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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One Man's picture
Joined: May 17 2011
Audio Source

Seems like a reasonable response that the 2-track reference tapes (DAT) sounded great and thus were used. I do think this could have been made clearer from the start. I'd rather this result than the rush-mix we got with the E72 box and the Warlocks box. (And anyway, no one seems to agree with me that those two releases could have sounded MUCH better.) So production costs were low this time, and Rhino will increase its profit margin, and that is the American Way. A cool $1.8 million gross. No beef with that. The same thing happened with the Winterland boxes and no one complained ($11.11/CD with no mixing costs). We'll never again see a value like the Fillmore West Complete Recordings box, obviously ($7.50/CD and newly mixed extremely well).

fourwindsblow's picture
Joined: Oct 13 2008
Thank You!

"We are using the live John Cutler mixes for this box set, owing to the fact that we feel that sound is as good or better than anything we could have replicated in the studio by remixing the multi-tracks. The Grateful Dead's longtime engineers, John Cutler and Jeffrey Norman, spent considerable time checking out these live mix tapes, and they decided that these recordings are as good or better than can be reproduced with a remix."

This was the best decision on which recordings to release.

simonrob's picture
Joined: Jun 7 2007
Yes, thanks for passing that on.

DL's answer is as complete as one could wish for and also revealing. I can well believe that the live mix was to DAT. I don't know when they finished recording shows on 24 tr. for "Without a net" and making simultaneous 2 tr. live mixes, but "View from the vault I soundtrack" (July 8 1990) was produced using 2 tr. digital tapes. However "View from the vault III soundtrack" (June 16 1990) was produced using 2 tr. analog tapes, so that clarifies nothing about the storage medium - but the medium is insignificant compared to the sound quality.

Joined: Jan 13 2010
Thank you, Dave!

"To clarify, these are not stereo PA mixes; these are the live mixes John was producing in the recording truck."

IMO, that is as close to actually "being there" as is possible in 2012.

Truth be told, the DaP system works better for me ($32 from time to time vs. several hundred $$$ all at once). HOWEVER, box sets like this are extremely welcome. The day will come when I can realistically consider purchasing them (as I could BC...before children.) Whatever...keep them coming!!!

I remember a day when live releases like this was the stuff of fantasy. Blair, I remember, directly in Golden Road, you wrote a blurb along the lines of "can you imagine Buffalo 77 on CD?" Releases like this at the time would have been a happy foos-ro-DAH!



Summer 85 box!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

GREEK BOX!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

cosmicbadger's picture
Joined: Jun 13 2007

wellt that anwers that very nicely thanks Dr Lunchbox and David L. Nice explanation, but it could perhaps have been provided in the first place.

One thing not mentioned, but which I believe to be true, is that the live mixdown was made onto Digital Audio Tape (not cassette as claimed by someone earlier).

Joined: Mar 8 2009

I emailed Dave inquiring about the source for these and this was his response:

"We are using the live John Cutler mixes for this box set, owing to the fact that we feel that sound is as good or better than anything we could have replicated in the studio by remixing the multi-tracks. The Grateful Dead's longtime engineers, John Cutler and Jeffrey Norman, spent considerable time checking out these live mix tapes, and they decided that these recordings are as good or better than can be reproduced with a remix. There is an aliveness and a clarity to John's live mixes that would be lost in the remixing process. This decision was the same decision Phil and John made in 1997 when they released the Terrapin Limited (3/15/90), for which the live mixes were used. John's live mixes were always great, but the Spring 1990 mixes are virtually flawless. Believe me, John and Jeffrey have huge amounts of audio integrity and they wouldn't have put their names on this project if they didn't feel these mixes are excellent. Personally, I think they sound phenomenal, as does everyone involved who's heard them. I gather Rhino will be putting up some sample clips (one might be up now?), and that will give you an indication of the quality.

To clarify, these are not stereo PA mixes; these are the live mixes John was producing in the recording truck."

Hope this helps!

