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20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic Grateful Dead
The Dick's Picks series is immortalizing the the Dead's concert experience. The Dead were the first band to wholly embrace bootleg recordings, rather than to be afraid that they would lose profits from such unofficial "albums". This was partly due to the fact that they were never concnerned about lack of sales at record stores (their albums typically did not sell well),...
Published on July 12, 2001 by gratefulshrink

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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Disc Skips
The 3rd disc has several scratches and skips badly. To pay that much I was really disappointed. Especially as a Christmas gift.
Published 9 months ago by Laura Vaughn


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20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic Grateful Dead, July 12, 2001
The Dick's Picks series is immortalizing the the Dead's concert experience. The Dead were the first band to wholly embrace bootleg recordings, rather than to be afraid that they would lose profits from such unofficial "albums". This was partly due to the fact that they were never concnerned about lack of sales at record stores (their albums typically did not sell well), and were able to make alot of money by touring. That being said, over the last 35+ years several of the bootlegs have become undergound classics. The shows at the Fillmore East on 2/13 and 2/14/70 were such shows. Many deadheads will argue that the Dark Star on this disc is "top five" (if not the best), which is no small feat, given that they played it live hundreds of times. The music shifts through many moods, akin to a symphony. Note the happy upbeat segment somewhere in the middle -- deadheads refer to this as the "feelin groovy" jam, as it has a similar chord structure to the Simon & Garfunkel tune. The continuous jam on Disc 3 is amazing -- this kind of jamming from one tune into (and often back into) another is what made their concerts so exciting: you never knew what was going to happen next. While I admit that the first disc is the weakest, people should know that the philisophy behind Dicks Picks is not "greatest hits Live", but rather presenting the music, as played, and as in a much entirety as possible. I suppose I could give 4 1/2 stars because the first part of Disc 1 is weaker, but having Discs 2 and 3 keeps it as five stars (just stick with these two and you'll be ok).
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Dick's Picks Volume 4 shows Dead at their peak, December 7, 1998
By A Customer
Although not as learned in Dead-science as many of my fellow American Deadheads, the Dead has been my favourite band for a decade. Nevertheless, I'm not very easily satisfied when it comes to music, and sometimes even the Dead must be judged harshly. Experience has taught me to buy anything the Dead produced before 1971 - I just love the early years. After '71, it got more mellow and less fierce and energetic, and although they've written a great many nice songs since (like those on "Blues for Allah", or songs like "Althea") the music doesn't have that primal urgency and those unexpected twists and turns that I like so much.
Dick's Picks Vol.4 shows them in what I think is the best shape they've ever been. All 3 cd's are just great, and if I had to pick one Dead album to take with me on some deserted island I'd pick this one (leaving behind my former favourite "Live Dead" with some pain in my heart).
The "acoustic" songs on cd 1 are great, while cd 2 features a splendid version of "The other one" and a "Lovelight" that might have ended sooner. cd 3 has no flaw whatsoever - great dynamics and inspired playing throughout, and the song choice is wonderful (I've always loved any song off the "Anthem" album). And if that wasn't enough, we're presented with the best "Dark Star" I've ever heard - and I thought the "Live Dead" version couldn't be surpassed ! This is really magical stuff !
Many will urge you to buy records like "American Beauty", "Workingman's Dead", "Live Dead" or even "Reckoning", and I think you should. But if you want the Dead's rolling thunder at its mightiest, don't hesitate. Buy Dick's Picks Vol. 4.
Hans Wigman
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars best dead era, to these ears, January 24, 2003
By A Customer
A couple of very good nights at the Fillmore for the Dead here, the same two nights which produced the oddly chosen "Bear's Choice" album for Warners.
This collection does show off the best qualities of the entity known as the Grateful Dead, before the country and jazz influences began to permeate their music and eventually turned the band into an awful self-parody, grasping for a sound and a direction. The Dead were never a very good blues, jazz, or country-rock band; they were simply at their best as an out-of-tune, way-too-loud, psychedelic noise machine, and this collection gets those moments down for posterity.
