Grateful Dead - Dick's Picks 7

CD032 - 3 CD

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Grateful Dead - Dick's Picks 7

3 CD's culled from three nights at the Alexandra Palace in London, England September 1974.

Jerry Garcia - Lead Guitar, Vocals
Donna Jean Godchaux Vocals
Keith Godchaux Keyboards
Bill Kreutzmann Drums
Phil Lesh - Bass, Vocals
Bob Weir - Rhythm Guitar, Vocals

Disc One:
Scarlet Begonias
Mexicali Blues
Row Jimmy
Black Throated Wind
Mississippi Half Step
Beat It On Down The Line
Tennessee Jed
Playin' In The Band

Disc Two:
Weather Report Suite>
Stella Blue
Jack Straw
Brown Eyed Women
Big River
Wood Green Jam>
Wharf Rat

Disc Three:
Me And My Uncle
Not Fade Away
Dark Star>
Spam Jam>
Morning Dew

1974 was a newsworthy year in many ways. Most people will remember it as the year Richard Nixon checked out of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. Sports fans might fondly recall the Oakland A's third straight World Series title. And for those with a taste for slightly tacky Americana, there was that whole Evel Kneivel-Snake River Canyon thing.

But for Deadheads, 1974 will always be the year of the Wall Of Sound. The culmination of years of experimentation, The Wall was the rock 'n' roll P.A. equivalent of all 7 Wonders Of The World, rolled into one - a towering edifice of pure audio power, pumping out the biggest, loudest and cleanest sound rock audiences had ever heard. And the Grateful Dead played music that was more than worthy of the P.A. - 1974 was one of those years that fans still speak of with reverence. '74 was also the year that the Dead decided, after nearly a decade of relentless motion, to take some time off from the road, to sit down and patch their bones, as it were. After completing a strenuous summer tour and just prior to a series of "farewell" shows in San Francisco, the Dead attended to one more bit of unfinished (and rather pleasant) business: a quick jaunt - 7 shows in three countries - to Europe, starting with three nights at London's Alexandra Palace.

Armed with only his unerring ears, Grateful Dead archivist Dick Latvala has ventured yet again into the band's tape vault, and emerged with another winner, Dick's Picks, Volume 7, culled from the highest of the many high points from those three London shows. Maybe the knowledge that these would be among the last tour dates for quite a while gave the Dead a special sense of urgency about these shows. Or maybe it was just in the stars. Whatever the reason, they hit the stage ablaze, and pretty much stayed that way throughout. The playing and singing is full of passion, wit and wild abandon, as the band careens headlong across stylistic boundaries, moving with ease from sweet, folkish tunes to fearless sonic exploration.

As always, the wizards of Club Front have done a splendid job of digitally mastering these discs from the original two-track source tapes, capturing the essence of the Dead's sound from that era. It's the next best thing to having been there, without the expense and inevitable structural damage of hauling the Wall Of Sound itself into your living room.