Grateful Dead

Spring 1990, Volume One Box - SOLD OUT

sku: 375490

Digital Download

What's Inside:
60 page hardcover Smyth-Sewn book featuring essays by Dennis McNally, David Lemieux, and Blair Jackson and photos by Jim Anderson & Mike Laurentis
25th Anniversary Tour Program
Official Band Letters
6 Ticket Stubs
6 Cloth Sticker Backstage Passes
1 Tour Laminate
Official 1990 Band publicity shot
6 complete shows on 18 discs
       3/16/90 Capital Center, Landover, MD
       3/19/90 Civic Center, Hartford, CT
       3/22/90 Copps Coliseum, Hamilton, ON, Canada
       3/26/90 Knickerbocker Arena, Albany, NY
       3/30/90 Nassau Coliseum, Uniondale, NY
       4/2/90 The Omni, Atlanta, GA

Box Dimensions: 12-1/8" x 3-1/8" x 12-1/8"
Recorded and Mixed Live by John Cutler
Mastered by Jeffrey Norman in HDCD
Original art by Wes Lang
Individually Numbered, Limited Edition of 9,000

Introducing The Next Box: Spring 1990!

And now for something a little different. This year's box set - Grateful Dead: Spring 1990 - offers six complete shows from the epic spring '90 tour, one concert from each city the band played, personally selected by Dead vaultmeister and archival release producer David Lemieux. The sizzling six are: 3/16/90 Capital Centre (Landover , MD), 3/19/90 Hartford Civic Center, 3/22/90 Copps Coliseum (Hamilton, Ontario), 3/26/90 Knickerbocker Arena (Albany, NY), 3/30/90 Nassau Coliseum (Uniondale, NY) and 4/2/90 The Omni (Atlanta, GA).

In his "Producer's Note" in the beautiful book that is part of the box, Lemieux, who attended the first 10 shows on the tour, states, "To my ears this was the last tour that was consistently great, where every show is excellent, not a dud in the bunch." And Grateful Dead historian Dennis McNally's comprehensive and informative insider's essay in the box is titled "The Last Great Dead Tour." These guys know what they're talking about.

Basically, the band had been on an upward trajectory since Garcia's return to the road in the spring of '87, following his near-death the previous summer. Of course, 1987 was a trip in itself, what with the unexpected mega-success of In the Dark and their first hit single, "Touch of Grey." But the momentum just kept building with each subsequent tour, as Garcia got back up to full speed (and then some!) and the group as a whole was as unified as they had ever been since Brent joined the band in the spring of '79. New original tunes were popping up and the old favorites were imbued with a freshness and spirit that was so uplifting and inspiring. The band was having fun again, and it was downright infectious.

The group's fall 1989 shows-as documented two years ago on the Formerly the Warlocks box (two shows from Hampton, VA, 10/8-9/89) and on the 2001 release Nightfall of Diamonds (a single night in NJ, 10/16/89)- kicked the energy level up another couple of notches, as the band reintroduced such loved classics as "Help on the Way" > "Slipknot!," "Attics of My Life," "Death Don't Have No Mercy" and "Dark Star."

And when the band hit the road in mid-March 1990, they had a bunch of other cool tunes to lay on their unsuspecting crowds, including the return of "Loose Lucy" (last played in 1974; it's not on this box), Brent's "Easy to Love You" (missing since 1980), a rollicking cover of the Rolling Stones' "The Last Time," The Band's "The Weight" (with all four singers taking a verse each) and a lyrically retooled "Black-Throated Wind" (absent since 1974), which elicited huge cheers every time it was played.

Over these six shows, most of the cornerstones of the Dead's repertoire from the era appear-splendid versions of "Scarlet Begonias" > "Fire on the Mountain," "China Cat Sunflower" > "I Know You Rider," "Playing in the Band," "Uncle John's Band," "Eyes of the World," "Estimated Prophet," "Truckin'," "Sugar Magnolia," "The Other One," "Terrapin," "Stella Blue," "Feel Like a Stranger," "Bird Song," "Let It Grow," "China Doll," "Box of Rain," "Morning Dew"; you name it. From the fall '89 breakouts come "Help-Slip-Frank," "Attics of My Life" and "Death Don't Have No Mercy." Among the still newish tunes are "Picasso Moon," "Blow Away," "Foolish Heart," "Just a Little Light," "Victim or the Crime," "Standing on the Moon," "We Can Run" and a couple that would get their final plays from the Grateful Dead on this tour-"Built to Last" and "Believe It or Not." There are stirring renditions of "Dear Mr. Fantasy" and "Black Muddy River," rockin' takes on "Gimme Some Lovin'" and "Iko Iko" and the only version of the full "Hey Jude" the band attempted in the modern era. And the "Rhythm Devils" and "Space" jams at the heart of each second set are as noisy-beautiful-scary-funny-intense-mysterious-wild as you'd expect/hope for.

