Grateful Dead

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marye's picture
Joined: May 26 2007

Our friends the Rhinos have various and sundry new releases in the development process, but they're always interested in hearing what you'd like to see hit the virtual shelves of the Store. No promises, but you never know...

This topic is for requesting new box sets. There are also topics for individual shows and DVDs.

If you've already requested something in the previous Requests topic, you don't really need to request it again, but hey, if you just can't help yourself...


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icecrmcnkd's picture
Joined: Oct 20 2015
Make it ‘Just Exactly Perfect’

Plangentize the Bettys.

If you have the gems, polish them up.

Kayak Guy's picture
Joined: Jun 4 2015
Plangent Processed Betty Boards subscription series.

this is an appeal to the powers that be for a new subscription series of 3 times a year of Plangent processed returned "Betty Boards" available in limited edition CDs and digital download forever. the series can start with 2/26/77 Winterland, which would be a sin not to have Plangent processed and instead used for a Dave's Pick release. as shown with previous releases from the "Bettys" the Plangent process significantly improves the sound from the tapes. by offering limited CD and unlimited digital versions it allows for maximum return of investment for the additional processing costs.

why do the returned tapes deserve their own series?

a tale of the tapes.

according to Deadbase, there are 2314 shows, of those there are 450+ Pigpen shows, 403 Keith shows, 810 Brent shows and 378 Vince shows.

of the Brent shows almost 700 are cassettes/PCMs recorded by Dan Healy from the PA SBD to check out how Dan's mix sounded, not ever considered for release.

The Keith shows were recorded reel to reel from a separate mixing console from the PA and the Betty Boards were mixed on headphones and in no way match what was heard in the hall. don't believe me try an AUD tape for the same show, try a different AUD tape if there is one. these 70s Reel to Reels were also never considered for release. they were for band reference and they had enough of a budget they didn't have to reuse them, like some of the Radio City multi track show tapes that got recycled by Arista after Dead Set & Reckoning came out.
aside from 100 or so special events that were recorded on multi track for eventual release that made it into the Vault, everything else is 2 tracks mixed for reference listening, Betty's, FM broadcasts or to hear how the live mix sounded compared to the sound in the hall.

the cost of the Plangent process, (analog to digital transfer), precludes them using it on most Dave's Picks because it is cost prohibitive and will probably only be used in box sets from now on. Dave's Picks are not worth the expense or time to Plangent, so instead we get Jeffery Norman magic to try and make it sound as good as possible from the in house master tape digitization.

which means releasing the returned Betty's as Dave's picks is denying the chance for future Plangent processing, the good Betty's will be held for the annual box sets as the multi tracks have been already milked for most of what's available. more fall 89 multi tracks anyone?

then there's the Bear audio journals, which are basically 2 track mono recordings with the amplified instruments in one channel and the PA (drums, vocals and keyboard) in the other. if you want to make the pre 1969 stuff sound really good, listen to it in mono with the vocals centered and the instruments on top of each other and not next to each other. you are not losing anything as the Bear tapes have no real stereo separation, he was hearing impaired in one ear and couldn't hear stereo.

this leaves about 1600 possible shows on stereo tapes of which less than 500 are Reel to Reel and the rest cassette and digital tapes.
this means whats left for Dave's choices are mostly cassette SBDs from the PA or he's eating into the potential for future box sets.

maybe this means less people will subscribe in the future and there will be more of a chance for the average fan to get a copy of a show he wants ala carte, is that a bad thing?

maybe Rhino plans to start allowing digital downloads, but without the budget for Normanization or packaging at $20 a show to start making some profit on the rest of the vault?
difficult to believe, as since the bankruptcy of Music Today all previous digital downloads are still unavailable and Warner Music, the new distribution for, only has digital downloads for the new releases.

from the Spring 90 TOO page
Digital Download
Digital downloads have been temporarily disabled while we work on resolving the technical issues. Previous purchasers will be notified when the problem is resolved.

the first 15 years of the GD the band played mostly small halls to limited audiences, with the large festival exceptions.
the 2nd 15 years the band became one of the top selling live acts, for most of the last 10 years they were in football stadiums and huge arenas, so the potential of "i was there" buyers is far greater than the early years.

