Only 5,000 Made!
The Grateful Dead's first true archival album, Bear's Choice, was lovingly produced as a tribute to Pigpen shortly after he passed by none other that the Dead's original soundman and benefactor, Owsley Stanley, aka Bear. Drawing from live shows recorded three years earlier by Bear at the Fillmore East in New York City, Bear's Choice captures the Dead at an essential moment of their history, as they were about to record Workingman's Dead (and shortly thereafter, American Beauty), and were transitioning into becoming Americana pioneers, while never losing touch with their psychedelic improvisational roots. Three of the eight songs on the album are sung by Pigpen, with Side 1 being the definitive example of early Acoustic Dead, and Side 2 being electric blues and rock & roll, with Pigpen leading the charge on both tracks on the second side. This has been re-mastered by David Glasser using Plangent Processes from the original analog 2-track tapes recorded live by Bear and has never sounded better.
Is there a CD version, can't do the LP thing.................????
Am I First???
That's a first!
I'm seeing a download option in the recent posts.
Have not verified in the "store".
Edit: Yes, verified in March GD Bulletin in my in-box.
Digital DL and colored or black vinyl. No CD so far.
Is that all they are going to put out?
I'm really surprised they're reissuing this one without any bonus material, not even the 4 extra tracks that appeared on the CD reissue in the early 2000s. WTF? Seems like a missed opportunity: I had really hoped they might issue the complete shows.
No CD version
All kinds of overpriced merch crap, though. Swell work, PTB.
NOT EVERYONE GETS WOOD OVER VINYL.
It's a good thing I guess financially that I wont be buying this.
"just another 100,000 miles away from the days that used to be"
Vinyl is cool but I haven't owned a record player since the 1980's. More or less fully digital now. I was also hoping to see some additional material to go along with this. How about the entire Feb '70 Fillmore East run? The Dick's Picks version had to be edited to fit on CD. Would be great to get an unaltered version and maybe even remastered like this release.
I've enjoyed the sound and the packaging of each of the 5oth anniversary CD releases so far, and am disappointed to not find that option available this time around. If enough of us show interest here, is a future CD pressing potentially possible?
This can't be all there is; the absence of a CD option is a conspicuous one. There is no way (in my mind at least) that they invested to plagentize just these tracks. I am certain they did the whole run and that will be the next big box announcement. No way that isnt going to happen sooner or later.
looks like they didn't put much thought or effort into this one.
No extra cds w/ a full show bonus material?
and what the hell is 'Hallo' ... LOL ... are we sure this isn't a knock off import>?>? LOL
That being said, I'll prob get the gold vinyl bc it will sell out and then I'll be bummed looking on ebay for that misprinted copy that has Dark Hallo on it.
This can't be it guys? Loved Bear's Choice for so so long, got all the DP's, DaP's, RT's and 50th's...so where is the CD. This is as bad as no Live/Dead 50th. Don't let this deal go down...x
Yes, this is a very meager offering. If any album could be bolstered up by relevant bonus material, then that album is "Bears Choice."
I agree with the majority that this Fillmore East run was one of the best runs in their history, but truth be told, I have never cared much for "Bears Choice". I always thought it was a bit dull, and still do. A bit on a par with "Steal Your Face" - a great run of shows represented by a lousy album. So I'm not going to buy it again - I don't care what colour vinyl it's pressed on.
....that is all. I'll let the rest of you vent for me.
This 50th anniversary seems as lame as the one for Live/Dead. I prefer the CD format which is still the best soundwise there is. I have two CD-copies of this already, the old one with the same songs as the original LP and the remastered with bonus cuts.
I'm not going to spend any money on this anniversary unless some more bonus cuts get available.
It still bothers me that there was NO Live / Dead 50th anniversary release - what a dropped ball...
The entire run has been Plangentized and will come out as a Box.
As stated in the email:
“ BEAR'S CHOICE, was lovingly produced as a tribute to Pigpen shortly after he passed by none other than the Dead's original soundman and benefactor, Owsley Stanley, aka Bear. ”
The announcement was made on the anniversary of his death as a tribute.
There’s a digital download if you don’t want the vinyl.
Bears choice was the first exposure i had to pigpen and it is a great album. I think this is a good price for a record these days considering be a used record is going for 50 bucks around me. I could care less they don’t have any CD options. CD s are vlame and bad sounding, get it on mo3 if you want a crappy digital version of bears choice. I respect the dead’s choice for the format they put their music out on to honor a fallen buddy.
