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


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Joined: Feb 24 2009
chkj11 - don't stop!

No, I say DON'T STOP! Customer service needs to be held accountable.
How ridiculous.
People, if your order got screwed up, don't stop bitching and complaining.

"none of us want to hear it anymore."

And by "none of us" he means him.

Joined: Jan 7 2009
Well chkj11 if everyone was

Well chkj11 if everyone was thinking like you we would still be living in caves. Then again maybe that wouldn't be bad thing at all.

chkj11's picture
Joined: Jul 1 2009

Everyone needs to stop their bitching and complaining. If you haven't gotten something you ordered that's one things but enough of these people saying they don't like the way things are being run. If you don't like the way things are going stop buying from them. I see some of the same people complaining about this box set who said after the Europe 72 blow up that they would never buy anything from these guys again and of course they did. Don't continue to buy and complain, don't expect things to change and if you do expect that and continue to buy then that's your problem to deal with it because none of us want to hear it anymore.

Joined: Feb 24 2009
What happened? I'd like to know.

What happened over the last few months at and Rhino (and what is their relationship)?

Things were pretty smooth before and now they are totally screwed up. Was there a mass exodus of personnel? Did they fire everyone and hire new people and have to train them? What could have happened? It can't be that hard to organize shipping and inventory.

And why am I constantly told to contact Rhino when I bought from If I have a problem with something I bought from Amazon and contact them, they don't tell me to contact the publisher of the book! I bought it from them and they handle it on the spot.

Get off the crack dudes!


Joined: Jan 22 2011
By the way

The box and contents looked really nice.

Joined: Jan 22 2011

Annoying, Aggravating, Anxious and a few other things. Was assured Thursday that the box would ship Friday. Of course that doesn't show anywhere as having happened, and it's Labor Day weekend. I walked into a customers yesterday (Friday), the wife says, "Guess what Greg got" and shows me his box. "He's so excited!" Arrrggghhh!
Went to the Facebook page and saw all the posts starting back on the 24th of folks getting their boxes and how much they luv 'em. Arrrggghhh! Think it's time for a nice long morning walk. Then come home and dive into my vines collection. Have all kinds of '68, '69, '70, '71 shows I haven't come close to listening to. Everyone knows these were the best years anyway. Who needs '90's Dead....anyway?
Make that: AAAArrrggghhh!

unkle sam's picture
Joined: Oct 3 2008
sold out

yeah, big time, but, lets print some more, number them whatever and pass them off as the original 9,000. Rhino, you have screwed the pooch again, how do you people keep your jobs? if any of ya worked for me, you would have been replaced long ago. In my experience any of you who have not received your copy or have defective product will not get satisfaction, you will be lied to, told all is well, ignored, or just out and out screwed, but after it all is said and done, you will have a nasty taste in your mouth and will have to spend lots of your personal time trying to get what you paid for, then, if you bitch enough, they will, maybe after a year or so, promise to help you. Does this sound like customer service to you? Sounds like a nightmare to me.

Joined: Feb 13 2009

Thank you!

Joined: Feb 13 2009
WOW. Amazing box set THANK YOU

Thank you for putting this out! Amazing sound quality and packaging. This sets a high bar in my opinion. Thank you for all the hard work that went into this!

Is there any way to d/l the tracklistings / meta tags for saving the discs digitally onto my pc? Thank you!

Joined: Nov 12 2010

It's getting pretty depressing logging in everyday in the hope that someone in the UK/Europe has their DP3 or Spring '90 box only to discover that there seem to be more problems and few answers with poor Mary being swamped, but as always very helpful.
One wonders how hard it can be to organize this thing, Volumes 1and 2 of DP get released/delivered no problem, Vol. 3 and it hits the fan.
S90 people are asked to order and pay for their order, get a suprise email/message stating box has been posted early and a week/ ten days later they are still waiting even if they only live a few miles away. (not talking UK/Europe here I would to wait 10/12 days for this).
I know I don't need to look at the site, and wouldn't get depressed if I didn't but sheez you do hope there will be good news. Never even thought of doing the rant thing, "never buying again", "rip off" or any of the many others, everyone makes mistakes and anyone who is or has worked for a living may be suffering from selective memory if they think they didn't when they were employed, but please just let us no what is happening and when you find out what it was that caused the problems...............................................fix it!

