Grateful Dead

Spring 1990, Volume One Box - SOLD OUT

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


comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.
Nottwo's picture
Joined: Jan 19 2011
Primal Dead From '68


beatingthelilies's picture
Joined: Nov 10 2007
Worth Every Penny

My set, 5538, arrived today! The packaging and presentation of this box are top-notch. It is clear to see that a lot of time was spent on this project. Love the high quality ticket/ backstage pass replicas and the hardcover book. It's handy to have while listening to the shows. Most importantly, the music is gorgeous. If I didn't have neighbors, my apartment would have already crumbled to the ground. For anyone hesitating on purchasing this set, bite the bullet and go for it. We all know how amazing '89-'90 was for the band. This collection is a pivotal piece in any fan's collection and should not be missed. Thanks to David Lemieux and everyone else involved in getting this out to us. It is much, much appreciated!

outpost's picture
Joined: Jun 11 2007

Primal Dead from '68

Joined: Aug 3 2009
Can i have a free set?

Hey how about a contest or lottery and the winner gets a free 90s box set.

Joined: Oct 3 2011
I knew it...

Having seen the Sunday show in Hartford and the Saturday show in Albany I knew it was only a matter of time before these magnificent shows were released to us. I got my box two days ago and am just overwhelmed at the absolutely fantastic job Rhino did with this and all the goodies inside the box with the music. I'd rather spend the money for great music than bad food... that said.. I think guts of the box (the music) is worth every penny. IMHO that is.

Joined: Feb 9 2008
Spring 1990

Arrived in Italy today, box beautiful and incredible sound I have no words.
Great job

Underthevolcano's picture
Joined: Feb 6 2008

Will an article/ thread be started here at about the November release of Jerry live disc or the release of Jerry/Merl complete Keystone recordings release due this month? The Jerry website now has some signs of activity. Good news, no?

PatagonianFox's picture
Joined: Oct 25 2011
fingers crossed

we're only a few weeks away from the announcement of dave's picks volume 4.

lets hope its something from the '60s or '80s.

Joined: Mar 18 2010
Volume Two

Although it may be a while, I look forward to Spring 1990 Part Two. Hopefully this set is successful enough so the remaining shows from this tour are also released. If 3/29/90 is included in a subsequent set, success of part two is virtually guaranteed.

Joined: Sep 5 2012
Subjectivists Beware

Subjectivists beware. OK, then…

Fans with even a rudimentary understanding of phrasing, articulation, etc. are painfully aware of the decline in Garcia’s playing from Fall ’89 through ‘95. As time marched on, his solos meandered (sometimes lacking any sense of direction or cohesion) more and more often. At the very end, his mind and fingers – numbed by Persian and diabetes, respectively – were rarely capable of anything beyond guitar 101. THAT SAID…

As amply demonstrated by this wonderful box, Garcia still had some mojo left in Spring ’90. Just as importantly, the rest of the band was ON FIRE. While some moments signal the decline (ref. Jerry’s struggles during 3/30’s strangely overrated pre-drums segment), many others convey a palpable joy. The band was clearly enjoying itself, and their energy comes through loud and clear on these disks. Well worth the cash (if you can tolerate the shorter solos), and definitely the Last Great Tour. Very nice Job on the "extras," too!

Now where’s that "Gems of ’85" box? :o)

Joined: Feb 24 2009
Disc arrived cracked

"anyone have the inside as to when the replacment discs will ship?"

Your guess is as good as theirs!

Joined: Jun 12 2007
Disc arrived cracked

This is a great set.. remastering is excellent.. the only bad part I had was that there was one disc that was cracked in the box (disc 2 from Civic Center - March 19,1990) . Is there any outlook on replacing disc that arrived cracked. First it was a couple of days.. then Sept 5... anyone have the inside as to when the replacment discs will ship? Phil

Joined: Feb 2 2011
Box Set Packaging ... And a Europe 1990 release!!!!

I mentioned the possibility of a Europe 1990 release because on the back of this releases black tour program there is a Europe 1990 poster.

Is that a hint?