The version of "Dark Star" represented here is considered by many fans of the group to be the best version they've ever played, and I'd have to agree. What I admire about it is the restraint: after the first verse (approx. at the 11-minute mark), the band sound disintergrates into silence occasionally punctured by a cymbal wash, a scrape of the strings, or a slight whisper of feedback, while the audience remains completely hushed. This is something that never could be pulled off live today, and it's amazing to hear how quiet the band could become as well as how attentive the audience is. The rest of the song eventually finds its way into a well-structured jam, based on a chord progression not too far removed from Simon and Garfunkel's "59th St. Bridge Song", which is pretty novel.
Guitar players will notice that Jerry Garcia is using a Stratocaster on this set, as opposed to his normal-for-the-time Les Paul or SG, and I think this sound suits him better and cuts through the rest of the rumbling rhythm section to great effect.
And of course, there's bassist Phil Lesh, who has a deep, rich tone, as well as a musical imagination and good enough set of ears to take the band other places besides the mixolydian mode, driving the group hard with his surging, almost contrapuntal lines and his gut-punching double-stops. Lesh was obviously the catalyst for the band's more adventurous/avant-garde moments, and his influence and spirit are well-documented here.
"Feedback" is an improvised tail to "Caution: Do Not Stop on Tracks", and this is another rare Dead-moment of novelty; the howls and screeches of feedback would probably be totally acceptable at a Sonic Youth show today.
The acoustic set is nothing to write home about, and I do think "Lovelight" is somewhat overrated and overdrawn at 31 minutes of vamping, and beware the sour vocals due to what was probably the Age of Bad Monitors, but overall this is a terrific set, and if anyone asked me what the Grateful Dead sounded like, I would point them to this volume of Dick's Picks.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Darkstar, Darkstar, Darkstar, November 28, 2007
By 
I own about 100 dead/jerry band albums ... this and vol. 8 are my absolute favorites. I try imagining the scene at a particular show and view each show as a snapshot in time like you would a photograph since most were performed before I was born. This show took place in 1970 on Valentine's day in New York City.
This selection opens with an intro of "It's glorious Sunday morning ... THE GRATEFUL G*DAMN DEAD!!!" then right into a rockin' "Casey Jones" ... the "China Cat" is alittle choppy but that's just fine because the Dead would play songs live typically for a year before recording a studio version and this is an opportunity to hear that evolution ... the version of "Dire Wolf" is especially good with Jerry's voice sounding as sweet as I have ever heard it ...
Now to the reason you must own this Dick's Picks. "Darkstar" is my favorite song because of this version. It starts with Jerry teasing the crowd with "Alligator?" followed by the begining notes of "Darkstar", the groove they acheive in this song is unreal and I've never heard anything even approach it ... WOW ... as "Darkstar" comes to an end you get a glimpse of "The Other One" that follows on next disc.
The second disc is an all out jamfest with only two songs that fill it's entire length. Versions of "That's It for the Other One" and "Lovelight" that you can lose yourself in.
On the third disc they finally get around to playing "Alligator" a rockin' "Not Fade Away" into "Mason's Children" the latter having only been played a handful of times, ever. A must for any collector. I've heard that the Dead also played CCR's "Lodi" at one of the two shows ... I'd love to hear it.
I don't know if all the shows during this run were as good as this one but I think the Dead wanted to show the opening act, The Allman Brothers, something. Maybe they felt like they had something to prove or the Brothers just set the tone but for whatever reason this show is unreal.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Timeless, Eternal Music with Passion and Variety, March 4, 2007
This review is from: Dick's Picks, Vol. 4. Fillmore East 2/13-14/70 (Audio CD)
Dick's Picks vol. 4 is a really well-rounded Dead album that captures most of the band's variety. The "Dark Star" here alone makes the album worth it.

This is album that allowed me to survive the rat race of high school. Life may suck sometimes, but the Dead will always remind you of the true beauty in the universe with their Dark Star jams.

I feel that the single thing what made the Dead different from all other rock bands was their positive energy. The emotion of kindness audible in DP4's renditions of "Dire Wolf", the early and post-Space parts of "Dark Star", the Goodnight jam inside NFA and the full Goodnight at the end, really show that the Grateful Dead have an emotional range unparalleled with 90% of other rock bands.

