Spring 1990 Box - SOLD OUT
• 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.
4/2/90, The Omni, Atlanta, GA
Looks Like Rain>
The Last Time
David Lemieux on What’s Inside Spring 1990
David Lemieux on 4/2/90
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.
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?
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.
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.
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!
Dead.net customer service needs improvement, no doubt.
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!
send me a PM with the details and we'll get this fixed.
Got mine and listened all thru. It struck me how mundane the band and the shows had gotten. i read all the PR stuff about the "last great tour" and "blistering" solo performances but i just dont hear it.This issue just doesnt stand up to earlier years Dick's Picks and tapes. it obvious Mickey has already left the ranch and i better understand band member comments wondering if Jerry would still be in the band or the band would be together much longer. i do agree the weather was crappy on this tour, maybe its all in my mind......
This one will mostly sit on the shelf.
when the other music today was on, they made me order twice buffalo 89 and a dix pix 36 saying they couldn't be ordered together, then they sent me two parcels with the same stuff, needless to say i I never had my money back, said the thread with their online customer service operator didn't exist, it was not existing but had two copies more which ended up as Xmas gifts, that's when I began to lose faith!
After ordering the set I lost my credit card and was forced to cancel the account. I called up and asked to change the card number on the order. For some reason this was impossible and tlhey told me I had to cancel the original order and create a new one. Obviously this was going to end badly. On Saturday I recievecd two sets intead of one. I Immediatly called up and spoke to someone who said the first order had been cancelled, but it shipped anyway. She sent me a shipping label and I planned to drop it off at the post office on Saturday. Today they charged my account for the second set and I immediatley called up. This time they denied having any record of the first set being cancelled and when I asked to speak to a supervisor I was put on infinite hold. Isn't that special. Now I am at at a loss. Do I call again and try to straighten it out? Do I ship the second set back and hope they credit my account? Or do I break up the second set and sell it disk by disk in order to recoup my money?
Ordered my Box Set last week and it arrived on my doorstep Saturday afternoon. BAM!
The packaging and the details are fantastic right down to the shipping box! (saved it for my garage gallery)
I've been playing the discs sequentially (so far) building up anticipation to the Hamilton shows I was able to attend......The sound and playing is incredible all around, really takes me back in a great way. "sigh"
Stoked I jumped in and bought this!!
let the buyer beware
You got that right brother! I got mine the same time and am at the end of the third show. Can't get enough. :)
I got mine here in CA a few days ago, and so far it has not disappointed. The quality is amazing, the band is tight, and the energy is high. Just what you would expect. If your ears could get a BJ, this is what it would feel like.....
Your lucky I live near SEATTLE,Wa and they still haven't sent mine
The online check says , still processing. I finally got through by phone and they told me mine won't be shipped until 8/31. How nice I ordered it 8/1 and live in WA state. seems the northwest is LAST as usual.
I paid for overnight shipping and I'm still waiting too. I hope everything's okay with my order.
No Duty or Customs Charges, just waiting for me when I arrived Home for Lunch!
Birdsong From Cap Centre playing right now!!
It costs what it costs, and I happily paid. Spring 1990 sounds wonderful and I appreciate the quality of the box. I also dislike the new lyrics for Black-Throated Wind.
I'm pointing out that 89/90s box sets command a premium per hour of music even though the recordings are pretty much ready to release, as the Cutler live mixes prove (based on comments from DL2). Both Winterland boxes, containing significantly longer shows, went through the presumably more expensive Plangent Process. And then you have Europe 72, 71 hours re-mixed from the 16-track recordings and yet costs less than half per hour as Spring 1990.
You would think it costs less to produce a practically-ready-to-go 2 1/2 hour recording than it would a 3 1/2 hour recording from 35-40 years ago.
I think every period/era of the Dead has pluses that make me want to listen and this late period Dead is no exception. Keep the releases coming-I must say that I haven't been disappointed with any of them other than some of the Road Trips that have terrible sound in my opinion(some not all) with the cardboard drums that drive me crazy. I am still happy to have them however because they are better than low bit rate digital crap and the music will tend to transcend the recording limitations generally. Thank you David, et al for this fine release.
When you have a great player like jerry he should be featured and front and center. equality or democracy in a band does not add up to greatness
then the happy ones are Rhino promomen?
People who whine about modern Dead, and insist they should only release '60s and 70s Dead are like the old farts who used to insist that the NFL started to suck once Johnny Unitas hung up his cleats, and this new football sucks...