Joined: Jan 3 2011
spring 90

I'm on board for this one but not thrilled by the choice. I know David L and the others have made outstanding choices in the past releases. I hope this release will change my mind. and I 'm wrong. I know those who make the choice are very excited by this tour. As for the whole package no real problem, I just wish the powers that be gave us a little warning about the price. I am glad to see six shows instead of 3 and that the shows were picked from the tout. I was hoping for a 79 box but did not expect it. I see the spring 90 tour as technically perfect. Although tecnically almost perfect I don't see the band taking risks. In the video by David L he talks how Brent is the Mvp in Many ways for this box and tour. The thing is if jerry was where he should have been there would be no such talk. Jerry Garcia leading the band made the gd into something transendental. When he was on it was like a jazz great like coltrane or dexter gordon. I read somewhere when bruce hornsby came into the band he was yelling at jerry to play. I think in the later brent years jerry got lazy and let brent have the space to dominate with his keyboards. Jerry's playing seems more adventuous with his solo stuff at the time and post brent dead. I hope the box blows me away but can't believe it will compare with the fillmore 69 , winterland 77 and 73 or europe72 box in music quality.

simonrob's picture
Joined: Jun 7 2007

The sample probably sounds very similar to "Dozin'" due to the likelihood that the same tapes were used for both that release and this box. Unfortunately, it was never stated what source tapes were used for "Dozin'" either.

jeffmal's picture
Joined: Mar 9 2010
2 track vs multitrack

these shows are most definitely multitrack mixes. The sample sounds stellar and very similar to "Dozin" in terms of mixes.

cosmicbadger's picture
Joined: Jun 13 2007

I sent him a friendly request for clairification a few days reply so far. I guess he is very busy.

8Limbs's picture
Joined: Nov 23 2011

I sent an e-mail to Dave. Once I have a response I'll post it here.

Joshua_me's picture
Joined: Jun 24 2007
Once And for All....

Are these sterile two-track cassette Cutler mixes, (ala, the embarrassing hiss-ridden '93 PITB CD's...)


Are they glorious 24-track sonic wonders like the "Road Trips" versions of MSG '90 ?

SOME-one must know the answer to this question !!!!

Nottwo's picture
Joined: Jan 19 2011
For goodness sake...

...for all those folk who were lucky enough to see the Dead for real and who have great concert tapes, please remember that some DON'T and that those people (and others) would like to buy this and will ENJOY it.
The extras are a little expendable, but I bought this because when it comes to CDs and especially Grateful Dead CDs, I am a bit of a materialist.
So What?
Even despite the extras this box set's price seems reasonable enough.
Artwork's nice.
Intention seems good enough: sell the product-keep the product available.
Bloody thrilled.

Joined: Jun 18 2008
The more I think about it...

...the more excited I am about this release. Initially, I was hoping for another full-tour box set from either Spring or Fall '77, but this is really a great choice to follow up the amazing Europe '72 set. Although E72 was an incredible bargain, it's still a lot of bucks to shell out all at once. This one is a bit more affordable.

Not only that, although the Dead were at their peak during the '70s, 1990 was a pretty damn good year and something from the Brent era provides some sonic variety. Although one can quibble about the selection of shows from the tour, it appears that the goal was to include as many different songs as they could rather than different versions of the same songs.

If I could have chosen shows from this era, I would have picked the June '90 Shoreline run, but that's probably because I was there. I recall coming out of those shows thinking that it was the best run of Dead shows I'd seen in years. Who knew at the time that it was the band's final peak before a sad decline?

Joined: Aug 27 2008
Disc timings

It seems to me that almost all of the discs, but not all, clock in at just under an hour for each disc, except disc 3 of 3/26/90 which includes bonus songs from 3/24/90. With that in mind, The buyer is paying for some unused space on each disc. Now the $199 price seems expensive.

But as I said before I never had heard these shows before, and my touring days were just about over, and at the time ticket prices ware about $25 - $30, so I would this box price seems about average.

The real things missing in this box is the atmosphere of each show, the crowd, the sweet smells and the foul odors too, and the spilled beer and the guy who bumped into you and just about knocked you off your feet. Add the fun of Shakedown Street to this list. Throw in the ticket scalpers and the miracle ticket seekers, and the weather and the anticipation before the show and all the fun and hassles of intermission. Throw in the crows filing out of the arenas and the traffic jams of getting away from the concert. And on a final note, throw in the post show glow and listening to the audience tape your buddy made for you of this show as you drive to the next town on this tour.