Thanks for letting me vent.

Coconut Phil's picture
Joined: Jun 4 2007
Worse then I thought

I have been reading all the post about DP3 and S90. Customer service has blown this stuff sky hi. I ordered S90 30 minutes after it was posted. Yet, folks in Canada have received their copies already? When I call I get fed a load of BS, always a different answer. The Supervisor had to come on to finally get me a answer. The bottom line is that they are all dazed and confused. The Supv told me that I may receive a tracking number or I may not. Also that if I did receive a tracking number it probably would not work anyway? She did refund my shipping cost, I was grateful for that. I'll just keep waiting like many others.

Sorry to hear that so many still do not have their DP3, what a mess. Now they are printing more, how will they be numbered? Hopefully after this release is all delivered they will clean up their act for future releases.


marye's picture
Joined: May 26 2007
re sold out

Yes, for the moment this is the case.

The official word:
This item is temporarily unavailable.
We have a small quantity of units still coming off the line. We will notify subscribers when the last of the 9,000 units are available for purchase.

marye's picture
Joined: May 26 2007
re cracked CD

I've passed this on.

simonrob's picture
Joined: Jun 7 2007
Sold out...

or almost so. It took longer than I expected for this to sell out,

Joined: Jan 23 2011
Mary E- Cracked 1990 CD, getting nowhere fast

here is an email transcript. no communication since 8/26. i did follow up yesterday and didn't hear back yet.
thanks for your help.

Recently you requested personal assistance from our on-line support
center. Below is a summary of your request and our response.

If this issue is not resolved to your satisfaction, you may reopen it
within the next 7 days.

Thank you for allowing us to be of service to you.

cracked CD

Discussion Thread
Response Via Email(Jessica Slaughter) - 08/26/2012 09:42 AM
Dear James,

Thank you for your email. I am sorry to learn of the damaged shipment you received. There is no need for you to return the damaged item. I have forwarded the information to the proper department for assistance. Please allow 24-72 hours for a response. If you need any further assistance, please let us know.

Best regards,

Customer Care Center

Customer By Email (James ) - 08/25/2012 03:58 PM
my disc 2 from the Hartford show is cracked from the center out and will not read/play.
what is the protocol to get that cd replaced?

Order# 8812648-7209739

Joined: Jan 23 2011
Mary E- Cracked 1990 CD, getting nowhere fast

here is an email transcript. no communication since 8/26. i did follow up yesterday and didn't hear back yet.
thanks for your help.

Recently you requested personal assistance from our on-line support
center. Below is a summary of your request and our response.

If this issue is not resolved to your satisfaction, you may reopen it
within the next 7 days.

Thank you for allowing us to be of service to you.

cracked CD

Discussion Thread
Response Via Email(Jessica Slaughter) - 08/26/2012 09:42 AM
Dear James,

Thank you for your email. I am sorry to learn of the damaged shipment you received. There is no need for you to return the damaged item. I have forwarded the information to the proper department for assistance. Please allow 24-72 hours for a response. If you need any further assistance, please let us know.

Best regards,

Customer Care Center

Customer By Email (James Lamperetta) - 08/25/2012 03:58 PM
my disc 2 from the Hartford show is cracked from the center out and will not read/play.
what is the protocol to get that cd replaced?
james lamperetta
Hello James

Order# 8812648-7209739

Joined: Feb 24 2009
Dave's Picks #3

1971 - one of my favorite eras. And no Donna to ruin it with her screeching voice! And Bobby is just singing and not adding al those irritating flourishes that he started in the early '80's. I'm looking forward to perusing this.

