find the best versions of grateful dead songs

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sense & color



Black Peter
Feb. 4, 1970
Family Dog at the Great Highway

Still an infant, only two months old, this is a delicately sublime version. Available on the (un-numbered) Download Series from the Family Dog.
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.


Tennessee Jed
July 2, 1989
Sullivan Stadium

Watching the YouTube video convinced me to upvote. What a time they were having that summer!
Wang Dang Doodle
July 2, 1989
Sullivan Stadium

Should be viewed as a “Crazy Fingers> Wang Dang Doodle” and it’s a doozie. All night long!
Day Job
Sept. 20, 1982
Madison Square Garden

Nice vocals make this version stand out
Bird Song
Sept. 29, 1989
Shoreline Amphitheatre

Wow, this one needs more love. Spacey and jagged with just the right amount of MIDI weirdness. Great era for Bird Song.
Baba O'Riley > Tomorrow Never Knows
Dec. 16, 1992
Oakland Coliseum Arena

This is actually 12/17/92 - these are bonus tracks on Dick's Picks 27 (from the following night).