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Comment: Used. Cloth bound outer box is moderately stained and soiled from a little too much party. Includes two cloth bound books. The 5 disc set with 16 page booklet has tears on the edge of each page from rough handling/staples/staple removal. The 5 discs have minor marks and will play as new. The 60 page cloth bound additional booklet is relatively clean. Not a cutout or promo. Insanely fast shipping from California.
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  • So Many Roads: 1965-1995
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So Many Roads: 1965-1995 Live

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Audio CD, Live, November 9, 1999
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Audio, Cassette, November 23, 1999
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Dawes Dawes

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Deadhead collecting has come a long way. An experience that was once based in haphazard bootleg tape trading of complete single shows has graduated to this: a fancy, cloth-covered, lovingly annotated five-disc box set of live recordings, oddities, outtakes, and rehearsals spanning 30 years. The live cuts comprise the heart of this package, and they put you right in the thick of things, presenting the Dead in pure, undiluted fashion, warts and all. The Dead intelligentsia who produced the package--David Gans, Blair Jackson, and Steve Silberman--have boldly chosen the most interesting improvisations and most riveting examples of group synergy: the Dead at their least accessible, but most ambitious and compelling. There are moments where you'll cringe at off-key harmonies or flubbed chords, but there is always a payoff. At times, you can hear the band desperately struggle through the verses just to get to the jam, where redemption always awaits. Jerry Garcia's wounded off-key moans on a 1984 version of "Shakedown Street" eventually give way to a wonderful in-the-pocket funk workout; on a 1988 reading of "Playing in the Band," Bob Weir's botched lyrics are long forgotten when the band intensely teeters at far-off edges just moments later. The problem with this approach is that you lose context by considering performances outside of their natural environment--the specific concerts that spawned them--but this approach also opens up many options as well. For instance, there are sparkling fusion-based jams from the early 1970s, examples of Garcia sparring with Branford Marsalis and Bruce Hornsby in 1990, and an assortment of eye-opening transitional instrumental passages and impromptu creations. These moments of splendid spontaneity are what the band is all about. Welcome rarities include early recordings driven by Pigpen's searing blues harp; a pair of studio outtakes from the Dead's landmark 1970 sessions featuring acoustic instruments and lovely harmonies; Pigpen's R&B-flavored "Chinatown Shuffle" and an arresting version of Merle Haggard's "Sing Me Back Home" from 1972; keyboardist Brent Mydland leading the crew through the Meters' "Hey Pocky Way" in 1989; and Garcia launching into the Irish folk tune "Whiskey in the Jar" at a 1993 rehearsal, much to the delight of his bandmates. A few of the oddities offer only historical value and the final disc bogs down a bit by focusing on the Dead's newest unrecorded material, which, despite some worthy additions, can't match the intensity of the live cuts. For courageous newcomers, the amazing trajectory of the band is here to behold--from psychedelic blues and folk to free-form odysseys to country-rock to jazz and funk to gritty heavy rock. For those only familiar with the Dead's radio-friendly songs, this is the other side of the spectrum. --Marc Greilsamer

Disc: 1
1. Can't Come Down
2. Caution (Do Not Stop On Tracks)
3. You Don't Have To Ask
4. On The Road Again
See all 11 tracks on this disc
Disc: 2
1. That's It For The Other One / Cryptical Envelopment / The Faster We go, The R Rounder We Get / Cryptical Envelopment
2. Beautiful Jam
3. Chinatown Shuffle
4. Sing Me Back Home
See all 6 tracks on this disc
Disc: 3
1. Eyes Of The World
2. The Wheel
3. Stella Blue
4. Estimated Prophet
See all 7 tracks on this disc
Disc: 4
1. Cassidy
2. Hey Pocky Way
3. Belive It or Not
4. Playing In The Band
See all 15 tracks on this disc
Disc: 5
1. Terrapin Station
2. Jam Out Of Foolish Heart
3. Way To Go Home
4. Liberty
See all 10 tracks on this disc

Product Details

  • Audio CD (November 9, 1999)
  • Number of Discs: 5
  • Format: Live
  • Label: Arista
  • ASIN: B000028TUT
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (89 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #19,299 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