Actually, what would you call the era from 1965 to 1977? That's my favorite. But that might be a few eras really, depending on how yo slice and dice it. Just off the top of my head:

65-69, 70-72 - two very different sounding Pigpen eras. Jerry was hot as hell most of it and in my opinion the greatest rock guitarist in the world, bar none, even Hendrix.
73-79 - Donna and Keith era - this is the one I attended all of my shows at and I love it in spite of Donna.
79-89 - Brent started but it's not his fault. I stopped going they were so tired and Jerry's heroin usage escalated and obviously affected his play. Although I may have missed out here and there but I didn't want to go to a dozen shows to hopefully get a good one.
[Trivia: did people know that the duo drum section started in '76 to give Jerry time to go back stage to mainline some H and rest?]
90 improve a bit but not back to '60's and '70's quality.
95 - a very sad year :(

1971 is what I'm talkin' 'bout! Jerry is so fresh. Young voice, sharp guitar. Yeah baby!

Joined: Feb 24 2009
ppennock: Is it wrong to be very very happy?

No. It's good to be happy! :)

I enjoy listening, but I also enjoy comparing and analyzing. To each their own.

Joined: Feb 24 2009
marye - how do I send you a PM and what details do you want?

My issues are two:

1. Never got Dave's Picks 3 and no one at nor at Rhino are answering my emails.

2. Cracked disk from 1990 box set - am I getting a new one? When?

So how do I send a private message with more details, and what details?

marye's picture
Joined: May 26 2007
folks having unresolved order issues

Please send me a PM with the details and I'll see what I can do. Thanks.

Joined: Aug 31 2012
Loving This...

First off, not sure why anyone who already knows that they don't like this era would plop $200+ down for it. For the trinkets? Gotta buy EVERYTHING that GDM puts out? What long time head hasn't heard these shows or at least a huge sampling from this tour/era? You had to know what you were getting.

My favorite eras are 1972-1974, 1977 and 1989-1991. For me, the peak of the Brent era was 1990. Sure, there are uneven shows and moments in there, but I'm often drawn to that year when I want to hear some Brent.

I already have/had a bunch of shows from this tour (possibly the whole tour?) due to being a long-time collector before the band pulled them from the trading sites (and of course going back to cassette trading and cdr trading). What I didn't have was professional mixes of them and that's what drew me to this collection. Like another poster mentioned, I wanted to hear more that sounded deep and vibrant like Without a Net does. These live up to that very nicely. I guess they didn't use the multi-track recordings (why not?), but it sure sounds like they did.

I'm a little surprised by the selections as I would have chosen 4/1 instead of 4/2 and 3/29 over 3/30, but that's just a quibble. Not sure why they included a Knickerbocker show since we already have a good sampling from that run, but whatever.

Overall, I'm enjoying the heck out of this and have listened to maybe 4 of the 6 shows so far. There are some flubs as well as brilliance, surrounding lots and lots of solid playing.

I will vehemently disagree however that this is the last great tour. Fall 1991 was the last great tour and exceeds Spring 1990. Listen to 9/6/91 through the rest of that run and tell me that it wasn't EPIC.

Not sure it's worth 2 bills, but I'm borrowing it from a buddy who's one of those Gotta Buy Everything people, so all I can say is it's definitely worth my listen.

Joined: Feb 24 2009
Why the "bickering" and difference of opinions?

I think I figured it out - simply that there are many DIFFERENT kinds of Dead Heads.

I can't pretend to know the different types. I know what I am. But other types might be those that simply like the music and the "scene". Others just like it as "easy listening" in the background while doing other things. Maybe some like the space and others like the melody songs, and others like the jams.
And some, like me, like to really dig deep and listen to every note Jerry plays! He's the reason I listen to the Dead. No other reason.