Of course, we understand that some of you may have other favorite shows from this tour you wish were included on this box. Really, you can't go wrong with any of them. But at 18 discs, this is still the second largest Grateful Dead box (after Europe '72: The Complete Recordings) that's been released, and the non-inclusion of any other shows from the tour definitely does not preclude their future release! But this seemed like a more manageable way to go, while still giving a sense of the tour's amazing depth and breadth.

Besides the discs themselves, Grateful Dead: Spring 1990 has much to offer, including: a gorgeous 60-page hardcover book containing copious color photos by Jim Anderson and Michael Laurentus, unique artwork by Brooklyn-based fine artist Wes Lang, fascinating business letters and communications related to the tour, a detailed historical essay by Dennis McNally, a Producer's Note by David Lemieux and individual show descriptions by Blair Jackson; a reproduction of the Dead's 1990 tour program (printed and sold later in '90, for the fall and Europe '90 tours); tickets and backstage passes of all six shows; a band publicity photo from 1990 by Ken Friedman; Dennis McNally's tour laminate; and reproductions of the colored 8x10 sheets GDTS sent out with hotel, food and other information for each city on the tour.

With recordings made by longtime Grateful Dead recordist and producer John Cutler, mastered by Jeffrey Norman in HDCD, you just know it's gonna sound great-and it does!

So, that's the skinny this time 'round. This box is limited to just 9,000 numbered copies - please note, this is the only time these shows will ever be officially available on CD. There will not be an All Music Edition and single shows will not be available physically. Due to ship out August 31st, we anticipate that this extraordinary set will sell-out, so order your copy today!

If you're looking for more of a bite-sized taste of the '90s, Spring 1990: So Glad You Made It, a 2-CD set featuring a handful of favorites, will be in stores on September 18th.

-Blair Jackson

Listening Party

4/2/90, The Omni, Atlanta, GA

Foolish Heart>
Looks Like Rain>
He's Gone>
The Last Time

Click here for an archive of past Spring 1990 Listening Parties.

Spring 1990: A Look Inside The Box

Bob Remembers Spring 1990

David Lemieux on What’s Inside Spring 1990


Show #1
Capital Center, Landover, Md (3/16/90)

Disc 1
1. Let The Good Times Roll> [4:11]
2. Touch Of Grey [6:28]
3. New Minglewood Blues [7:44]
4. Peggy-O [6:34]
5. Queen Jane Approximately [6:15]
6. Loser [7:22]
7. Black-Throated Wind [6:03]
8. Bird Song [14:23]
9. Blow Away [12:02]

Disc 2
1. Scarlet Begonias> [11:21]
2. Estimated Prophet> [11:04]
3. Ship Of Fools> [7:39]
4. Man Smart, Woman Smarter> [6:55]
5. Jam> [5:24]
6. Rhythm Devils [9:37]

Disc 3
1. Space> [10:42]
2. The Other One> [6:55]
3. Stella Blue> [8:49]
4. Sugar Magnolia [9:16]
5. The Last Time [5:19]

Show #2
Civic Center, Hartford, Ct (3/19/90)

Disc 1
1. Hell In A Bucket> [6:43]
2. Bertha [7:10]
3. We Can Run [7:05]
4. Jack-A-Roe [5:13]
5. Picasso Moon [7:41]
6. Brown-Eyed Women [5:59]
7. It's All Over Now> [7:25]
8. Deal [8:41]

Disc 2
1. Box Of Rain [5:27]
2. Foolish Heart> [11:35]
3. Playing In The Band> [8:32]
4. Eyes Of The World> [14:41]
5. Rhythm Devils [10:26]

Disc 3
1. Space> [10:52]
2. China Doll> [6:13]
3. Gimme Some Lovin'> [4:31]
4. Goin' Down The Road Feeling Bad> [6:55]
5. Around And Around [6:36]
6. Brokedown Palace [5:48]

Show #3
Copps Coliseum, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada (3/22/90)

Disc 1
1. Feel Like A Stranger [8:12]
2. West L. A. Fadeaway [7:41]
3. Easy To Love You [6:14]
4. Beat It On Down The Line [3:34]
5. It Must Have Been The Roses [6:29]
6. The Last Time [5:40]
7. Picasso Moon [7:07]
8. Don't Ease Me In [3:30]

Disc 2
1. Scarlet Begonias> [8:30]
2. Fire On The Mountain [11:44]
3. Samson And Delilah [6:51]
4. Believe It Or Not [6:32]
5. Truckin'> [11:04]
6. Rhythm Devils [11:36]

Disc 3
1. Space> [8:14]
2. The Other One> [6:42]
3. Hey Jude> [4:53]
4. Dear Mr. Fantasy> [3:58]
5. Hey Jude> [4:31]
6. Sugar Magnolia [8:45]
7. It's All Over Now, Baby Blue [7:10]

Show #4
Knickerbocker Arena, Albany Ny (3/26/90)

