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find the best versions of grateful dead songs

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grendel

Books and Music

+9401


Submissions

2
Aiko Aiko
March 30, 1987
The Spectrum

Submitting this on Fat Tuesday 2017. Great Mardi Gras version with really nice piano (!) fills by Brent that oughta be heard!
3
Lazy Lightnin' -> Supplication
May 12, 1980
Boston Garden

Get on this one, folks. It's a ripper.
2
Let It Grow
July 29, 1974
Capitol Center

Absolute best of 1974. Not kidding. Jerry's leads are ripping & confident. The band plays flawlessly.Can stand w/some of the best of '77. Must hear.
1
He's Gone
April 16, 1984
Community War Memorial Auditorium

Long loping intro, signature lines delivered with gusto by Jerry, great outro jam, too!
3
Ramble On Rose
Oct. 21, 1971
Auditorium Theatre

Keith's second show & he's all over this faster paced super fun honky tonk version!

Comments

He's Gone
Dec. 28, 1990
Coliseum Arena

Hey cgarces If any of those other ones you listed (& thanks for doing so) are as good as this one I'm definitely going to be checking them out. I'm not as fluent in 90-91 as other years save for the big obvious shows like Boston Garden with Branford, etc.
He's Gone
Dec. 28, 1990
Coliseum Arena

Fair warning that you're all going to get pretty sick of hearing me talk up this version but it's gonna happen until I'm convinced there's been some ears on this.
Scarlet Begonias -> Fire On The Mountain
May 5, 1979
Civic Center

Finding this under a giant pile of rocks was like the musical equivalent of finding an old painting in the attic & you take it to Antiques Roadshow on a whim & it turns out you have a Van Gogh. OK, I admit to some slight exaggeration there, but I feel like in order to get the proper attention for some of these way under-appreciated gems you have to shout hyperbole from the rooftops. In any event, my vote just clicked this up to a measly 4 and it is so very much better than that. First, seek out the Dusborne Matrix version. It's superb. Second, notice the perfect tempo of this version...never plodding, but never too speeded up either. This becomes especially apparent in the excellent bridge jam, which features a scintillating Jerry solo that doesn't lead into the "Fire" segue, but lays up nicely for Bobby to take over for one of those mind meld rhythm guided forays into "Fire" that just makes your brain smile. Great "Fire" to follow, heavy on drums--especially in "Scarlet" and lots of Phil throughout. Early in Brent's tenure, it's a sweet version, and for cryin' out loud, if you agree, let's get it out of the single digits.
Althea
April 3, 1982
The Scope

This whole show is grossly underrated. Yes +1 on this fine Althea.
He's Gone
Dec. 28, 1990
Coliseum Arena

Hands down the best version of the '90s, and quite frankly, stands up to just about any version of any era and by any objective measure should be way higher on this list, top 5, even, no kidding. Why? Let's begin with the vocals. Jerry could not be more committed here. Check out the "nothin' left to do but smile, smile, smile" line and the subsequent crowd reaction. Even more telling, in a much more subtle manner, is his reading of the "knife in the back, and more of the same" line, which can sometimes fall flat in other versions but here is given a twisty, bluesy delivery, and the full band nearly acapella coda of "nothing's gonna bring him back" makes you feel like you're hanging with the band in the back of some back country blues bar at the end of a long night swigging whiskey. If that wasn't enough, Jerry rips into a grungy, gritty solo following the round robin vocals, and takes us out on what really has to be considered one of the best renditions of this song ever performed live. If you search the lower rungs of this site for versions of your favorite tunes that you didn't know before and will knock your socks off you will be supremely rewarded here. This is a diamond buried far in the rough.