Starting this week out is some magnificent music from the first show of the Europe ’72 tour, 4/7/72 at Wembley Arena in London. The first music that most of us had ever heard of this show was the second set jam featured on CD Three of Steppin’ Out with the Grateful Dead: England 1972, and although there were some recording issues on the multi-track masters during some of the first-set material on 4/7/72, the latter part of the set and the second set were salvageable. So, for the first time, here is the short-but-powerful Playing In The Band from the first set, and the second-set closing Not Fade Away>Goin’ Down The Road Feeling Bad>Not Fade Away from 4/7/72. Anyone leaving Wembley Arena in 1990 after the Grateful Dead’s shows there will fondly remember the exit signs that proclaim, simply, “Way Out.” Way out, indeed.
Next up is a terrific jam from 4/2/73 in Boston, featuring an early Weather Report Prelude>Eyes of the World>China Doll combination, all relatively new tunes to the repertoire. Jerry plays some particularly chaotic music during the Eyes outro jam, music that certainly thinks outside the box.
Jumping ahead to the 1980s, we will start out with some music from the Phildelphia Spectrum. First up, from 4/5/82, is one of those nice, meaty Deep Elem Blues that are just so much fun. And, from the next night, this Shakedown Street features some great interplay between Jerry and Brent. Also from the 4/6/82 show is the post-Drums sequence of Truckin’>The Other One>Morning Dew, another great moment in the Grateful Dead’s recorded history in Philadelphia. All selections from the cassette masters.
The Spring Tour of 1985, recorded very nicely to Beta PCM digital audio tapes, featured some very inspired playing and unique jamming and song selection. From that tour, we’ll start out with the nice first-set closer of Lost Sailor>Saint of Circumstance>Deal from 4/4/85 in Providence. And a return to the Philadelphia Spectrum gives us some cool moments: from 4/7/85 is this She Belongs To Me>Women Are Smarter sequence, and from 4/8/85 is the very unique first-set opening sequence of Midnight Hour>Walking The Dog>Big Boss Man, as well as the mid-first-set jam of Down In The Bottom>Ain’t Superstitious>Althea.
In 1988, the band played a very interesting three-night run at the Hartford Civic Center, featuring cool song selection, song sequences, song placement in sets, and Jerry’s absent voice on the 4/3/88 show. Amongst all the chaos was some exquisite music, and from the second set of the final show, 4/5/88, we have this excellent Iko Iko>Louie Louie>Samson and Delilah jam. This is, of course, the first-ever performance of Louie Louie sung by Brent.
Finally this week, have some more of that incredible Spring Tour of 1990, thankfully recorded in its entirety to 24 track tape during the Without A Net project. From the final show of the tour in Atlanta on 4/3/90, we have this masterful opening trio of Shakedown Street, Hell In A Bucket>Sugaree. There was so much great music played from the Summer of 1989 through the Spring of 1990, and we’re very fortunate that virtually all of it was recorded on multi-track tape.
Please check back next week, as we’ve got more great music, including some rare performances from 1971, as well as a fair amount of 1980s-era Dead, including 1982, 1983 and 1989. Plus some 1970 and 1972 for good measure. Feel free to get in touch with questions, comments or suggestions for release, or just to discuss Stanley Cup playoff predictions.
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