychedelic dead (Live/Dead, Anthem of the Sun style)

    '70-71: transitional era - this is one that could be broken down a lot but broadly it's them trying to figure out the New Thing with the acoustic and roots-rock material & such. '70 is looser, folkier and trippier, '71 is tighter, rocking, more limited

    '72-74: Europe to the Wall of Sound - my favorite era - perfect balance of jamming/improv, spaciness, tight playing, and good "first set song" material

    '75 to mid '76 is mostly hiatus with just a few shows, all the '75 shows are super sick though

    '76-early '79: the Arena Rock could say mid '76 is the warmup, late '76 through either June '77 or May '78 is the peak (I say May '78, or maybe even through Red Rocks in July), then mid '78 through Feb '79 (departure of the Godchauxs) is the falloff though there are still very great shows here and there til near the end

    You could just say "the Brent era" '79-90 but I think that misses a lot of very important nuance:

    '79-81: early Brent era - performance quality still pretty tight most of the time especially late '79 and much of '80. Garcia en fuego, shredding it out. I really like a lot of these shows. Great FOB aud tapes from this era.

    '82-86: mid Brent era ending in Garcia' coma - band gets sloppier (and Garcia's voice gets MUCH worse) as this era goes along, still good shows in every year, interesting creativity bounce in '85, cratering in mid '86. Phil is relatively weak some of the time in this era, bored/unengaged, though he had his moments for sure.

    '87-90: late Brent era, peaking Summer '89 to Summer '90 - first part of the era is them just getting tight again, then when the repertoire expanded things got really interesting...MIDI stuff starts here which is divisive

    late '90-91: Bruce era - transitional stuff again - also very divisive - I like most of what Bruce added (particularly the interplay he sparked with Jerry) and can deal with Vince better in this context

    '92-95: Vince era - not my thing, I know there were some tours in here better than others but I can't speak to that

    Note that there is a similar/parallel but distinct evolution of Garcia side projects, from Garcia/Saunders through many incarnations of the JGB, etc

  4. killer b

    killer b Nostrofuckingdamus

    I have a pure country album that Gerry Garcia did that I love (Old and In The Way - apparently it was the best selling bluegrass album of all time until recently). Check it out:

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  5. ska invita

    ska invita back on the other side

    ive got the morning off today...having a leisurely wake up ...sun is shinging...this is hitting the spot 100% :thumbs:
  6. killer b

    killer b Nostrofuckingdamus

    Wait til you get to 'wild horses'. :cool:
    ska invita likes this.
  7. danny la rouge

    danny la rouge Without music, life would be a mistake.

    I've tried to understand what people see in them, but unfortunately I just don't think they're very good. I just hear average-at-best shambling folk rock played by not very inspired amiable stoners, whichever era I dip into.

    Is there a landmark recording I should listen to?
    Sprocket., nogojones and dialectician like this.
  8. ska invita

    ska invita back on the other side

    Greatful Dead wall of sound era (74) mentioned above must be that insane speaker set up they had! ive seen photos of this before

    Heres what they played...
    Love this! a touch of funk too...

    man, its like a journey you know? dont ask, jsut like follow your heart....
  9. ska invita

    ska invita back on the other side

    hah i stopped just before... went back and played :thumbs:
  10. pesh

    pesh Well-Known Member

    'oh hai guys, my names Owsley, you may have taken my acid, i have lots of cash, can i be your soundman? i feel like building some speakers now' :cool:
    BassJunkie and ska invita like this.
  11. og ogilby

    og ogilby Well-Known Member

    When I'm drinking and smoking I can listen to the dead for hours on end and just get lost in the music.

    Here's a few easy on the ears numbers.

    ska invita Eyes of the world is one of my favourites too.:thumbs: I've spent weeks of my life listening to that song.
    campanula and ska invita like this.
  12. blossie33

    blossie33 trailer trash

    ska invita likes this.
  13. danny la rouge

    danny la rouge Without music, life would be a mistake.

    Signal 11 and friedaweed like this.
  14. danny la rouge

    danny la rouge Without music, life would be a mistake.

    The only special quality pyramids have is the ability to be good at not falling over. This is not something they can transmit.
    friedaweed and dialectician like this.
  15. JimW

    JimW 支那暗杀团

    They did, specifically that ancient power of the Pyramids to make people swallow any old bullshit.
    Kaka Tim and danny la rouge like this.
  16. danny la rouge

    danny la rouge Without music, life would be a mistake.

    I sometimes wish I had the ability to be unscrupulous. There's a good living to be made selling people snake oil.

    The amount of friends I have who part with good money on things like Reiki. It's short for Reiki it in.
    friedaweed likes this.
  17. dialectician

    dialectician The Main Enemy is at home.

    i agree. It just sounds like music to put on for like 5 minutes when things are getting intense in that headspace.
  18. killer b

    killer b Nostrofuckingdamus

    Someone posted a disco-ish track they did a few weeks back, lemme have a look
    dialectician likes this.
  19. killer b

    killer b Nostrofuckingdamus

    here: I'd dance to this

    Rosemary Jest and Fez909 like this.
  20. friedaweed

    friedaweed Sitting down for a wee

    I've tried a few times myself but they just don't float my Nile boat. :hmm:

    I'm enjoying the bluegrass thingy though KB :thumbs:
  21. Johnny Canuck3

    Johnny Canuck3 Well-Known Member

  22. ska invita

    ska invita back on the other side

    this autoplayed for me today and was a pleasant listen

    90s, burned out folky blues session ;)
  23. friedaweed

    friedaweed Sitting down for a wee

    Almost fairport Mannnnn :cool:

    Like that :thumbs:
    ska invita likes this.
  24. ska invita

    ska invita back on the other side

    Ive never been, but different places have different vibes - "power" is one way of describing it, why not. Maybe the setting around the pyramids is exciting. God knows there are some shit, life sapping venues out there. Wether they "harnessed" it depends how good the gig was.
  25. ska invita

    ska invita back on the other side

    One thing i like about grateful dead is how they seem immune from writing anything that resembles a catchy pop song - yet its not deliberately awkward - in fact often really melodic
    its like an inbetween zone
    Chilli.s likes this.
  26. ska invita

    ska invita back on the other side

    Still looking for ways in...
    Rolling Stone reckon 1977 The Grateful Dead's Greatest Year

    Europe 72 is generally really rated.

