Grateful Dead

April 7 - April 13, 2008

Tapers Section By David Lemieux

Extra! Extra! Read all about it! This is a special Tapers Section focused on the Winterland 1973 release. Our scheduled Tapers Section that was originally slotted for this week (and it's a great one, by the way!) has been moved back to the week of June 23-29, so be sure to check in then for some great early-April Grateful Dead music. But, we've been so excited about the Winterland 1973 release that we wanted to do something a little special for this monster boxed set.

As some of you might recall, the Winterland box was originally planned for an April, 2006 release, but, as is standard in the Grateful Dead world, things get in the way, other projects come up, and things get put on the back-burner (hey, Three From The Vault took more than 10 years to come out, so this isn't too bad...). Despite the delay, we always knew it would come out, but the results are way beyond our very high expectations. Taking our time and utilizing Rhino's well-known skills and abilities to produce exquisite packaging, to go along with what we already knew were exceptional performances mastered in HDCD by Jeffrey Norman (plus a restoration process that makes these the best-sounding 1973 recordings you'll ever hear) made the wait worthwhile. This truly is the complete package, with every detail being just exactly perfectly. Above everything, of course, is the music. So, without further ado, let's get on to some listening.

So, the music... Our first selection from the boxed set is the Playing In The Band from 11/9/73, the Friday night show. As you may have noticed if you've been checking in to the Tapers Section these past 18 months, I love Playing In The Band from 1972-1974, and I'm certainly not alone. Although the next night contained the famous Playing sandwich with all that great music in between, this is a terrific stand-alone version. This show has often been overshadowed by the next two nights, but it certainly will be re-evaluated as a solid peer to the 10th and 11th with the release of this boxed set.

Our next cut is from 11/10/73, the majestic Weather Report Suite. Like Playing In The Band, this is a tune that, to these ears, could do no wrong in 1973. Remember, folks, these shows took place only three weeks after the release of Wake of the Flood, with Weather Report Suite being almost as new. But, all three (3!) versions of this jam in the boxed set feel as though the band had been playing this tune since the band's inception. Certainly one of the songs that makes 1973 so great, as it could act as either a stand-alone first set closer, or the springboard for an epic second set jam.

Lastly this week, in honour of the new Winterland 1973 boxed set, we have a couple of tracks from the final night, the classic 11/11/73, widely considered one of the greatest shows in a great year, with a truly stunning Dark Star to cap the run off in style. From the first set of this great night at Winterland, we have two songs played beautifully in 1973: Sugaree and Black-Throated Wind. Also, from the second set, we have the opening song, Mississippi Half-Step Uptown Toodeloo. when you get the boxed set, don't forget to listen to what comes just a couple of songs later (yes, dark star>Eyes>China Doll...).

Now, as you probably know by now, the boxed set comes with a tasty bonus CD of music from 12/4/73 in Cincinnati and some cool packaging. Very cool, actually. But, above all that, and to complement the absolute stellar quality of the performances, Jeffrey Norman and his crack restoration team have done incredible work with these tapes to make them sound WAY better than any two-track recording you've ever heard from 1973. This isn't a sales pitch (when have you ever heard me make a sales pitch here...). Rather, from one Dead Head to another, this boxed set is so good, I just want everyone to hear it. I'm excited. What can I say.

Well, there you have it. Our first ever project-specific Tapers Section. Next week, back to our regularly scheduled great-tunes-from-the-appropriate-week format. Thanks for listening.

David Lemieux


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myeviltwin's picture
Joined: Jun 6 2007
thanks for the taste

No sales pitch, because the music sells itself. Sounds great even on my little PC speakers. Beautifully engineered, as usual. Listening to the Playing right now. Nice ferocious excursion into space. Dead Base lists this as the last song of a 17 song first set. And the energy is still over the top. Must have been some strong coffee.

Joined: Apr 11 2008
Dead Show frpm my birthday

Does anyone have the Show from 10.02.80. That was the day that I was born and I have been trying to track it down forever.

JeremyP's picture
Joined: Jun 7 2007
Save to PC

Windy city rebel

Why mp3? Why not save it in lossless wma, and you can still play it in Windows Media Player or whatever. Or in flac, for Winamp? Me, I have my collection of over 1000 shows stored on an array of discs on my PC, in lossless wma, so I can give people kisher copies should they want them. Don't use mp3 unless you have to - of course, it is fine for cars & portable devices, as the sound output is never going to be that great - but keep it lossless on your PC.

This has been a Public Service announcement

windy_city_rebel's picture
Joined: Jun 14 2007
Weather report...

Dam i wish Jerry was still here...This sounds awsome.Does anyone know where i can find this in mp3 or a way i can save this to my pc?

cactuswax's picture
Joined: Jun 7 2007
more Winterland

Hey everybody-
For those of you who haven't got it yet, I'll be playing big chunks of this box set on my radio show tonight, 10pm-midnight (Detroit time) at ...and I'll be sure to play different selections than those highlighted on this week's Taper's Section...

IntoAshes's picture
Joined: Jun 11 2007

I got mine a week ago and have been in heaven. 11/11 has long been in my top 5 shows of all time, but I hadn't heard the other two nights. I'm so grateful that I now have, and in such sublime sound that I almost have trouble believing this is a two track recording. Keep up the good work with the picks and the end product. Worth the wait!

Meeko's picture
Joined: Jun 5 2007

I got it last Saturday, and have been listening every day. This was a beautiful release. Music, packaging, the whole deal. The Dark Star>Eyes>China Doll is just sublime. Dark Star @ 35 minutes seems like 15, that's how good it is. This is why I've been listening to these guys for 36 years.They transport you to a beautiful place. There is no one like them. Great job by all concerned.


Joined: Sep 11 2007
Just Ordered

I just ordered the set...can't wait for arrival. Thanks for the teaser! :)

smallz's picture
Joined: Jun 4 2007
Love the new box set!

Love the new box set! Thanks to all at GDP and Rhino for putting this incredible package together. The sound is immaculate, the artwork is exquisite, the music is superb...who could ask for anything more?

I believe the TS selections this week, although outstanding in their own right, should not have come from the box set. Please continue to put up songs/jams that have not been included in any formal release. I much rather would have heard some selections from the rest of the fall '73 tour and be kept in suspense regarding the tracks on this box set.

Joined: Sep 4 2007

The Playin in the band s that we are used to hearing from 1973 , and i probably speak for many a dead head are the Keesar 5.26 . The Pauley Pav 11.17 . Dicks 1 . And and odd one or two from October ( Omaha , Madison ] . My point is that the depth and wealth of the box set are very big . The Playin that we hear this week , is very diostinctive of the late 1973 Playins . The band , and Keith come in slowly but surely with their contributions . And Jerry wails on the Wah .

After 1975 we got the Envelope wah instead of the traditional Wah pedal in Jerry s rig , and therefore as well different methods / tecniques for Playin the guitar ( as far as J G ] .

The Playin is extermely busy at around the 7 minute mark . Very reminiscent of the Kezar version . The band is very loose .

Its intruiguing to know that int eh grateful Dead Gear book by B Jackson , we are filled in with the fact that on 12.2.73 Boston Music hall the band set up with almost the entire wall of sound , as the venues layout permitted that type of PA .

Great year everyone , and great idea to dive into this new GD product , where else but here in this place . The TS


p.s. An added insight would be that we are in the beautiful well deserved position of having been given this musical gift to us [ it costs 99 USD , that s a small detail ] . I hope that we can continue being considered - as audience - these types of releases . As they get us closer to the greatness that was , is and always be this band


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