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Grateful Dead Archival Live Release Thread

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by Al Gator, Feb 5, 2021.

  1. Crazy Otto

    Crazy Otto Well-Known Member

    Cologne, Germany
    Dick's Picks 3 - 5/22/77

    I remember when this came out. I was in college at this point and had heard enough from 77 to know that I wanted to hear more, but not so much that I'd heard almost everything (like now). So the anticipation was high for this one, and it did not disappoint. Some notes and highlights:
    • Tight Music opener -- not the wildest version I've ever heard, but solid and always cool to hear as the opener.
    • The Sugaree, as others have mentioned is phenomenal. I generally prefer the less sprawling pre-hiatus versions of this song more, but this is definitely my favorite version. Just great playing from Jerry and everyone else is right there with him.
    • Was never a big fan of Lazy Lightning > Supplication, even though the Supp on this is good. Since this is a curated release, though, I'd much rather have heard the Ramble On Rose (obviously :)) from this set on the release.
    • Nice funky disco Dancin', glad Dick kept this in here.
    • At the time, this was the best version of Help > Slip > Frank I'd ever heard, including One From the Vault (only 5/9 came close). 6/9/77 has since become my go-to, but it's really splitting hairs, this version still rocks and is a great second set opener.
    • For me, Sunrise at this point in the set is a misfire (kills the momentum big time) and I'd rather hear the Brown Eyed Women from this show any day. I get that Dick probably wanted to have it out there, since it's a relative rarity, but still.
    • The back end of the second set is obviously amazing -- I'm not a big 77 Eyes guy (prefer 73 or 74 versions), I always thought it was too fast and I never liked Jerry's tone on them. That said, this is a really good one, and the breakdown at the end is especially nice and, as Al mentioned, not something you hear often in 77. I love how Jerry keeps hitting the opening note of Wharf Rat, so you can hear where he's going, but also doesn't rush right into it. Good version of Rat with a perfect transition into the back half of Terrapin, which is obviously a mindblower. While it was executed perfectly and is super cool for its extreme rarity, it's also always kinda bugged me, since a Terrapin without Lady With a Fan has always felt to me like a hand without a thumb. That's just my personal preference, though...perhaps they felt the same way, which is why they only did it once.
    • Using the last note of Terrapin as the first note of Dew gives me chills every time I hear it, and always wondered why they didn't do (Dew?) that more often, since it works so well. The Dew is good, not my favorite one, but still solid and a great way to end the set.
    • Re: Betty's recording: I know others will disagree, but I have personally always loved the reverb she put on Jerry's voice during 77. To me his singing has never sounded better than on this tour.
    In the end, this is a great show with some unique elements and a great pick, since recordings of it weren't really circulating at the time. While it's not my favorite 77 show (5/9, 5/19, 6/9, 9/3 are a few that I like more), it's still an essential document and a required item in everyone's library. It was also really cool to hear it again, since it's been a while -- it still holds up.
  2. Harm1985

    Harm1985 Forum Resident

    Sunrise! I forgot all about that. Love this version.
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  3. Archtop

    Archtop Soft Dead Crimson Cow

    A very similar set of problems occurs during the Cornell Dew on 5/8/77. I haven't really done much looking into this, as I prefer compiling positive information, but my sense is that it happened fairly regularly in the latter half of the '70s. I saw several versions in the first half of the '80s and don't recall this problem being pervasive.
  4. pbuzby

    pbuzby Senior Member

    Chicago, IL, US
    The "Dancin'" is my favorite part of this release (great to have an officially released '77 Help-Slip-Frank too). Listening to the full show tape reveals that they made a strange edit to "Dancin'" for this release - in the show Weir announces the set break and the band plays a wild closing chord, while on the CD they repeat the "Dancin'" chorus a few times and then it just stops with a drum thud.
    Burningfool, trd, superstar19 and 6 others like this.
  5. GuitarStrangler

    GuitarStrangler Forum Resident

    Slovenia, Europe
    The Cornell one, right!
    Otherwise I was only half-joking :)
    Archtop likes this.
  6. BlueTrane

    BlueTrane Forum Resident

    For years and years, I had no idea it was edited that way for the release. When I finally heard it on the Archive I was fairly shocked. I always loved that lengthy wind-down at the end of the tune - why on earth mess with it? The CD is 74 minutes, so it’s not like there wasn’t room for it. Since it wasn’t a full show release, I’m guessing they didn’t want to bring attention to the set break announcement. Or something.
    superstar19 likes this.
  7. Al Gator

    Al Gator You can call me Al Thread Starter

    Or was this early enough that 74 minutes was still the maximum CD length? I don't remember when CDs longer than that started to appear.
  8. Same for me. This is the ultimate disco Dancin’, IMO. For a while, Jerry locks into this cosmic, funky riff on his Mutron that sends me into dance-floor ecstasy.

