Spring 1990 (The Other One) Box
Less Than 1000 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 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".
There is only one tour to exist on both video and high quality 24-track masters.
"The Fare The Well To Tiger" Summer '89 Video Blu-ray Box with Hi-rez stereo and DTS Surround Sound.
I swear I can her Jer say 'I' or 'It' can't get any better right before FOTD Alpine Valley.
That's true regarding the mining of the 4/71 Fillmore shows for Ladies and Gentleman... I guess they could always throw in the NRPS sets?
I'm still hoping for the 3 night Alpine '89 run to be released as a Blu-Ray/CD combo.
I know I will enjoy anything and everything that is thrown at us.
Spring 70 & 71 Fillmore East would be interesting, but they have both already been mined before and only 71 was recorded multi-track. I wonder how much usable material is left from those runs.
Also.. Besides a select few, most of us don't know what remains in the Owsley Archive. Perhaps there is some GD left in there somewhere. Someone else mentioned the Capitol Theatre shows, I believe they were recorded in multi-track (hence three from the vault).
I wonder if there are any more of the 68 multi-tracks still around from the Anthem recordings. Theres lots of video, probably some of the spring 1990 tour.
Finally.. Love the Spring 90 box. This, with the Fillmore 69, Winterland 73 & 77 and E 72 get my nod as some of the highest quality live music ever released by the band. This one sounds like a studio recording of live music. Crystal clear, great separation. Really yummy stuff. I'm having a hard time to believe it has not sold out. ..almost like time slowed down as soon as they made the 1,500 left announcement.
is what my money is on for the big five-O.
"More" seems like a good possibility. Hopefully "cooler" means something will be released that is more exciting than E'72 or Spring 1990 box sets. I hope it means discovering something that was thought lost or unrecorded involving 1970. That said, more seems like a far more likely scenario. I would guess there will be multiple types of products including downloads, a smaller box set or two, some kind of video release, vinyl release, and who knows what else. I guess the difference between 2015 and preceding years would be probably a greater amount of things to choose from.
We really need a 50th speculation thread,but anyway, my guess. More spectacular, or more cool would seem difficult (considering FW69, E'72, 1990, Veneta, etc.), as we seem to agree. So why not just 'more'?
- more boxes (like Winterland 73/77, so not too expensive per box)
- (in view of Rhino's interest in producing just not enough, a bit like Ferrari) a bigger, more expensive subscription (monthly installments, two shows /quarter or whatever)
- an ever expanding streaming service from (remastered/mixed) vault
I have a gut feeling the vault, to a certain extent, will open up digitally. This means single show downloads of mp3, flac, or HD options. That would be the ultimate now would it not. How they would approach this as far as the Norman touch I have no clue. They could set aside the really great shows for that I suppose and re-release everything else that has allready been done
I too hope that whatever is released in the form of a mega box set is offered as single show releases. The wife doesn't really care how I much I pay. Her attitude is as long as the bills are paid and we're not going hungry I could spend 10,000 dollars on dead.net. My problem is every year I put aside so much money for GD or GD related goods, last year I put aside 500 dollars & it was gone by the time the May 1977 box set was announced in May. Because I didn't get the DP subscription, I had to use E-bay for each one plus RSD in April, the GarciaLive releases and a few t-shirts by the time May came around I'd spent $536.54 so by the end of the year I had spent $912.19. The REAL money was spent when the official release of SSDD came around I think I spent almost 400 bucks just in the SSDD Store. Now next year I already put aside $1,200 with the anticipation that whatever is going to be offered for 2015 will be expensive. The wife & I already discussed DP 2015 so that will be my Christmas present, for some reason I feel that Dave's Picks will sell out before January 2015 so when the GD Almanac comes out in early November we will be ordering a subscription that instant. Looking forward to 50 Years of the good ole Grateful Dead just hoping that shows will be available as single releases just like Europe '72 was. I do admit that being a Deadhead can get expensive however it's not just the music it's a way of life. Now just waiting for the Live Chat with DL on Monday. HAPPY SATURDAY, DEADLAND!!!!!!!
I'm with you Dark Star. I would love to have everything released but price matters. I bought the Europe 72 box and my wife was way cool. I bought the May 77 box and my wife had some concerns. When the next big thing was Spring 90 I was kind of relieved because I had Dozin, Terrapin, and Without a Net, and that was plenty of 90's Dead. When Spring 90 TOO came out I got the single show release. I am excited and worried at the same time that 2015 will have some "really cool" stuff but with major price tags. I hope there are single show or music only options as it's hard to satisfactorily answer the inevitable "How much Dead do you need?" question which I fear may be coming.
As far as I'm concerned, to surpass anything previously released it would have to be either a box set of the September 1970 Fillmore East run or the November 1970 Capitol Theater run. That said, there are many box sets that could be released that would make me happy: something from 1969, February 1970, Fall 1973, June 1974, May 1977 part 2, Greek Theater 1981, and on and on.
I hope that it's under $300.00 or I'm out. I can't afford another $450.00 box or one that's even higher in price. The wife is usually pretty cool but the Europe '72 box caused a few problems.
In my humble opinion, the question of which shows might be released in the 50th anniversary year is shooting too low, especially given that Dave keeps talking up how cool things are about to get. They've always released shows in a series format, as well as in boxed formats, so just releasing some long-treasured shows isn't really "cool" (it is, but bear with me a moment). I think that they're going to do (to paraphrase Monty Python) something completely different.
It might be a flood of videos (why haven't we seen an official 3/28/81 yet?), it might be a downloadable cleaned-up version of the best set from each tour, it might be 3-D holograms of the band playing an amalgam of every Dead tune simultaneously, but there's something coming besides just a Fall '73 box or 9/18/87, or whatever individual show each person is wishing for.
