Dick's Picks 36
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Dick's Picks Volume 36
9/21/72
Philadelphia, PA
 
 
 
 
Order: GDM or Grateful Dead - Dick's Picks, Vol. 36: Spectrum, Philadelphia, PA 9/21/72
 
030105GratefulDead iTunes downloads

Dick's Picks 36 review

Dick's Picks 36 review

Dick's Picks 36 consists of their complete concert from the Philadelphia Spectrum and is among the very best Grateful Dead performances. This monster show is a five course meal excluding dessert. Further, there is bonus material from September 3, 1972, Folsom Field, Boulder, CO. (I haven't been this thrilled about a release since DP28.) For some history, the Grateful Dead performed 53 shows at the Spectrum. For their 50th performance they were honored with a tie-dyed banner raised into the arena's rafters alongside the retired Philly sports icons. 

Good things happy early on this release and do not let up. The first set includes "Bird Song," "China Cat Sunflower" > "I Know You Rider," and "Playing in the Band"; all played brilliantly. In particular, "Bird Song" is exceptional, Bobby and Keith have a nice interaction early as Jerry deals with a broken string. In addition to the land marks, there are ten additional well played shorter tracks in the set.

The first set is so satisfying that there is no way that it can be topped. Right? Wrong. The band doesn't begin the second set with warm-up material but dives right into some jamming with "He's Gone" > "Truckin'." Often these tracks take a blues approach, but this night they take more a laid back attitude to their execution. Jerry and Bobby take center stage during the "He's Gone" dialogue.

"Dark Star" makes it's appearance shortly thereafter. The band launch a glorious rendition. Things seem to be wrapping up around the 27 minute mark after the spacey section. They sound they are transitioning to "Dew." They create an open space, some anticipatory excitement; the stage is set for Jerry to walk up to the microphone and sing, "Walk Me Out In The Morning Dew." Instead, they have more to explore musically. They take several minutes slowly building a glorious Jerry led bluegrass style jam that just cooks and will leave you stunned in amazement. Bobby is right there with him. Often in my reviews I don't talk much about Weir's contributions. He is spectacular at this show.

Three tracks later they play "Sugar Magnolia" that is certainly the last song of set. Nope, a fast rendition of "Friend of the Devil" as well as a power driving "Not Fade Away" > "Goin' Down The Road Feeling Bad" > "Not Fade Away" still follow before the encore. 

In 1972 the Grateful Dead usually alternated between performing "Dark Star" or "The Other One" as the second half theme. For the featured show it is "Dark Star." For dessert, there is bonus material from 9/3/72, Folsom Field, Boulder, CO that includes: "He's Gone" > "The Other One" > "Wharf Rat." Does a nice twelve minute plus warm-up to Phil's "The Other One" introduction, non-stop Jerry, but really an all-band affair catch your fancy?

Dick's Picks Volume 36 includes superior performances of most of the major post Pigpen material the band played in 1972. Each release can't be the best, but his one just might be.
by Barry Small  
Grade  A + 

Order: GDM 

 
Dick's Picks 36 review
Track List

 Top of Page

Disc One
1. Promised Land (Berry)
2. Bird Song (Garcia, Hunter)
3. El Paso (Robbins)
4. China Cat Sunflower > (Garcia, Hunter)
5. I Know You Rider (Trad. Arr. By Grateful Dead)
6. Black-Throated Wind (Weir, Barlow)
7 Big Railroad Blues (Lewis, Arr. By Grateful Dead)
8. Jack Straw (Weir, Hunter)
9. Loser (Garcia, Hunter)
10. Big River (Cash)

Disc Two
1. Ramble On Rose (Garcia, Hunter)
2. Cumberland Blues (Garcia, Lesh, Hunter)
3. Playing In The Band (Weir, Hart, Hunter)
set 2:
4. He's Gone > (Garcia, Hunter)
5. Truckin' (Garcia, Lesh, Weir, Hunter)
6. Black Peter (Garcia, Hunter)
7. Mexicali Blues (Weir, Barlow)

Disc Three
1. Dark Star > (Garcia, Hart, Kreutzmann, Lesh, McKernan, Weir, Hunter)
2. Morning Dew (Dobson, Rose)
3. Beat It On Down The Line (Fuller)
4. Mississippi Half-Step Uptown Toodeloo (Garcia, Hunter)
5. Sugar Magnolia (Weir, Hunter)
6. Friend Of The Devil (Garcia, Dawson, Hunter)

Disc Four
1. Not Fade Away > (Hardin, Petty)
2. Goin' Down The Road Feeling Bad > (Trad. Arr. by Grateful Dead)
3. Not Fade Away (Hardin, Petty)
4. One More Saturday Night (Weir)

Bonus Tracks:
9/3/72 Folsom Field, Boulder, CO
5. He's Gone > (Garcia, Hunter)
6. The Other One > (Weir, Kreutzmann)
7. Wharf Rat (Garcia, Hunter)

Dick's Picks 36 review
Musicians:       

Top of Page

Jerry Garcia - lead guitar, vocals
Bob Weir - guitar, vocals
Phil Lesh - bass, vocals
Keith Godchaux - piano
Donna Godchaux - vocals
Bill Kreutzmann - percussion

Dick's Picks 36 review
Notes:

Top of Page

Released - October 2005
Label - Grateful Dead 
Tape Archivist - David Lemieux
CD Mastering - Jeffrey Norman
Recorded by Bear
C
over Art and Package Design: Robert Minkin
Liner Notes by Bear that focus on recording techniques and theories
Photos Brian Blauser, Deb Trist, Jim Thrower, G. Dead archives

HDCD provides higher resolution when played in an HDCD-equipped CD player, and offers superior sound when played in regular CD players. HDCD CDs can be played in all CD players.

From the Grateful Dead website:
Take one of the most frequently played and revered Grateful Dead venues in one of the greatest of Dead Head cities, add one of the best years in the Dead's history, and you've got a surefire formula for yet another superb release in the Dick's Picks series. The Dead Head stronghold in question was Philadelphia; the venue was The Spectrum, where the Dead played 53 shows over the course of their career; the year was 1972 - need we say more?

Recorded at the second of the band's Spectrum gigs and first as a headliner, Dick's Picks 36 captures a typical Dead show from that era: just the right balance of precision and abandon; tight performances of the roots-oriented rock, blues, and country-flavored tunes the band favored at the time; and still the ability to take things to the free-jazz stratosphere whenever the improvisational spirit moved them.

This particular Pick has been an especially long time coming: when Dick's Picks was created in 1993, series founder and guiding spirit Dick Latvala had the 9/21/72 Philly show very high on his short list of candidates for the first release. Dick departed from this world some six years ago, but the gifts he left to this community just keep on coming.

Dick's Picks 36 review

 

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