Dicks picks Vol 4 has most of both shows from the 13th and 14th they put four bonus tracks on the remaster in Golden road Good Lovin Big Boss Man Alternate smokestack and sitting on top of the world. What more can they produce from these two shows. Hey Grateful Dead thank you for these releases Muchos Gracias!
I have to think that TPTB went with limited vinyl on Bear's Choice because they have their hands full with other projects. I kinda felt the same way with the latest Pick. Not complaining on the actual Pick, but pointing out that it's pretty easy to wade into remaining '77 shows and make a selection for release, as opposed to something more obscure.
Though this offer is a yawner to me and smacks of a missed opportunity, I'd guess they have indeed released a good deal of the Feb '70 run and are focusing elsewhere. We've got the WotF 50th, which presumably will be accompanied by a live show, and the year's box, which could create the annual excitement peak that keeps us hooked. Whatever they do with WotF, the timing really is good for more summer '73 shows. By now I'm sure you know I'd like, at the least, July 31-August 1, '73, and the best of June 9-10 and July 27-28.
But then, they don't call me to ask. It's only March. A couple of months will reveal the box, the WotF, etc.
Missed opportunity? I'd say so. But there must be a reason.
JCC - they also released the Dark Star from the early show on 2/14/70 on the compilation "Long Strange Trip" a few years ago. If we had the complete shows, though, we could hear that go into St Stephen, The Eleven, Lovelight - maybe more but that's where my boot( sorry) stops. Also on the 2/11/70 show we have that Spanish jam with Duane Allman and Peter Green on - so the music leading up to that would be good - my versions cut in half way through. None of 2/11/70 has come out so far, I don't think.
Yes, I thought Dave's 45 was a lazy release, too. I quite like it though.
nice if they would have released the Feb 70 Fillmore shows in order of play and remastered, they are historic and deserve that treatment. They would have sold out fast. Bears Choice is a fantastic record, one of my favorites, I have 2 CD copies, one with extra tracks, and the record, no need for any more.
why they never put out a Live Dead 50th anniversary release, one of the greatest records of alltime. They could have tacked on an extra show from 1969, it
would have been cool.
Took a float down the Amazon yesterday and noticed that they have a 50th anniversary of Bears Choice as an mp3 album available for pre-purchase, set for May 5 release. So maybe a CD version will be coming out around that time?
Which would be weird: it's not uncommon for CD releases to precede vinyl, supposedly because there's so much demand for vinyl right now and so few pressing plants that there are often delays. But I've not heard of a vinyl release preceding the CD by several weeks.
But then nothing about this release makes sense.
I can't imagine that, having missed this opportunity, they're going to come back to the Fillmore material any time soon. Probably their thinking was (as HF sed) that a lot of that material is already out there, and they've got Wake to deal with, and this year's box set, and other bigger fish to fry. Still think it's a shame.
I see a comment section in Recent Posts for a DL of Bear's but I can't find it in the store here on deadnet to see if it's the same MP3 Crow saw at bozo's store. Two colors of vinyl here though. A vinyl-phile friend says plain black vinyl sounds better. Is this a thing?
Edit: Oops! Found it. Says FLAC or ALAC. I'm a tech moron that doesn't DL (except 30 Days offerings) so where does MP3 come into this selection?
1/26/69 would make made a good bonus disc for Live Dead. According to Deadbase, "The Eleven" and "Lovelight" that featured on the album both came from this show, so they must have the whole set professionally recorded.
It could always still be released - a remastered Live Dead with a full show from the timespan as a bonus. As was said on one of the other boards on here recently - they don't have to restrict reissues to anniversary dates. It would be an ideal release any year. Not to do so would be crazy - as Billy said - it's one of the greatest live albums of all time.
Re coloured vinyl - my ears tell me that it sounds just as good as black vinyl now. In the 70's records pressed on coloured vinyl always seemed a bit crackly to me. It's a bit of a fad, though. If they re-released Live Dead on vinyl, I can't imagine anyone who bought it on here would give a tinkers what colour it came on. I know I wouldn't.
I bought the original version of this disc when it was first released. Yeah, a bit underwhelming. I had seem them do a similar set at the Family Dog. The acoustic set, while a cool departure, is not exactly riveting. The highlight for me is the jam in "Hard to Handle." It didn't last long but there was a section where the entire band seemed to be completely group mind, playing as one! And Lesh's bass, OMG! Getting this just as a bookend for the first one which I still have.