I may not even be a "Dead Head" per se since it's really just Jerry that I like. He was a consummate musician, at least a good deal of the time. But not always. So I naturally compare eras. He was best in 69-70, no doubt in my mind. He was terrific from then until 77 and then went down hill. He got somewhat better in the early '90's but never as good as his earlier years.

Now, I 'm not saying any of this to insult anyone else's opinion. It's just mine.
To my mind the rest of the band are okay as a back up band to Jerry. I am CONVINCED that if Jerry never existed none of these other dudes would have made it to much recognition in the music world. At least not very popularly. Most of use would never have heard of them. And we wouldn't be listening to all the spin-offs like Further and the solo stuff. They wouldn't exist. They were carried by Jerry, period. Without Jerry the phenomenon of the Grateful Dead never would have gotten past small clubs if that.
I personally think Further sucks pretty bad. I turn it off when it comes on the XM Radio Dead station. It's like a "tribute band"! Again, just my opinion so don't get all hot under the collar!

Robert Hunter was a great poet. He's my second favorite Dead.
Phil was a great musician in many ways but never would have gotten so popular without Jerry.
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.
Drummers - very good but the Dead could have gone on with different ones.
Keyboards - Pigpen was the only GREAT one.
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.

The Grateful Dead could have continued with the death of ANYONE but Jerry. Bob's rhythm guitar would have been hard to replace - the sound would have doubtless changed quite a bit. But it could have been done. Same with Phil. And the rest could be exchanged quite easily.

Just my opinions if that's okay ;)

Joined: Dec 29 2009

i am not dissing anybody or any era! i am just saying its not my favorite time! i still am going to all the shows i can. no matter the configuration Weir solo, Furthur, 7 Walkers, or Mickey Hart Band where else can you get what we all seek!
As far as my comment "Mickey left the ranch" that was all GOOD! i think he was the "blistering" one during these shows and you can clearly hear him evolving into a new "space" with his drumming while still "jamming" ( Whatever that means!) i am really digging his recent shows!
Hope to see you all in Philly next week @ Weir solo and MHB shows!

Joined: Feb 24 2009

What the heck is wrong with critical listening and comparing? So you just like "easy listening", but some of us like to analyze closely.
If you don't like to do that, ignore those posts that do.

Joined: Feb 24 2009
juddcbrown, I agree

Yeah, the customer service sucks these days. Bummer.

Underthevolcano's picture
Joined: Feb 6 2008
hey Hoopsie...

Yes indeed, brother, God Bless the Grateful Dead. I am, like you, lovin' this release. I agree that this was a NEW special time in their storied career as transportational musicians. May Brent and Jerry rest in peace.

Joined: Apr 10 2008
re: our special customer service for this release

I've never felt more like GD customer service has no clue what's going on as I do with this bunch.
I ordered the set early, wanted to change my payment method, but I had to cancel and reorder. After receiving confirmation that the first order was cancelled, I got a shipping notice for that very order. When I called customer service, I was told that indeed the order was cancelled, but it was too late. I was then told I could return the set on my dime. When I contested that I should have to pay return shipping, u was put on hold. When "Lingerie" (I swear that's what he said his name was) came back, his story changed to no record of me trying to cancel. When I pointed out the obvious dubiousness of his story change, he suddenly realized his mistake and discovered that I had cancelled, but stuck to me having to pay for return shipping. I asked for a supervisor and was told I would be called back. Lingerie also took the path if asking personal questions such as why I wanted to change my payment method, in a somewhat hostile and confrontational tone. One answer, Lingerie, none of your god**am business!!!
In the meantime, I took a second loom at the FAQ page on the website and saw where unopened items could be returned at no shipping expense to the customer. I called back as if the original conversation never happened, told the new rep I would like to return ny unopened item, and he emailed a shipping label. I am still waiting for the refund, so hopefully this is the end of this horrible customer service tale.