    Here's one deadheads list that got many nods of approval

    1. 08-27-1972--Veneta--The best and most psychadelic and spiritual performance in the Dead's career. The bootleg film "Sunshine Daydream" captures the afternoon's activities.
    Highlights are many...China-Rider, Playin', Greatest Story, Bird Song, Dark Star>El Paso, Sing Me Back Home...
    Grateful Dead - 08/27/1972 - Veneta, OR

    2. 12-31-1978--Winterland--The best New Year's Performance. The Dead and Bill Graham close Winterland in style. A+ set list...they do everything...

    3. 04-29-1971--Fillmore East--the last night of an excellent April run by the Dead. Hard to Handle , Alligator, Cold Rain>GDTRFB are some of the many highlights.

    4. 05-08-1977--Barton Hall--Sure it might be over-rated, but to not have this show in a top 10 list would be asenine. Top shelf versions of Dancin, Scarlet>Fire, Estimated, St. Stephen>NFA>Morning Dew...the band's in peak form.

    5. 02-13-1970--Fillmore East--This show capture the boys at their best during the American Beauty days...Smokestack Lightening, Dark Star (lysergic), Lovelight are huge...

    6. 03-29-1990--Nassau Coliseum--Branford Marsalis guests on sax and the band finds heaven in set 2. Bird Song, Eyes of the World, Dark Star, Knockin' On Heaven's Door...

    7. 03-01-1969--Fillmore West--best show of the 60s. The American version of the Magnificant Seven serve up the stew during Cryptical>O1, New Potatoe, Dark Star, Lovelight...

    8. 06-18-1974--Freedom Hall--Incredible 74 show. Great sound quality and premiere versions of Wake of the Flood songs. Jazzy Dead.

    9. 09-20-1990--MSG--This is the most intense show of the 90s. Bruce Hornsby is with the band at this point. Explosive set 2.

    10. 08-13-1975--Great Amercian Music Hall--very unique show deserves a place in everyone's collection. Blues for Allah material is played beautifully in this intimate setting. (This is the official View from the Vault 1)

    also "6-10-73 with the Allmans at RFK??? It's the most downloaded show on the Archive for a reason. " has a massive collection of dead live shows for download and stream
    Grateful Dead : Free Music : Free Audio : Download & Streaming : Internet Archive

    and "To use the word "essential" without mentioning 02/14/68 would be a mistake."

    .....something to flick through over winter :D
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2016
  27. t0bytoo

    t0bytoo Well-Known Member

    I worked in the parking lot at shows for a couple of years towards the end. And went inside a handful of times. At the time I thought the party was incidental to the music - cause the party was pretty damn good

    But now - two decades later - I enjoy pottering round the house, listening to a random spotify playlist, thinking how much I like the music and vibe

    The Bob Weir doc is well worth watching;
    The Other One: The Long, Strange Trip of Bob Weir (2014) - IMDb
    og ogilby likes this.
  28. littleseb

    littleseb littleseb

    I'm partial to Workingman's Dead (their 4th studio album). Uncle John's Band is the opener:

  29. newbie

    newbie undisambiguated

    I saw them a couple of times but particularly remember the carpark at wembley with a travelling party of yanks and locals, lovely vibe made special by being so utterly out of place in 90s(?) Britain. Proper throwback tiedied acid enthusiasm and joy.

    that version of ripple above is spine tingly :) from the same gig, a rambling rendition

    og ogilby likes this.
  30. ska invita

    ska invita back on the other side

    Ive been giving this a play - not my favourite tbh, but some great moments ...whats interesting is the set goes...on and on!.....:

    –Set 1–
    101-d1t01 – Intro
    102-d1t02 – The Promised Land
    103-d1t03 – Sugaree
    104-d1t04 – Me & My Uncle
    105-d1t05 – Deal
    106-d1t06 – Black Throated Wind
    107-d1t07 – China Cat Sunflower ->
    108-d1t08 – I Know You Rider
    109-d1t09 – Mexicali Blues
    110-d1t10 – Bertha

    –Set 2–
    201-d2t01 – Playing in the Band
    202-d2t02 – He’s Gone
    203-d2t03 – Jack Straw
    204-d2t04 – Bird Song
    205-d2t05 – Greatest Story Ever Told

    –Set 3–
    301-d3t01 – Dark Star ->
    302-d3t02 – El Paso
    303-d3t03 – Sing Me Back Home
    304-d3t04 – Sugar Magnolia

    305-d3t05 – Casey Jones
    306-d3t06 – Saturday Night
    307-d3t07 – Closing Banter

    THey play 4 hours - the first two sets/hours are quite straight country rocking - its not until the third hour that things get jammy. I do rate the lack of rush and crescendo building...slowly drifting away from reality into pretty out there stuff.
    This seems to be pretty standard for them...from what i can see all live sets are 2- 4 hours long.

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