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  9. pbuzby

    pbuzby Senior Member

    Chicago, IL, US
    Yes, I guess they thought that people used to full shows would find it weird for Weir to be announcing a break after five songs, and in the middle of the CD.
    trd and frightwigwam like this.
  10. frightwigwam

    frightwigwam Talented Amateur

    Wiki tells me that Rykodisc pushed beyond the original 74-minute limit in 1988, with a Mission of Burma comp. But I wonder if this was common by 1995.

    "Playing times beyond 74 minutes are achieved by decreasing track pitch (the distance separating the track as it spirals the disc) in violation of strict Red Book standards. However, most players can still accommodate the more closely spaced data if it is still within Red Book tolerances.[75] Current manufacturing processes allow an audio CD to contain up to 80 minutes (variable from one replication plant to another) without requiring the content creator to sign a waiver releasing the plant owner from responsibility if the CD produced is marginally or entirely unreadable by some playback equipment. In current practice, maximum CD playing time has crept higher by reducing minimum engineering tolerances."

    This is also makes me wonder whether Grateful Dead Records used a plant that would handle CD pressings "in violation of strict Red Book standards," or maybe the Dead organization felt concerned about putting out CD's that '80s CD players might have trouble reading.
    jay.dee, uzn007 and trd like this.
  11. BlueTrane

    BlueTrane Forum Resident

    Good points, all. The DiP 3 disc 1 is exactly 74:00, which makes me think that’s what they were specifically aiming for. If they could lose a few extra seconds off the end of the Dancin’, that would bring them in just right, apparently.
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  12. Crazy Otto

    Crazy Otto Well-Known Member

    Cologne, Germany
    The Dancin’ from 5/15/77 is also tremendous, worth seeking out.
  13. robcar

    robcar Forum Resident

    Denver, CO
    Much earlier - around 1988 or so. The 74-minute limitation was only in place from the first CDs in 1983 up through 1987-ish.
    trd and Al Gator like this.
  14. Doggiedogma

    Doggiedogma Forum Resident

    Dick's Picks 3 - 5/22/77 - Pembroke Pines, FL.

    Starting off having fun with Funiculi Funicula and the fun stays course for the whole show. A Disc 1 with The Music Never Stops, Sugaree, a hot Lazy Lightning>Supplication, Dancin' In The Streets, Help>Slip>Frank - is there a better disc one than this? Disc 2 with a strong Samson and Delilah, Sunrise (Donna sounds good), Estimated>Eyes>Wharf Rat>Terrapin - :love:, closing with Morning Dew!:love::love::love: Is there a better Disc 2 than this?
    I would have loved to have the whole show released, as this might just be the best show the Dead played. Well, at least in '77 :righton:.
    Some say MSG and NY brought out the best n the Dead, but IMO, FLORIDA had the GOGD on the next level, every time they played in Florida! Florida and the Grateful Dead, like Hemi Cuda :edthumbs:
    Dip 3 = 5/5. Soooo jammingly jamming.
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  15. uzn007

    uzn007 Pack Rat

    Raleigh, N.C.
    I think Archie has them all memorized. :D
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  16. pbuzby

    pbuzby Senior Member

    Chicago, IL, US
    '77 Dew survey installment one: 2/27/77. Pretty solid rendition of that Dew pre-solo interlude, but Phil sits out the first two notes and Jerry is shaky on the last few, coming in a bit flat on the final "A" and then playing a repeated "C' instead of the proper chromatic walkup to the "D." I give this one 7.5 out of 10. To be continued.
  17. Al Gator

    Al Gator You can call me Al Thread Starter

    It's interesting that most of the '77 Dews have been officially released and will be covered here. Unless The Setlist Program is steering me wrong, 4/27 is the only missing Dew.
    • 2/27 as filler on Dave's Picks 29 (currently scheduled to be covered in week 224)
    • 5/8 on Get Shown the Light (week 207)
    • 5/22 we just covered on week 8
    • 6/7 on Winterland June 1977 (week 88)
    The only '78 and '79 Dews have also been released (4/15/78 on Dave's Picks 37 and 11/8/79 on Road Trips 1.1).
  18. pbuzby

    pbuzby Senior Member

    Chicago, IL, US
    In the post hiatus shows "Dew" was a sign Jerry was feeling confident.
  19. Burningfool

    Burningfool Forum Resident

    Philadelphia, PA
    So great to revisit this one today. I had forgotten how much I loved this when I first bought it, back in the day. Time to go find the whole show to hear it as it happened.
  20. Archtop

