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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marye's picture
Joined: May 26 2007
Weather Report

should be fixed now. Please speak up if you continue to have difficulties with it!

hey_bob's picture
Joined: Oct 26 2007
worth the wait

the box set is gonna tickle your ears, sjbutler - great packaging with a little surprise inside - like cracker jack only better!!! and the music - mmmmm - mmmmm - yummmmm! Its a savory treat for freaks to feast upon. Thanks for putting these in this weeks Taper Section, David.

sjbutler's picture
Joined: Nov 27 2007
This is torture...

The wait, not the music! UPS shows that my Winterland '73 is "out for delivery" today and I'm now I'm playing that waiting game until the big brown truck arrives. At least I have these great excerpts to keep me distracted...

Next time I'm definitely going with the "expedited" shipping option.

Joined: Jun 5 2007

Excited to hear this.

Mr. Pid's picture
Joined: Dec 22 2007
Weather Retort, Sweet

Black URL, live again!

Conversation is always more interesting than recitation, so speak your mind and not someone else's.

skenisahen's picture
Joined: Jun 4 2007
Weather Report Suite

Well, I'm cranky as "F" this morning and I called out, "Why?!?! Why can't I hear the Weather Report Suite?!?!"

The answer came: The Wind and Rain

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

WalpoleChinaCat's picture
Joined: Jun 7 2007
Weather Report Suite

It appears that Weather Report Suite is not working on the player The URL link was not found

mcthwait's picture
Joined: Jul 2 2007
listening party

the link says the listening party is over. Is there any way that can be turned back on.
Thanks for the other tunes and for the tapers section

Joined: Jul 20 2007
Sweet morning

Love the Black-Throated Wind

Have a grate day

bermanart's picture
Joined: Jun 8 2007
Weather Report Suite Missing

Check the link.
Weather Report Suite is not available to listen to.


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