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Go To Nassau Original recording remastered, Live

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Audio CD, Original recording remastered, Live, October 22, 2002
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

true artist

In May of 1980, less than three weeks after the Dead released the much maligned Go to Heaven, the band pulled into Long Island for three nights at Nassau Coliseum. This set culls highlights from the last two of those three shows and includes six tunes from Heaven. The knock on Heaven has always been about the sound and the performances--many of the songs themselves were strong and would become live staples. In that sense, this release is sort of an upgrade on its studio counterpart, offering versions of "Feel Like a Stranger," "Althea," and "Sailor/Saint" that far outstrip the Heaven recordings. However, aside from a few other highlights scattered throughout, there's not much else compelling here. The outstanding sound quality (depth, separation, and clarity) and the fact that 1980 has been under-represented on CD are two points in its favor (although 1980 is no one's favorite year for Dead music). The performances are tight for the most part (but far from thrilling), and the band's mood seems high, but Go to Nassau won't blow anyone away. --Marc Greilsamer

Disc: 1
1. Jack Straw
2. Franklin's Tower
3. New Minglewood Blues
4. High Time
5. Lasy Lightnin'
6. Supplication
7. Peggy-O
8. Far From Me
9. Looks Like Rain
10. China Cat Sunflower
See all 11 tracks on this disc
Disc: 2
1. Feel Like a Stranger
2. Althea
3. Lost Sailor
4. Saint of Circumstance
5. Alabama Getaway
6. Playing in the Band
7. Uncle John's Band
8. Drums
9. Space
10. Not Fade Away
See all 12 tracks on this disc

Product Details

  • Audio CD (October 22, 2002)
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Format: Original recording remastered, Live
  • Label: Arista
  • ASIN: B00006LFGA
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #206,750 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

25 of 26 people found the following review helpful By Uncle John on October 23, 2002
Format: Audio CD
1980...The dawn of the third decade for the Dead saw them breaking in their third full-time keyboard player. Brent Mydland had been with the band for a little over a year when this was recorded, and by May of '80 the Dead were playing with a refreshed vibe that had been sorely missed by the late seventies. The "Go To Heaven" album had just been released and this set features many tunes from that album. Unlike the Dick's Picks series which is predominately made up of 2 channel PA mixes, this is a HQ multi-track mix that sounds simply stunning, especially since the masters were recorded onto cassette.
The playing is tight and focused, even on the longer numbers, with each player easily heard and separated in the mix. Opening with a warm-up Jack Straw, the band wastes no time diving into a 12 minute Franklin's Tower, sans the Help-Slipknot, as was often the case during this period. Everyone's tone is sparkling clean, resulting in a very sharp soundscape. Though culled from 2 nights, the running order is laid out very much like a first set, second set on each disc respectively. Tape archivist David Lemeaux chose the best of both nights highlighting many exciting performances. There is a beautiful High Time with all the band members actually singing on key, an energetic Lazy Lightning/Supplication, a near-perfect Peggy-O, and a fun China/Rider to round out the first set, and that's just disc 1!
Disc 2 starts off with a version of Feel Like A Stranger that is interesting to hear since it is still in it's infancy. Though it's nowhere near the caliber of what it would become later on (listen to the version from "Without A Net" 1990), it bubbles with energy, especially towards the end when Brent and Bobby get going with the "long, long crazy night" call and response.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Smar on January 1, 2003
Format: Audio CD
I don't know where people get off proclaiming that 1980 was some sort of bad year for the Dead. Personally, and I know others feel the same way, I think the early Eighties were great years for the Dead, as they broke new ground musically, and brought in a young Brent Mydland - whom out of all the keyboardists the Dead had, was BY FAR the most talented. I don't know, maybe I'm biased - my favorite Dead recordings have always been 9/1/79 (Rochester, NY), 1/13/80 (Oakland,CA), Dead Reckoning, and anything from the Summer Tour '85. More recent additions to that list are Dick's Picks volume 6 (Hartford '83) and Dick's Picks volume 13 (Nassau '81).

Technically speaking, this two-disc set blows any Dick's Pick recording out of the water. The depth, clarity and sound separation is unbelievable. And who says, as far as the songs go, there is nothing new here? Try to find another Minglewood Blues played anywhere close to the way they do it here.

If you know how to appreciate clean, crisp mixes, and crystal clear Phil bass lines that rumble the neighbor's china, Go to Nassau is a must.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Evan Tanner on October 30, 2002
Format: Audio CD
A common complaint among Deadheads is that, during the early 1980s the band was too restrained ("not enough jamming"), perhaps reflecting a desire for more commercial success.
I say hogwash. Yes, in 1980 and '81, the Dead were more disciplined and commercially oriented than they had been in the late 70s. But, these tight performances -- jams and all -- are oozing with nuance, counterpoint, drama, and color. Unlike previous years, there are no slouches in the band, either instrumentally or vocally.
While Garcia's guitar leads sparkle, Brent Mydland's work also deserves special note. On keyboards, these are his most forceful most inventive contributions ever. What's more, he gave vocal harmonies a new sweetness rarely heard afterwards.
My only criticism is the set list: some filler is present. But, in contrast to many other sloppy and redundant Dead releases, I can recommend this one to both hardcore and the uninitiated alike.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Peter J. Zavidniak on June 14, 2005
Format: Audio CD
1980 was the last year I saw the Grateful Dead. The two shows I caught in Springfield, MA and New Haven, CT that year were underwhelming. The Spingfield show was embarassing, with Garcia flubbing lyrics, forgetting lyrics, stumbling through solos, and stumbling on the stage. The following night in New Haven was "ok" ,with Phil saving the evening. But still, pretty bland and slow. So I was surprised when a friend lent me this two CD set. Somebody must have brewed up a batch of double expresso for the band on these two nights, because these performances really move. The songs from "Go To Heaven" get a kick in the ass, and the "Althea" is the best that I've heard. The one critisism I have is Brent's keyboard sound. That Fender-Rhodes sounds like a door-bell. Otherwise, this set is a pleasant surprise and worth adding to your collection.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Ricky Steamboat on October 1, 2005
Format: Audio CD
I actually enjoy a lot of the 1979-1981 period. Yes, a lot of the freeform exploratory jamming of the 1977-78 period is not there. But there are some good crisp shows from this period. Brent has not come into his own yet but he is a welcome addition to the fold after the way Keith played(or I should say not played) during the 1976-79 period. His vocal harmonies are a welcome change as well. Let's face it, Donna's live vocal harmonies were atrocious. This show is good, not great. It will not blow your mind by any stretch. The sound quality is very good and it has some good moments. A lot of people were bashing 1980 as a horrible year, it had some great moments too. Let's not forget the Warfield/Radio City run. 1982-1984 were some horrible years. Talk about uninspired playing. Yikes. Jerry was such a mess during those years it is painful to listen to. His health wasn't much better during 1985 but the shows got better. Has anyone ever noticed (or is it just me) that during the 1983-1986 period there are very few pictures of Garcia taken. If you look at say an old Relix from that period they will have a lot of pictures of the rest of the band and very few of Garcia. It's almost as if they were trying to protect him by omitting his pictures. There was no denying the guy was a complete mess. Look at the cover of the book Playing in the Band by David Gans. You can actually see all the soot and residue of the tips of his fingers from the heroin that he was smoking. All in all this CD is worthwhile to have in your collection if you're a head. The Nassau from 1981 that became a Dick's Picks is much better show from this period.
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