March 29 - April 4, 2010
Welcome back to the Tapers’ Section. Our focus here will continue to be unreleased Grateful Dead music for the most part, but occasionally we come across some music on commercially released CDs that we’d forgotten how good it was, so we’ll play it for you here.
First up this week is a piece of music from the exceptional, and currently out of print Rare Cuts and Oddities 1966 album. You’re probably familiar with that album’s background, but a quick refresher in case not: in 2002, Bear was in Marin County and stopped by the studio and vault. While in the vault, he pointed to a couple of boxes and asked if I’d checked them out, and as they were clearly marked as Bear’s, I told I had not. He told me I should check them out when he was gone, and as soon as that door closed, I opened them up and found a dozen reels from 1966, some live and some rehearsal. There was a lot of great music in there, and we selected the very best to include on the Rare Cuts CD. So, from that great little album we are very pleased to present the earliest known Grateful Dead version of Promised Land, which is not only played great, but features none other than Jerry on lead vocals. Another great piece of music from that album is this studio version of Cream Puff War , with a completely different chorus, both musically and lyrically, than that which would appear on the Dead’s first album in early 1967. As much as I love the officially released version, I think this one is its equal in terms of a great little song.
Next up, from 5/15/80 at Nassau Coliseum, we have a beautiful High Time. This is from the Go To Nassau CD, mixed from crisply-recorded 24-track analog master tapes. That is one mighty fine, high-energy album from a very good tour, if you haven’t yet checked it out. Loads of great stuff on there.
From seven years later at one of the Dylan and the Dead shows in 1987, we have this peppy, exploratory Bird Song from Anaheim Stadium on 7/26/87. This is part of the two-show DVD/CD View From The Vault Volume 4, an album that is filled with little in the way of huge jams, but loads of powerful, extremely well-played, inspired 1987 Grateful Dead music.
Finally this week, from 4/2/89 in Pittsburgh at the soon-to-be-closed Civic Arena, we have the second set opening Shakedown Street. I distinctly recall dancing on Phil’s side, up the blue line, about 10 rows off the floor during this Shakedown Street, with a random fellow beside me screaming in my ear “just gotta smoke a pound” during the “just gotta poke around” chorus. Thanks for the memories, buddy…
Be sure to check back next week when we’ll have more great music, drawn from the world of unreleased Dead, from 1974 and 1990. Thanks for stopping by, and feel free to write to the email address below with questions, comments or suggestions.