Does anyone remember if during the Spring 1990 tour were there programs that had the upcoming Europe 1990 tour logo/adverting???

I was at the Frankfurt 1990 shows and would of-course love a Europe 1990 box-set.

Joined: Feb 24 2009
Pig and Bob fired

"Both Pigpen & Bob both came very close to be fired from the band in the late '60's due to the fact that they were not providing the proper foundation for Jerry to play off of"

"Very close"? No, they WERE fired because Jerry was pissed at their laziness and that they wouldn't do as he lead them to do. It WAS Jerry's band no matter what anyone wants to think.

Then the rest of the band played under a different name - Mickey and the Hartbeats.
Some of it was recorded. See the album: Heartbits: Can You Pass the Acid Test ?

But Pig and Bob refused to leave and came back into the fold.

katky111's picture
Joined: Oct 23 2011

The combined aesthetic of music, artwork, and packaging is simply unparalled. It my sincere hope that Rhino and GD re-up their partnership for the long haul, as the merger of Lemieux & Co. on musical selection/remastering with Rhino's production flare have yielded a mastery of the craft.

The shipment packaging typifies the extraordinary commitment to detail and quality found within: My order arrived in a large box that accomodated both poster tube and the music with copious plastic air pillows to buffer empty space and even wadded paper towels in the ends of the rolled poster to protect against rub on the endcaps.

The sound is bright, lively, and Brent-acular! I have back-to-back 17 mile runs set for this weekend that will now pass - as with many future outings, I'm sure - with added haste as I tour from Atlanta to points north...

As another suggested, 'If you're on the fence, then by all means jump!' - beg, borrow, but don't steal to make it won't regret it.

Love and Peace, KAT

rrot's picture
Joined: Oct 3 2009
delicious end of post (maybe not so yummy, YMMV)

the package you produced is beautiful. I know I'll want to look at at what's here again and again.

In the tour program, I love the full-stage shots in the center spread -- and the huge Phil portrait and the over-the-shoulder capture of a pounding, grinning Billy K. are just great. The night-by-night photos in the hardbound book are maybe not as spectacular (you set the bar pretty high!), but still very worthy. The stage shot behind the contents list is terrific and I particularly appreciate all of the little light-show shots.

Overall, just a huge improvement over anything you could have given us in an individual-show release, or in a CD-size-only format period.

Well done. Keep it up!

Oh, yeah, the music is mostly pretty good too ;^)

rrot's picture
Joined: Oct 3 2009
Nothing here now but the recordings?In the future

Please, please, more box sets like this one!

These beautiful BIG photos are a pleasure to see.

They recapture (and improve upon!) some of what was lost in the transition from LP to CD packaging. The puny notes and pix in ordinary CD sets bear no comparison to what you're giving us here. When you're doing a project like this one, there's no question that it deserves the best possible presentation.

If the only thing that mattered was the music, it would be clear: Anyone could have heard these shows, all of them, and more, dozens of times via archive, torrent, or tree, and in pretty damn good sound quality, too. And so too with whatever you're planning to release next. It's pretty much ALL out there somewhere, whatever we want to hear, for free, now.

But when you release something, you're inevitably making a mark -- putting down a sign and saying hey, maybe THIS is worthy of some *special* attention. I think in the case of this particular run, you were right to try to make that point. And I think the package you produced is beautiful

Joined: Jun 4 2007
Holy Crap - The Weight!!!

Even though I attended the Omni run in 1990, and tend to be partial to late era Brent, the first set from 4/2/90 is some of the greatest music the Grateful Dead ever performed, right up there with the best of FW '69, E72, May '77, 8/27/72, ect ect ect...

The version of the Weight from 4/2/90 alone is worth the price of the box set, and some. Priceless. They could do no wrong at this show. Jerry is clearly inspired and taking the full initiative on this night, just like a well seasoned pro! Just exactly perfect indeed!

outpost's picture
Joined: Jun 11 2007
Box Set Packaging ...