Or maybe all that money from the Terrapin Limited idea has been secretly used to master every show ever played, and now you can finally purchase a lifetime vault membership for $1000, and stream or download anything they ever played (in perfect sound) . . .
...so something special must be at the end of it : )
Fall '73 almost seems too predictable. And so much is already released (28 discs' worth, 7 complete shows and the majority of 4 others). Though there's still plenty left for a Winterland '77- or Spring '90-sized box. I'd pass, but a massive circle of people would be dancing a ring around the sun...!
I just had a big, big thought, but I'll keep it too myself -- would hate to jinx it if it could possibly happen, and if it couldn't, wouldn't wanna cast any disappointments on the parade that's actually GOING to happen....
As of this year's subscription and TOO box, I'm officially satisfied with my "vault" (though still hoping for an 84-87 for Dave's 12), so whatever happens next is just jimmies on the sundae for me....
It almost has to be hyperbole (Dave). "Cooler" than FW 69 and E 72. Man, I don't know...
"Whether they’re the Fillmore West box in 2004, whether it’s Europe ’72…we’ve done a lot of cool things. What we have planned for 2015 I think is the coolest thing we’ve done yet and that’s not hyperbole and that’s not the blowing of smoke. That is true."
Cooler than Europe '72 or the Fillmore West 1969? The only thing that I can think of is Fall '73.
....that I just realized there is a book in the set......Bonus!!
Yes, thank you. That was added after my original post and email to dead.net requesting clarification on the hi-res downloads.
Correct me if I'm wrong, but it sounds like this marks the return of the slower tempo Eyes of the World. I wonder what the genesis of the change was. Was it something that had been discussed for years? They open the second set with it, a rare thing in and of itself. The 3/19 show has the up-tempo Eyes of the World. Does anyone know exactly when the faster tempo Eyes of the World was introduced? Perhaps it was a gradual thing, but it sounds to me they started increasing the beat on the first leg of the Spring '78 tour and things just started getting faster from there. (4-12-78 Duke to be precise.)
I was a guilty fence sitter for quite a while but now am now a fully satisfied owner. Sound wise, is as everyone has praised, with the sort of distinctive clarity usually only found in studio recordings. My preference for listening actually tends to be top-spun audience pulls (which was partly to blame for the hesitation) but having the opportunity hear perfectly balanced levels, being able to cue into the goings on of any one of our six psychedelic minstrels... well, just too much to pass up.
And what a great tour for this. While maybe not quite hitting those X factor peaks that can push the sweat out from the soles of your feet, I’m not sure there are other tours where the band moves as fluidly as a collective unit as they do here. The music simply rides on an effortless wabi-sabi of intuitive inspiration and leaves the show boating to the Knicks. Probably the most democratic mode the band ever found themselves in.
The other reason for my purchase was the artwork. As much as I will always connect to the standard iconography (yes, put a bolt on it, indeed!), how lucky we are to have an entirely fresh visual expression for the GD ethos. And to this head, Dessner’s work is as much of a natural fit as say, Mouse’s efforts for the original Europe ‘72 release. It works.... perfectibly! Besides that, with the release limited to 9,0000, who knows? The box set might just appreciate value for this aspect alone. Impossible to predict though as finicky as the art world is. Although, when I spread all the discs out upon my coffee table, or catch a glimpse of the carousel skeleton riding dandy in the bookshelf, proudly between Mark Twain’s Library of Humor and Cormac McCarthy‘s The Crossing, I understand without a doubt the contribution that has been made to my home (and I live in a bitsy house, mind you).
So maybe that will persuade others to close this one out. And don’t worry, I don’t work for Rhino. Am only one of the many many out there that still finds himself amazed that he can listen to this great great band with the same enthusiasm as he always has year after year, decade after decade.
Listen to Brent's work on Stella Blue on 4/1 at the Omni. Really beautiful. There are so many examples in Spring 90 of guys just being totally in the moment and playing creative runs and fills. These are truly great shows.
Musically speaking, I think Brent brought a lot to the table. He added a new dimension and some innovative sounds. It is quite obvious that Jerry really enjoyed playing with him. As for his vocals, I love him as a background singer and not so much as the lead singer. I do really like Just A Little Light and Blow Away from the first Spring '90 box are great too.
I totally hear you guys on not liking Brent's sounds or Jerry's midi sounds in this era of the Dead. How can it compare to earlier versions? Etc.
I had that exact view for no less than 20 years. My two times seeing them with Jerry was 7-2-89 and 9-24-91, or basically a year or so on either side of Spring 90. The 89 show was awesome, the 91 show not bad, but with both I was really wishing that I was seeing the version from 20 years back.
I came close to SELLING Without a Net at one point! Always liked Dozin, but could not understand the Terrapin Ltd, the Warlocks set, Nightfall of Diamonds.
Now, I have come around. I think it was hearing a friend's copy of the first Spring 90 set that did it. This stuff is really superb, just different. I really think this was a high point of their career. Yes I love 68-74, and 77 and other choice moments in their timeline. No question. But as you keep listening to this stuff over the years, you start to appreciate more that quirky stuff that sometimes came to the table during this era. It brings a little variety. And the band is playing rock-solid in the meantime. I appreciate Brent more than ever - he was the right guy for them at this particular point in time. Anyway.... just saying give it time, you'll probably be just as happy to hear this stuff as any other era.
Edited to add: Brent's songs, OK, still not usually the highlight but for the most part I listen to them now - never did before -and some are quite good - Blow Away, JALL...
It says right here on this page in the Digital Download section:
"HD FLAC Available in 192kHz/24bit"