I'm looking forward to this box set.

mpace's picture
Joined: Sep 25 2009
Another Chance

Well I am a vet of the '72 box and I initially was saying that I would stay out of this one but I thought of the cost broken down over time and repeated listening of my past sets and jumped in. I like the way this has been handled so far with the better designed site and clear layout of goods. With that said I would prefer a t shirt or even patches as opposed to the fake stage passes and tickets.
I believe everyone has the right to post their opinion whether its for or against this release and as a society I think we have become way to one sided about what is "right" and need to appreciate variety of opinion-

I was thinking today about the cost per disc and I remember that boots used to cost up to 25 per disc and that was with unsure sound and disc quality- whether its 2 track or 4 it will still have a better value than what could be found off the street these days- (I realize that high quality sbs were available back in the day or still in some circles, but I appreciate some of the packaging).

One final note- can we stop with the limited bit? I as a consumer can sometimes can purchase at the moment, but in these economic times it would be a nice gesture to allow us to purchase over time. Plus doesn't lower your chance of sales when you have less to offer in way of catalog?

Joined: Jun 4 2007
If John Cutler recorded it...

...he used the "Le Mobile Remote Recording Studio".

Here is a link to Le Mobile's web page with lots of pictures and information...

Joined: Jun 25 2008
Yellow school bus

Hey Poetry420 - let's see if there's a photo of you or any of the other busted heads in the accompanying book. They might have to give you a credit somewhere!

simonrob's picture
Joined: Jun 7 2007
The Listening Party...

will not be very representative of the CDs due to the simple fact the stream on the Listening Party will be MP3 or M3U format with typically a fairly low bitrate to allow even the bandwidth-challenged to be able to stream and listen to the Party. Normally even an MP3 download has a higher bitrate than a stream. The stream on the listening party is for people to hear how a song was played rather than a representation of what the sound quality of the CDs will be like.

Syracuse78's picture
Joined: Jul 15 2010
After the very prevalent

After the very prevalent unhappiness about a lack of early '90s releases here on, it will be very interesting for TPTB (and perhaps us) to see how much "put your money where your mouth is" demand there is for a box set of this magnitude and price.

For me, E72 was much more up my alley and I bought it, but the several months long saga with Rhino left a sour taste in my mouth and I ended up selling it. I will freely admit that it is awesome music and a great box.

This is not one that I would consider buying, but hopefully it makes a lot of other folks happy. As others have said, if it isn't your cup of tea, or the price doesn't work for you, you don't have to buy it.

I got my Winterland '73 box (and the JG All Good Things box, now that I think about it) on or a sale. I will be curious to see if this sees wider marketing distribution if it doesn't sell out here.

Joined: Jun 23 2009
2-track or 24? Use your eyes and ears people...

I see comments questioning the source of this box set - 2-track or 24? Well all you have to do is read the information above and listen to the sample. It's the 2-track live mixdown.

Joined: Mar 2 2008
who wants fake ticket stubs?

the fake concert poster
the book
and all the rest
but this is the big box recipe
the limited edition

all this stuff is alienating lots of affectionate cd buyers

dear Mr. Corporate Guy
I won't pay for your holidays in some Caribbean resort
I'll save me money for other hobbies
I won't take your "pacco"!
Thanx a lot!

simonrob's picture
Joined: Jun 7 2007

As I get older and times change (mostly not for the better) I am becoming more cynical. Bearing this in mind, I am somewhat suspicious as to why Rhino are being at best economical with the facts regarding the source tapes for this release. If indeed the 24 tr. "Without a net" tapes were used for these shows, boast about it and boost (or at least speed up) sales. Instead they have chosen the somewhat ambivalent approach of merely stating that it was recorded "by longtime Grateful Dead recordist and producer John Cutler" and also that it was "recorded and mixed live by John Cutler", neither of which makes it absolutely clear whether the 24 tr. or 2 tr. tapes were used. That clarity is lacking here instantly arouses my suspicions and, bearing in mind my cynicism (nurtured by experience), I smell something of a rat here. A simple and clear statement about this would be appreciated by me and, judging by a number of other posts here, plenty of others would also welcome some clarity. I have already ordered this set and would have done so even if I knew that it was produced from the 2 tr. tapes, but I would like to know the facts on this. Maybe I'm funny that way.

PalmerEldritch's picture
Joined: Jul 25 2011

I finally took the bait on this one. It was a tough call, since late-era Brent is my least favorite Dead period. I actively dislike "Nightfall of Diamonds", "Without a Net", and "Crimson White, and Indigo". I got them all as soon as they were released but I've never been able to listen to more than a few minutes of each. Just not my thing. On the other hand, I do have a soft spot for Terrapin Limited. I've tallied up several hours listening to that one- love the "Tom Thumb Blues", "Easy to Love You", "Mock Turtle Jam" and "Space". Seems like there may have been something special about that spring tour. And the early 90's is probably my favorite post-hiatus Jerry era- mostly because of his work with Grisman more than anything else. So I'm kind of excited about this one now. Still maybe would have preferred a Hornsby/Vince or even just Vince-era box, but who knows?

