Spring 1990 (The Other One) Box
Less Than 500 Units Left.
•144-page paperback book with essays by Nicholas G. Meriwether and Blair Jackson
•A portfolio with three art prints by Jessica Dessner
• Replica ticket stubs and backstage passes for all eight shows
•8 complete shows on 23 discs
•3/14/90 Capital Centre, Landover, MD
•3/18/90 Civic Center, Hartford, CT
•3/21/90 Copps Coliseum, Hamilton, Ontario
•3/25/90 Knickerbocker Arena, Albany, NY
•3/28/90 Nassau Coliseum, Uniondale, NY
•3/29/90 Nassau Coliseum, Uniondale, NY (featuring Branford Marsalis)
•4/1/90 The Omni, Atlanta, GA
•4/3/90 The Omni, Atlanta, GA
Recorded by long-time Grateful Dead audio engineer John Cutler
Mixed from the master 24-track analog tapes by Jeffrey Norman at Bob Weir's TRI Studios
Mastered to HDCD specs by David Glasser
Original Art by Jessica Dessner
Individually Numbered, Limited Edition of 9,000
Announcing Spring 1990 (The Other One)
"If every concert tells a tale, then every tour writes an epic. Spring 1990 felt that way: an epic with more than its share of genius and drama, brilliance and tension. And that is why the rest of the music of that tour deserves this release, why the rest of those stories need to be heard." - Nicholas G. Meriwether
Some consider Spring 1990 the last great Grateful Dead tour. That it may be. In spite of outside difficulties and downsides, nothing could deter the Grateful Dead from crafting lightness from darkness. They were overwhelmingly triumphant in doing what they came to do, what they did best — forging powerful explorations in music. Yes, it was the music that would propel their legacy further, young fans joining the ranks with veteran Dead Heads, Jerry wondering "where do they keep coming from?" — a sentiment that still rings true today, a sentiment that offers up another opportunity for an exceptional release from a tour that serves as transcendental chapter in the Grateful Dead masterpiece.
With Spring 1990 (The Other One), you'll have the chance to explore another eight complete shows from this chapter, the band elevating their game to deliver inspired performances of concert staples (“Tennessee Jed” and “Sugar Magnolia”), exceptional covers (Dylan’s “When I Paint My Masterpiece” and the band’s last performance of the Beatles’ “Revolution”) and rare gems (the first “Loose Lucy” in 16 years) as well as many songs from Built To Last, which had been released the previous fall and would become the Dead’s final studio album. Also among the eight is one of the most sought-after shows in the Dead canon: the March, 29, 1990 show at Nassau Coliseum, where Grammy®-winning saxophonist Branford Marsalis sat in with the group. The entire second set is one continuous highlight, especially the breathtaking version of “Dark Star.”
For those of you who are keeping track, this release also marks a significant milestone as now, across the two Spring 1990 boxed sets, Dozin At The Knick, and Terrapin Limited, the entire spring tour of 1990 has been officially released, making it only the second Grateful Dead tour, after Europe 1972, to have that honor.
Now shipping, you'll want to order your copy soon as these beautiful boxes are going, going, gone...
Listening Party: 3/29/90, Nassau Coliseum With Branford Marsalis, Set 2
Enjoy the 2nd set of 3/29/90!
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I've got nothing.
If you put mp3 on your ipod and lossless on pono of course there is a big difference. That's a specious argument. Unless you are 18 pono is Neil ' s pipe dream
Check out this link for an interesting article about the effects of listening to those nasty, compressed MP3s:
Highly compressed MP3 files sound terrible. turn those same files into FLAC files and they still sound terrible. Put them on iTunes and play them through your $30.000 sound system. same result.
Putting thousands of shows through the compressed file ringer and then throwing away those master audience cassettes. soundboard reels,DAT masters etc... is / was a big mistake. Digital degeneration. Bummer.
That being said, Neil and others aim to start with a master source and create a Hi Res reproduction. Not a mistake. I'm sure we all could hear a big difference.