Just riffing off KoolAid's comment, but not contradicting it.
Being the age I am, I missed the pre-1972 theater shows like Feb '70 that featured a laid back acoustic set. I didn't see that, but I miss that because the crowd wasn't totally jacked up from when the band took the stage til they hustled out of town. In my era, the minute the band took the stage it was pandemonium. Now, I did catch some shows in '73 and theater shows in '76 that were pretty relaxed at first. And definitely caught a few small Jerry band shows that started out relaxed and built up the energy. But the thought of a non-riveting first set is appealing. I easily recall being relieved, for instance, when my 12-hour acid trip started wearing off and my facial muscles returned to my control. So a chill set is okay with me. Those guys just liked to play their guitars and sing.
So, non-riveting can be my friend, especially these days. From '77 onward the shows tended to start riveting well before the band showed up...............
CD release or bonus material=DOUBLE bummer!!
Good perspective ( as ever) from HF as to what it was like to experience this stuff live in the 70's - but in terms of the actual album, I agree with Koolaid. "Hard To Handle" is the definite highlight for me, too.
Q; When is enjoying not-riveting acoustic sets the same as not riveting to Hard to Handle?
xoxo, Grease-slave aka HF
I’m listening to the new vinyl record as I write this and it sounds beautiful on my system! I’ve always loved this release in honor of the late ‘Pigpen’
Every Fillmore East performance from the dead was a Primo Grateful performance & time! Every time! No doubt!!! Hope everyone enjoys this release as much as I do! Have a grateful day everyone, peace be with you all! 🙏❤️💀🌹
Just opened this, put it on and it’s cracking and popping like crazy. Ran it on the VPI, still cracking and popping at the same places. I’ve never had a second of issue with a dead record before! Anyone else? Huge bummer since I’m a big Pigpen fan…
Me too! Came here to see if I was the only one. Cleaned it every way possible, yet it still crackles like crazy! Put on a couple different records to make sure it wasn't my setup. Nope. I wonder if its the colored vinyl? I'd like to ask for a replacement with the black vinyl if I knew that didn't sound as bad as this one.
I received this limited edition version of the album, and it looks like prior to shipping, something crushed a 1 inch by 1/2 inch section of the album cover and vinyl, making the first track on both sides unplayable. I sent a message to dead.net, and they responded saying they were very busy, and gave my a FAQ response. I emailed the Warner Music Group email they gave me, for damaged goods, and here is the response I have received, after they initially asked my to send an audio recording of the playback damage, and I told them that my stereo amp, just recently took a lightning power surge, and I have no way to play it until I get my amp back, or replaced:
Zoey (Dead.net Store)
Jun 2, 2023, 4:00 AM EDT
Thank you for your email.
Before we can proceed with any resolution for this, we would need a video to show the quality and/or damage to the item received.
I apologize for the inconvenience.
Is there anybody else that can help with this? I offered to send back the vinyl, for them to see for themselves, but they have ignored that part of the conversation.
Why can’t Dead. net do something to improve its godawful terrible “customer support” (or lack there-of)?? The first comments I saw when I opened this were reasonable problems requesting help, with what looked to be unhelpful responses if any at all. I recently had a problem with an order and tried repeatedly numerous times to get any sort of support. After weeks of trying every which way I could find, I finally got a “sorry we’re late with this” response and even then the support I finally got was screwed up. (Ultimately, the ‘support’ mistake was in my favor at their loss, so I gave up trying to make things right). With such a dedicated customer base (no pun intended), why on earth does Dead .net continue to pay no attention to its customers?
I placed my order almost a week ago and it still has not shipped. Based on past slow shipping experiences with DPs and Boxed sets, maybe I'll have this vinyl in another two weeks. Dead.net really needs to consider changing their fulfillment vendor.
Coming up on 3 weeks since my order was placed and the item still has not shipped. WTF dead.net???? This is really pathetic.
Like many others, I’ve had a terrible experience with this. The first copy came with a big scratch on side 2. After over a month and a half of trying to deal with the ever increasing terribleness of GDP customer support, I received a replacement copy. This one is full of noise as others have reported. I strongly suggest you avoid this special pressing. I’m getting to the point that I won’t be buying any vinyl from the boys as quality control seems to be nonexistent recently. Is it really that hard to find someone who wants to work and do a good job? Seems lots of folks I know would love to work for the band!