Joined: Jun 4 2007
Sold Out!!!

The t-shirt has already sold out in less than 5 days. I bet the box is going fast.

Joined: Jun 7 2007

Appreciate you posting the probable track dates. Thank you very much.

I've pre-ordered So Glad You Made It from Amazon, along with Dozin' At The Knick. An era I need to learn more of (but one which I don't want in a boxset I'll probably end up leaving on the shelf to gather dust.)

8Limbs's picture
Joined: Nov 23 2011
2 or 24 tracks?

Geez! They really need to clarify the source for these. It seems a lot of us are on the fence until we know for sure.

klaussmith's picture
Joined: Jul 20 2007
Odd way to select shows

This is an odd way to select shows, “The last night of each run, except Atlanta” where David’s words I believe, this coming on the heels of an excellent post on Blair’s Golden Road blog about listing to a run of 10-shows in a row. I have almost always listened to shows from a specific era, a 3-night run or tour, whatever I had out of the 1,500 + shows I have collected. After the listing to the majority of the E72 box set, (saving the Lyceum run for a raining day), in order, show after show, (Lots of repeats, think I ODed on Mr. Charlie), you really do start to here the subtle differences from show to show, song to song and I believe this is the way to really listen to the Dead. This was the way the music was presented to us when we were on tour and I have almost finished listening to the East coast ’83 tour, Hampton through Philly and many, many great moment would be lost with the every other show or last show of the run approach. To avoid another $400 + expense, I understand breaking us the tour, but this methodology makes no sense to me. Split it up Part 1 / Part 2 and I instantly would have bought the second half, the 2 unreleased Knick shows, 3 Nassau and 3 Atlanta shows. I was at the Atlanta run and only still have Aud’s of each night. Love the concept of releasing large amounts of shows, hopefully next time it is a run of consecutive shows.

Joined: Mar 12 2009
That's my take too, badger

I remember there was some explanation for the use of John Cutler's live stereo mix when Terrapin Limited was released. You can easily compare the Althea from it to the 24-track one on Without A Net. I always notice that the one on Terrapin Limited seems flat and lifeless when compared to the depth and presence of the gorgeous Without A Net version. Same performance, just different sources. Not that the quality of Terrapin Limited isn't good enough, and I don't know if that would hold true for the whole show of course, but for that one song at least, it does make a big difference.

cosmicbadger's picture
Joined: Jun 13 2007
all mixed up

My suspicion is that these are the stereo mixes made 'live' by John Cutler from the feed to the recording truck at the same time as he was operating the 24 track machine (not the same as the front of house mix). On the cover of Terrapin Limited it also says that it is a live stereo mix by John Cutler, just like for this release. I am not sure about Nightfall of Diamonds because I cannot find my copy! However Without a Net appears to have been mixed down later from the 24 Track tapes as it states on the cover that it was mixed at Club Front.

all speculation of course, but what else are we supposed to do while waiting

simonrob's picture
Joined: Jun 7 2007
Winterland boxes...

Both "Winterland" box sets used 2 tr. soundboard tapes. I was also under the impression that box sets and vault releases came from multi-track sources whereas "Dick's picks", "Road trips" and "Dave's picks" come from 2 tr. recordings.The "Winterland" boxes are obviously an exception to this rule, as are all four "View from the vault" soundtracks, all of which used 2 tr. sources. Nothing is stated on the packaging about the source tapes for "Nightfall of diamonds", "Dozin' at the Knick" and "Terrapin station" but it is known that these shows were recorded on 24 tr. Only DL knows for sure and he seems to have stated in the interview mentioned in an earlier post that the multi-tracks were used for "Nightfall of diamonds", "Dozin' at the Knick" and "Terrapin station". Whatever, I am confident that there will be nothing lacking in the sound quality of the shows in this box.

Joined: Jan 13 2010
then I go listen to 10/31/70


So Many Roads has some GD90...

Next box set: every available show from GD70. ESPECIALLY Sept fillmore and Nov portchester.