Yeah, we know there was more jammin' during '69 and '70 & Europe '72. It's not like you need to tell us! People who can't judge eras of an amazing band (or anything else for that matter) in the context of their times are really freakin' annoying! If you don't like the modern stuff-don't buy it, but don't bitch that it's being released in first place, as if its some imposition upon you!
I hope 3/28, 3/29 and 3/14 all see the light of day as well in future. Can't speak for 3/18 Hartford, or 3/21, or 3/25 Albany. This tour was simply RIPPIN', where every show is at least very very good. No, it's not Europe or fall '72, but that ain't the point. It's a completely jammin' modern Dead, of which there has been very little released, all things considered.
Drums/Space during 3/26 is the shit, btw!
The old slogan, "If it ain't broke, don't fix it."
Ordered some Bonnie Raitt from North Carolina US to Helsinki Finland 8/21/2012. Got shipping notice with tracking number 8/22/2012. It arrived today 8/29/2012. Shipping cost for one cd and one dvd $7,40.
Daves Picks 3 (subcribe) not a clue where it is.
Spring 90 got a t-shirt a week ago and shipping notice for that today. Rest of the order not a clue. My order status says the poster is coming later. It doesn't say anything about the box itself. So I dont know if its coming or not.
Well it has been like this with Deadnetstore for a long time now. Almost always there is some kind of problem. I have accepted this as a part of collecting this music. I dont even expect ordered items to arrive in a reasonable time. I do hope I get the 90-box. According to order status it is not coming at all. However I have a order confirmation dated 8/1/2012. Some time before christmas would be nice.
Another thing are shipping cost to Europe (anyway). They are often very high if compared to other sellers (ebay, Amazon, Raitt)
Well this was my annual whining session. I ll be back some time next year. Be good everyone out there.
looks nice...btw....working through the spring box set. made it through copps. Drumz/Space awesome as usual. Crank It Folks!!! I think I knocked some siding off the house playing this box set. The post space portion of Copps is spectacular. The first verse of Hey Jude is rough, granted, but after the 3: 00 mark, it gets very satisfying. Amazing how good the first sets of this tour are. Lemieux was right. The "small" songs are almost better than the continuous second sets are. Although, Drumz/Space are still mind-blowing. Ahhhhhh.....the memories. Sorry, shedding a tear there...God Bless everyone. Enjoy the fruits of the Grateful Dead. Like a fine wine, they get better with age.
a most excellent post, cbs! Thanks for posting that breakdown. Maybe useless, but someone had to do it!
As your own calculations show, cbs, the winterland boxes cost as much per show as spring '90, and Warlocks shows cost essentially the same. What's your point? The sound is unbelievably good, and the set is priced consistent with other releases.
Anyway, beyond the pointless blathering about cost, this set sounds phenomenal.
Having just visited youtube and started watching a homemade video of 3/16 at Cap Center, I have ever greater appreciation of the sound quality of this release. The audio accompanying the youtube video was completely missing Bob's guitar, and, yes, Bob's playing is one of the highlights of this tour. Really it's the ensemble, as everyone has commented, but to my ears Bob and Brent in particular are on fire and both adding something that takes the music to another level.
IN my opinion, worth every cent, if anything is these days.
I find it interesting that the Fall 1989 and Spring 1990 is priced so high.
Perhaps that is due to additional demand due to the "Touch Head" effect?
Set F69 W73 W77 H89 E72 S90
Price $80 $100 $100 $70 $450 $200
Shows 4 3 3 2 22 6
Discs 10 9 9 6 73 18
Length 9:33:09 9:29:51 9:07:16 5:27:43 70:58:28 15:28:42
Hours/Show 2.39 3.17 3.04 2.73 3.23 2.58
Set F69 W73 W77 H89 E72 S90
$/Show $20.00 $33.33 $33.33 $35.00 $20.45 $33.33
$/Disc $8.00 $11.11 $11.11 $11.67 $6.16 $11.11
$/Hour $8.36 $10.53 $10.96 $12.82 $6.34 $12.92
Bonus discs for Fillmore West 1969, Winterland 73, and Winterland June 1977 are not included.
Bonus material on 3/26/90 Disc 3 is included (total time 35:31).
And ponder these other useless facts...
For Europe 72 two full shows plus big chunks of about 6 others were already released (4/24, 4/26, plus 4/7+8 and 5/23-26). Several of the four disc shows have quite a bit of empty space, but it was necessary to preserve continuity and avoid breaking up long sequences (resulting in a necessarily increased disc count)
I didn't tally up how much of what made it into Spring 1990 was already previously released, but it notably includes many songs from the first set of 3/26 and the H>S>F from 3/30.
