find the best versions of grateful dead songs

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Cumberland Blues
Sept. 11, 1981
Greek Theater

This one cooks. It’s the third one since 74, but it’s all so fluid.
Mind Left Body Jam
Sept. 6, 1979
Madison Square Garden

The transition between NFA and Stella is about a minute of MLB. Not the best, but a unique transition and tease for 1979.
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 Other One
March 20, 1977
Winterland Arena

Before this one gets into a Jerry led spring 77 style space, there is some beautiful spring-like jazzy playing. These 77 OOs aren’t for everyone, I know, but I love this kind of thing at this time of year.
Sept. 11, 1981
Greek Theater

Yes Darkstar, this is a good one, more like that 5/1 Deal than some other 81s. It’s high gain shredding and he’s up in the mix. Later on, and I mean 83 and 84, as well as the last years, he wasn’t so out in front of the other instruments in the Deal outro and you can hear what I’m talking about in this version especially in the clarity of his playing in the first half minute of the outro.
Crazy Fingers
July 13, 1976
Orpheum Theatre

This one is a journey. The song itself is typical of the year: sweet, earnest, and with the SQ of the linked source, a bit tinny. Like all 76ers, the beginning of the outro is just beautiful, summer day music. But after the shift to the minor, they almost reach space, and by the end, you could be listening to playin' or the other one.
Scarlet Begonias -> Fire On The Mountain
Aug. 17, 1980
Kansas City Municipal Auditorium Arena

Not as big as others, but tight and interesting. The beginning of the outro is strong. And similar to 11/30/79, there are two Scarlet solos, the second of which is better and appears to be an attempt to make up for the mistake. I liked this pair.
Mississippi Halfstep Uptown Toodeloo
Sept. 29, 1977
Paramount Theatre

This one is a little off. It's better than dozens above it on the list - it's still a 77 half step - but it really doesn't stack up against almost all of 77 and particularly the fall versions.