I look forward to every vault release, but on the subject of packaging, I'm now a firm believer of less is more. My Europe '72 Box sits on a shelf, and never gets opened. The music is ripped to iTunes. My favourite boxes are the Golden Road and Beyond Description, along with the Vault Box. Nice and simple, with class.
Anyways, someone mentioned a Europe 1990 Set - that would be cool (for me a least)

Zomby D Wulf's picture
Joined: Jun 9 2007

Mine came today, 560, and the tracking still hasn't updated

Hoopsie's picture
Joined: Jan 5 2012
30 years = 1st (15) vs 2nd (15)

God bless the Grateful Dead for allowing us to have this discussion!
Apples vs Oranges!
Youth vs Wisdom!
Yesterday vs (less) Yesterday!

What they did TRANSCENDS.

Romberg's picture
Joined: Aug 20 2007
Extravagant Packaging too Expensive

In the future, please release CD box sets without the extravagant packaging. These are difficult economic times. It would be appreciated if you could release nice CD box sets for the smallest cost so that fans can afford them. A simple slipcase box and small booklet is enough. This oversized deluxe packaging just increases the overall cost and shipping cost too and makes it less obtainable and desirable to fans. Make it your mission to release the best music for the least cost and we will be grateful fans indeed!

Coconut Phil's picture
Joined: Jun 4 2007
Arrived today.

I was cooling out in my recliner when I heard the familiar sounds of the mail dude's jeep. I sprang from my chair and was peeping out the window. Sure enough he pulled out a large box and placed it on the doorstep. I opened it to find a tube containing my poster and another box. This is the best box packaging yet. This box is what Europe 72 should have been like. Really nice, love the books and the extra poster. I'm listening to a show right now through my Bose headphones. The sound quality is very good, I'm a happy camper.

I was really worried about cracked CDs and scuffs, seems like many have had bad luck. I checked each one, all look good. My DP3 is home, now my S90 is here. Guess DP4 will round out 2012 for releases this year. Hopefully next year things will be a little more squared away. Really hope everyones gets their music this week. S90 is a great release, if your still on the fence about getting one, better jump now.

Peace and happiness to all.


Joined: Jun 5 2007
Just received my package

True, I did have a minor snafu, but customer service was helpful and these things happen. Of course, I was hoping to have this earlier, but without any cliche, this was absolutely worth the wait. I was absolutely blown away by the gorgeousness of the packaging, the detail right down to how it smelled, the artwork, the design of the box, the layout, everything. Normally, I would be listening to this right now, but I had to leave a post. I am so overjoyed with the visuals that even if each disc hissed like an old Maxell, I'd still consider this money well spent.

Lots of complaints, but Rhino, David, Wes, and all the people behind this project deserve a major, major THANK YOU and kudos with a capital K. From the moment this was announced, everyone was spot on from the listening parties each week to the videos and stories behind the project to the 24 hour dedicated customer service, this has been an awesome experience. I know not everyone is happy for one reason or another, but for a night, there is one super happy kid in Chicago who has nothing but smiles, smiles, smiles. Thank you folks. Truly appreciate this magnificent gift. Please keep up the good work.

Jon M.
Chicago Happy

Joined: Jun 23 2007

I only got to see 3 Keith and Donna shows, all during the Terrapin and Shakedown years. I was lucky enough to be around for those 1976-1977 shows, and love the Dicks Picks and GD download series from those years, especially 1977.

I saw many more Brent shows , all the way from the beginning to the end. After the near-death experience it took several years for Jerry to fully recover his stamina & playing (and sometimes vocals) . The Truckin up to Buffalo DVD is a brilliant example of just how great the 1989-1990 shows could be when Jerry was really on again, and how much Jerry loved playing with Brent and the energy that created to drive the music to another level.

Before deciding to drop $200 for the vanishing Spring 1990 release I sat down yesterday and listened to Dozin at the Knick all the way through. Brokedown Palace sealed the deal for me. It was like going back in time,and when the EQ settings are just right it's almost as good as actually being there again , if only that were possible : )

Blue Yodel France's picture
Joined: May 12 2008
1990 Box Set

I have hard time with gripers. Makes me think of Jeff Duhnam and "Walter" (the old ragger) but at least he was funny.
Yeah me too. I'm 1971-1981 but i discovered that the (very) latter yrs of the GD were also outstanding (1988 ? and certainly 89-91).
This Spring 1990 is a killer string of shows.
Congrat's Monsieur Lemieux & Co.