This album is a good example of how the Dead have rock songs with fire and anger (just like every other rock band), and sadness (with High Time, like emo bands), but they also have the emotion of kindness mentioned above, and a sort of mysterious, powerful yearning emotion that you can just /feel/ as Dark Star crashes triumphantly to a close.

For more of the sweet, gentle sounds of the Dead, I recommend the album "Reckoning". For more of the driving, unyielding sort of 'yearning' emotion, I recommend DP18. The S&D > Scarlet > Fire > Truckin > Other One > Wharf Rat > Around and Around sequence there will blow you away.
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10 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 2/13-14/70 Fillmore East -- from Owsley to us, June 25, 2005
By 
Autonomeus (a world ruled by fossil fuels and fossil minds) - See all my reviews
This is an another incredible show captured by the infamous Owsley Stanley. Three months after the amazing 11/8/69 Fillmore (West) show, the first set is more confident -- the WORKINGMAN'S DEAD songs had been played for many nights now. It's surprising how the Dead could turn anything into a cosmic jam -- here they do it with "Dancing in the Streets." The "China Cat/Rider" is not quite as fantastic as the one on DP 16 (see my review), but otherwise this opening is much better.

DISC ONE also includes a fabled 30' "Dark Star," the one with the "Feelin' Groovy" section (taken from the Simon & Garfunkel song). DISC TWO is split 50/50, with a 30' "Other One" and a 30' "Lovelight." This "Other One" is powerful stuff -- for me, the highlight of this pick. "Lovelight" is solid, but what a contrast! Thanks to CD technology, you don't have to listen to them back-to-back unless you really want to. DISC THREE includes a rarity -- a performance of "Mason's Children," a catchy tune that was left off of WORKINGMAN'S DEAD. (I wish I could understand all the lyrics...) Is this the earliest version of "Me & My Uncle"? I'm not sure, but it's interesting to compare to the more hard-hitting and more polished version from 1971 found on SKULL & ROSES. The jam on this disc, starting with "Not Fade Away," including "Mason's Children," and continuing into "Caution" hits another incredible peak -- that's three for this concert, one on each disc! DP 4 is not an entire show, because part of it had already been released by Warners as BEAR'S CHOICE. What a night!
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Warning: Other One May Blow Out Your Speakers, June 25, 1999
By A Customer
Although the lawyers have kept this from being a complete show Dick's Pick (the missing songs appear on the early Seventies' Bear's choice), this one really is a monster, regardless of anything else you might read. I'll focus on the highlights--Dark Star > Other One > Lovelight. Yes, this Dark Star gets very spacey--be careful on a dark and winding road late at night--it gets spooky, but your patience will be rewarded, as it reaches terrific melodic peaks with the Dead exploring the "feelin' groovy" theme of Simon and Garfunkel's "59th Street Bridge." Pretty cool. The Other One bass intro is THE ONE. The day I got this, I must've driven my neigbors, roommates, and speakers crazy. What a deliciously thunderous wallop. The rest of the tune holds up, as Jerry's molten steel leads and the band's break-neck pace leave you gasping for air. But you dont get the chance to breathe as Pigpen brings down the house with a Lovelight that won't stop--you'll think they've run out of thunder and are bringing the song to a close, but wham! there they go again. If this is too much for you, stick to American Beauty until you realize that this show and that album are from the same year--unbelievable! By the way, if you're serious about live GD on cd, (1) it's all about the Dick's Picks, and (2) comparing live performances to album cuts--even live album cuts--will only hold you back in your quest to devour the live GD catalog.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the top five Dick's Picks, December 3, 2005
By 
Chet Fakir (San Francisco) - See all my reviews
This set is comprised of two shows held on an undoubtedly freezing New York February. And on those wintery nights the Dead played like a ray of Californian sunshine (and sometimes madness) beamed directly into the audiences back brain. Every song is strong starting with a muscular Casey Jones, following that is one of the best versions of Dancing in The Street available commercially. And then there's the Darkstar, holy crap. Incredibly convoluted and dynamic it's got to be heard to be believed. This may be the best version of Darkstar I've ever heard. It's certainly the most melodically adventurous. It segues into a grooving drums which slides right into a powerful careening and dynamic version of The Other One. There's a 30 minute version of Lovelight which is perhaps a bit overlong, but Pigpen is in top form and the jams and playing by the band are excellent. They bring it down, rev it up and bring it down again, improvising with dynamics as well as melody making for an exciting performance. CD3 beginning with Alligator>Drums is excellent as well. Once again Bill and Mickey outdo themselves in the groove department. The other songs are for the most part as powerfully played as on the previous CDs. The one exception is Mason's Children where the energy flags a bit. Most of the live versions of this song suffers the same malady which probably led to the song being excised from the Dead's set soon after. The CD ends with a superbly inventive Feedback followed by We Bid You Goodnight. And what do you know? the Dead almost nail the harmonies perfectly, not something they're know for.

