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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Joined: Jun 7 2007
coming out party

More than anything this was a coming out party for the Dead's own record label to the heads at home. Early entrants to Winterland were treated to posters, matches, rolling papers with the the logo's from the album. I still have the matches and the 4 x 4 fisherman.

Steve-O's picture
Joined: Jun 4 2007
Black-Throated Wind!!!!!

I'm with gratefulmom. I love that tune. Bob rocks!!!!

Marshun's picture
Joined: Jun 5 2007
The Weather Report

is gorgeous!

"So swift and bright,
Strange figures of light
Float in air"

Robert Hunter

SouthsideStrut's picture
Joined: Jul 3 2007
just wondering

has anyone else noticed that hair coloring ad called touch of gray.
funny stuff

skenisahen's picture
Joined: Jun 4 2007

Mr. Pid - Nice one!

| I'm just a, well...porpoise. |

hippie_pat's picture
Joined: Aug 24 2007
weather report

Nice Tico Tico at the end of Weather Report!

Joined: Oct 10 2007


josh e bear's picture
Joined: Feb 29 2008
we'll see summer come again

thanks again for tasty eargazzzam picks, david

lovin it in Portland, Or

Josh E Bear !!

sjbutler's picture
Joined: Nov 27 2007
Worth the wait!

Hey_Bob, you were right...this one was definitely worth the wait! I'm coming to the end of the bonus disc and ready to jump right into 11/9. I'm at work and having to listen to it on tinny little computer speakers and it *still* sounds good...but I can't wait to get home, slap on the headphones, and smile, smile, smile.

The packaging is fantastic, and the "extras" are a very cool touch. Despite a lot of grumbling on these boards, I think this one was worth every penny and I can't wait to see what they come up with next!

Joined: Jul 20 2007
Thanks Marye

All fixed!!


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