PS: ...? Spring 1981 ... or finally ALL of Oct 1974 (ok...) or all March 1977 Winterland ...


Joined: Jan 22 2011

Shipping confirmation emails came this morning. Followed three hours later with email stating the extra shipping money I had paid had been refunded to my card.....the wheel turns

hbob1995's picture
Joined: Jun 26 2007
70's vs 90

First, let me say that my favorite period of the GD is the 70's. But that may be due to the fact that I saw the bulk of my shows from '73 to '81.
Of course the band evolved over time. I would expect nothing less. As has been said before by others here, the whole is greater then the sum of the parts due to synergy. Of course Jerry was more prominent early on. After all, Bob had been his student when he was younger so I don't think anyone should expect him to be on Jerry's level as a guitar player. Both Pigpen & Bob both came very close to be fired from the band in the late '60's due to the fact that they were not providing the proper foundation for Jerry to play off of. By the spring of '90 of course Jerry had cut back a bit. But that was probably due to the fact that after 25 years, and 10 with Brent, he was happy & comfortable to do it since the band had evolved into a well oiled machine with a great deal of coheseivness. I think this 1990 box is the bomb! The band is stellar and hitting on all cylinders. I think each member contrubutes beautifully and produces a rich & full sound. I think Jerry was rejuvenated at this point and I think he was proud of the music they were all putting out at this time. Sure, he had cut back a bit but it was because he no longer had to carry the whole band by himself. I am loving this box an have listened to nothing but since it arrived a week ago. Rock on.

Joined: Jan 29 2011
Replacements shipping.

I had contact with both Dead net and Dr. Rhino about over a week ago about these cracked discs. Both parties returned my phone calls and E-mails. Once again, I noticed my voice-mail flashing. Dead net called back sometime last Friday or Sat. to let me know that replacements will be shipping this week. The person said I should recieve my replacement sometime after the 5th and to allow up to 10 days. I have to say that once the ball got rolling I did receive both e-mails and phone calls from Both and Rhino. Here is hoping. Both parties seemed sincere so I believe they are trying to correct this situation.

Really loving this box. Cycling through the 3/26 Knickerbocker show again. The bulk of the shows I attended were from 76 to 93, with a few shows in 94 and fewer in 95, and my favorate years are from 69 to 74, but revisting these shows have given me a greater appreciation for some very strong later era Dead. Good Stuff.

Hopefully no one is offened by my update!

Joined: Jun 24 2012
Back to the music

I think I've read the objective-subjective debate maybe fifty times on the internet. To paraphrase the last 30 years of feminist philosophy: It's really hard to prove what is or isn't objective, but we can still learn from each other.

So with that said, here's my take on my first real attempt to get into post-70s dead. The jamming is more restrained, but still great. Bobby is actually taking a lot of interesting risks, which work out more often than they should. Jerry is audibly more technically skilled if less engaged. The big thing for me was learning to like Brent. Here's my take on him. Brent is like Donna in that he brings something that doesn't always fit with the band when he's the focus, but he unquestionably does wonderful work in a supporting role that really adds to the overall sound. It took me a while to come around on his voice, the tone of his keyboard, and all the staccato chords. But once I got over it, I really started to appreciate this music. I think it's been said before, but CD's 2 and 3 of 3/19 are really exceptional.

Sound quality is very good (but not at the level of the 1977 Winterland set). Phil is a little quiet in the mix.

Joined: Jun 4 2007
a few cents more

I appreciate your call for civilty, and I concede my Neil Young quote was harsh. Bottom line for me is, these threads are, by and large, just a drag to wade through anymore. I don't know who else remembers the previous website where discussions for each release were about the release, and the music therein. There was a glorious debate over Dick's 21/Richmond '85, two thirds of posters singing its glories and the other third decrying how overrated it was. Whatever side you were on, it was a healthy community discussion about the music.