The Spring 1990 Copps Coliseum 3/22 show could have been put on 2 discs, and so could have the 3/26 show if it didn't include the 3/24 bonus material. It would have been nice to see get the whole 3/24 first set uncut as a "bonus" disc instead of having to piece it
together from four separate releases with fades and slightly different mixes. 4/2 is pretty short for a three disc set at 2:15:56, and is the shortest 3-disc set among all those surveyed here.
The released Spring 90 show dates dovetail nicely into the Europe 72 dates if you like to listen to shows on or around their anniversary dates... 1990: 3/15, 3/16, 3/19, 3/22, 3/26, 3/30, 4/2; 1972: 4/7, 4/8, 4/11, etc...
Conveniently, if you use the venue names in your tagging these shows sort alphabetically in chronological order:
Capital Centre, Civic Center, Copps Coliseum, Knickerbocker Arena, Nassau Coliseum, The Omni
Some nice points, cimartin. I'm hopelessly a pre-hiatus guy and love self-indulgent noodling. But I agree the overall ensemble playing here is really top-notch. And Weir, especially, is at the top of his game. I only wish the jams lasted longer.
1200 left guess that kinda makes the whiners about I can't buy it blah blah look kinda silly. Oh yeah before you go there, all but the most important titles in music go out of print, so not being able to buy it forever isn't really valid.
I wasn't aware that it took so long for Fillmore '69 to sell out.
Weren't the Road Trips selections all initially advertised as limited edition? In fact, there are even a few currently in the dead.net store which state that there's "less than 500 remaining." (That reminds me: I need to get those ASAP!)
The problem with the Europe '72 set is that the box edition is practically worthless due to the All Music Edition and the shows being sold separately.
Fillmore West 1969 (10,000 units) sold out before it shipped, but it took about a month, IIRC. Another factor is that this set went up for pre-sale in prime vacation time (see edit), it costs quite a bit more ($80 vs. $200), and has the bad luck of coming out less than a year after we paid $450 for E72.
Edit: Fillmore West went up for pre-order on July 26, 2005 and sold out around September 7. Research done via Wayback Machine.
Fillmore West 1969 was the first release of it's kind from the Grateful Dead, was announced earlier in the Almanac, and it (still) took 6 weeks to sell out.
And as far as limited editions go, Fillmore West 1969 (10,000), Europe 72 Box Edition (7,200), Spring 1990 (9,000), and Dave's Picks Vol. 1-4 (12,000) have been the only ones advertised as such, right?
Earlier this morning I guess-timated that there were approximately 800 sets left. It seems I was way off! "Fewer than 1200." So, since Thursday evening they've managed to sell another 650-700 sets. That means they're selling about six sets an hour. No wonder they recently compiled the latest slideshow advertisement featuring "Loser" from 3/24: at this rate, this set will likely be available for yet another 2-3 weeks. By my reckoning, this set is selling at a snail's pace compared to everything else previous.
For the video on 3/30/90. Love the insights, love the new Box Set!
One thing I'm surprised at is that no one has offered up the individual shows on eBay. I bet plenty of folks not willing to drop $200 on the full set might spend $40 for a single show.
I will post some more numbers on this later, but there is definitely a premium price attached to the Warlocks and Spring 1990 boxes. Both the Warlocks and Spring 90 box sets are around $12.85 per hour of music, while Europe 72 comes out to $6.34.
Please send me a PM with your order details and we'll try to get this straightened out. Thanks and sorry.
when I called support on Friday afternoon, I was told by support that they were shipping the orders in the order they were placed. They told me at that time that my order would ship within two business days and had not shipped yet. The online order status was "in process" as well when I checked online. As of Saturday morning it was still "in process" but I was pleasantly surprised when the usps driver dropped it off later that day. I did not get the confirmation email till today. I ordered mine the first day I got the email (Aug 1)...
Hang in there, it's worth the wait.
My 2 pennies on the streaming debate: I believe if people allowed by the band to tape the show via mic or soundboard link, they should be able to make the music available to others for free.
With that said, I do believe if the Dead take the time and expense to remaster shows with such awesome audio quality, they should be able to offer this to their fans for a profit.
As a consumer with limited funds, I did not have the funds to purchase Europe 72 box set, but did splurge for the 1990 set and very happy that I did. I chose not to buy a Dave's pick's subscription and bummed I missed out on the first release. By the time I had the money, it was sold out...