Harmony singing aside, the playing on this CD is some of the best I've heard from the Dead in any year. Jerry Garcia is on fire throughout as is Bob Weir whose solo during China Cat is outstanding. Phil Lesh is an absolute monster as are Mickey Hart and Bill Kreutzmann. Pigpen's vocals are strong and featured to good effect on Lovelight, Alligator and Caution although his organ only occasionaly breaks the surface on other material.

If you like primal Dead, tight playing and hugely inventive jams you owe it to yourself to get Dick's Picks Vol. 4. Phil Lesh has said that New York audiences seemed to expect a little more of the Dead and on these nights in February they got more than they bargained for.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My Favorite live GD Recording out of the couple dozen I have, November 16, 2001
By 
Muddy Moe (Plano, TX United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Dick's Picks, Vol. 4. Fillmore East 2/13-14/70 (Audio CD)
Way better sound quality than I would have guessed. Very nice soundboard recording and as far as I'm concerned is more than fine for a commerical release. Proof that even with only two mic's on the drums you can get a good live recording if you know what you're doing.
Somebody tell me why the Dead sounded so much tighter, baroque and just better with Pig Pen. I don't think it's him at all. I think there's just something about the '60's and '70's Dead that was more focused and precise. I very strongly prefer the era before they added the acoustic sets, although I don't DISLIKE them either. I just like the primal Dead sound the best.
2/11/1969 was one of my favorite performances before this. That show and this one were both at The Fillmore East. Is it possible, I'm asking, to make a BAD recording at The Fillmore East? I haven't ever heard one. But to be honest 2/11/1969 is pretty sloppy, really. Some great magic is in there, which is what I like. But a year and two days later the magic is still there but the band is much tighter. They're actually hitting their harmonies too. Tom Constantin is gone now and only Pig Pen plays organ, making this one of the smallest Dead line ups in their history. Perhaps that helps it stay a bit tighter, along with the very small drum kits (two toms, one crash, one ride, snare, bass, high hat . . . each).
The second disc, with 30+ min versions of "That's It for the Other One" and "Turn On Your Lovelight" are simply transcendental Dead.
Strongly recommended. '69 and '70 Dead rule.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars awesome dead, September 2, 2007
Disk 1 is fantastic (the 'Dark Star' goes from the inner core of the Earth to Andromeda and back again!. Disk 2 is almost as spacy with its 'Cryptical Envelopment' and fun as all get out with Pigpen's rave-up 'Lovelight'. But disk 3 is something else altogether; simply the most intense, coolest piece of music in the History of Man. It starts all second line and funky on 'Alligator' (check out Lesh's rumblings). Then the set melts into an organic drum duet that is one of the Rhythm Devils' best ever. Then they explode out with a ferocious 'Me And My Uncle', detouring into the upbeat, weird, and criminally underplayed 'Mason's Children'. The groove they then hit in the ensuing speedy jams, and incredibly maintain, the crescendos/multiple orgasms of 'Caution'....the feedback coda and the gorgeous a capella ending is classic....This is IT--the Alpha and Omega of Dead recordings. Now, speaking of recordings, this is my only gripe--each show is classic and has been recognized as such by Deadheads for decades now. Each show deserved to be released in its entirety rather than this mix and match...but, hey we all already have the complete shows in our collections anyway, so just enjoy this for its sound that is as good as can be and better than our ol' cassette copies. This is definitely one of those 'if you had to be taking just a few albums to a desert island' CD sets.
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