Well, I finally received my copy of Three from the Vault today (hooray!). First off, the re-mastering is awesome! Really sounds great.
This was an interesting show on many levels (Micky's last show the day before, a slew of new songs). Total rocked out Dead. Lean and mean. No time for subtlety, just hard assed rock and roll here. A prelude to Skull and Roses. Billy really played his heart out on this show! Wow! There were times I think he overplayed a bit, but I think I can empathize (his bother had left and who knew when he would return?) He seemed to be trying to fill in all the space left by Micky. The MVP's of this show were (IMHO) Pigpen and Phil. Pig is in total command during his numbers. Phil is just sick throughout.
It's hard to really say much about Loser, Bertha, and Playin'. They sound much like they did the night before. It's unfair to criticize the performances as the band is still feeling their way around the songs.
Okay, so Truckin' takes a little bit to get truckin' but eventually they manage to get something going.
Cumberland is tight and fun, despite the lyrical flubs (who cares about missed lyrics at this point anyway? I just fill it in myself).
Dark Hollow is a nice little nugget. I don't think I've ever heard an electric version before.
The band throws out a stunted and perfunctory China, but they really get running during a spirited Rider.
The MVP of the first set is Pigpen. Man he is in great voice throughout, really pushing the band. It Hurts me Too and Smokestack are incredible. I've always thought the Dead's blues playing was as if really advanced and hip aliens from Alpha Centauri had learned to play the blues and genetically engineered Pigpen from the DNA of Lightnin' Hopkins and Odetta. Interstellar blues! I love Jerry's eerie hoots and whistles during Pigs rap in Smokestack.
Greatest Story and Deal are to new to really comment on. But Bird Song is a nice debut. Raw, but well performed.
Wharf Rat, on the other hand, seems as if it had been sprung Athena-like from the ether as a fully formed song. Sure it would become a bit more dynamic, but this performance, as well as the debut performance the night before, are brilliant. (The Wharf Rat on 2/18 comes out of Dark Star and goes into Beautiful Jam>Dark Star. Yeah.)
So, to continue, I actually like the JBG here. I've never really thought the boys ever did JBG justice, but this one is alright.
Easy wind is some more psychedelic-swamp blues. Very tasty grooves. Pig is in full command.
That's it For The Other One gets tasty during the Other One section. Phil is really on fire. This would be a good version to play for someone you want to turn on to the Dead.
Good Lovin' is fun. Pig's rap is funny, although he seems to run out of steam toward the end. Maybe a few minutes too long.
All in all, a decent release. Sound is stellar; can't ask for much better than this. A lot of green curios I probably won't listen to much, but a few kick ass bluesy performances I'll definitely return to!
Yo Soy Boricua!
After reading all the comments and replys. It seems you guys have really sold out. It's a real shame, and I'm sorry to say, that Jerry isn't stearing this ship anymore. I can imagine he's spinning like a top where ever he is.
iTunes only. Apple is the Beatles. They, that were left, should have done all they could to have Jobs and co. change the name in the very beginning. While I don't particully like Bill G. and his hold on OSs etc. I won't buy into i.... anything.
Everything I've learned is from The Grateful Dead and Buffy The Vampire Slayer.
It's all good Izzie. No problems getting the first release (1-1-77!). **it happens. I will survive.
Jeeze, REK. I'm sorry you've had to deal with this. I'll get this to the attention of the store folks, but that's all we can do here. Customer Service is supposed to be getting better, for what that's worth. Our admin folk here on this side of the house are as blown away as we are about the level of service at the Store.
Anything from 1979 to 1990 with Brent. Some Fantastic Years!
Customer service seems to be a thing of the past. I do realize the mods have no control, but just needed to get it off my chest. Calling customer service obviously didn't do anything. I am looking forward to hearing it though. More on topic, I'd love to get a listen to the Normanized Winterland Box.
That sucks, Rek. I hope you have 3FTV soon.
It's too bad there's no other way for folks to vent about the Store. Communication and customer service should be top priority for Rhino...To be fair, the Mods around here have no control over that part of the operation.
There have been some stellar releases over the years...I'm still waiting for the next one.
I can't tell you how unhappy I am with the current customer service. I happily preordered and paid for expedited shipping so I could receive it on June 26 (guaranteed on the preorder page). Along comes the 26th, and I anxiously awaited to no avail. Calling customer service was a joke. The phone rang for two minutes and then went to a busy signal. No voicemail, no please wait and we'll be right with you, no nothing. I tried calling four times with the same miserable results. I e-mailed twice, but to this day still no reply. I finally got someone on the phone late the next day. Seems like there are only two people working there...literally. No apology no nothing. The girl I talked to was clueless. She had no idea why my order hadn't shipped yet even though my card was charged on the 14th of June! Four days later, and still no VFTV III here in SoCal yet. I expected a lot more. The thing that pisses me off the most is the lack of customer service. This is a huge company we're talking about here not some mom and pop operation. If you can't handle the job, give it back to Music Today.
My general impression is yes, in some form anyway, but izzie and I have no solid information. When we do, we'll post it...
Does this mean that the download series will become available again through Dead.net?