Joined: Aug 30 2012
Senseless bickering

All of this absolutely stupid comparisons over eras only shows the ignorance of those doing it. To insult any given line up of the Grateful Dead only reflects poorly on the person doing it and is really another way of saying they are mired in a past that never really was. I saw shows off and on ranging from 5/17/77 to 5/26/93, and each "era" has its pros and cons. 77 had supremely tight playing and Keith's "on-the-one" piano (to borrow a phrase from James Brown), but it also had Donna's singing which, to me, sometimes sounding like a tortured lamb having its organs removed via vivisection. Horrendous. But it was still the good ol' Grateful Dead, and I wouldn't have turned down any show along the way. When Brent came in, I thought--and still do--that he was one of the strongest contributors and players in the band. Nothing... nothing... sounds as good to me as those acoustic sets in autumn 80. 85-86 was touch and go, but when the boys were on, they were hot. By 88-90, they had new material, a new lease of Dead life, and--in their own words--felt they had never been playing as good as they did between winter 88 and summer 90. Brent's songs in this era spoke to my heart and soul more than anything else I'd heard from them. Throughout spring of 90, I heard more people talking about how each show was just getting better. I also kept hearing--as I did throughout the 80s-- "older" heads badmouth Brent and spill nostalgia for by-gone days. But I saw those same complainers at show after show. When I saw sets with Vince, I wasn't impressed with him so much, but he was who the Dead chose to play and so I knew there was something about him that no one outside of Bruce H. had. My final show had the most amazing PITB I'd ever heard and that's not a tune I ever hoped for... it got tedious to me. But again, I wouldn't have had it any other way (except to have Brent not feel he needed an early exit from the show).

To badmouth Spring 90 with such condescending words and evident attitude is telling Jerry and Bob and Phil that they sucked for not sticking around in the same ol' mud for another decade to please someone who had no concept of musical growth. It's just the same as someone saying there was no good music since 197-whatever. Which is BS in the extreme. If anyone wants to wallow in their nostalgic trip of 1968 Carousel Ballroom, or Europe 72, or Spring 77, or whenever, feel free. Enjoy. I love those shows too (as almost anyone here might or might not). But to think you're better or more of a Deadhead than those of us who also appreciate late 80s or even the 90s shows, you'd be laughed at by Jerry. Like once in the lot during the mid-80s when folks were one-upping each other over how many shows they saw (as if quantity made them more of a fan), Jerry wandered by and commented that when they played Egypt, there was a couple who mortgage their house to fly to Cairo to see them.

If you don’t like a particular era… great. But you ain’t any better than someone else by badmouthing a band that chose to evolve musically as they spanned a 30 year musical career.

bolo24's picture
Joined: Nov 25 2009
What's With the Bickering?

Just seems odd to me that folks can be so picky about which GD era is the best, what music is great, what sucks, etc. Perhaps some of us have lost sight of the big picture.

I think my brother summed it up best when we celebrated his 60th birthday not too long ago. When asked to reflect on his time spent on this planet thus far, he acknowledged the love of family and friends, his gratitude for good health, and so on. All the things one might expect to hear on such an occasion. Then he added:

"I'm also blessed to have been alive during the time of the Grateful Dead."

'Nuff said.

PalmerEldritch's picture
Joined: Jul 25 2011
GD X17

GD X17- I love that analogy! I feel exactly the same way. I can't imagine comparing anything from the late Brent era to any 60's, 70's Dead. But I'm enjoying this set and discovering this era I've ignored for so long. I find the negative comments refreshing. No other era so deeply divides Deadheads, eh? A problematic, enigmatic era- fascinating! Now back to listening.

Joined: Jun 11 2007
Nope rbmunkin

Wasn't poking you. Am lamenting the loss of customer service that was a part of the Dead since forever.

Hoopsie's picture
Joined: Jan 5 2012
This set is just flat-out SICK...

...Through and through.
Jerry and Brent are the highlights and shortly thereafter, they were gone.
First set nuggets aplenty, and just about every song you would want.
Drums Space are excellent and different every night.
Goodness gracious God bless the Grateful Dead!

