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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Joined: Mar 22 2008
Amen Zuckfun!! No one loves

Amen Zuckfun!! No one loves their fans more than the Grateful Dead. We must always keep that in perspective. They don't have to release another show, but we sure appreciate it when hey do. We still get the choice to buy 'em or pass and let someone else enjoy what we don't need.

Joined: Mar 18 2010
Searching for the sound

How many shows are left in the Vault that are must haves? For me, there are hundreds more. There's nothing like Normanized glory. Every show that is beautifully mastered and mixed professionally for our listening pleasure is a must have. A perfect example is the first Dave's Picks. The Mosque show circulated in great quality for years prior to it's release. And now this show sparkles like never before. Of course we all want the most thrilling performances. How many of the finest Dead shows remain to be released? I would guess there are many more. On a side note, I counted up every archival release- somewhere over 350 total cd's. Nobody loves their fans the way the Grateful Dead do.

cmd's picture
Joined: Nov 4 2010
Future releases

What's left? 12/01/79 !

Joined: Mar 22 2008
Actually I have found what I

Actually I have found what I am looking for in terms of Dead releases (and in life). There are several of them in my collection. My assessment of the situation doesn't make me jaded or anything like that. I just know what I like. If we all liked and enjoyed everything in life how fun would that be? And I do agree that things don't have to be perfect. I just would not have picked this particular show, but then again what do I know. I did give the show a second listen today. I figured out that I have been under the influence of E72 for the 40th run that in my mind I was not expecting a laid back show. And this is a laid back kind of show. Today I was in one of those moods so I am feeling better about this release.

I second that vote for '73 Watkins Glen release!!

Yeti_UK's picture
Joined: Mar 21 2008
postage moan (yet another...)

Very happy with the vibes. the bonus WRS almost (almost) ranks with the Ally Pally one from Dicks vol 7.

However, cue usual europe side of the pond curse, the shipping charge is painful. After being charged £16 extra for delivery of Daves 1, I wrote to the forum and Marye suggested i contact rhino to see if things could be done as id already paid the international postage charge.

I did, and things changed This time the shipping tax was £23.

Oh boy...

Not sure why they have to use such a huge ups box as that seems to be the cause.

Here's to volume 3 and an extra £30!

as for suggested shows, more with bruce hornsby as it's great listening to another lead player.

On a wider note, if anyone wants to hear another great space jamming band check out the Oresund Space Collective. it doesnt 'sound' like the Dead, but the emotional response is kind of the same.

keep 'em coming

leedesj's picture
Joined: Feb 2 2011

i am also trying to listen to selections from each E72 show on or near its 40th aniv date, im in the middle of bickershaw now, running a bit behind of course

jerry's tenn jed intro is funny: this is a song about the great state of tennessee... where jack daniels comes from

and bobby at the beginning of the 2nd set: get off the f#*king towers, we dont want a bloomin' catastrophe

oh and the music is good too

Deadicated's picture
Joined: Jun 4 2007
Much as I

want to listen to Dave's Picks Dos, my plate is full of Europe '72. But I know that 7/31/74 is a very good show and, no doubt, the sound is probably much improved. Should you be a subscriber, you know that the bonus disc has the jams - well done Dave. In fact, 7/29/74 might just be the better show, no?

Don't dis the China Doll - for some reason the transition from the jam was hit or miss in '74.

leedesj's picture
Joined: Feb 2 2011
china doll

the thing with this china doll is that it got started way too fast, in many cases if you start a tune at the wrong tempo, it's a good idea to make the best of it, keep it steady and try to mine it for new textures in that tune

but in hindsight this one shoulda probably slowed down before the singing started

but i love this release for many reasons including that i, like many of you, had one of the worst sounding aud. tapes imaginable for this show (1st set), in spite of the typical 74 "sharp edges" it sure sounds good now, thanks

gratefaldean's picture
Joined: Jun 22 2007
One really long first set?

I saw that comment a ways back here, and it made me smile, as I was thinking something very similar. The difference may be that for me, this is one really good really long first set. Sometimes it's nice just to enjoy the songs for the sake of the songs, isn't it? And in this case, with the exception of China Doll (never one of my favorites regardless), it's a clunker-free really long first set. Now if I can just figure out how to keep some of the WOS vocals from dicing my ears and brain into little pieces...very sharp edges, there.

Joined: Nov 2 2010
Another great show from '74

The show is not what I would consider boring but rather a spectacle and that is nothing new coming from 1974. Sure it may lack some in the jam element but there are very good renditons of many of the songs including a smoking China Cat > I Know You Rider, Miss. Half Step, Eyes of the World, Truckin', and WRS to name a few. Not to mention it is a complete show (minus Seastones) in comparison to the other releases available. The thing about 1974 is that it is such a versatile year from 2/23-2/24, 5/19, 6/16, 6/18, 6/26, 6/28, 7/19, 7/31, 10/16-10/20/74 to name a few leaving us with so much to choose from it is hard to satisfy everyone with one release.


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