Today, the posts are overwhelmingly a customer service complaint forum. Who wants to read it? If you're not being served by GD customer service, why not send Marye a PM and get on with your day? I've had a few issues over the years, and I dealt with them without burdening everyone else with my tale of woe. Ok, there are obviously issues, and maybe a post or two is warranted, to alert the rest of us to check our Landover discs for duplicate show dates, for example; but often the same people post the same thing every day ("still waiting in Abilene" ~ dated August 28, 29, 30, & 31). Or they revel in thumbing their nose at Rhino's or GD's incompetence, with intentional hyperbole and venom, as if they take pleasure in the failures.

Basta. If there's a forum where people actually want to trade stories and debate 1970 over 1990, or which shows in the box are the best or which boxes and Road trips are the best and why, please tell me where it is. This one's a drag anymore.

Joined: Feb 24 2009
Right on bambini

You are right. There is no comparison. The GD were best when they were young, no doubt in my mind.

"Was the fat elvis the equel of the young vibrant elvis or is it subjective"

Not subjective; objective, in my subjective opinion! Chew on that. ;)

Joined: Feb 24 2009
Can't we just get along? Who said that in a post here?

We could just start over.
I think the antagonistic posts started for only one reason that I can think of - some people didn't want others posting what they were posting. What other possible reason?

So I vote for letting people say what ever they like except let's try to be civil.
If you don't like people complaining about the service, the shipping, or even the music, just don't pay attention to those posts but don't try to force them to shut up.

If people want to compare GD eras, let them. If you don't like that kind of thing, ignore it.

The "name calling" came out of people wanting others to shut up about these matters.
So the bottom line rule to make it more civil again might be this: don't like a post? Ignore it instead of replying to it. Simple.

Joined: Jan 3 2011
too much 89-90

the last two of three box sets are fromm the late brent era. Now there is talk that spring 90 is also a possiblility. People complain too much 70s. For the life of me I don't understand how anyone can compare the 70s ot spring 90. It is one of the greats jg in music leading the band as opposed to ensemble playing. All it took was one listen to some of the 73 bo for me to put spring 90 on the self. There is all this great music in the vault and why release medioce stuff. Brent is not that good and Jerry is without a doubt the heart and soul of the band. The release of so much late era stuff is not what the legacy of this band should be. Was the fat elvis the equel of the young vibrant elvis or is it subjective

Joined: Jul 9 2007
2 Cents

There have been a number of comments and some name calling regarding people who are wondering about their order(s) or are having issues with quality. I think there is value with bringing these issues up in this forum. If someone simply states their case then others may be able to help them describe how they resolved a similar problem. For example: "A disc was cracked. I called customer support and they didn't know what to do". Someone else may have had success resolving the same problem and could therefore help others with their experiences . What I think is of lesser value is people "blowing off steam" by making disparaging remarks about Rhino,, or others who's comments don't agree with them. It's one thing to offer suggestions it's another to level insults that don't accomplish anything except perhaps to alleviate one's frustration. Then again, I'm not into control so if it's working for you ... enjoy. I've had four "pre-E72" issues with bad discs in the past. Mostly issues with blobs of glue. While, for the most part, these problems were resolved I understand the anxiety associated with purchasing these recent sets because they're limited editions. It's not easy to listen S90 or E72 quickly to locate quality issues with the discs. You've got to be quick because you never know when replacement discs may disappear! As a wise man once said "What a grind, the stress is killin' me" :)

My suggestion is that Rhino,, or whoever is in charge have a clear policy regarding replacement discs, replacement sets, etc. so people can make a rational decision as to whether they want to buy the set or not. Sending back a limited edition set because of one cracked disc makes no sense IMHO.

All that being said. I'm very much enjoying the music S90. I'm indifferent to "the stuff". However, the shot of Bill and Micky in silhouette is wonderful.

Joined: Jun 4 2007

I'll miss you the most, rbmunchkin. By the way, a ) I wasn't referring to actual musical criticisms such as yours (much as I mostly disagree with yours), and b) when you said "So I'll stop here" I just knew you wouldn't stop there.