Disc 1
1. Hell In A Bucket [6:53]
2. Dupree's Diamond Blues [6:08]
3. Just A Little Light [5:15]
4. Black-Throated Wind [6:32]
5. Big Railroad Blues [4:40]
6. Picasso Moon [7:17]
7. Row Jimmy [10:53]
8. Blow Away [11:31]

Disc 2
1. Built To Last [5:29]
2. Victim Or The Crime> [9:56]
3. China Cat Sunflower> [5:45]
4. I Know You Rider> [5:24]
5. Man Smart, Woman Smarter> [6:14]
6. Rhythm Devils [11:21]

Disc 3
1. Space> [8:29]
2. I Need A Miracle> [4:03]
3. Dear Mr. Fantasy> [5:20]
4. Gimme Some Lovin'> [5:09]
5. Morning Dew [11:57]
6. Brokedown Palace [5:37]

Bonus Tracks From 3/24/90 Albany
7. Let The Good Times Roll> [4:01]
8. Help On The Way> [4:05]
9. Slipknot!> [3:50]
10. Franklin's Tower [8:04]
11. Loser [7:30]
12. Tennessee Jed [7:53]

Show #5
Nassau Coliseum, Uniondale, Ny (3/30/90)

Disc 1
1. Help On The Way> [4:12]
2. Slipknot!> [5:49]
3. Franklin's Tower [9:39]
4. Little Red Rooster [9:13]
5. Dire Wolf [3:28]
6. It's All Over Now [7:18]
7. Just Like Tom Thumb's Blues [6:12]
8. Picasso Moon [7:56]
9. Don't Ease Me In [3:26]

Disc 2
1. Iko Iko [7:07]
2. Playing In The Band> [9:19]
3. China Doll> [5:41]
4. Uncle John's Band> [8:16]
5. Terrapin Station> [12:59]
6. Rhythm Devils [9:48]

Disc 3
1. Space> [11:30]
2. I Need A Miracle> [4:02]
3. Gimme Some Lovin> [4:55]
4. Standing On The Moon> [8:56]
5. Not Fade Away [7:40]
6. Attics Of My Life [5:12]

Show #6
The Omni, Atlanta, Ga (4/2/90)

Disc 1
1. Feel Like A Stranger [8:44]
2. Mississippi Half-Step Uptown Toodeloo> [7:02]
3. The Weight [6:34]
4. Queen Jane Approximately [6:13]
5. Easy To Love You [5:37]
6. Brown-Eyed Women [5:46]
7. Let It Grow [12:21]

Disc 2
1. Foolish Heart> [9:20]
2. Looks Like Rain> [8:26]
3. He's Gone> [8:59]
4. The Last Time> [5:43]
5. Rhythm Devils [10:42]

Disc 3
1. Space> [9:04]
2. The Other One> [6:24]
3. Death Don't Have No Mercy> [7:37]
4. Around And Around> [3:41]
5. Good Lovin' [7:12]
6. Black Muddy River [6:28]

Wes Lang Talks Grateful Dead


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fluffanutter's picture
Joined: Feb 25 2012
In 8 days since this release

121 different people commented. About 100 positively. 23 people commented multiple times. Of those who commented multiple times, 3 people tied for the most comments with 7 each. The overall rating for response to this release is "lukewarm". Given the comments so far for DaPs, it is hard to understand this tepid attitude. So many people wanted something from the 80s or early 90s. I think this is in large part due to the price tag.

It looks to be a long way to a sellout. I would think something like 90 days at least.

Joined: Nov 1 2010
Possible reasons there is no digital release for now

Reading the description it seems pretty obvious that at some point down the road they are planning to release this digitally. "This is the only time these shows will ever be officially available on CD" so the strong implication is that it will be released digitally at some point down the road. I don't know anything more than any of you but I believe there are probably a few reasons behind why they chose not to release the digital version at the same time. For one thing releasing them side by side decreases demand for the physical version and if they don't sell out quickly then they have the cost of storage, which is the same reasoning behind all of these "limited edition releases". Also when they do release it digitally, without the book or all the knick knacks, it will probably be at a cheaper price, so if that was concurrent it would further drive down demand. Then there is the issue of piracy. With a physical only release it takes more effort to make pirated copies online. It will still probably happen but I would guess they have figured that doing it this way they will cut down on the amount of piracy. Lastly, because of the Dead's earlier origins than Phish the overall demographic is older and the older the demographic the more you find physical medium purists. Plus, I think that when they did the digital download series and and the Road Trips digital stuff they didn't have as many sales as they were hoping for.

Anyway that's what I speculate. Regardless of that stuff, I am very excited about this release and appreciate all the transparency and clarity about what we're getting and what's being released now and in the future.

Joined: Nov 1 2010
Accidently Double Posted

I accidentally double posted. Powers that be feel free to delete this post.

marye's picture
Joined: May 26 2007
asked and answered

above, per David Lemieux.

frunobulax's picture
Joined: Jun 13 2007
Why is Phish so far ahead on the digital front?

