find the best versions of grateful dead songs

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Friend of the Devil
Dec. 31, 1977
Winterland Arena

Better Jerry solo than the other '77s, but same aesthetic otherwise.
Eyes Of The World
Sept. 2, 1983
Boise Pavilion - Boise State University

Not too speedy, well jammed and ends with a one of kind improv between Bobby, Brent and the drummers.
Terrapin Station
Nov. 30, 1979
Stanley Theater

The solos in Lady with a Fan are fucking beautiful.
The Music Never Stopped
Dec. 17, 1978
Fox Theatre

Delicate, sweet playing in the midsection and a good outro. The linked source is not great, but there is a SBD.
Tennessee Jed
Nov. 13, 1978
Music Hall

Thunderous climax. The last two minutes of the song are tight.


Bird Song
Oct. 17, 1981

Short, but great Garcia tone and interplay with Brent.
Nobody's Fault But Mine
Oct. 12, 1977
Manor Downs

A little faster at the beginning than most, primarily because of how it materializes out of Truckin', but funky, yes, and it's great to hear 1977 Jerry play NFBM. There are some really nice episodes with his guitar tone, sounds unique to the year. As fast as it starts, the band settles into a groove before Iko rolls around.
Maybe You Know
April 21, 1986
Berkeley Community Theater

I disagree. What is the better version? So much of what goes for advocacy on this website amounts to the belittlement of certain versions rather than the articulation of what makes a particular rendition great. I readily admit that there is an inversion here, but the rhythm remains the same; this version is unique, people are here to cut it down. Find a version in which the passion of the performance more closely matches the lyrics. It's not a good song on any day. At least the version on this day had some bite.
The Music Never Stopped
Nov. 23, 1978
Capital Centre

I am familiar with this one, and as much as I like it, I prefer 11/18/78, five days before for its A+ sound quality and midsection with a unique trippiness for the era. I’ve been in an MNS phase for the last year and a half, and I spend most of my time in the period from October 77 to the end of the Godchaux era, though I will go from 75 to 84 on this song for some variety. The midsection, as I know you know, is essential to an alltimer and as good as those 76s and early 77s are, there’s usually just the outro. Top 5 for 10/77-2/79, as I see it: 12/27/78, 7/3/78, 10/16/77, 5/7/78, and 11/18/78, with an honorable mention of 2/3/79 for just the midsection. As for 4/24/78 and 2/3/78, those versions have their acolytes and don’t need me hanging around. Besides I’ve heard them about a million times and the novelty is no longer within my grasp.
The Music Never Stopped
Dec. 27, 1978
Golden Hall, Community Concourse

40th anniversary of this top notch MNS. I will die on the hill of this underrated version. The Franklin’s is a great standalone too.