VEG HEAD's picture
Joined: May 27 2011
Nothin left to do but smile,smile,smile!

I hesitated but I'm in. $200 is not as bad as $450-Ibought 3 europe 72 shows-love them ,but $450 was more than I could spend- ironically now I want the other shows & it'll cost more for not bit in' the bullet all at once. I love the grateful dead-keep them comin'! very end of month or 1st -perfect-before I blow all my money-the thing was divine. Listener party-FANTASTIC! keep smilin'!

Joined: Mar 8 2009

Dave has said on multiple occasions that the series releases, a la Dick's/Dave's Picks, Road Trips, come from the 2-track recordings and that Vault releases, like this one, come from multi-tracks. Based on previous comments from DL, therefore, I see no reason to believe that these are NOT from the 24 track recording. (Caveat: I don't know if the Winterland boxes were from multi-track sources. Those may be an exception, but my knowledge is limited on that.) There does not seem to be any attempt to intentionally mislead people on this release. It seems to me that the 2-track/multi-track release divide was made clear so frequently that it wouldn't require an explicit mention here.

Joined: Jan 13 2010
this release has me listening to GD90 again

I listened to the second set of 6/16/90 (vftv) last night. AWESOME set. Dozin' at the Knick has a great disc 2 (the jam out of Terrapin > Drums > Space gets repeated listenings from me, pretty rare for GD87 and later). Terrapin Limited has some good stuff, too.

I have never warmed up to vftv 1 (pittsburgh), but I like the bonus material from 7/6.

what a band.

now I wanna listen to 6/23/90.

I have always liked 3/28/90.

Also gotta give 3/29/90 another chance.

yadda yadda yadda.

still waiting for DaP3 to arrive...

Joined: Jun 25 2008
At the beach house

At the beach house now listening to the old Europe 72 cds, the steamer trunk and its contents are back in the city. So many defining recordings for me on these disks.

As to the forthcoming recordings, I'm certainly looking forward to them. I also like how Wes Lang's graphics at once draw from GD Native Americana and pump some new energy into it.

fourwindsblow's picture
Joined: Oct 13 2008
House mix

These are from Healy's house mix. Cleaned-up turned-up and in HDCD which is fine by me.

Joined: Mar 18 2010
Words from the Vault

The following is an excerpt from an interview with David Lemieux:

So Nightfall of Diamonds was recorded on multi-track. Is that because they were recording shows for what would become Without a Net?

Absolutely. That’s what happened with that one. Certain times and tours and runs of shows were recorded multi-track with the intention of producing an album from them, and fortunately in the case of Without a Net, the Dead happened to be playing really well those three tours. So we’ve got multi-tracks for Without a Net, Downhill From Here, Dozin’ at the Knick, Terrapin Limited, and Nightfall of Diamonds. So that pattern is pretty much what we’re still following, and that goes for a few reasons. One, we don’t have very much multi-track, and what we do have is worth mixing to make proper albums out of, and at the same time, it takes so long to mix a multi-track down to two-track it wouldn’t really be feasible. A two-track release generally takes about four weeks to do and a multi-track takes about eight weeks.

Read more: Interview from the Vault - A Conversation with David Lemieux (Part Three)

simonrob's picture
Joined: Jun 7 2007
Multi-tracks ?

I have not researched this exhaustively, but as far as I can make out of what has beeh officially released from this period, only "The Warlocks" box was definitely taken from 24 tr. tapes. All other official releases from this period were taken from 2 tr. tapes or the source is indeterminate. Were the 24 tr. tapes recorded by Arista for "Without a net" and remain the property of Arista and the vault only has the 2 tr. tapes? I have no idea. If these recordings were taken from the 24 tr. tapes, I would expect that to be mentioned in the marketing blurb to talk-up this release. As there is no specific mention of which set of tapes was used, I would guess that the 2 tr. tapes were used. I hope clarification is forthcoming and that it turns out that the 24 tr. tapes were available and were used here. However, I expect that the sound quality on this release will be just fine otherwise they would not be releasing such a lavish production.

One Man's picture
Joined: May 17 2011
2-Track Source

"Recorded and mixed live by John Cutler" means live-to-2-track to me, which means the multi-track tapes are gathering dust in the vault. There is some chance these mixes will sound relatively okay, but there is no way they could compare to a careful mix from multi-track, because Cutler had his hands full during the shows and this 2-track tape was an afterthought. It's probably just the house mix. I just hate that the better audio source was ignored. Production cost would have been higher, but isn't it more important that the best sound arrives at the listeners' ears?