Well, I got mine. But its tough for some of us to come up with $213 on little more than a few days notice. OK, overall, I get the limited edition CD thing. What I don't understand is why the Dead put so much stock in physical media. Maybe it made sense for E72. That was a beautiful box. But if you're going to offer a late-model, incomplete tour this way, why not offer a digital-only FLAC download for a lower price, so everyone can partake (on their own schedule)? For years, we've been able to buy every single Phish release (from the White Tape to Party Time) digitally via Phish clearly understands the way this thing is headed and they make it easy for their fans to have physical releases, or instant gratification. So why are the Dead stuck with a 20th century distribution model?

wilfredtjones's picture
Joined: Jun 4 2007
handjive, I must agree...

...I prefer the stripped down box sets like the Fillmore West and Winterland Complete. (which we need more of, namely 2-74 and 3-77) Especially if it'll bring the price down a bit. Extra pictures and a deluxe booklet is all I need along with the music - - definitely not 'replica' items. That said, I think I'll like the book.

Joined: Jun 18 2008
Complain, complain

LOL@"The E72 box was rush mixed and sounds that way." The set sounds great. It's the greatest collection of music ever released in one shot. Some people are never satisfied.

Joined: Mar 2 2008
17 euros for each cd

here in Europe and they are not even "multitracks"?
wow! nice shot!

Joined: Jun 4 2007
A/B'ing Without a Net versus The Warlocks Box

After doing some comparisons between Feel Like a Stranger from these two releases, the immediate differences in the mixes I notice is that Jerry's guitar is hotter, Phils bass is punchier and has better definition and clarity and the drummers overheads and rides are hotter. The overall mix on the Warlocks Box sounds bigger. The drummers high hats are more noticeably prominant on Without a Net. Personally, I think they both sound great. Just different mixes.

It's the same case with Althea in respect to Without a Net versus Terrapin Limited.

I trust that this box will sound awesome. I just hope we don't have to wait too long to get the rest of the tour in another Spring '90 box.

handjive's picture
Joined: Nov 3 2010
too much crap

How much for just the disks wrapped in brown cardboard?

I want to buy this music, not the big pile of pseudo-memorabilia. Jeeez.

Somebody's MBA marketing whiz is making everyone look like assh0les

Joined: Jun 4 2007

RE: point # 2

In all fairness, the mixing of the Europe '72 box ~ that would be the entire Europe '72 tour ~ came down to logistics. Jeffrey himself said from Day 1 in the interview posted on this site that there was no way he was going to be able to give every song/show/an entire tour the same care he did for, say, Rockin' At the Rhein or any single-show release. It would've taken five years, and is more, I think, than even the audiophiles among us could reasonably expect.

One Man's picture
Joined: May 17 2011
More on Audio - (See bluedognever's Earlier Post)

Hey, bluedognever:

1. True, the GD archival program is unparalleled. There's not even a close second. That is because this band uniquely speaks to a deep niche of listeners AND they were smart enough to record so much of their live work. Don't forget that no other band would attract this kind of dedication. We are the other half of this equation and we understandably expect to be treated like critical listeners.

2. Wrong. Rhino is NOT going to try to produce the "best" product. They have proven that conclusively. They are going to try to maximize profit, and that is to the detriment of any listener who cares about audio quality. The E72 box was rush-mixed and it sounds that way. Same with the Warlocks box. These are not the best audio that could have been produced, given the available sources. This new Spring 1990 box probably could be mixed better from the multi-tracks but Rhino won't allow a professional audio engineer the budget to do it. It is hard to believe that mixing this properly would put much of a dent in the $1.8M take.

3. Not buying is always an option, especially as the bar is lowered on audio quality. There is so much out there for free that sounds about as good as these latest releases that folks must be asking themselves why they are paying large sums of money for minor (if any) upgrade to audio quality.

Tapers have always been interested in the best possible audio. We will settle for what we can get because we love the music. It is frustrating that top-notch sound quality is traded for higher profits.

fluffanutter's picture
Joined: Feb 25 2012
Yes, Rhino is reaping on this one

Because they took a hit on the last one (E72). No one should feel there is any altruism here. These are purely business decisions.

It must be a businessman's dream to have a fan base which you can pull 1.8 million from any time of the year... Would there ever be over-saturation?

fluffanutter's picture
Joined: Feb 25 2012
Glad you love

The "steaming" audio, bluedognever. As somebody said pre-release, this product would be reviled! Too funny!

fluffanutter's picture
Joined: Feb 25 2012
Love yer comment Mat

Right on. Those are very sensible words, Whenever your having a bad day all you need to remember is that you reach into your stash of Rhino releases and come up with something that eases the head-ache of it all. How great is that?

mattthrelkeld's picture
Joined: Jun 18 2008

Spring 1990!! Awesome! Look, here's the deal: i will purchase and gladly enjoy any releases from 1965 - 1995. That's all there is to it. We get multiple releases and a box set every year, that's insane! My worst fear is that i wake up one day and they announce the final release they ever plan to release. Lucky for us, I don't see that happening anytime soon.

