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find the best versions of grateful dead songs

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grendel

Books and Music

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Submissions

1
The Mighty Quinn (Quinn The Eskimo)
May 11, 1991
Shoreline Amphitheatre

Slowest but also funkiest version ever played. Garcia stumbles out of the gates on lyrics but it's no train wreck & the band rescues for a winner
1
Aiko Aiko
May 11, 1991
Shoreline Amphitheatre

Bruce is boss on this one, his keys just adding color & style throughout the tune. Overlooked show & performance
2
Space
May 12, 1981
Veterans' Memorial Coliseum

Numerous "Lively Up Yourself" teases within this short space--follows a "He's Gone" dedicated to Bob Marley
3
Samson and Delilah
April 18, 1978
Civic Arena

Kicking intro out of Dancin'>Drums and into a typically raucous, rippin', 1978 Samson. You'll dig it for the into alone but the whole thing is a beast
2
Drums
March 2, 1992
The Omni

Heavy calypso rhythms & monstrous punctuation via The Beast make for an epic Drums out of Terrapin. 5 star stuff.

Comments

Goin' Down The Road Feelin' Bad
Oct. 28, 1977
Soldiers' and Sailors' Memorial Hall

spun again & besides the blazing end jam there's an unusual opening salvo in which the main theme is given a long tease but before Garcia steps up to sing verse one he adds a couple of wicked cool mini solos...amazing how much they packed into under 8 mins. in this barn burner.
Dupree's Diamond Blues
April 19, 1983
Alfond Arena, U of Maine

Underrated version notable for Brent paying homage to the calliope days of late 60's yore... and while Jerry's vocal is typical early-80s-strained he doesn't botch the lyrics & is clearly into the saga, driving the narrative along & with a nice wah wah solo 3/4 of the way through. Version was featured on 30 Days of Dead a few years back & is well worthy of upvote
Greatest Story Ever Told
May 10, 1972
Concertgebouw

wah wah heaven
Shakedown Street
April 6, 1982
The Spectrum

I always come back to this one. The Jerry//Brent conversation is gold and so is the rest
Bertha
May 12, 1977
Auditorium Theatre

Patient, beautiful, mellow version with a lengthy bridge jam as is the norm for this year with this song...but this version stands out for Jerry's confident, easy vocal reading, and Bobby's numerous China Cat licks all over the early portions. Real nice Bertha here that could probably use some more vote-up