Thoughts On The Dead

Musings on the Most Ridiculous Band I Can't Stop Listening To

I See You've Got Your List Out

In keeping with the best-of lists people seem to enjoy around the end of the year–

It is February.

–TotD would now like to present The Definitive Ranking of Grateful Dead Official Releases. I would like to, but won’t: mainly because I’d rather kill myself than do anything of the sort. Let’s just say that the Dick’s Picks from ’83 and ’92 can be avoided, and everything else is tied for second behind One from the Vault. See how much time we just saved?


  1. I have a real, paid-for CD copy of that ’83 DP. As far as I can tell, the draw is a standout Scarlet > Fire that stands out ’cause Jerry does that thing he always did during his nadir where he’d spurt sixteenth notes all the fuck over the place for ten minutes. It’s the instrumental equivalent of “Yeah? If I was drunk, could I do THIS?”

    ‘Cause I’m a contrary bastard: I think people get carried away with the idea that they sucked in the studio and really love several of those records. For me it’s Blues for Allah, then Wake of the Flood, then Workingman/Beauty which I kinda see as the same album. I wish Wake sounded better. The production has absolutely no balls and it’s got that goddamn Muppet Band song of Keith’s, but the songs are otherwise brilliant.

  2. Agreed. One From the Vault is fucking incredible, even though you have to pretend that “Blues for Allah” isn’t there. I’ve been happy to see some shows from Winterland in ’73, ’77, and now ’74 get released. I’ll put the June ’77 Winterland shows up against Barton Hall any time.

  3. like most things dead-related (instruments, drugs, solo albums, PA systems, keyboardists, live releases) they got it right the first time then careened into ridiculous excess

  4. 1. Dick’s Picks 4 2. Record Store Day Dark Star (5/4/72) 3. Veneta

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