Thursday, March 24, 2011

Grateful Dead: "Dick's Picks Volume Fifteen" CD Review

This three-disc CD set contains the entire show the Grateful Dead performed at Raceway Park in Englishtown, New Jersey on September 3, 1977.

This is the fifteenth in the "Dick's Picks" series, named after Grateful Dead tape archivist Dick Latvala. This was the first CD in the series to be released after Dick's death (he died after a heart attack at the age of 56), and the liner notes contain a note written from the Great Beyond. Well, the recently deceased sure picked a good show to release: this is another show from that peak year, 1977.

First Set Opens With Chuck Berry's "Promised Land"

The first CD starts with the band being introduced. Then the band goes into Chuck Berry's "Promised Land." There is a bit of trouble remembering some of the lyrics, but then when they get it right, they actually say, "That's right," which is great.

They then do a really nice version of "They Love Each Other." The first disc also contains a good "Mississippi Half-Step Uptown Toodeloo," which has some great jamming, and a pretty "Looks Like Rain," as well as a sweet "Peggy-O."

The first CD has the entire first set.

Second Set Opens With "Bertha"

The second disc opens with a fun "Bertha." So what if there was some trouble with remembering which verse they were on? That's all part of the concert experience, especially with a band that had so much material to choose from.

From "Bertha," they go right into an energetic (though very short by Dead standards) "Good Lovin.'"

There is quite a bit of fun stage banter, which the Dead all but stopped in later years.

"Estimated Prophet" Into "Eyes Of The World"

The second set features a really cool "Estimated Prophet" which of clourse slides into the always appreciated "Eyes Of The World." This pairing of "Estimated"/"Eyes" was done a lot throughout the band's career, but these songs provided the band with a good solid groove from which they could deviate into some interesting musical territory. Some fun, solid jamming. Plus, "Eyes" has a good positive feel to it that always brings a smile to the audience.

"Not Fade Away" By Buddy Holly
The third disc features a twenty-minute version of Buddy Holly's "Not Fade Away" with a lot of great jamming and a nice scream from Donna Jean Godchaux. The third disc ends with the encore, "Terrapin Station," one of the Grateful Dead's best songs.

Grateful Dead Band Members
The band at the time of this recording was Jerry Garcia on vocals and guitar, Bob Weir on vocals and rhythm guitar, Phil Lesh on bass and vocals, Bill Kreutzmann on drums, Mickey Hart on drums, Keith Godchaux on keyboards and Donna Jean Godchaux on vocals.

CD Track List

The following is the track list for Grateful Dead's Dick's Picks Volume Fifteen:

CD One:

  1. Introduction
  2. Promised Land
  3. They Love Each Other
  4. Me & My Uncle
  5. Mississippi Half-Step Uptown Toodeloo
  6. Looks Like Rain
  7. Peggy-O
  8. New Minglewood Blues
  9. Friend Of The Devil
  10. The Music Never Stopped

CD Two:

  1. Bertha >
  2. Good Lovin' >
  3. Loser
  4. Estimated Prophet >
  5. Eyes Of The World
  6. Samson And Delilah

CD Three:

  1. He's Gone >
  2. Not Fade Away >
  3. Truckin'
  4. Terrapin Station

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