Concerning the pono player,its about the build quality of the device or component.
ipod vs pono or Mcintosh vs Panasonic . I'm sure we all could hear a big difference
I had a bit of glue on disk 1 of 3/28, I tried to gently clean it off, but it still skipped.
About two weeks after contacting customer service I received a replacement.
Thank you very much- your prompt and courteous service is greatly appreciated!
I realize this is a minor quibble, but it would have been nice to have in the box a complete set list for all the shows to refer to. The book could have had this, or it could have been another page in the box.
All my disks played fine. What a treat. I'm now checking out DP12, what an awesome Let it Grow! It has a little jam at the end that I vaguely remember, but have not heard for years.
Pono I can hear it. In medicine it's called the placebo effect. That's OK If it works for you go for it
I can hear a difference .... If I can Hear it Neil can..... The Dead were the Pioneers of HDCD and sound quality ..... Let It Grow
Yes i had two disks that wouldn't play in my regular dvd player but worked fine in another dvd player, so i had put it down to a player issue. Haven't put into iTunes yet so hopefully the issue won't reappear when i am doing that. Forget which disks it happened on though.
CD2 will not register in any cd player I've tried. Anyone else have this issue with this or any other Spring 90 disc?
I finally got back into Spring 90 after heavy doses of Winterland 74/78 , and May/Fall 77.
I'm working my way through the box and have reached some excellent tracks. These 4 are a great combo to end the first set.
Bird Song :
Let if Grow
I love and respect Neil greatly. That said there are times when he's a bit weird/off/intense whatever. Even if I believed there were humans that could hear some benefit from his Pono (which I don't) a guy who's in his 70's been playing R&R all his life isn't one of them.
Looking forward to receiving my High Resolution Pono player soon. Neil Young's brainchild.....go to ponomusic.force.com and check it out.
There are quite a few scientific studies done so far. I remember that one is from the Boson Audio Engineering Society, so you can look that one up. I believe they intentionally used a mix of self described audiophiles, professional audio engineers and other audio professionals, professional musicians, as well as "laymen" with no special audio credentials. This is by design. They used a cross section of ages, music preferences and even educational backgrounds. The methodology is described in detail. This is the kind of thing that makes a study "scientific", and difficult to reproduce at home.
At the risk of opening a hi-res can o' worms here, I wonder something. The science says subjects in well-designed studies cannot distinguish between CD-quality (16 bit) and higher res (24 bit) music. Are those subjects random dudes (and presumably ladies) off the street? Because it would be interesting if a sampling of trained audio engineers tried to hear the difference. I mean, I'm sure they have tried. I just wonder what the results would be if it were properly studied. I am guessing that folks who know what to listen for would hear differences. And ordinary "civilians" may not be able to distinguish this objectively, but they could still benefit subconsciously from a less harsh listening experience.
Nice unit and it automatically expands compressed files. That's why is sounds so amazing.
That Hey Pocky Way second set opener in Hamilton 3/21/90 is smokin!!! A good lift up when you need it :) :) :)
Check out the Sony HAP-Z1 Player. Nohing has reproduced my files as well as this thing, Truly amazing. Will only hold one Terabite of storage but, an external hard drve can be added. Great online tuner for internet radio as well,
I'm going to see if I can find a standalone unit that does the same thing that can be added like any other component.
It's built into the Marantz(sr7005)Receiver I am using.
edit: The expander also gives me 5 or 6 more db of volume.
I'd love to check out one of those, I really enjoy trying new stuff out (new to me anyway). I've never even heard of them. How much do they cost, and what are they called (as in what would I look up)?
Edit: There isn't really any compression in a 16/44.1 file- not in the sense of mp3 compression and not in the sense of dynamic range compression on vinyl. The bit depth only accounts for the dynamic range (softest to loudest sound amplititude). 16 bits is enough to go from a low of about the sound of a light bulb a few meters away to the sound of a jackhammer a foot from your head. Frequency response is limited by the sampling rate, and with a rate of 44,100 samples per second, the file can encode frequencies from 20Hz to 22KHz and the digital to analog converter can completely reproduce the original sound wave with 100% accuracy within those frequencies. Since frequencies outside that range are not even encoded in the file, they are not a problem, and those frequencies lie outside the range of human hearing for almost all adults. So there really isn't any compression. It's as hi res as needed to reproduce any music, and will be forever.