Joined: Feb 24 2009
"doesn't like Bob's vocals

"doesn't like Bob's vocals doesn't amount to coherent or meaningful insight into the music."

How is my criticism of Bob's voice being affecting not coherent or meaningful? I even gave you the definition of affecting in case you didn't know.
It's totally true and constructive criticism.

"That explains a lot."

What's that supposed to mean? I can be honest about my positive qualities as well as my negative. It happens to be true.

"Cultic"? Look it up.

One Man's picture
Joined: May 17 2011
GD X-17

Good, bad, ugly -- this forum has it all, and why not? I'm with other posters who have had difficulty buying what the 1990 version of the band was selling. Still, this box is surprising to me. I can't let myself even think of this as the same band I loved in the 70s. It is like a parallel universe where some other band much less edgy and much more in the yacht rock vein takes the place of the Grateful Dead. I call them GD X-17, from planet Crisscross. They play MIDIfied Grateful Dead covers and some newer Loggins & Messina outtakes. Yet somehow there is an electricity that can't quite be denied. There is something in their DNA that evokes wonder and groovitude. The beautiful thing is that you can't define it. Just turn up the volume and it will grab you. I'm not kidding. I had big doubts about the audio quality but this really puts you in the venue instead of in the soundboard. Try it. I think 3/16/90 is my favorite first set ever.

Joined: Nov 7 2010
Well okay then...

"Honestly? Yes. I'm the best at what I do of anyone I've ever met in my field."

That explains a lot.

P.S. I'm not sure why, when someone points out the banality of another's criticism, that the person pointing out the offending comment is somehow "cultic" (wherever that word came from) in their honest evaluation of Dead music.

I'm happy to hear criticism of the Dead, when it means something, and when it makes sense. I do it myself. Sure, sometimes the Dead sucked. But just because someone doesn't like Mickey or doesn't like Bob's vocals doesn't amount to coherent or meaningful insight into the music.

Joined: Feb 24 2009
to juddcbrown about "Reality"

"Commenters often speculate that our discs have been delayed due to people smoking the Good Stuff. I fear that it may be us, the customers of these products, that are high. And when we come down, we ask what this shitty Music is.
It breaks my heart."

Not clear what is breaking your heart. Your post is not clear.

But I can say that I was joking about "smoking the good stuff" and I haven't been high on drugs for about 30 years. I like the Dead without drugs. But I can be critical of them when they aren't playing at their best. I'm not cultic about them. They are the best at some times and quite bad at others. Jerry spoke about this range many many years ago. He recognized that they sucked sometimes. Can you?

Joined: Feb 24 2009
to "one problem" nafoster1

So this forum should just be for "I love the Dead and it's all so great, la de da"? If that's the case, I need to find a forum that is truly into listening to the music critically.

I listen intently, to every note Jerry plays, etc, and it's natural to compare to other eras. And I would like to feel free to express my thoughts on it.

What the heck is wrong with that?

If this is just a "cultic" forum and only great and romantically positive comments are allowed, well, what's the point?

About this: "are you that good at whatever it is you do for a living? I mean, let's be honest"

Honestly? Yes. I'm the best at what I do of anyone I've ever met in my field.

Joined: Jun 11 2007

May have set in for me. Once I would have spoken to Ruby at GDTS to ask about my mail-order (and gotten Satisfaction). Today I discovered that I have held on to the fond memories when they have really gone the way of others I held dear.

I wanted to believe that someone in Marin County was checking to see why I hadn't gotten my DP3 order. They told me they were, and they usually came through. If a show was sold out, I believed them and mailed even earlier next time.

My experience today took awhile to sink in. I knew Spring '90 had started shipping. And that I should have been among the first to receive it due to my choosing Express shipping. So I trusted that there was a mitigating Circumstance when it never showed. GD had always delivered in the end.