We have enough to worry about in day to day life, don;t worry about the music too! Just enjoy it. My kids can't stand when a package shows up at our front door or in the mailbox with a return label from California, they know that brand new grateful dead music will be gracing their ears on the way to school, on the way to soccer practice, on the way to basketball practice, on the way to hike on the AT, etc. They say "Don't you ever get tired of hearing the same thing over and over?!?!" And here's the catch: I never get tired of it. With multiple releases a year we are afforded the opportunity of constantly adding to our collection of shows. It is a true luxury to have!

Dave: keep the picks coming, keep the videos coming, keep the box sets coming!! For every complaint you read i promise you there are ten more of us who greatly appreciate the time, effort, and dedication yall have displayed over the years. It will always be appreciated!!

Folks, enjoy the music, it's hear to add to our lives as opposed to take away from our lives

hbob1995's picture
Joined: Jun 26 2007
Dead community

It does have to make one laugh!. Here we have our most favorite band, putting out a plethora of quality shows & music, and still the complaints rain down. NO OTHER GROUP even attempts to do what the Dead do. I have a friend who is a Stones fan and he is always complaining about the lack of live shows that are "officially" available. The Dead continue to surprise & amaze me with the quality shows they offer from all time areas. It is just awesome! You can take what you want and leave the rest. There will be more coming all the time. I am very happy to de a Dead Head and will always be thankful for what is available now and what will be available in the future. I do not have enought hours in the day to listen to what I already have but I am always up for more! Go DL! Keep them comong.

Joined: Jun 4 2007

I can't help but think while reading some of the incessent posts full of 'wants' and 'demands' that this is revealing the underbelly of addiction...
Alot of these posters need to calm it down and breath.
If we were all as particular with real aspects of our internal lives as we are with our 'wants' we'd be making major breakthroughs.

Music is supposed to enhance your life.

Joined: Oct 3 2009

It's only "taper friendly" if you use the source tapes *I* think you should have used, and even then only if you mix them the way *I* think sounds best.

Anything else is just worship of Mammon.

Of course if you do it my way, you'll raise the price.

And that's just worship of Mammon.

What happened to love of the music?

[/entitled Deadhead]

Joined: Jul 4 2007

The steaming audio sounds FANTASTIC, so it's really disappointing to see all of this whining about which tapes they used or didn't use.

Consider these points:
1. How many bands even have the ability, desire, dedication (no pun intended) to CONTINUE to offer live shows from 20+ years ago? VERY FEW!. Yes, there's profit involved. Welcome to the real world. Stop for a few minutes and really look at the catalog of live shows that are available - it's unparalleled anywhere.

2. They're going to try to produce the best product they can because they're professionals AND because it's good business.

3. Grow up! If you don't like the way they sound, then don't buy them. I am CERTAIN that it won't hurt anyone's feelings

fourwindsblow's picture
Joined: Oct 13 2008
A roll of the dice...

Could have take all the time in the world and been as careful as one could be and still screw up the down-mix of these multi-track recordings.

When down-mixing the multi-track recordings please mix them as to preserve the feel of the live show. Thank you.

Joshua_me's picture
Joined: Jun 24 2007
Thanks for the Quick and Kind Response...

"We are using the live John Cutler mixes for this box set, owing to the fact that we feel that sound is as good or better than anything we could have replicated in the studio by remixing the multi-tracks. The Grateful Dead's longtime engineers, John Cutler and Jeffrey Norman, spent considerable time checking out these live mix tapes, and they decided that these recordings are as good or better than can be reproduced with a remix."

This was the best decision on which recordings to release."


But, respectfully, the above comments are nonsense,

OF COURSE the sound quality would be far superior if the time (and expense) had been taken to remix the multi-tracks.properly.. There's a reason they were recorded on 24 tracks in the first place.

Given the time that has passed and the price being asked for these discs, there's no excuse to release anything but recordings of the highest quality,

No offense, Mr. Cutler, but it was no secret that you were not especially "taper friendly" back in the day, and it saddens me to see that condition continue long after Jerry's passing.

I think of you each time I have to EQ the HISS out of my Cal Expo '93 Road Trips discs, (all the while looking at my stack of bootlegs from the run of shows that sound FAR better.)

And frankly, I won't get burned again.

How sad to think that 24-track pristine recordings of all of 1990 (and some of '89) exist, but we won't be allowed to hear them, except on rare occasion when the "powers that be" see fit.

As always, the profit margin wins again,

Ms. Koons must be laughing all the way to the bank.

8Limbs's picture
Joined: Nov 23 2011
Thanks for clarification!

I don't dispute that this box set will sound amazing but it seems like a short cut to not use the multitracks for this release. Without a Net still sounds better to me than anything else that has been released from this era.

Joined: Jun 18 2008
1970 box

Pretty good idea. It would be even better if, somehow, 9/20/70 could be part of it.

Joined: Jun 4 2007
Interview transcript of Davd Gans, Phil Lesh and John Cutler...