it is very likely more people saw the band with Brent or Vince than the combined years for Pigpen and Keith.

it is inevitable that Dave's Picks start mining the last 15 years and now seems as good a time as any. the new licensing deal with Rhino still has 8 years left to prepare releases from whats in the vault.

a tale of the times.

if you were lucky enough to see the Grateful Dead and didn't have a bad trip while there, chances are you had an entertaining to life changing event. this became formulaic in the late 70s when Drum>Space got locked into a feature of the 2nd set. as tours went on songs became 1st or 2nd set tunes and eventually became limited to slots within their respective sets, with very little deviance until the end. to see the song you wanted meant going to many shows in a row to get it, Morning Dew had a 10 show rotation, Way to Go Home had a 2 show rotation, Bobby tunes had a 4 to 5 day rotation.
this made the shows almost ritualistic for those that got it and to some people dancing at a Dead show was the ultimate experience in life. the shows became events and the best party in town where ever they were and worth traveling for. it might take over a thousand miles of touring to get that Dew you wanted.

by the time Keith was all used up, Bobby had a keyboardist from his solo band he thought might be a good fit, Jerry saw some Bobby shows, Keith & Donna retired and the rehearsals with Brent started in spring 1979. the fact that Clive Davis the head of Arista records also was lobbying for Brent as a good fit might have helped also. by summer 1979 they were locked into the format, had new tunes, and a keyboard/vocalist that wasn't just part of the rhythm section, but an organist that had an electronic keyboard sound that was going to be big in the 1980s. the band had reinvented itself and was ready to get that hit album that Clive knew was in them. Go To Heaven was not that album, yet Clive Davis was a deadhead before he was their boss and gave them the room they needed.

Betty and Brent became involved together and when that went south around the time of Brent's failed solo album, Betty became an Ex and the era of Betty boards was over. from here on it was Healy's PA SBDs that became the reference copies and had the PA mix with Drums, Keyboards and Vocals out front, not to mention Healy's additional effects, and the amplified instruments lower in the mix so they wouldn't feed back.

after the return of the acoustic sets and the Dead Set & Reckoning came out they started the 5 years it took to get the material for a new album and the new tunes came at a slower rate. instead the band kept up the tour schedule, the bad habits and added cover tunes to keep the new fans they were getting coming back for more. there was nothing like a Grateful Dead concert and word got out.

by this time some amazing AUD tapes were being recorded on customized tape decks with shot gun mics on poles to get them above the crowd. these capture how it sounded in the hall and were more realistic than the SBDs from the PA.

as the tours went on it was obvious Jerry wasn't doing well, but he was trying, and the tours continued until he physically couldn't anymore. the worse Jerry's voice got, the louder the crowd singing along got, so gaffs and croaks were less noticed as everyone else was singing the right lyrics. his guitar playing though developed a shreddy quality and the Tiger years have such a sweet sound.

what it did lead to was the entire hall getting into the same breathing pattern singing along with Jerry, while doing the happy acid dance and knowing at that moment they were in the best place on earth at that time.
this experience worked pretty consistently right up to the end, even though we knew by then it was more about the formulaic ritual experience than it was about the quality of the music being played.

to say this music is unworthy of release is wrong. the whole idea of Dave's Picks is to take whats left from the vault and put out the whole shows in the best quality possible and people that subscribe should understand this. it's not about having to own every release just so you don't have a gap in your display because you only like a certain period of the bands 30 year history.
if you don't like it give it away to someone that wants it that got shut out. sell it for a profit on ebay, burn it like the devil music you think it is, banish it from your life.

this is what the future box sets will most likely be filled with, the returned Betty's using the Plangent process, because the only box from the returned tapes not Plangent processed is the July 78 box that still sits in limbo as the last of the Music Today boxes and failed digital rollout. at this point the July 78 box looks like it was rushed and victim to being a test if they had to Plangent the tapes or in house digitization would do, clearly it is required and worth the added expense and time.
july 78 is a great box and concept that should have sold out by now.
is it as good as the Plangent processed boxes like the 2 from spring 77 or Sunshine Daydream?
no, not close, but is it on par with Dave's Picks quality?
yes it is and it's like getting a whole years subscription of 1978 Betty's in a deluxe package.

if this new box sounds as good as Dave says, "like a whole new tape" because of the Plangent processing, Dave's future picks will have to start on the Brent years to ensure box set potential into the 3rd 10 year licensing deal.