Joined: Mar 12 2009
I'm sure nobody is getting rich here, but

9000 sets at $200 each is not $180,000. It's $1.8 million. Meanwhile, I too would like to know if these are indeed mastered from the 24-track tapes, or if they're taken from Cutler's 2-tracks as Terrapin Limited was in order to avoid conflict with Arista's release of Althea on Without A Net.

Joined: Jun 4 2007
2 disc track sources...

They played LTGTR twice on that tour, 3/16 and 3/24.

To try and narrow down where the songs are from...

LTGTR - either 3/16 or 3/24
Stranger - most likely 3/22 but could be 4/2
West LA - 3/22
Easy To Love You - lely 3/22
BIODTL - 3/22
Loser - 3/24
All Over Now - 3/19 or 3/30
Jack-a-Roe - 3/19
Last Time - 3/16 or 3/22 or 4/2
Bird Song - 3/16
Blow Away - most likely 3/16 as the other version from 3/26 is already on Dozin' At The Knick

Samson and Delilah - 3/22
Scarlet>Estimated - 3/16
Playin>Eyes - 3/19
Gimme Some Lovin' - 3/26
Dew - 3/26
NFA - 3/30
Attics - 3/30

The more I think about this release, the more I feel that this is by far the best release they have put together yet. I love the E72 box, but these will be in my listening rotation far more.

My little Spring '90 story...

A friend of mine and I sent out for mail order tickets for Knickerbocker and tried to order by phone but got shut out. Our determinatiuon not-with-standing to see the Dead on this tour because Spring '89 was such a blast, we decided to order tickets over the phone for the Omni when they went on sale. We scored decent Brent/Jerry stage right side seats for the first two nights and behind the stage for the last night.

The last Dead show I attended before this run was at Alpine Valley 7/18 (yup, the unfortunately as-of-yet unreleased show screened at movie theatre, which I missed :( ... ), and it was the last time I attended a show where onsight overnight camping and vending still ran rampant.

Upon arrival for the first show, we parked in a ramp across the street from the CNN center and home of the Omni. Our first observation was that there was very little vending or obvious camping, which was sort of an expected shock. The shock I didn't expect was hearing about what transpired for the past few day at Nassau. At that point I figured there would be no real suprises, but it was April Fools. Who knows? As things would be, the first night was a great solid show all around. Everything played exceptionally well and the band was fully warmed up.

By the second night of the run, which is the one included in this set, we happened to have the great fortune of not only finding out that a freightyard lot behind the CNN Center was opened for Deadheads to camp and vend, despite the rules posted by the band, but by chance, we had even better fortune! Before the show, we pretty much hung out in the makeshift freightyard fteak village were parked near some folks who were taping shows from the tour and rocking recordings from the first night.

By this point, I had been going to Grateful Dead concerts for several years already but really only had a vague knowledge of tape trading. As it turned out, after an awesome second show, we headed back to the lot to enjoy the afterglow and chill for a bit before heading to the hotel. Shortly after we arrived back to the car, and having pulled out a couple of lawn chairs and a beverage or three, a brother who appeared to be a little distressed from his out of body experience caught our attention. He decided to approach us as we hung out and told us he had lost track of where his buddies were and asked if he couild hang out with us in case they turned up. We of course said "sure" and he proceeded to tell us that he and his traveling companions were taping the whole tour.By chance, we just so happened to have a stand alone cassette deck with us that he could burn copies to from his rig, and offered him to stay with us, burn tapes from the tour and just drool at the mini goldmine this guy was lugging around with him.We were able to make copies of everything except Nassau and Hartford, including the first and second nights at the Omni.

The next day and the third show, we went to the same lot and the taper we met immediately hooked up with his buddies. He was grateful for the place to stay and we were blessed with pristine 1st gen recordings of almost the entire tour. We exchanged contact info with the taper guy from Pennsylvania and he sent us the rest of the tour promptly. This was the first time in my life I had ever recieved a tape of a concert I had attended right after a show, and it was the whole Spring '90 tour!

Of course, this experience created a monster. About two or three weeks later, we had invested in the first of many portable recorders and proceeded to push the bounderies of who, what and where we recorded live concerts. What a learning experience THAT whole process was...