Neil Young: "Youre the kind of man, you know, that likes what he says/ I wonder what it's like to be so far over my head"

simonrob's picture
Joined: Jun 7 2007
Senior citizen ?

I'm not a senior citizen - I'm just old !

Joined: Feb 24 2009
I'm about done with these boards, myself. Talk about disenchante

Aw, what a shame.

Joined: Feb 24 2009
Geez, you people who were able to see these shows must be practi

"Geez, you people who were able to see these shows must be practically senior citizens by now! ;-)"

Hey, I resemble that remark!

Joined: Feb 24 2009

How would you answer my example in my first post about this:
Do you seriously contend that Jerry isn't OBJECTIVELY a better guitarist than me?

Comparing Van Gogh vs. Monet is much more difficult of course. I'm trying to make the point by using an absurd example, but a valid one.

Personally I think we want to say quality is purely subjective because it's easier to say that. It's too difficult to show objective quality so we don't want to go there. But just because something is difficult doesn't mean it's not reality.

This reminds me of the joke:
A man is searching on the ground under a street lamp. Someone comes up and asks him if he lost something. He says yes, his keys. Did you lose them here? No, I lost them in the alley but it's too dark there.

When looking for objective quality, one must look in the dark alley even though it's easier to see in the subjective lighted area.

Joined: Jun 4 2007
that's back on topic?

Who got screwed out of their order is back on topic? Do tell, Footbear, who got screwed out of their order?

What started out as a thread that was finally mostly about the music in the box has degenerated into another bile fest. Guess some people feel better having an audience. I'm about done with these boards, myself. Talk about disenchanted and disgusted...... Sheesh.

FootBear's picture
Joined: Jun 12 2007


Hoopsie's picture
Joined: Jan 5 2012
Spring 1990

March 29, 1990 on VINYL, yes please.

Hoopsie's picture
Joined: Jan 5 2012
Spring 1990

In a vain effort to return the discussion to the excellent but somewhat inefficiently shipped box set --
I was only able to catch the boys from 85-95, so 89 and 90 stand out as the apex years,
with Jerry sounding fresh and not so ragged and tired, and inspired ensemble playing.
I am so glad to have this. It will be cherished for years.
Wish I was able to catch 5-2-70, but I was still only 4!
Geez, you people who were able to see these shows must be practically senior citizens by now! ;-)

Now, if only they'd ship my replacement for the cracked Disc 3 of 3/16/90?
See, I'm not bitter.

Joined: Aug 30 2012
Quality _is_ subjective, no

Quality _is_ subjective, no matter how you describe it. The idea of one artist being more talented than another is subjective. Is Monet better than Van Gogh? Quality is, for most people, subjective to the price at bidding that has been established by people claiming authority to declare it such. Objectively, something is "good" or "bad" because it has been granted a more desirable status in a given framework. Social capital, if you will. You place great cultural capital in Jerry's playing and thus, for you, he is the best. The value I place on his playing, though high, is not as valuable for me as it is to you. I'd pay more for someone else. (Much as I value/love/geek-out-over the Grateful Dead and Pink Floyd, VU is still, for me, minted from the most valuable coin music/art provides.)

You are correct about my mis-attribution of the "bold"-ness, that was someone else calling it that. My mistake. :)

But the comparison of Pigpen dying and the band continuing vs. Jerry dying and not continuing, isn't a fair one. The first, a member dies while everyone in the band is still under 30 years of age. When they're all around 50, another one dies after 30 years together. Economics and age played as much a role in that. And then, as you said and I agree, even when the "tribute" bands contained all members but Jerry, it wasn't the same. But neither was a JGB show anything like a GD concert.

I'm not attempting to convince you, or anyone, to alter their opinions. You've made a great case as to JG being your favorite guitarist, and that is a valid opinion and reasoning you have. Declare one better than another when you reach a level of quality and performance between Clapton (whom I think is not as favorable as JJ Cale), Hendrix, Garcia, and let's say... Carlos Santana. Who is better? Depends on the night, the performance, the song. Ask most musicians, especially of an age to have seen a taster's choice of Great Guitarist, and Hendrix will, for good reason, be often cited as the best. I think Hendrix was a Beethoven-level musician. Making Garcia a Liszt-level guitarist, doesn't take anything away from him at all. Two entirely different styles, backgrounds, and intentions from each in what they attempted to do musically. Hendrix deliberately complicated his music as he progressed, while Garcia often spoke of enjoying simpler-constructions because it enabled the ability to freely improvise upon it.