But I just received my DP3 shipment Friday after getting shipping notice on July 31st. I emailed, called, and waited patiently through multiple explanations and trusted that all would be well. And like always, it was in the end.

Today though was different. After repeated efforts to find my Spring '90 box set, it became clear that the Customer Service number/email address has nothing to do with customer service. They are a call center in Georgia handling calls for Rhino. They have no idea what is going on with delivery of DP 3 or Spring '90, nor even what those things are. They are there to verify that we have an order in and to try via dissembling to get us to think our orders are On The Way. Or have been delayed by techical issues. Or were lost by the Post Office but were going to be reissued by Rhino in spite of being Limited Editions.

Commenters often speculate that our discs have been delayed due to people smoking the Good Stuff. I fear that it may be us, the customers of these products, that are high. And when we come down, we ask what this shitty Music is.

It breaks my heart.

Joined: Nov 7 2010
One problem

with comment forums like this is...too many armchair experts and self-appointed arbiters of taste.

I can empathize and understand commenters who post about shipping/product issues--that's fine, since there doesn't seem to be another forum for that.

But people who have nothing more constructive to say than "Mickey has left the ranch" or helpful to add than complaints about Bob's vocals beg the question: are you that good at whatever it is you do for a living? I mean, let's be honest.

O.k., you like other years. Fine. But being condescendingly dismissive about a particular year or tour that many people happen to really dig: what's the point? At least offer some genuinely insightful comments.

Maybe this Grateful Dead is "bland," or has "left the ranch," as you say. Or maybe they're the best goddamned band that took the stage every single night they played during this spring tour of the year 1990. Depends on how you look at it.

How's about them apples?

Joined: Feb 24 2009

Yep, I guess they are either smoking too much good stuff or .... I don't know what.
Still no reply to my emails to and Rhino about not getting Dave's Picks 3.

Monday I'm going to dispute my original charge with my credit card company. I paid for 4 Dave's picks and have rec'd only 2 so I feel it's disputable.

Joined: Jul 17 2007
another cracked disc complaint

Disc 3 of 3-16-90 was cracked. Called customer service, they ordered me a new one. they have no idea when it will be shipped, since they didn't expect these cracked disc complaints. They said just wait for an e-mail. Never had a cracked disc problem before, it takes a lot to crack them, they're pretty sturdy......

All others were fine, Thank God...

Joined: Jun 11 2007
Save your energy.

I have called the toll-free number multiple times. I have gotten different explanations each time.


They do not know anything beyond what is on the web.

They do not know what company they are fulfilling orders for.

They do not have any shipping information.

They will tell you anything to get off the line.

This is the same group that has kept honest (by nature) Heads thinking that DP3 was a simple USPS screwup away.

I have never complained about releases having this or that. I am complaining now.

Joined: Mar 12 2009
SO much better

There was quite a bit of discussion early on about using John Cutler's live 2-track recordings. A lot of people were disappointed, perhaps fearing that the result would sound like Terrapin Limited - two dimensional, with the vocals and instruments poorly separated and smashed up to the front of the sound stage, and sounding nothing like any show I ever went to. This set however, sounds identical to Without A Net, which was made from the 24-track recordings, and is the best representation of how every show I ever went to sounded - a wonderful, deep, detailed, three dimensional sound stage. David Lemieux has stated that Spring 1990 is from the 2-track live mix. Did somebody use a magic wand that we don't know about?

mustin321's picture
Joined: Aug 12 2011
Just Got My Box Set, Finally

So far, I am blown away by how good these shows sound. If I close my eyes, Id swear I was there. Thank you David Lemieux and everyone else who made this possible. I have been wondering why nobody has said much about the "Terrapin Station 3/15/90" (Phils 50th B-day) release from the same tour. That show is really good too but the sound of this box set sounds much better.

