Grateful Dead

Road Trips Vol. 4 No. 4

The Dead Conquer Philly on First 1982 Road Trips Release

It’s hard to believe that a year like 1982, which included so many excellent shows, has only been represented once on an authorized Grateful Dead release — Dick’s Picks 32 from the 8/7/82 Alpine Valley show. What gives? Who the hell knows? All we know is, that’s wrong and it’s time to make it right! Which brings us to the latest Road Trips selection — an indisputably fine show from that underrated year: the complete Philly Spectrum 4/6/82 concert, with a heapin’ helpin’ of the 4/5/82 Spectrum show to fill out this awesome three-disc set.

What, you may rightfully ask, is the big deal about this particular show? Oh, you’re full of questions, aren’t you? Well, let’s start with a rock-solid first set in which both Bob and Jerry are “on” from the get-go, singin’ their hearts out on a wide range of mostly uptempo tunes—“Cold Rain and Snow” > “Promised Land” is the pumped-up opening, and the set also contains sparkling versions of “Big Railroad Blues, “Jack-A-Roe,” “Might As Well,” “Mama Tried” > “Mexicali Blues,” “It’s All Over Now” and others. There’s barely time to take a breather. Those Philly fans always expected big things out of the boys when they came to town, so most Spectrum shows have some extra zip to them. Or maybe it’s because the band was fueled by cheesesteaks.

As is so often the case, however, the real fireworks come in the second set. It starts with a massively funky “Shakedown” that’s one of the best of this era, eases into a superb “Lost Sailor” > “Saint of Circumstance” (that combo was always a little richer in the second set), and then into an elegant “Terrapin” before the Rhythm Devils take over. Mickey and Bill have quite a duel, too, eventually ceding the stage for “space” and a rollicking “Truckin’” to start the back half of the set. A short but fiery “Other One” follows, and then that crashes into another stupendous “Morning Dew,” which totally lives up to the intense energy of the earlier proceedings. “Sugar Magnolia” is the joyous romp you always hope it will be, but then ol’ Jer leaves us on a note of dark mystery, with an inspired “It’s All Over Now, Baby Blue.”

Completing the discs are a few tunes from the previous night’s first set, including the rarely played “Deep Elem Blues” and Bob’s still-newish cover of “Man Smart, Woman Smarter,” plus a beautifully played chunk of the pre-“drums” second set from 4/5 that has “Bertha” rolling into “Playing in the Band,” which detours at “Ship of Fools,” before heading back to “Playing” territory; a very well done medley indeed.

All in all, it’s a lively and powerful dose of Dead from one of the band’s all-time favorite venues. So order your copy of the 3-CD Road Trips Vol. 4, No. 4 today! Needless to say, the sound is pristine, and mastered to HDCD specs. A colorful booklet with an essay and photos is part of the deal, too. But you already knew that. To check out what’s on each disc and to order, click here.

Blair Jackson

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Joined: Aug 13 2007
Any Word?

I was wondering if anyone received shipping notification yet for the Philly Road Trip

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Joined: May 18 2009
No notification for me yet...

...and didn't there used to be several pages of comments here. LOL. a glitch in the Matrix OoO

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Joined: Sep 11 2007
'75 Dead

My Road Trips proposal: a compilation of live and rehearsal material from Blues for Allah, an amazing record and surely one of the Dead's very best. I really don't think that record gets its due props. I'd like to see a 2-3 disc set with all of the less heralded '75 performances of the BFH material, especially Crazy Fingers, Blues for Allah and Stronger Than Dirt. And I would bet there is more rehearsal gold to be heard. I guess some of this has dribbled out on bonus discs, but we know how that turned out for many.... I see a nice merchanding opportunity here for Rhino, hello? And later on I think it is getting time again for the vault masters to find us a killer '76 show with the big BFH suite. Thanks

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Joined: Nov 7 2010
Don't hold breath

The correlation between receipt of shipping notification and actual shipment of Road Trips releases is tenuous. You will receive both a notification and the release, but not necessarily in any kind of logical sequence.

Danc--Amen to more BFA era releases. Help>Slip>Franklin's is one of my favorite pieces of music by this band. Those early versions are always interesting. I think they reached a peak with that suite in '77--the DP 3 version being one of my favorites.

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Joined: Aug 13 2007
True

Some of us will probably get the shipment before the email

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Joined: Jan 24 2008
Broken Up Setlists

My only dislike is that they broke up the two different nights across the last 2 discs. Which means if you play the disc all the way through you're jumping from night to night. Everything is then out of context. Add a 4th disc and keep the shows in order please.

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Joined: Oct 12 2009
ROAD TRIPS

SHOULD SHIP TODAY ON JERRY BDAY?

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Joined: Jul 15 2010
CaptD

I imagine that TPTB don't worry too much about "filler" screwing up the sequencing of discs since many (most?) people either reorder them on iTunes, on their computer, or perhaps just reburn the discs the way they want. All they are trying to do, IMO, is give you more music on each disc.

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Joined: Jun 4 2007
shipping

just got my shipping notice.

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Joined: Aug 13 2007
And One...

Yep, me too

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Road Trips Vol. 4 No. 4