I was just curious because when I had said earlier that when I play "16/44 files through a expander(to put back those frequencies that were lost during compression)it sounds like a record."
It does give it a fuzzy warm sound that you described. It also attenuates the upper mid-range and gives it wider sound-stage and is less ear fatiguing.
I don't know, but I would doubt it for an obvious reason. Most people can readily and repeatedly distinguish a track played on vinyl from a cd quality 16/44.1 file. But, in every scientific study done so far, no one can distinguish hi res digital files from 16/44.1 files derived directly from that hi res file as the source.
That basically says that any distortion in the audible frequencies caused by ultrasonic frequencies, while it may be measurable and visible on audio analysis equipment, can't really be audible enough to the human ear, because that would cause at least some people to distinguish hi res from 16/44.1 at least enough to be statistically significant. Since that has never happened in any of the scientific studies so far, that would indicate that any introduced distortion from ultrasonics on hi res playback is NOT similar in any way to the effect of the audio distortion from vinyl.
"Actually, on high end playback equipment, the ultrasonic (inaudible) frequencies can cause distortion in the AUDIBLE frequencies"
Would hi-rez distortion replace the distortion from the;
"distortion from the needle, distortion from the pressure of the needle against the grooves, and lots of other subtle distortions. That distortion creates a very slightly "fuzzy" effect which sounds "warm".
It also occurred to me that a large number of folks who buy into the whole Hi Res thing are also major vinyl folks. It so happens I AM one of those vinyl lovers. I love the way they sound.
The difference is I'm also one of the people who has looked into WHY. Most people seem to think that since it's an analog playback medium, it's more similar to Hi Res than, say, CD.
Actually, it's the opposite. An ENORMOUS amount of compression is required to get that music onto vinyl. The dynamic range is roughly equivalent to an 11-bit digital recording. It turns out that what makes vinyl sound unique (and is pretty much irreproducible digitally) and "warm" is the combination of subtle distortion that is inevitable on a medium which requires physical contact with that medium to reproduce the sound. So, there's distortion from the needle, distortion from the pressure of the needle against the grooves, and lots of other subtle distortions. That distortion creates a very slightly "fuzzy" effect which sounds "warm". It's not dissimilar to the difference between a picture that's ultra sharp versus one where the edges are allowed to be ever so slightly less sharply in focus. The latter feels "warmer". That, coupled with the compressed dynamic range, creates that unique vinyl sound.
What's ironic, is that many of the same people who love vinyl are buying into the HiRes thing.
You're right, ALL the science supports that people can't hear the difference. Higher res digital is important during the mastering phases, manipulation of the audio, etc.
For playback purposes there is no benefit.
I've pretty much given up trying to convince people, though. When CDs were new most people bought all their music over again. Now that a large part of the market already has most of their collection on CD (which technically speaking is capable of reproducing music to the point that no one can distinguish it from higher bit higher sampled files, the industry is faced with a dilemma.
A large part of the public doesn't even BUY music anymore (spotify, pandora, etc.), so WHAT will they do to get buyers to purchase all that music over again with. Enter HD which has been around for decades, but now they see the market potential of convincing people these files sound superior to the human ear. And it's not just the medium. Think of all the hardware they can sell.
The vast majority of HD file purchasers have never bothered to read the science, or the double blind studies where no one (including audiophiles) has ever been able to tell the difference between the HD files and CD quality files in a controlled environment (like where they don't know ahead of time which they are listening to.)
I've also found that most people believe, since SACD and DVD-A sound so great, that it's because of the HD factor, without realizing that it's everything ELSE about those discs (superior mastering and mixing, using more than two playback tracks, etc) that make those sound superior.
