find the best versions of grateful dead songs

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sense & color



April 22, 1979
Spartan Stadium - San Jose State University

Mr. Lemieux, if you're listening, this show deserves a look! Brent's debut and nice energy throughout, as evidenced by this Sugaree!
I Need A Miracle
April 22, 1979
Spartan Stadium - San Jose State University

Lively version with plenty of Phil bombs from a seriously underrated show. Almost makes you forget how rote this song got a few years later.
Looks Like Rain
July 20, 1994
Deer Creek Music Center

Strong version from a very good '94 show. We all know Jerry's playing was in decline at this point but the magic could still be mustered at times
The Music Never Stopped
April 2, 1989
Civic Arena

Tight and energetic version from an oddly underrated show -- The whole show and the following night is available as Dowload Series Vol. 9.
Not Fade Away
May 11, 1978
Springfield Civic Center Arena

Like most everything else from this show, this one is raucous and passionate, like all great NFAs.


Turn On Your Love Light
April 26, 1972

This has got to be the one. Just relentless. There is not a wasted moment, which cannot be said for all the classic 69/70 versions. The group interplay and improvisation is just phenomenal, some of the best of the tour, which for Europe '72 means quite a lot. I'll take this insane, hard-charging, 17-minute version with a nutso-crazy-great transition into an all-time GDTRFB over any cheesy bloated Pigpen rap version every single time. (I agree with Grendel above. I honestly don't care if I never hear a "hands in yo' pockets" rap ever again). There is just no comparison. This has got to be the headiest version.
March 23, 1995
Charlotte Coliseum

Yeah, I wish I could upvote Matilda separately, because this is a very fun version with Hornsby adding a ton of energy.
Oct. 2, 1977
Paramount Theatre

Great Truckin’ > The Other One, seamless transition and both versions are rock solid. Fantastic show all around.
Scarlet Begonias -> Fire On The Mountain
April 22, 1979
Spartan Stadium - San Jose State University

Yes there are some vocal flubs and it's sloppy at times but overall this version is snappy and punchy and deserves a lot more attention!
Morning Dew
Oct. 19, 1973
Oklahoma City Fairgrounds Arena

An amazing version whose power seems to draw from both the gorgeous beauty of the quiet interludes as well as the fantastic and blood-pumping peaks. Flows out of an amazing Dark Star> Mind Left Body Jam. This sequence is why we listen to the Grateful Dead!