Of course, there were many other great memories I have from that '90 Omni adventure. I feel very fortunate to have had the opportunity to see the Grateful Dead on what I consider to be one of the top two or three tours they ever played. I happen to like apples and oranges.

Ultimately, good karma reaps great rewards, and that was our turn to pay it forward and vice/versa. Only at a Grateful Dead concert...

Joined: Jun 7 2007
Dates for tracks on 2-disc version?

Is there any information on the dates for the tracks in the 2-disc version? So far I've gathered it must be as below but I can't find a LTGTR> Stranger anywhere in the fun. Perhaps there will be some very creative edits on the segues. Anyway, if someone can point out where all these tracks come from, I'd be much obliged. For what it's worth, I'm not interested enough in this era to go for the boxset (and it will be the first Dead release I haven't gone for in years, regardless of the era) so I appreciate that the 2-disc set is going to be available.

Let The Good Times Roll> [??]
Feel Like A Stranger [??]
West L.A. Fadeaway [??]
Easy To Love You [??]
Beat It On Down The Line [??]
Loser [24th]
It’s All Over Now> [??]
Jack-A-Roe [??]
The Last Time [??]
Bird Song [??]
Blow Away [??]
Samson And Delilah [??]
Scarlet Begonias> [16th]
Estimated Prophet> [16th]
Playing In The Band> [19th]
Eyes Of The World [19th]
Gimme Some Lovin’> [26th]
Morning Dew [26th]
Not Fade Away [??]
Attics Of My Life [??]

fluffanutter's picture
Joined: Feb 25 2012
Not just Wes, LedMan

No, many people are getting paid for their work. Here is a short list: John Cutler; David Lemieux; Blair Jackson; Wes Lang; Jeffrey Norman. Then there is all the production costs of the box, jewel trays, doo-dads, and the discs themselves (Lets hope they went first-class on the actual discs this time). All of that has to be taken out of only $180,000. Then there is the attendant vendor for special customer service. So, no, nobody is getting rich. I imagine the royalties going to band members is quite small. They truly are putting the music out there for the fans and that is admirable.

Deadheads just love to complain about everything. It is the one thing you can be sure about when there is a new release. I wouldn't have it any other way. What gets me though is the people who hate the complainers. Imagine two heads on one body -- a complainer and a complimenter, always fighting with each other! LMAO!

fourwindsblow's picture
Joined: Oct 13 2008
Are these from the multi-track recordings?

"Recorded and Mixed Live by John Cutler"

Which is why they sound so good.

Joined: Apr 23 2008

When everything else looks so good why did they have to use jewell cases. Will they replace the scratched discs that will be so prevelent. Oh well they'll just have to learn from their mistakes.

Coconut Phil's picture
Joined: Jun 4 2007
Sounds good!

I'm digging the listening party jams. The band sounds great and tight. Like a lot of others, I have been listening to a lot of early 70's Dead. This is a nice change and it really is solid Dead.

Ordered the new Jerry Garcia Vol.1 yesterday. I was really surprised to see the link in a post. Nice to see a new JGB release coming our way, hopefully it will continue. I'm happy with all the music that will be shipping my way soon enough.


Joined: Oct 6 2009

This is a quality release folks. If you haven't already, use your favorite search engine and learn what a "Smyth-Sewn" book is. I'm glad to see that this set comes with jewel trays. This will reduce the chances of scratching the discs. I also prefer the engraved metal which has the # of 9000 instead of a sticker. The 03/16/90 preview sounds great! Love the mix... I've read some of the recent posts and one thing that should be considered is that the artist Wes Lang also has to be paid for his work. If someone has also mentioned this then I'm just repeating it. I read his bio last night and also the interview concerning this exciting release. I also notice that Rhino is using a different source for customer service. When taking into consideration the quality materials, time and effort that was put into this release, the price tag is very reasonable.. I don't think Rhino, Wes and anyone else is getting rich from this release.

Underthevolcano's picture
Joined: Feb 6 2008
Jerry release

Looks like the Jerry vault is finally starting to open! All good things in all good time.

cbs73's picture
Joined: Nov 1 2010
order numbers

I wonder if the order numbers would give a clue as to how many orders have been placed.
My order number is 88084XX, with the 88084 part being relevant.
My order date was 08-01-12 09:10:23 AM, which was literally right as the information went live. I noticed the Spring 1990 order page appear in the tracker ( a minute or two before the home page was updated.

Added to Cart Spring 1990, Volume One Box

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