""Gans: The "Dick's Picks" stuff is stereo master recordings that were made at shows on reels, or DATs, or whatever. The stuff in *this* series is from multi-track material, and it's from a much more limited collection of possibilities, obviously --

Lesh: That's right.

Gans: -- but there was some stuff from 1971 that became the "Skull and Roses" record; there was a bunch of recording in 1980 of acoustic and electric material; '89 and '90 was the stuff for. . .

Cutler: "Without a Net."

Gans: "Without a Net," and from which you took this. Are you, every time you go for one of these, are you examining the entire body of stuff, and choosing something, or were you --

Cutler: Well, again, it depends on who the "we" is, because now Phil is hopefully coming in with a couple of choices we have to decide between, to get going and mix; Dick listens constantly to everything, he starts filtering stuff through Jeff and myself; or I, who was lucky enough to have recorded a lot of this multi-track stuff, at least since the '80s, kinda know what's there anyway, and so we go through it. We don't necessarily -- we couldn't have listened to everything from "Without a Net," that was like 50 shows I recorded for that, so there's lots of stuff there to come out. I think now, we're always faced with the fact of, if a "Dick's Picks" comes out, and there was five songs on there that are also gonna be on the Vault release, that are *also* on the video -- I mean, it gets very difficult. We try to orchestrate it so we're not putting out the same stuff at the same time, from various eras. We'd rather put out --""

the rest of the interview can be found here...

Joined: Jun 30 2007
The NEXT next box set

OK - here's MY totally unrealistic choice for the next box set ... ALL of 5/15/70.
On this day, there were Early and Late shows at the Fillmore East, each of which featured and Acoustic GD set, followed by a New Riders set (this is Pre-Buddy Cage - Jerry's on Steel!) and then an Electric GD set.
Truth be known, I've already put this together for myself, from the LMA, and it's a GREAT listen - around 8 hours worth! I say it's unrealistic, because Rhino does not have a deal in place with the New Riders, but maybe they could get it together with the "co-operation" of Kufala, the outfit that DOES have the Riders archival franchise.
So ... No prayer, right, Dave?

fourwindsblow's picture
Joined: Oct 13 2008
I agree...

The E72 box and Warlocks box could have sounded a lot better .

One Man's picture
Joined: May 17 2011
Audio Source

Seems like a reasonable response that the 2-track reference tapes (DAT) sounded great and thus were used. I do think this could have been made clearer from the start. I'd rather this result than the rush-mix we got with the E72 box and the Warlocks box. (And anyway, no one seems to agree with me that those two releases could have sounded MUCH better.) So production costs were low this time, and Rhino will increase its profit margin, and that is the American Way. A cool $1.8 million gross. No beef with that. The same thing happened with the Winterland boxes and no one complained ($11.11/CD with no mixing costs). We'll never again see a value like the Fillmore West Complete Recordings box, obviously ($7.50/CD and newly mixed extremely well).

fourwindsblow's picture
Joined: Oct 13 2008
Thank You!

"We are using the live John Cutler mixes for this box set, owing to the fact that we feel that sound is as good or better than anything we could have replicated in the studio by remixing the multi-tracks. The Grateful Dead's longtime engineers, John Cutler and Jeffrey Norman, spent considerable time checking out these live mix tapes, and they decided that these recordings are as good or better than can be reproduced with a remix."

This was the best decision on which recordings to release.

simonrob's picture
Joined: Jun 7 2007
Yes, thanks for passing that on.

DL's answer is as complete as one could wish for and also revealing. I can well believe that the live mix was to DAT. I don't know when they finished recording shows on 24 tr. for "Without a net" and making simultaneous 2 tr. live mixes, but "View from the vault I soundtrack" (July 8 1990) was produced using 2 tr. digital tapes. However "View from the vault III soundtrack" (June 16 1990) was produced using 2 tr. analog tapes, so that clarifies nothing about the storage medium - but the medium is insignificant compared to the sound quality.

Joined: Jan 13 2010
Thank you, Dave!

"To clarify, these are not stereo PA mixes; these are the live mixes John was producing in the recording truck."

IMO, that is as close to actually "being there" as is possible in 2012.

Truth be told, the DaP system works better for me ($32 from time to time vs. several hundred $$$ all at once). HOWEVER, box sets like this are extremely welcome. The day will come when I can realistically consider purchasing them (as I could BC...before children.) Whatever...keep them coming!!!

I remember a day when live releases like this was the stuff of fantasy. Blair, I remember, directly in Golden Road, you wrote a blurb along the lines of "can you imagine Buffalo 77 on CD?" Releases like this at the time would have been a happy foos-ro-DAH!



Summer 85 box!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

GREEK BOX!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

cosmicbadger's picture
Joined: Jun 13 2007

wellt that anwers that very nicely thanks Dr Lunchbox and David L. Nice explanation, but it could perhaps have been provided in the first place.

One thing not mentioned, but which I believe to be true, is that the live mixdown was made onto Digital Audio Tape (not cassette as claimed by someone earlier).