57 of 59 people found the following review helpful By Jim Ratzlaff on November 22, 1999
Format: Audio CD
Is this the best yet from the Grateful Dead? Tough to say, because "So Many Roads" is a slice of Grateful Dead music from over three decades. Who knows what else they've got tucked away? What "So Many Roads" offers is a listen to the band from their pre-Warlocks days throuogh Jery's untimely death in 1995. For the uninitiated, this album is a piece of American music history, expressed only as the GD can do it. For devotees, it is an extensive collection of those special moments--soaring, glittering highs, crashing lows, unexpected twists of melodic beauty--that kept us going to shows: the band's raison d'etre. Unlike other boxed sets touting "Three previously unreleased songs!" this one is almost entirely unreleased material, and it proves that 35 years later, they can still surprise even the most devoted Deadheads. If you're going to own only one GD album, this is the one. (This, the 15-to-date full concerts in the Dick's Pick's series, and a handful more. And some live shows on tape. And a video or two. I swear, I don't work for them. . . .) Enjoy.
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22 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Thomas D. Ryan on June 1, 2006
Format: Audio CD
I once thought that the Grateful Dead deserved a better epitaph than this. While I saw that it was full of unique musical ideas and moments of greatness, I also felt it was full of extraneous moments that are of interest to obsessives only. After living with the box for a while, though, its internal logic exposed itself. Initially, I hoped for a `greatest hits' collection of sorts and felt some disappointment to discover otherwise. Since a five-disk collection takes some time to digest properly, it wasn't until some time passed that I recognized how much better this collection is than any collection of `best bits'.

If ever a band could use a box set, it's the Grateful Dead. If ever a band could use a box set that disseminates their career and culls highlights from all time periods, it's the Dead. A box that includes the best tracks from "Aoxomoxoa", "Live Dead", "Workingman's Dead", "American Beauty", "Europe `72" and "From the Mars Hotel", along with highlights from other albums, plus selected versions of live tracks chosen from their endless catalog of live tapes would be a beautiful thing. THAT is what I once thought the Dead deserved. I also believed that is what Deadheads wanted, if only to convince nonbelievers of the inherent greatness of their chosen icons. That isn't at all what this box set provides, but after a few listens, I began to determine the intelligence in its design.

"So Many Roads" combines historically relevant outtakes, rare studio recordings and the occasional definitive live track, resulting in a collection that is as frustrating as it is fascinating. Disk one of this five CD set summarizes the faults and the highlights.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By kireviewer VINE VOICE on May 10, 2000
Format: Audio CD
I had low expectations of this CD set based on customer reviews and the uneven quality of past Grateful Dead live outputs. I expected a few great jams mixed in with some live greatest hits, rarities and oddities. But, this was done right and lives up to its potential. Someone did a fantastic job of going through all the archives and picking out some of the best live perfromances from throughout the years. The mix is varied and never gets boring. I was able to listen to the whole thing in one sitting.
I was especially worried about the earlier material. I figured that I would listen to the first disc once, hear a bunch of historical rarities and raw tunes that were never good enough for an album and never want to listen to it again. But even the material from 1965 is strong and has good sound quality (by '65 standards).
Since this is taken from 30 years of archives, instead of just one concert, there are almost no low points. Some people may be disappointed because thier favorite song or favorite year isn't represented. There was about 1 tune per CD that I felt was a clunker (To Lay Me Down and Believe It or Not) and the last part of the final CD doesn't fit in with the set. But, those are minor complaints, considering how strong the bulk of the material is. In most cases, the version of each song is the best on record (check out the amazing rendition of The Other One).
Probably the best thing about this set is that most of the versions of the songs are very different than what is available on other live albums. Unless you are a fanatical trader of Dead tapes, you haven't heard most of the songs played this way.
This is a Jam album. Most numbers are over 10 minutes. With a few exceptions, it is electric and high energy. If you want greatest hits, or acoustic music, this isn't the right album. But for those that think the Dead is at their best when they are jamming, this is a must have.
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51 of 62 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 24, 1999
Format: Audio CD
I am a big fan of The Grateful Dead, but I don't know if I can be classified as a "Deadhead" cause I only saw the band four times and really only love a handful of their songs, compared to true "deadheads" who have travelled the country seeing as many shows as possible and love almost every Grateful Dead song recorded or played live. I saw the band in the eighties and enjoyed the concerts very much, but even then I knew that I was not seeing the group in their prime and that there must be better versions of the songs I was hearing recorded on bootleg tapes somewhere. Now, with the excellent recordings available (like the wonderful "Dick's Picks" series) I know that there were many "peaks" during the Grateful Dead's thirty year history, and the last five years was not that great a time as a whole despite a few fine moments. I think this series would be much better if the songs chosen were spread out more evenly, instead of TWO CDs focusing on the last five years (so what if there are some unreleased titles, they are not that good!) when ONLY ONE SONG IS LISTED FOR 1973 ("Watkins Glen Soundcheck- 7/27/73) AND NOTHING FROM 1977! The two years of 1973 and 1977 were great years for the band and produced some of the best concerts preserved on tape! Anyway, I still enjoyed this collection, but felt like it was an uneven distribution of material, which is a shame because it gives an unclear picture of how the band sounded year after year and misses some great moments.
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