Personally, I think it's great that you are passionate about this. It's music, and musicians are people we turn to to share the most intimate aspects of our lives: when we're joyous, when we're depressed, when we're furious about blah, blah, or blah.

I personally don't think of the ears of the Dead as one being better than another. Nothin' gets me goin' like a scorching rampage through The Eleven (which didn't happen after 70-71), but paring Scarlet & Fire couldn't have happened before 77. Terrapin is easily the most often played live song for me, but that's because there was only a single version of, and terribly recorded, Rosemary.

Because they did what they did and continually evolved in their sound and performance, they've given us this huge palette from which we all, evidently, paint our own pictures of the past and what we want them to be for us, and some of these paintings we call masterpieces.

Joined: Feb 24 2009

Quality is not purely subjective. No way to prove it to you in words. So I'll stop here.

"And without the GD, Jerry wouldn’t be known outside of some audiophiliac music fiends."

Nonsense! He was a musician extraordinare and his passion would move him toward notoriety one way or another. He didn't need the Dead, he CREATED the Dead. And he would have done something no matter who he worked with.

Hunter and Garcia met completely independent of the Dead.
"Jerry without the Dead mostly likely wouldn’t have had Hunter as a song-writing partner, thus none of these songs would have come about."

Of course the same exact songs wouldn't have come about, but I certainly wouldn't have cared. All I would care about is hearing Jerry, no matter what he did, because he was GREAT and would have been no matter what.

"Favorites are favorites for damn good reasons. But yours are no more objectively the best than mine,"

I never said that. I said art is not just subjective; that there is an objective component. I never said MY likes were any more objective than any one else's.

"You can congratulate yourself all you want for “bold statements” (Jerry is the greatest guitarist is hardly a bold statement on"

I didn't call it "bold". Another poster did.

Anyway, we can agree to disagree. At least we agree about Donna!

One more thing:
With all the personell changes, the Grateful Dead were great, even after losing Pigpen, and all the other keyboardist they lost, as well as when Mickey was gone.
Then when Jerry was gone - poof. No good any more. They didn't continue because they couldn't. But anyone else they lost Jerry could have kept the band going.
The post Jerry band called "The Dead" and then "Further"; I'm sorry but they sucked compared to the Grateful Dead.

Jerry made the GD, he was the GD, and could have created a great band with any good musicians.

Joined: Aug 30 2012
Opinions are still subjective

So, RBMunkin,

In the spirit of analytic debate, he's a response contrary to a number of your "bold" statements.

Your analyzing note-by-note and what-have-you, doesn’t mark you as any less subjective than Best Of polls by whomever.

Your liking Jerry's guitar work better than anyone else's is one thing, but no matter how much note-by-note comparisons you make, it doesn’t elevate your opinion to the level of objective.

“Without Jerry the phenomenon of the Grateful Dead never would have gotten past small clubs if that.”

And without the GD, Jerry wouldn’t be known outside of some audiophiliac music fiends. Considering they all talked about how essential each one of them was to the whole, and based their entire musical philosophy around that, you’re deconstructing the Dead is a great theoretic exercise, but one that misunderstands the overall point of the collective being more important aurally than the individual components.

“Robert Hunter was a great poet. He's my second favorite Dead.”

Absolutely a great poet. Also one who likely would have never written with Jerry without the GD. Hunter knew Kesey from the Menlo Park research. Kesey knew the Dead through Owsley. The Dead played through the Acid Tests. Without that connection, probably no song-writing team of Hunter/Garcia.

“Phil was a great musician in many ways but never would have gotten so popular without Jerry.”

Maybe. Is Brian Eno “popular”? Is John Cale? Robert Fripp? Phil would have likely progressed along those experimental lines without the GD.