Joined: Mar 8 2009

I emailed Dave inquiring about the source for these and this was his response:

"We are using the live John Cutler mixes for this box set, owing to the fact that we feel that sound is as good or better than anything we could have replicated in the studio by remixing the multi-tracks. The Grateful Dead's longtime engineers, John Cutler and Jeffrey Norman, spent considerable time checking out these live mix tapes, and they decided that these recordings are as good or better than can be reproduced with a remix. There is an aliveness and a clarity to John's live mixes that would be lost in the remixing process. This decision was the same decision Phil and John made in 1997 when they released the Terrapin Limited (3/15/90), for which the live mixes were used. John's live mixes were always great, but the Spring 1990 mixes are virtually flawless. Believe me, John and Jeffrey have huge amounts of audio integrity and they wouldn't have put their names on this project if they didn't feel these mixes are excellent. Personally, I think they sound phenomenal, as does everyone involved who's heard them. I gather Rhino will be putting up some sample clips (one might be up now?), and that will give you an indication of the quality.

To clarify, these are not stereo PA mixes; these are the live mixes John was producing in the recording truck."

Hope this helps!

Joined: Jan 3 2011
spring 90

I'm on board for this one but not thrilled by the choice. I know David L and the others have made outstanding choices in the past releases. I hope this release will change my mind. and I 'm wrong. I know those who make the choice are very excited by this tour. As for the whole package no real problem, I just wish the powers that be gave us a little warning about the price. I am glad to see six shows instead of 3 and that the shows were picked from the tout. I was hoping for a 79 box but did not expect it. I see the spring 90 tour as technically perfect. Although tecnically almost perfect I don't see the band taking risks. In the video by David L he talks how Brent is the Mvp in Many ways for this box and tour. The thing is if jerry was where he should have been there would be no such talk. Jerry Garcia leading the band made the gd into something transendental. When he was on it was like a jazz great like coltrane or dexter gordon. I read somewhere when bruce hornsby came into the band he was yelling at jerry to play. I think in the later brent years jerry got lazy and let brent have the space to dominate with his keyboards. Jerry's playing seems more adventuous with his solo stuff at the time and post brent dead. I hope the box blows me away but can't believe it will compare with the fillmore 69 , winterland 77 and 73 or europe72 box in music quality.

simonrob's picture
Joined: Jun 7 2007

The sample probably sounds very similar to "Dozin'" due to the likelihood that the same tapes were used for both that release and this box. Unfortunately, it was never stated what source tapes were used for "Dozin'" either.

jeffmal's picture
Joined: Mar 9 2010
2 track vs multitrack

these shows are most definitely multitrack mixes. The sample sounds stellar and very similar to "Dozin" in terms of mixes.

cosmicbadger's picture
Joined: Jun 13 2007

I sent him a friendly request for clairification a few days reply so far. I guess he is very busy.

8Limbs's picture
Joined: Nov 23 2011

I sent an e-mail to Dave. Once I have a response I'll post it here.

Joshua_me's picture
Joined: Jun 24 2007
Once And for All....

Are these sterile two-track cassette Cutler mixes, (ala, the embarrassing hiss-ridden '93 PITB CD's...)


Are they glorious 24-track sonic wonders like the "Road Trips" versions of MSG '90 ?

SOME-one must know the answer to this question !!!!

Nottwo's picture
Joined: Jan 19 2011
For goodness sake...

...for all those folk who were lucky enough to see the Dead for real and who have great concert tapes, please remember that some DON'T and that those people (and others) would like to buy this and will ENJOY it.
The extras are a little expendable, but I bought this because when it comes to CDs and especially Grateful Dead CDs, I am a bit of a materialist.
So What?
Even despite the extras this box set's price seems reasonable enough.
Artwork's nice.
Intention seems good enough: sell the product-keep the product available.
Bloody thrilled.

Joined: Jun 18 2008
The more I think about it...

...the more excited I am about this release. Initially, I was hoping for another full-tour box set from either Spring or Fall '77, but this is really a great choice to follow up the amazing Europe '72 set. Although E72 was an incredible bargain, it's still a lot of bucks to shell out all at once. This one is a bit more affordable.

Not only that, although the Dead were at their peak during the '70s, 1990 was a pretty damn good year and something from the Brent era provides some sonic variety. Although one can quibble about the selection of shows from the tour, it appears that the goal was to include as many different songs as they could rather than different versions of the same songs.

If I could have chosen shows from this era, I would have picked the June '90 Shoreline run, but that's probably because I was there. I recall coming out of those shows thinking that it was the best run of Dead shows I'd seen in years. Who knew at the time that it was the band's final peak before a sad decline?

Joined: Aug 27 2008
Disc timings

It seems to me that almost all of the discs, but not all, clock in at just under an hour for each disc, except disc 3 of 3/26/90 which includes bonus songs from 3/24/90. With that in mind, The buyer is paying for some unused space on each disc. Now the $199 price seems expensive.