I WANT MORE! Please keep them coming.

carolina boy's picture
Joined: Feb 1 2010
Shipping equality

So, a co-worker and I both ordered our own sets at the same time, late Friday evening. I selected the Rush (3-7 day) shipping and he selected Standard. We were both notified very early Tuesday morning that it had shipped. Both sets were shipped out of Louisville, KY. And we both got the set today. I mean, what gives? Why pay for the extra shipping when you get the same service as Standard?

Joined: Jun 11 2007
No Spring '90 yet!

Ordered on 8-1. Added Express Shipping ($37.00) due to bad experience with DavePick3.

No sign of it. Emailed support yesterday, no response today. Called support this morning and was told it was shipped but she couldn't tell me when because the order information didn't upload (?).

Checked online, status In Progress. Called support again, different person told me it hadn't shipped yet but couldn't say why due to Technical Difficulties™. She suggested I wait to hear from them on when it would be shipped out Express.

Sigh. You can't make this stuff up.

Joined: Sep 4 2007
Is it wrong to be very very happy?

Hi All,

Just browsing through the various posts... lots of complaints. Everyone has their favorite era I guess.

I got my set yesterday... shipped to Canada... somehow there was no duty applied. I'll take that as Karma working it's way out, as I have been charged duty so far on every Dave's Picks... have been charged duty of the sum value of the subscription cost on every single disk shipment.... somewhat of a drag, but it all evens out with the $40 duty saved on the box.

I think this box is incredible. I like all the trinkets... I'll frame the replica tickets and backstage passes and put them in a shadow box beside the shadow box with all my real tickets. The books are wonderful. And for my money the music is sublime. Not that I don't have my little gripes... I find the Black Throated Wind from 3/16 unlistenable... the revised Bobby lyrics just kill it for me. Given that it's one of my favourite Bobby tunes, I'm glad that he came to his senses and restored the lyrics to their original brilliance.

I love late Brent era (87-90) Dead. I think what we are hearing in these shows is a more mature, sophisticated band. I was at 5 of the shows on this run (Hamilton and Atlanta) and these recordings do justice to my memories and then some.

Joined: Feb 24 2009
Trouble Ahead by nealbwhite

You could dispute it with your credit card company.
Or sell the set as a whole - why break it up? You can sell it on Amazon or ebay and I bet easily recoup not only the money for one set but make a profit! customer service needs improvement, no doubt.

Joined: Feb 24 2009
Bland 1990 reply to THE-11

I wish this comment forum was better. Like almost all discussion forums in the world, it would be nice if when replying to a post the reply would be part of that post instead of merely a brand new post. How absurd!

Also, it would be nice to have the option (again which almost all boards in the world have except here) to have an email notification when ones post is replied to.

Come on Dead techies!

Anyway, I'm glad THE-11 said it before me. I wanted to say it but on this board it's kind of cultic and a "no-no" to criticize the Dead. So I will second the motion that this isn't the great tour it's touted to be. I think it is so highly touted for one reason: it's a heck of a lot better than the '80's, which isn't saying much. So they came up a notch.
I'm not saying I think it's crap. I enjoy parts of it. But it's not even in the same ball park as anything from 1965-1979. Not even close.

And Bob Weir? I have to admit I hate his later years vocals. He is so damn affecting (pretend to feel something) in his voice it drives me crazy! After so many years he never found his true voice. But he had it in the '70's. I guess he just didn't know it and wanted to make it different for some reason. All the so-called "emotion" he puts into his voice sounds totally phony to me. And how many songs can he do that stupid "y'all" thing in? He ruins The Other One with that crap.
Sheesh, Bob, just SING! Quit trying to sound like something you are not. You have a fine voice but ruin it when you try to hard to make it cool.

Oh, and Brent could have left Dear Mr. Fantasy and Hey Jude alone. Terrible versions! I

So there. Dead Heads who don't like it when people criticize their beloved idols, fire away! LOL!

marye's picture
Joined: May 26 2007

send me a PM with the details and we'll get this fixed.

Added to Cart Spring 1990, Volume One Box

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