Noticed there are no Me & My Uncle > Mexicali blues > Big River > Mama Tried's anywhere in this box set. You know what that means. If there is a Spring '90 Vol. 2, get ready for a lot of cowboy songs. Just wanted to point that out. Still, AWESOME box set. I cannot overstate that enough.
Donahue.luke I'm in the same boat and know of at least 1 other person besides me and you. My order is in process when I check on the site, and customer service told me it will ship the 31st. The best part is paying 45 bucks for overnight shipping in hopes of getting it early lol. I am just glad they have my order. few more days of waiting and being so damn excited it hurts . hopefully all those of us they haven't shipped yet will do so by the 31st at the latest. Good luck getting yours.
I won't draw comparison between Spring '90 and Europe '72 other than that the Grateful Dead had grown beautifully. The depth and dynamics of their playing in Spring 1990 was as spot on as always.
I've had my copy of the box since Saturday, and I'm casually taking it in. Listening in chronological order, I'm only up to Copps Coliseum, and I can hear the band just getting better and better with each show. Jerry sings and plays with more soul on this version of Must Have been the Roses than almost everything else I've ever heard from the bands and Jerry's solo work. Phenominal. This one song is worth the price alone! Priceless!
Has anyone else received the email that the box is shipping, but then when they call, they're told that spring 90 won't ship until the 31st of august?? The wait is killing me and nobody picking up the phones seems to know anything except that the box is "in process," which it's been for over a week.... I can't spend anymore days sitting on my porch waiting for it--my self-respect dwindles...
I've heard first two shows-both very different shows but each with stellar moments-check out "Eyes" onward in Hartford-amazing Rhythm Devils. Cap is consistently wonderful. Hartford more peaks and valleys but definately worth the price of admission.
Please, pretty PLEASE, perhaps Dark Star and Birdsong from 3/29/90 with Branford??
Will we have to wait until Record Store Day (next April)?
Got my set over the weekend and my only criticism is no Loose Lucy! Other than that all I have to say is great job and thanks a ton! Been an advocate of late '89 - early '90 for some time now despite the criticisms others have. As with any era of the band we take the bad with the good and this one is no exception. Lately I've been asking friends "If you could only pick one tour to listen to for the rest of your life, which would it be?". You could pick Europe '72, but have fun not hearing Eyes, Scar>Fire, Estimated and about a dozen others. Or maybe you want to go with Spring '77? Guess what, you don't get Dark Star. Spring '90 is my answer. Great variety, great playing and just all around pretty solid. Sure other tours reached greater heights but this one has always seemed best all around to me.
Over the years we've been pretty blessed as fans that we've been able to reap the benefits of a fairly aggressive release schedule from the vault. And while the 70's are justifiably the most well represented era, I'm glad to get a big release from this tour and really hoping the rest of it comes out some day.
If your looking for mixes that have Jerry front and center, your are right, there are probably better places to go. Like Dick's Picks Vol. 10, for example. It's a low quality recording with Jerry blazing away over top of everyone in the "mix" -- and he's on fire -- almost reaching metal god performance. It sounds great. Vol. 10 is one the releases I save for special occasions. However, if you are looking for superior ensemble playing and a proper mix, I really don't think you can top '90, even though the venues they were playing were anything but intimate. For example, the way that Bob's guitar pick harmonics blend with Brent's keyboard tinkling during Peggy-o. You won't find that on Europe '72, as great as some of that tour is. Nor will you find the interesting percussion and drums happening underneath it all. And you will not find Jerry's improvisations to be as disciplined and on point. I know the criticisms of Brent. His keyboard playing relied too much on keyboard cliches. His song writing ability -- well, he had none. But damn, he could do good backing vocals, and often his keyboard work was perfect in the moment. (Kudos to Norman for the perfect mixing). This tour was one of the Dead's finest moments. Bobby in particular was enjoying an artistic and performance peak. You can have your off-key Pigpen and pointless, self-indulgent instrumental noddling. I won't begrudge you. But give me the finely honed, beautifully crafted music heard here in Spring 1990. More late Brent period please.
This box is well put togehter and if you like brent you must be in heaven. I just can't see how this is one of the greatest dead tours. There is sure some interesting stuff hear in the box like the covers of last time and the weight.. I just don't see jerry or hear jerry as prominent in the whole of the box. The stuff blair is talking about in 72 on his latest blog that made that time so special is lacking here. the least best show from e 72 totally blow away anything in the new box.. Most of the raves I've seen on the sight for music are about dave's picks 3. Please no more late brent era. There is so much to choose between 69 to 85 that jerry is on fire but I am sad to say not here.