But as I said before I never had heard these shows before, and my touring days were just about over, and at the time ticket prices ware about $25 - $30, so I would this box price seems about average.

The real things missing in this box is the atmosphere of each show, the crowd, the sweet smells and the foul odors too, and the spilled beer and the guy who bumped into you and just about knocked you off your feet. Add the fun of Shakedown Street to this list. Throw in the ticket scalpers and the miracle ticket seekers, and the weather and the anticipation before the show and all the fun and hassles of intermission. Throw in the crows filing out of the arenas and the traffic jams of getting away from the concert. And on a final note, throw in the post show glow and listening to the audience tape your buddy made for you of this show as you drive to the next town on this tour.

I'm looking forward to this box set.

mpace's picture
Joined: Sep 25 2009
Another Chance

Well I am a vet of the '72 box and I initially was saying that I would stay out of this one but I thought of the cost broken down over time and repeated listening of my past sets and jumped in. I like the way this has been handled so far with the better designed site and clear layout of goods. With that said I would prefer a t shirt or even patches as opposed to the fake stage passes and tickets.
I believe everyone has the right to post their opinion whether its for or against this release and as a society I think we have become way to one sided about what is "right" and need to appreciate variety of opinion-

I was thinking today about the cost per disc and I remember that boots used to cost up to 25 per disc and that was with unsure sound and disc quality- whether its 2 track or 4 it will still have a better value than what could be found off the street these days- (I realize that high quality sbs were available back in the day or still in some circles, but I appreciate some of the packaging).

One final note- can we stop with the limited bit? I as a consumer can sometimes can purchase at the moment, but in these economic times it would be a nice gesture to allow us to purchase over time. Plus doesn't lower your chance of sales when you have less to offer in way of catalog?

Joined: Jun 4 2007
If John Cutler recorded it...

...he used the "Le Mobile Remote Recording Studio".

Here is a link to Le Mobile's web page with lots of pictures and information...

Joined: Jun 25 2008
Yellow school bus

Hey Poetry420 - let's see if there's a photo of you or any of the other busted heads in the accompanying book. They might have to give you a credit somewhere!

simonrob's picture
Joined: Jun 7 2007
The Listening Party...

will not be very representative of the CDs due to the simple fact the stream on the Listening Party will be MP3 or M3U format with typically a fairly low bitrate to allow even the bandwidth-challenged to be able to stream and listen to the Party. Normally even an MP3 download has a higher bitrate than a stream. The stream on the listening party is for people to hear how a song was played rather than a representation of what the sound quality of the CDs will be like.

Joined: Jul 15 2010
After the very prevalent

After the very prevalent unhappiness about a lack of early '90s releases here on, it will be very interesting for TPTB (and perhaps us) to see how much "put your money where your mouth is" demand there is for a box set of this magnitude and price.

For me, E72 was much more up my alley and I bought it, but the several months long saga with Rhino left a sour taste in my mouth and I ended up selling it. I will freely admit that it is awesome music and a great box.

This is not one that I would consider buying, but hopefully it makes a lot of other folks happy. As others have said, if it isn't your cup of tea, or the price doesn't work for you, you don't have to buy it.

I got my Winterland '73 box (and the JG All Good Things box, now that I think about it) on or a sale. I will be curious to see if this sees wider marketing distribution if it doesn't sell out here.

Joined: Jun 23 2009
2-track or 24? Use your eyes and ears people...

I see comments questioning the source of this box set - 2-track or 24? Well all you have to do is read the information above and listen to the sample. It's the 2-track live mixdown.

Joined: Mar 2 2008
who wants fake ticket stubs?

the fake concert poster
the book
and all the rest
but this is the big box recipe
the limited edition

all this stuff is alienating lots of affectionate cd buyers

dear Mr. Corporate Guy
I won't pay for your holidays in some Caribbean resort
I'll save me money for other hobbies
I won't take your "pacco"!
Thanx a lot!

simonrob's picture
Joined: Jun 7 2007

As I get older and times change (mostly not for the better) I am becoming more cynical. Bearing this in mind, I am somewhat suspicious as to why Rhino are being at best economical with the facts regarding the source tapes for this release. If indeed the 24 tr. "Without a net" tapes were used for these shows, boast about it and boost (or at least speed up) sales. Instead they have chosen the somewhat ambivalent approach of merely stating that it was recorded "by longtime Grateful Dead recordist and producer John Cutler" and also that it was "recorded and mixed live by John Cutler", neither of which makes it absolutely clear whether the 24 tr. or 2 tr. tapes were used. That clarity is lacking here instantly arouses my suspicions and, bearing in mind my cynicism (nurtured by experience), I smell something of a rat here. A simple and clear statement about this would be appreciated by me and, judging by a number of other posts here, plenty of others would also welcome some clarity. I have already ordered this set and would have done so even if I knew that it was produced from the 2 tr. tapes, but I would like to know the facts on this. Maybe I'm funny that way.