“Bob, meh. Very good rhythm guitarist, taught largely by Jerry. Vocals, song writing, and personality - not my cup of tea. He was always jealous of Jerry being the front man. He wanted to be the front man but just plain old didn't have the talent or personality.”
Did he now? Good to know. I never thought he was a great guitar player, nor a great song writer, but he did pen the music of Sugar Mag, Looks Like Rain, and belt out a mean Minglewood. GD wouldn’t have been without this finger on the hand.

“Drummers - very good but the Dead could have gone on with different ones.”

And the sound of “rolling thunder” wouldn’t be. Thus, no Dead as we know it. No Scarlet>Fire, no PITB.

“Keyboards - Pigpen was the only GREAT one.”

Not so. But you can believe that all you wish. Pigpen had charisma and was a “stone jack baller and his heart was true” but he couldn’t play piano very well. He blew a mean nasty dirty mouth harp, but his musical ability didn’t span a great spectrum. Keith was quite proficient on piano but limited on organ and the encroaching diversity and array of keyboards. Any discussion of Brent is for another time.

“Donna - OMG why was she ever in the Dead?! Just horrible. Sounded like a bag full of cats being hit with a bat. Okay on a couple of studio albums but ruined many a live concert recording.”

I agree, but then there a couple of Eyes of the World and Sugar Mag she doesn’t sound bad on. I usually skip tunes if she gets gonna too much.

Jerry without the Dead mostly likely wouldn’t have had Hunter as a song-writing partner, thus none of these songs would have come about. Talented as he was, he would likely have been a bit like Ry Cooder, Al Di Meola, and such ilk. Infinitely talented and diverse, but without a band, they go through the ages being treasured by a few, liked by some more, and unknown to most.

As for “Hendrix to me was a bit one-sided. The overall sound always sounded a bit the same. Absolutely amazing but limited IMHO” … I think your lack of analyses is demonstrated lacking here. Y’know, cuz 1983 sounds sooooo much like Purple Haze. And Jimi with a 12-string acoustic is the same one-sided sound as when slaughtered ear drums at Monterey with the opening riff of Killing Floor.

Favorites are favorites for damn good reasons. But yours are no more objectively the best than mine, VH-1s, or Rolling Stones polls from readers who can’t remember back any further than last summer’s hot thing. You can congratulate yourself all you want for “bold statements” (Jerry is the greatest guitarist is hardly a bold statement on And your argument lacks anything beyond your talk of how awesome you feel when you listen to him play.

He’s great. But talk of the “best” is beyond the faculties at hand. Or… ehem… ear.

P.S. If anyone is interested in might-have-beens with music, check out a novel called Glimpses by Lewis Shiner. A guy puts on his headphones and hears records by his favorite bands that never were: a Doors album post-LA Woman, Beach Boys beyond Brian Wilson's mental collapse, another Beatles record... that kind of thing.

Joined: Sep 16 2009
Also, if you know they are going to sell out so fast make more!

I don't have much money at all in this point in my life and it really stinks I can't take advantage of items like this. But all the T shirts are sold out and all the box sets. Is it fans or people who are going to sell them on eBay?

Joined: Sep 16 2009
Also where's 3-29-90!!

Isn't that the Bradford Marcalis show? Did I butcher his last names spelling . The eyes of the works from that 3-29 is so sick, but I think it's on Dozin at the Nick

simonrob's picture
Joined: Jun 7 2007
This is apparently whats going on...

Go to the store, scroll to the very bottom of the front page and click on "help/customer service". Scroll down until you come to the section on shipping and - particularly if you are outside the US - check the shipping rates. Personally, I was horrified by what I saw. If this is going to be the way it is in the future, then it suggests that they will sell almost nothing outside the US again, certainly no individual CDs. Possibly (hopefully) this only applies to the "Spring '90" store, but it is not clear to me.

Added to Cart Spring 1990, Volume One Box

You might also like these items

Add To Cart
Added To Cart
Add To Cart
Added To Cart
Add To Cart
Added To Cart
Continue shopping »