So, in the end, let them waste their money. It doesn't affect the rest of us, and "you ain't gonna learn what you don't want to know."
Caveat: if the higher res files were the SAME PRICE as 16/44.1 files that would be fine. There's nothing WRONG with Hi res files. They're just not superior to the human ear. Actually, on high end playback equipment, the ultrasonic (inaudible) frequencies can cause distortion in the AUDIBLE frequencies making the playback audio slightly INFERIOR. But, in general, there's nothing wrong. It's just that you're throwing your money down the toilet paying MORE for them. Plus, it bothers me that people are being sold a bill of goods without realizing it. On the plus side, with the financial problems the whole music industry faces, SOMEBODY has to help with major cash infusions. So....... :)
If you own the CDs, just rip them to lossless and enjoy the 16/44.1 files. I doubt you will get any benefit from higher res files. In fact, they may sound worse. I understand this may be a controversial opinion. But the science supports it.
I think my favorite dead moment post Brent is the Foolish Heart jam that ended the first set of 12-28-1990. Brings tears...
Well MSG 90 is the apex of post-Brent. There is also a ton of great stuff in 1991, with Bruce obviously. 3-21, Greensboro both shows, Deer Creek both shows, RFK, Giants night 2, both Shoreline runs, Boston Garden run.
1992 is spotty as hell, there are some moments in the spring. Hampton, Copps and Detroit.
1993, Albany night one is a secret gem, Giants night one set II as well, Deer Creek run, here and there from the fall MSG and Boston shows. 10-5 Philly.
10-4-94 Scarlet>Fire needs to show up somewhere, although Seamons has a tremendous matrix out there that I can live with. You want to hear that S>F.
Took this one off the shelf to listen-12/16/92 Oakland show. Great post-Brent show with Vince and without Hornsby. I sort of forgot about this one-listening in the car while traveling and had to crank it up and smile,smile,smile. To those of you who listen and explore Archive-what are your suggestions for a post Brent era box or pick? I know I am an advocate for 10/1/94 Boston but what are your picks from this generally neglected era.
I bought both boxes from dead.net and could not agree more...
I too have both Spring 90 boxes, but I really want the 24/192 files. It just makes me sick to have to pay another 350 dollars for them.
I have purchased the latest box sets from Led Zeppelin and Pink Floyd and included with purchase are unique codes to download content in HD FLAC Available in 192kHz/24bit.How about doing the same for those of us who have been purchasing all of the these sets so faithfully? Anybody else have any thoughts on this subject?
Yeah, I've been playing that RT from the beginning, I'm up to the Let It Grow, and so far it SMOKES. It's not about sound quality, although the SQ is more than adequate. I don't know how anyone can listen to this and wonder why it was released. The performances are the equal or higher than many if the spring 90 performances. Not having Brent is a loss. But, these performances as PASSIONATE FLESH AND BLOOD MUSIC MAKING is TOP TIER GD. Awesome mind blowing goodness.
I finally shelled out on eBay for the MSG '90 Road Trips with bonus disc awhile back, just to get that To Lay Me Down, which I remembered being pretty special on the Listening Party. Overall, the mix is a little muddy for my tastes. Half-Step is a serious highlight, wonderful version.
Predictably enough from an 80’s guy, my first taste of ’77 was 2nd set Cornell. I worked in a silkscreen shop, and it made an incredible soundtrack when we were heads down. I remember marveling that the Dead could ever play so perfectly, and wondering what it would’ve been like to behold that performance right in front of you. (The audience tapes on Archive now offer a little taste.)
They weren’t actually perfect, of course. As wasn't a rare thing, they muff the ascent in Dew that drops into the big first solo pretty badly. But get to that finale and all is forgiven. Still my favorite St. Stephen, too (post-60’s)—that version IS perfection.
Apart from that tape and first set 5/13, I really didn’t hear much ’77 till Dick’s 3, which was an instant classic. Acquired 10/29 at some point, and while it’s utterly solid, my heart doesn’t cry out for its release.
