Grateful Dead

Dave's Picks Volume 2

Dave's Picks Volume 2
July 31, 1974

Check out the
Subscriber's Only
Bonus Disc Cover.

Dave’s Picks Volume 2 is officially SOLD OUT.

Stay tuned for an upcoming seaside chat with David Lemieux as part of our Dave’s Picks series.


We warned you. We said there was a chance that the limited edition Dave’s Picks releases could sell out. And sure enough, Volume 1 is a goner. No copies left. (OK, even we were a little surprised it sold out so quickly.)

Which brings us to Dave’s Picks, Volume 2. The thousands of you who bought the full-year Dave’s Picks subscription have nothing to worry about. Your CDs (and the bonus disc that comes with this one for subscribers) will be winging their way to you shortly. But NOW is the time when all you other good people who are interested in purchasing this potent slice of Dead history can submit your orders.

The show in question is a three-set wonder from Hartford’s Dillon Stadium during the heart of the Wall of Sound era, July 31, 1974, four days after the release of the Dead’s fine Mars Hotel album. Dwarfed by the Wall’s irregular columns of speakers on a hot and humid Wednesday afternoon, the band thrilled the sold-out crowd of 20,000 with a far-ranging collection of tunes and jams that showed how far they’d come as musicians, songwriters and interpreters of others’ songs in their decade together.

The 12-song first set kicks off with the still-new “Scarlet Begonias” (opening a show for the first of just three times in the Dead’s entire history), and includes such other early ’70s favorites as “Jack Straw,” “Brown-Eyed Women,” a pairing of “Mississippi Half-Step” and “Must’ve Been the Roses” and “Row Jimmy.” The '73-’74 versions of “China Cat Sunflower” > “I Know You Rider” have a unique character, and this one exemplifies that nicely.

Things start to open up a bit more in the second set. An expansive “Eyes of the World” is partnered with a particularly fragile “China Doll” mid-set, and the concluding take on the complete “Weather Report Suite” is filled with impressive shifts in dynamics and purposeful jamming during a 12-minute “Let It Grow.” That set also has a good “Big River” and an excellent “Ship of Fools” (another new song that year).

Set Three starts with a couple of short selections, hits an early emotional peak with one of the better versions of “To Lay Me Down” from that era, and then really goes into gear with the onset of “Truckin’,” so often a gateway to wondrous possibilities. This one rumbles and wanders and flits and crashes and dashes all over the place during a half-hour exploration that includes what is popularly called the “Mind Left Body” jam and a full-blown Spanish jam, before eventually winding up at the docks for a deep “Wharf Rat.” The set closer, “U.S. Blues,” was one of the anchors of the Mars Hotel album (and an FM radio hit at the time); a perfect summer anthem.

All Dave’s Picks releases are mastered to HDCD specs from the original vault tapes by Jeffrey Norman, and include a booklet containing an essay about the show and period photos. The Digipak is made of 100% recycled and PCW materials on heavier paper stock due to high demand. The limited edition consists of 12,000 numbered copies.

— Blair Jackson

David Lemieux sits down for a seaside chat about his favorite moments on Dave's Picks, Volume 2: Dillon Stadium, Hartford, CT - 7/31/74 and sheds a little light on how Dave's Picks are selected. Watch the video here:


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Dead Ahead's picture
Joined: Jul 20 2007

For new units, Oppo is one to look at as Cosmic mentioned. All of their's support it so look at the low end models for the best price. I have read that Marantz makes a good inexpensive model, but do not have personal experience with them as I do with Oppo.

cosmicbadger's picture
Joined: Jun 13 2007

Go to ebay and find a used NAD C541i or C542. Amazing quality for the wont find anything better.

Another choice would be a used Denon 2910 (but the NAD sounds much better)

New systems at a budget price are hard to find, but OPPO is supposed to be good for the price

good luck

Joined: Jul 9 2007


My set arrived yesterday. It came via UPS not USPS as the tracking link in the shipping email would indicate. It took almost ten days to arrive which is amazing considering I live near a major city in the US. I don't understand the mechanics of it ... it just is.

That said, I think this release is great. It's a significant upgrade to the copy I had.

chilly1214's picture
Joined: Nov 19 2010
Arrived in South Australia

Thanks. This is a gem! Big smiles across my face!!

frankparry's picture
Joined: Jun 8 2007
Arrived in the UK

Got mine a few days ago and listened to the Bonus disc first - am I alone in thinking the Weather Report Suite on that is one of the best they've done?
DP2 was packed in the same kind of box as the first with airbag protectors which ensured that the long journey didn't take its toll on the disc. Last time I had to pay a high duty, but this time not. Maybe because the value was written on the customs slip this time or maybe it just slipped under the radar. Whatever, I'm glad I didn't have to pay extra.
I've got a sneaking feeling that we'll get an 80s next time - I guess only time will tell.

Joined: May 15 2012
HDCD player

I am really enjoying these releases so much but would be enjoying them better from my home theater system vs. my computer speakers or car. I do have a nice set of bose headphones but i want to experience the true HDCD. Anyone know of a list of players that will play HDCD's for someone on a budget? Any and all suggestions would be greatly appreciated!

claney's picture
Joined: Jul 20 2007
China Doll test

Wilfred - try Firefox if not already using it...

I am finally loving DaP2.. Listened to disc one in my car, not friendly to WoS keyboard heavy vocal ugh-ness. Now listening to disc two at home on headphones, aaaaah, so nice. This is a headphone show.

Seems like China Doll may be a litmus test for how one feels about this release. After all the negative reviews here, I braced myself, but lo and behold, I think this is a gorgeous and exploratory version. Jerry's singing is emotive, careful, the playing is beautiful (is it tight, well no, it's China Doll!). One man's sloppy is another man's exploratory I guess...

marye's picture
Joined: May 26 2007
we seem

to be unable to reproduce the problem. It seems to be confined to some, but definitely not all, Windows/IE users, and we cannot make the problem happen ourselves, as it were. I have passed along the details from the people who have reported the issue, but there have not been too many of them, which makes this hard to troubleshoot.

wilfredtjones's picture
Joined: Jun 4 2007

Does not work still...please check on it...thanks!

Joined: Nov 11 2007
Nothing here yet...

I'm wondering how many have not received Vol 2 yet. So far, I haven't. I do hope it arrives soon...


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