    Archtop Soft Dead Crimson Cow

    I've noticed that Jerry does tend to vary the closing part of the riff; sometimes playing c a c c# d and sometimes playing c a c a d. I agree that the chromatic version is probably how it was composed/intended, but at least the latter is not a mistake, per se (although what you cited above sounds like a mistake in trying to do it the latter way). Considering what Phil is playing under that, either one works. But Jerry exhibits two common issues: 1)off on the timing/missing pieces of the riff; and 2) playing a g# instead of a g natural as the fourth note of the riff. Maybe he used a lydian b7 (which is effectively a combination of a lydian scale and a mixolydican scale) more than we know (elsewhere, I mean) and that scale shape got too ingrained in this case.
  21. Burningfool

    Burningfool Forum Resident

    Philadelphia, PA
    I posted this in the other GD thread, but just in case...

    Road Trips Vol. 2 No. 3 (Wall of Sound) reissue coming 5/14. Details here.
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  22. frightwigwam

    frightwigwam Talented Amateur

    Not that it's my absolute favorite, but I've probably listened to 5/22/77 more than any other Dead show. It seems to suit any mood or occasion; kind of mellow and often jazzy like '76, but tighter and more punchy; good jams but a nice selection of short songs. Great setlist. The whole show is worth repeated listens, but the abridged 2-CD version also works. I'd trade "Friend of the Devil" and "Peggy-O" for "Lazy Lightning>Supplication," but I can see why Dick had trouble passing on a Bob song that's also a Jerry jam. And since it wasn't on Dead Set, it must have been fun for a lot of people to hear a live version, unless you already had the Barton Hall tape.

    It really was one of Dick's favorites, too. He once wrote that Pembroke Pines "tears apart Ithaca. It rips it to shreds." Of course he was prone to hyperbole--he once told people there were "about 20 shows that would be better releases than 5/8/77, from the year 1977"--and maybe he was trying to make himself and others feel better about not having Barton Hall in the vault. But I prefer it to Barton Hall. A more appealing setlist, more variety in the performance.

    Most bands would be proud to have just one live album as good as this or Hundred Year Hall. The Dead put out both within a few months in 1995, and they were hardly scratching the surface of what they had in store. I wish that I had known someone then who could have told me, "You have to hear this," but, you know, all good things in all good time.
    Last edited: Apr 6, 2021
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  23. superstar19

    superstar19 NO RAGRETS

    Canton, MI, USA
    Dick's Picks Vol. 3 - Pembroke Pines, FL

    This was another one of my early Dead CDs. I don't think I got it right at release but probably some time in '96. At this point I was starting to get heavily into trading DATs and building up a nice collection of Dead shows. Like many others have already expressed this was quite a revelation for me. The series wasn't quite ready for a full show release and Dick did such a fantastic job of getting the meat of the show on 2 discs. The show is smoking from the get go with TMNS. I've always loved the Donna backed TMNS. I know she has her bashers, but I think she sounds great here and they really tear the finish up. I just love the buildup with the cascading crescendos. And then we get an all time Sugaree. I have a vivid memory of being in my 4x2 pickup truck in an ice storm with this playing and not really going anywhere so I was just able to really absorb the first disc.

    This was my first Lazy Lightning/Supplication, and wow, what an introduction. I find these to be such a highlight of the '77 shows. Then a disco Dancing which at the time I wasn't really familiar with the term, but hearing what Jer was laying down throughout this made this another one of my faves. The Help/Slip/Franklin's is an all-timer so not much I can add here that hasn't already been said. Samson & Delilah is a tune I've never been able to fully get into, but not much to find fault with this one. Love Jerry's leads throughout this, and Donna is blending in well with Bob's vocals. Sunrise was a "WTF?" moment the first time I heard it. Glad Dick included it. Now, we get to the meat of the 2nd disc. Big fan of the Estimated/Eyes from this era. For me, it's all about what Jerry is laying down especially the wah wah sound on estimated and the licks throughout Eyes. I really miss the Lady With a Fan section as I don't see how you can have one without the other, but Terrapin leads right into an epic Dew.

    Another one that Dick nailed. Of course I have the complete show now, but when you compare the full setlist, there's no doubt that Dick got the essential stuff on the release.
  24. Spazros

    Spazros Forum Resident

    Philadelphia, PA
    DP 3. This is some earnest singing on Wharf Rat. Always loved this release but never really paid attention to Wharf Rat until tonight. Hmmm. Show just gets better the more you listen to it and this thread continues to be a brilliantly fun idea.
  25. PhoffiFozz

    PhoffiFozz Forum Resident

    Chicago, IL, 60173
    This has actually been my favorite version of "Wharf Rat" for many years! I know it's easy to miss, but something about the way it flows, I love it.
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