Dave’s 12 is my kind of set list, I’m pretty psyched to hear it. Not going to cheat and listen on the Archive first! WILL finally check out the Listening Party this weekend, though.
Great article! Thanks for the link. I had read some of the Eaton story but this is much more inclusive. I hope these tapes find their way back to The Vault and that Betty gets some compensation.
Thanks for that heads-up. I have DP9 but I've generally avoided shows after Brent. A complete informal video of this show can be found online. I agree they do a bang-up job on To Lay Me Down, of course it was the first time playing it since Brent's passing so I think it had more resonance than usual.
Might the 2015 project be the negotiation and return of the long lost Betty Boards that Rob Eaton has been working on?
An article ran earlier this year about the state of those tapes, who has them and who has been working on them. If you have not read the article it is well worth the read:
The return of these tapes could lead to the release of the Cornell show, much of the rest of Spring 77 and trove of other tapes.
Food for thought.
Considering everyone that would have to sign off or on to let this happen, I don believe it will. Although having the keys would be nice.
It's easy to see why they wanted to release these. Very passionate performances. And, most importantly, they're fun to listen to. I never downloaded full copies of these shows, so all I have is the RT (and bonus disc) to go by.
Not sure how anyone can listen to that Truckin>China>Rider and wonder why it was released. And then the Star sandwich and post-space. Even Vince is a bit muted in those shows, unlike the cacophonous hurricane he became in 1991.
I don't think the chopping up of that show, and the 19th, did either any justice. The first set of the 19th is tremendous, especially the H>S>F that closes it.
I think Dogstar is on to something by predicting the opening of the vault next year. DL2 has referred to "the project" that lands in 2015, in a way that sounds way bigger than tinkering on the margins with the next box set or DaP.
"Things are in flux for at least the next 3 or 4 months in terms of specifics of the project. If it falls the way we’re expecting it to, it’s going to be extremely cool. So standby."
I think they'll continue to release Normanized box sets of outstanding tours and/or runs, and Dave's Picks that are new to our ears in 2015, but I believe it's appropriate to speculate about the Holy Grail - access to everything that's in the vault, warts and all. I believe the hurdles to doing so earlier have been technological but also answering the question of how to monetize something like that. Not to mention that it would be a crapload of work... I think the time has come and really... no better time than the 50th anniversary.
After disallowing downloads of soundboard recordings from archive.org, it seemed clear to me that TPTB wanted to keep the genie in the bottle to preserve consumer demand for all their shows, for WHEN they decided to open up the entire vault. Archive.org allows streaming of all the great soundboards, but let's face it... we all prefer to have the actual recordings in our possession.
So, how would that shake out? If I were DL2, I'd flag all the recordings in the vault that would never make it as DaP, box or other vault release. Whether it's due to recording medium (how do you mix a quality product from a Maxell XLII source tape?) or low quality show, I'm sure Dave has a good idea of what will never pass the muster. Then, hire low level audio technicians to do warts and all transfers to a digital medium and sell the puppies on a service like livedownloads.com on steroids. They could proceed through the vault, tour to tour, and roll them out as they complete the process. I'd say this ought to be a download only venture. Most of us here seem capable of working with digital files. Perhaps people can pay a premium to have CDs burned for them, should they need such a service. Pricing could be similar to Livedownloads.com, where you can download mp3s of an entire show for $10, flacs for $13 and $23 for CDs. Equally importantly, people could download individual songs for $1. Crowd source the cover art, along with reviews, ratings, etc, so people can navigate the vast ocean with guidance from fellow heads. It could be a pretty low-impact, high profit venture for the Dead.
The powers that be, not to mention their fans, are aging rapidly and the opportunity to simply open the vault becomes less technically daunting with each passing day. Certainly, it would be an overwhelming project for TPTB to turn something like this into reality, but all the pieces are feasible. This is a digital world, and we increasingly prefer digital files as the way to deliver our music. We'll all cherish the vinyl or CDs of our desert island shows, but wouldn't we all be fine with mp3s or flacs from that 83 show your friend told you to check out?
