Reckoning
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Set List

Musicians

Notes

Dead Ahead DVD
Reckoning

9/25 - 10/14, 1980 Warfield

10/22 - 31, 1980 Radio City 

 

 
 
Order: CD |Original
Dead Ahead DVD | Dead Set
 
030105GratefulDead iTunes Downloads

Download the whole CD or just your favorite songs. 

Reckoning review

The music from Reckoning was recorded live in 1980 from the following dates: September 25 through October 14, at the Warfield Theater in San Francisco, CA, and October 22 through October 31, at Radio City Music Hall in New York, NY with the exception of three songs from the bonus disc. The music is from their acoustic sets, the opening set for these two series of shows. Separately the Grateful Dead issued some electric material, compilation style, from these venues on their CD Dead Set, as well as the highly recommended DVD, Dead Ahead

Originally Reckoning was released as a two album set, and when CD's replaced LP's, one song "Oh Babe, It Ain't No Lie" was omitted to enable the contents to fit on one CD. That package was an excellent document of the Grateful Dead performing these special acoustic 1980 sets. The songs flow smoothly and the acoustic arrangements of their songs are exceptional. The 2004 HDCD re-mastering gives a huge boost to the sound quality, and the length was expanded to include a second disc of musical treasures. 

The original release was musically a perfect document of these performances, and the upgraded sound quality only makes it even better. The first disc is the original CD able and they were able to place "Oh Babe It Ain't No Lie" back in its initial position. That is a plus because this is a highlight for sure. While this acoustic material takes them back to their American Beauty and Workingman’s Dead days, they only perform one song from each of those classics, to open and close the disc. Instead they perform some traditional folk cover songs and give acoustic treatment to several of their originals with superb results. The whole disc has a wonderful flow to it, and standouts include "It Must Have Been the Roses," "To Lay Me Down," "Cassidy" and the grand treasure, “Bird Song.” The closer, "Ripple" is a perfect ending. 

The second disc is a real nice supplement. It basically has four sections to it. First there is a rehearsal of "To Lay Me Down" that is more than worthwhile. Up next is the key material of the bonus disc, the final five tracks that were not showcased on the original release. Then there are eight alternate live songs, and finally two tracks that were recorded in 1978.

The five songs following "To Lay Me Down" is really a great package of diverse material. Starting in party mode, moving to jazz, then country, to Grateful Dead-ism, and closing with folk. The tracks kick off party style with "Iko Iko." Next up are three Bobby led tracks. While Jerry's steals the show on disc one, this trio of tracks nicely showcase Weir's essential contributions to this acoustic material. Two of the songs are instrumental with the country track "El Paso" sounding mighty fine, sandwiched between them. Weir's "Heaven Help The Fool" give the the band an opportunity to stretch out the jams a bit. It along with "Bird Song" are the two acoustic pieces from these performances with the most jamming; a different performance of this track is on the DVD Dead Ahead

The alternative versions do not vary much from the renditions on disc one, but they certainly sound great. The two tracks from 1978 to close the disc do sound different and are from lower quality master tape. First "Tom Dooley" is a basic folk piece while "Deep Elem Blues" takes more of a blues approach on this rendition with a heavy dose of slide guitar. 

Reckoning is a perfect document of these 1980 performances and we consider it essential. If you already the single disc is it worth upgrading? Well, the sonics are great and the second disc does includes some nice additions. 
by Barry Small © 
Grade  A +

Related recommendations
If you crave more of this style you’ll probably want to have in your collection from the Jerry Garcia Band: Almost Acoustic and several from the Garcia / Grisman collaborations. From the Grateful Dead you’ll enjoy their studio releases American Beauty and Workingman’s Dead, and Dick’s Picks Volume 8 recorded May 8, 1970, that features an outstanding 1970’s acoustic set.
For a more historical look there is Mother McCree's Uptown Jug Champions 

Track List

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Disc 1
 
1. Dire Wolf (Garcia/Hunter) - 3:20
 2. The Race Is On (Rollins) - 2:58
 3. Oh, Babe It Ain't No Lie (Cotton) 6:27
 4. It Must Have Been the Roses (Garcia/Hunter) - 6:56
 5. Dark Hollow (Browning) - 3:50
 6. China Doll (Garcia/Hunter) - 5:22
 7. Been All Around This World (Traditional) - 4:32
 8. Monkey and the Engineer (Fuller) - 2:38
 9. Jack-A-Roe (Traditional) - 4:06
 10. Deep Elem Blues (Traditional) - 6:52
11. Cassidy (Barlow/Weir) - 4:34
12. To Lay Me Down (Garcia/Hunter) - 8:59
13. Rosa Lee McFall (Monroe) - 2:55
14. On the Road Again (Traditional) - 3:16
15. Bird Song (Garcia/Hunter) - 7:35
16. Ripple (Garcia/Hunter) - 4:28

Disc 2 – BONUS MATERIAL:
1. To Lay Me Down (Traditional) - Studio rehearsal, 9/14/80
2. Iko Iko (Live) (Traditional / James Crawford) - Live, 10/7/80
3. Heaven Help The Fool (Weir / Barlow) - Live, 10/25/80
4. El Paso (Robbins) - Live, 10/13/80
5. Sage & Spirit (Weir) - Live, 10/31/80
6. Little Sadie (Traditional) - Live, 10/31/80
7. It Must Have Been The Roses (Hunter) - Alt live version, 10/23/80
8. Dark Hollow (Traditional) - Alt live version, 10/23/80
9. Jack-A-Roe (Traditional) - Alt live version, 10/23/80
1. Cassidy (Weir / Barlow) - Alt live version, 10/23/80
11. China Doll (Garcia / Hunter) - Alt live version, 10/23/80
12 Monkey And The Engineer (Fuller) - Alt live version, 10/23/80
13. Oh Babe It Ain't No Lie (Cotton) - Alt live version, 10/23/80
14. Ripple (Garcia / Hunter) - Alt live version, 10/23/80
15. Tom Dooley (Live, 1978) (Traditional) - Live, Chicago, 11/17/78
16. Deep Elem Blues (Traditional) - Live, Chicago, 11/17/78

Musicians:       

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Jerry Garcia - lead guitar, vocals
Bob Weir - guitar, vocals
Phil Lesh - bass, vocals
Brent Mydland - keyboards vocals
Bill Kreutzmann - drums
Mickey Hart - drums

Notes:

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Released - April 1981
From thirty-two track multi-source master tape.
Oh Babe, It Ain't No Lie was omitted from the CD reissue to allow fit to fit onto one CD.
*Released as a single CD, with the title For The Faithful and with "Oh Babe, It Ain't No Lie" omitted, in 1986, Arista/Pair 
*Released on CD in 1988 with the title Reckoning and with "Oh Babe, It Ain't No Lie" omitted.

Label - Rhino (Original label - Arista)
Liner notes - Gary Lambert

Original album produced by Dan Healy, Betty Cantor-Jackson, and Jerry Garcia.

Re-mastered album produced for release by David Lemieux and James Austin.

Executive Producer Cameron Sears

A re-mastered version was initially released as part of the box-set, Beyond Description on Oct. 26, 2004, on Rhino, and released individually April 2006.