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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on June 25, 1999
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
on February 8, 2010
Basically, if you can only own a handful of GD live albums, this is the one to get. 1970 was, imho, one of the bands' hottest years, even if it isn't as perfect as say 1977 or 1974. Deadbase ranks the 2/23/70(b) show (the late show - bill graham booked 2 shows a night back then to make more money) found here as #3 all-time. Not that I blindly follow that kind of thing, but I would easily agree that this is one of the finest ever performances by this band. As others have said parts of this performance also show up on Bear's Choice.

Disc 1: Almost every song is a highlight, a HOT, studio quality Casey Jones opener, excellent versions of China>Rider, High Time and Dire Wolf. But my two favorites of this disc are an awesome Dancin' in Streets that contains an upbeat, almost Dark Star-like jam in the middle (previewing the greatness yet to come), where the whole band shows off its amazing group interaction, and a perfect, near definitive reading of Dark Star. This Dark Star is one of the finest EVER performed, folks, easily a top ten (maybe even top five) version. This one's got everything you'd want in a Dark Star: Gorgeous playing by Garica, a perfect space interlude following the 1st verse, and then taking a left turn into an upbeat melodic feeling groovy jam that once again shows off the telepathic interplay of this group. But this is only the beginning of a 90 minute jam that continues on disc 2...

Disc 2: A blistering, incendiary half-hour version of That's It For The Other One, easily one of the best- all time versions, right up there with 5/2/70 and 3/1/69. Then comes a half-hour Lovelight, another hot version, but I agree with some other reviewers that say it may be just a bit too long.

Disc 3: Alligator starts this disc off, and hear is where the performance lulls a little. I'm not the biggest drum solo guy, and following this very short (but good) alligator is a 12 minute drum solo that drags just a bit. But all is forgiven when they move into a great Me and My Uncle that might even be better than the one on Skull and Roses, and ROLLICKING verisons of Not Fade Away, (ending in the "we bid you goodnight" theme) and Caution that basically kick the collective a** of anything standing in their way. Phil and Jer are just unstoppable during that Caution! whooo weee...

You just simply can't beat this pick. If you're new to the band, this should be one of the 1st Dick's Picks albums you pick up. You won't be sorry.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on November 16, 2001
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
VINE VOICEon September 4, 2013
There was something about the 1969-1970 Dead...maybe it was the sheer POWER. When Keith & Donna joined the band things got a little smoother, and when Brent came on board, things got a little TOO smooth for me at the time. But the Pigpen Dead? All of those Fillmore / Avalon shows that you can now access via Road Trips, Dick's Picks, Dave's Picks, assorted box sets & compilations?

Jerry did something in the Pigpen era that he didn't often do in the later years of the band, and that was to explode, to go nuts, to riff like a jazz virtuoso from Mars. Listen to "The Other One" from this set...around the nine and a half minute the band comes out of the "Drums" section and Jerry just WAILS, he is HOWLING, shredding off notes like you've seldom heard if your primary exposure to the Dead is those L-O-N-G "Fire On The Mountain" and "Row Jimmy" excursions from the later years.

This easily COULD have been a standard commercial release. The premise behind Dick's Picks was "warts and all"...hence the "Caveat Emptor" warnings on every label. But if you've been sitting on the fence regarding this one, get off the fence and buy it. It's everything you think it is and more. "Dark Star" and "The Other One" are worth the admission price alone, but it doesn't end there. Pure brute force, style, and precision. BUY IT.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on November 16, 2001
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
on July 20, 2012
First of all, don't pay these $40-$50 ripoff prices to these amazon seller with their head up their u know what. This is an awesome installment in the dp series. Highlights include: Not Fade Away (imo, THE BEST VERSION of this tune~what an awesome jam!and preceded by an incredible Drums)Mason's Children(performed live only a handful of times),Dancin in The Street,Me and My Uncle,Dire Wolf, I Know You Rider, and a nice rendition of Casey Jones. If you check ebay, periodically, they auction at approximately $20-$25 for a copy of this, so don't get ripped off by some unrealistic, greedy, seller selling for more than that.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on November 15, 1998
I love the music of the Grateful Dead. I have been collecting tape for many years. Since the first Dick's Picks release in '91 I have tried to add to my GD collection. Currently I have up to volume 9, and volume 4(live recording from 2/13-14/70) is by far my favorite. Highlights from this show, actually two shows combined for this release, are the entire second CD. This CD actually starts with Dark Star, but due to time constraints it had to be placed on disk 1. Dark Star> That's it for the Other One> Lovelight these songs run 1.5hours of fantastic jamming and much improvisation. Disk 3 begins with the best Alligator I have found. Pigpen is simple out of this world during this performance. The show end with a great version of Feedback > We Bid You Goodnight that is sure to put babies into dreamland. This CD has helped me write countless #'s of papers during my college career. If you are interested in the Dead this is a must buy.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
After trying to collect as many of the shows I attended, I next turned my attention to the classic, most excellent ones. Most of what I had been gleaning came from the blessed Archives, but more and more often when I went to grab one I would see it was no longer available because it had been "commercially released as Dick's Pick Vol. 437" or whatever. So we are trapped into buying the good ones, and they are disappearing from the Archive in this fashion with increasing rapidity. It is great to see high-quality shows being professional packaged and marketed, I know a Head who has them all- some are even out of print and absurdly expensive- but I must limit myself to the known true gems. This is one of them.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on April 6, 2012
I heard about this performance a long time ago... and I Knew it was one of the best performance live ever recorded.
Now that I have listened to it I can surely say that it's true. In my country (Italy) it was difficult to find this article.
Fortunatly Amazon.com keeps me in touch with the hole world.
I would like to suggest this article to every Grateful Dead's fan.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on July 17, 2003
I enjoy this. It has a nice "hot" sound courtesy of Owsley who spent some time and energy trying to figure out how best to capture the band's sound onto tape - kudos to him.
Performance-wise, I've heard better. Specifically, "Live-Dead" and even moreso "Dick's Picks 16" which I think is the most stunning, truly stunning Dead performance I've heard.
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