DL2's doing his thang in 15 minutes. Can't wait to hear what's next!
@senorsenor - I know the sound quality doesn't come close, but did you listen to the to lay me down on 9/18 RT right after the one on 4/1 from the box?? Yes, different strokes is definitely true, and subjectively one can certainly prefer a more subdued and cooler rendition, but objectively speaking, toward the end of the 9/18 version, the drummers are locked and keep increasing the intensity of their playing as, most importantly, Jerry keeps increasing the intensity and emotional range of his vocals with passionate ad-libs and even through the so-so sound you can hear the audience erupting repeatedly as they are being taken to that special place and in return helping the band go further. As beautiful as the 4/1 version is, nothing like that is happening - they are content to let its beauty speak for itself; but, the 9/18 one reaches farther by both band and audience resulting in an x-factor destination reached. Maybe it's just me?
I love the 89 Alpine vid/Blu-ray idea. Some other 50th date's 2/74 Winterland, 6/9-10/73, Some 1975 or a big fall 73 box!!! Who Knows!! This is exciting
I'll preface my comment with: I'm not normally an 80's/90's guy.
But I really dig this release! Great stuff. After finishing these shows I started in on the 9/16/90 Dick's Pick and the RT from 9/18-20/90. Not even close to as good. Quite frankly I'm not sure how/why those got released. Different strokes I guess...
- There will be a big box set. I'm not saying what it will be, but some of you people will LOVE it! It will also be expensive -- some of you people are going to be upset!!!
- The vault will NOT be "opened up" for anyone to buy whatever download they wish. But keep dreaming, you dreamers.
- Four more outstanding Dave's Picks, of course -- but, these WILL include a mid-80's show that will be widely reviled as being "not even close" to the best shows from the era.
- An '88-91 era video release.
I love the new '90 box - shows are hot and the sound quality is the best I've ever heard for any live release of anything. That said, I've always said that I prefer a mediocre recording of great performance over a great recording of even a very good performance. I previously stated that I thought I had found a new favorite version of To Lay Me Down (4/1/90), at least for this era. It appears that sound quality CAN bias one's perspective. While checking out a couple of other versions from around the same time I came across the version on RT vol 2 #1 from 9/18/90. No Brent, unfortunately, but it compensates with Hornsby. But, check out the performance overall. I submit that 4/1 is a VERY good performance - great harmonies, beautiful playing, amidst a hot show. The 9/18 performance has sound that can't compare, and the harmonies are not as good. But, check out the passion of the performance. This is a GREAT performance, not a very good one. Even though the shows on the spring 90 boxes are wonderful, it's good to remember that even around the same time, there are moments that transcend even what they did on that tour. If I could only keep one of those tracks, it'd be 9/18. Of course, I don't have to do that!
Check out Phil on New Minglewood Blues from 3/21.
This version alone just proves how hot they were in '90, with a standard first set tune transformed into a monster!
I really need to get back and listen to this whole tour show by show from both boxes.
I would definately buy complete-show boxes of the DiP4 (2/13&14/70) and Ladies And Gentlemen... (4/25-29/71) shows and even Dozin At The Knick (3/24-26/90)! I also would jump at an UNEDITED 5/15/70 box and a complete 8/6/71 2 disc release and a complete Egypt and a complete From Egypt, and, and, and....
Anyway, I don't like things left incomplete I guess (and these are such great things!).
More all-new releases is fine too!
I do think "Cool" 50 is going to focus on downloads and trying out "cool" new ways to aggregate content without the constraints of physical media limitations and packaging requirements. In other words, freed of the standards of costs and pricing attendant to CD-based releases, GDM can try releases of all kinds of "cool" collections, from 45 minute studio session out-takes to a 1000+ minute "Complete Wonderland 10/74" set, at all kinds of "cool" prices with "cool" Digital-media "booklets" that incorporate lots of "cool" interactive and animated features ("cool!"). I have heard that it will all be very "cool".