Joined: Aug 9 2018
future box sets

Fox Theater St Louis 10-17-72 through 10-19-72
Berkeley Theatre 8-21,22,23,24-1972
Both of these runs most definitely deserve consideration for future box sets.

Joined: Jul 10 2015
2nd that


I just created a thread same thing.

I would buy and love to own "Dead Covers".

Joined: Jul 10 2015
All the covers

Howdy everyone,

I'm putting it out there that I would buy and love to own a boxset of all the covers.

I heard someone say "the Grateful Dead are a cover band". I don't know about that, but I know I love listening them play covers such as Baba O'Reily, The Last Time (it's on now), It's All Over Now, the Dylan songs, etc.

Peace and love,

Joined: Feb 3 2012
Re: Skull and Roses: The Complete Recordings

Putting my money or actually time where my mouth is, I took the archive SBDs of 1971-03-24, 1971-04-04 to 1971-04-06, and 1971-04-25 to 1971-04-29 (all Charlie Miller save one), and ran them through Audacity to edit out extended tuning breaks, glitches, etc., and pieced it all together as my own personal Skull & Roses: The Complete Recordings. It's 22 hrs, 36 mins total, which would fit almost down to the second on 17 CDs.

It sounds great and has a terrific flow from show to show. Sure, there's the usual sloppiness, Duane has a hard time getting into Sugar Mags on 4-26, the Beach Boys are kind of meh the next night (save for Okie from Muskogee), etc., but it paints a terrific period of a distinct era that many of us believe was the apotheosis of the Dead.

As someone who was a recording engineer in his previous career, I would kill to have the 16 tracks from all of these shows and an opportunity to mix them in the studio. I know it's a lot easier just to put out SBDs of other shows, but I couldn't think of a more worthwhile project than putting out these complete recordings from the multitracks.

Joined: Feb 16 2017
June of 1985

So far the boys have only officially released 2 shows from 1985. They had a unique sound that years and played some amazing shows (and some duds). How about releasing the rest of the shows from the month of June. These included:

Greek Theater (U of California), Berkeley, CA (6/14/85)
Greek Theater (U of California), Berkeley, CA (6/15/85)
Greek Theater (U of California), Berkeley, CA (6/16/85)
Alpine Valley Music Theater, East Troy, WI (6/21/85)
Alpine Valley Music Theater, East Troy, WI (6/22/85)
River Bend Music Center, Cincinnati, OH (6/24/85) (already released on 30 trips)
Blossom Music Center, Cuyahoga Falls, OH (6/25/85)
Saratoga Performing Arts Center, Saratoga Springs, NY (6/27/85)
Hershey Park Stadium, Hershey, PA (6/28/85)
Merriweather Post Pavilion, Columbia, MD (6/30/85)

Joined: Feb 3 2012
Skull and Roses: The Complete Recordings

The "complete recordings" treatment has been given to both Live Dead and Europe '72. Why hasn't the same treatment been given to Skull and Roses?

I know David may think he covered this ground with Ladies and Gentlemen back in 2000, but that is essentially what the 3-disc Fillmore West 1969 was to the 10-disc Fillmore West 1969: The Complete Recordings.

So David: Release the entire 5-night run from the Fillmore (1971-04-25 to 1971-04-29) and the three nights from the Manhattan Ballroom (1971-04-04 to 1971-04-06). And probably the 1971-03-24 Winterland show, since it was the source of Johnny B. Goode. It's all on multitrack, so it's not like you're just putting out spiffed up SBDs.

Do it. DO IT!!!!!

Ballin' That Jack's picture
Joined: Nov 11 2017
Re: Box set of Pigpen Era

That would be a big box set!

Ballin' That Jack's picture
Joined: Nov 11 2017
More '69 please!

A peak year for sure! I would love a thematic box set or individual shows such as 11/2/69, 4/21/69 and 10/25/69.


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Requests: Box Sets