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I'm about half way through the 80's on the 30 Trips box set. Really solidifying my dislike for the era. Weir really gravitated toward some lame covers in the 80's. What is the point of CC Rider? Is he trying to do an Elvis tribute? Other covers like Rooster, Promised Land, Beat It, El Paso are ok, but when you get 2 or more in a set it's overkill. Brent's organ added a nice sound, but otherwise don't care for his keyboard sounds, and his backing vocals. One exception would be Loser, which he helped make into a powerful, ferocious monster with the organ and vocals. Any other tunes standout in this era? Think I mentioned Shakedown before. Otherwise, 90's > 80's. 

I was "off the bus" and didn't see or listen to the Dead at all from '81 until 9/87.  I' have no regrets about missing those years.  I don't think I missed  anything, despite all the suggestions I've received over the years to particular shows of this era. 

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I'm about half way through the 80's on the 30 Trips box set. Really solidifying my dislike for the era. Weir really gravitated toward some lame covers in the 80's. What is the point of CC Rider? Is he trying to do an Elvis tribute? Other covers like Rooster, Promised Land, Beat It, El Paso are ok, but when you get 2 or more in a set it's overkill. Brent's organ added a nice sound, but otherwise don't care for his keyboard sounds, and his backing vocals. One exception would be Loser, which he helped make into a powerful, ferocious monster with the organ and vocals. Any other tunes standout in this era? Think I mentioned Shakedown before. Otherwise, 90's > 80's. 

Are you referring to the entirety of the 80s? I hope not, as I see the 80s broken into 2 halves, really, with pre- and post-coma. There really is a pretty noticeable distinction between the two, even down to how Garcia moved on stage. I've always been able to find diamonds in all the eras but yeah. 

 

80-83 was solid,imo, as well. The acoustic stuff early in '80, some really great set lists in 81-82, and '83 is one of my favorite years, particularly the fall tour. The band sounds tight and Garcia's voice has that high-whiny pitch that I dug.

 

84-86 were probably the weakest years, imo, with shitloads of botched lyrics, gravelly Garcia vocals, too many shitty Bobby covers, etc. A lot of weak shows during this period.

 

87-90 was one of the best periods of the band's musical history, imo. Crisp playing, happy band mates, new tunes, new sounds, etc. and the progression of songs like Victim, Foolish, etc. that I came to love.....

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Yeah, Brent changed keyboards in 81 or something and it sounded like a toy piano.  Then he got that more 'piano' sounding keyboard that he played up until the end.  Of course, the organ was always killer.  Too bad Vince only played digital keys.

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I'm about half way through the 80's on the 30 Trips box set. Really solidifying my dislike for the era. Weir really gravitated toward some lame covers in the 80's. What is the point of CC Rider? Is he trying to do an Elvis tribute? Other covers like Rooster, Promised Land, Beat It, El Paso are ok, but when you get 2 or more in a set it's overkill. Brent's organ added a nice sound, but otherwise don't care for his keyboard sounds, and his backing vocals. One exception would be Loser, which he helped make into a powerful, ferocious monster with the organ and vocals. Any other tunes standout in this era? Think I mentioned Shakedown before. Otherwise, 90's > 80's. 

Although Jerry's decline was the most obvious in the 80s, and Phil was apparently having drinking problems from what we now know, I wonder WTF was up with Bob in the 80s. Too much blow? I can't help thinking he really didn't have much confidence in his own songs, based on the number of covers: You mentioned a bunch, and that doesn't even cover Good Lovin', It's All Over Now, Around and Around, Wang Dang Doodle, not to mention the cringeworthy "I'm gonna fuck with your hen" stuff Brent added to Little Red Rooster. Ugh. What happened to Black-Throated Wind?

I can't even listen to the Bobby & the Midnites material, unless it's just Weir and Wasserman playing it. Then it ain't so bad. I guess a lot of 60s rockers got really lost in the 80s.

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I'm not as down on 80s Dead as some folks are, but I understand why they feel that way and I somewhat agree.  For me, its more about the guitar tones becoming less and less organic/traditional and more and more processed to the point they sometimes don't sound like guitars at all (and I'm not just taking about the MIDI stuff, I mean in general playing).  I did think it was kinda cool to have Jerry's guitar sound like horns on Ramble On Rose or Mexicali Blues, but I think they overdid it for my tastes.  A little of that is plenty for me.  So in the early 80s, I still liked the guitar tones.  Around 1988 is when I find the processed guitar tones finally reached the tipping point too much for me to not feel disappointed when I try to listen to those shows now.  I know they played pretty well on the Summer 1989, Fall 1989 and Spring 1990 and even summer 1990, but I'm not fond of the tones in those years. Brent's keyboard sounds got worse, too, I think, right at the same pace and Jerry and Bobby's tones did.  I wish he would've stuck to a B-3, Fender Rhodes, and an actual acoustic piano (and whatever the keyboard was that made that funky sound in 1979!).

 

An even though 1985 has its obvious flaws, I love that year and I think there were plenty of hot shows with fantastic ensemble playing (Hershey Park, Saratoga, Merriweather, Cuyahoga, the Greek, Long Island and Philly in the Spring, etc) and I vastly prefer 1985 to 1988 or anything afterwards.

 

And I really dig Spring 1987 for Jerry's triumphant return to the East.  Touch of Greys and Candymans on that tour were usually exceptional, due to Jerry and the crowds emotional poignancy for those songs at that time.  Too bad the soundboards are really mostly AUD recordings, though.  Good summer tour that year, too.  Oakland and Anaheim were hot with Dylan.

 

I think the early and mid 80s were pretty good, later 80s was when the shows were far less consistently satisfying to me.

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I'm not as down on 80s Dead as some folks are, but I understand why they feel that way and I somewhat agree.  For me, its more about the guitar tones becoming less and less organic/traditional and more and more processed to the point they sometimes don't sound like guitars at all (and I'm not just taking about the MIDI stuff, I mean in general playing).  I did think it was kinda cool to have Jerry's guitar sound like horns on Ramble On Rose or Mexicali Blues, but I think they overdid it for my tastes.  A little of that is plenty for me.  So in the early 80s, I still liked the guitar tones.  Around 1988 is when I find the processed guitar tones finally reached the tipping point too much for me to not feel disappointed when I try to listen to those shows now.  I know they played pretty well on the Summer 1989, Fall 1989 and Spring 1990 and even summer 1990, but I'm not fond of the tones in those years. Brent's keyboard sounds got worse, too, I think, right at the same pace and Jerry and Bobby's tones did.  I wish he would've stuck to a B-3, Fender Rhodes, and an actual acoustic piano (and whatever the keyboard was that made that funky sound in 1979!).

 

An even though 1985 has its obvious flaws, I love that year and I think there were plenty of hot shows with fantastic ensemble playing (Hershey Park, Saratoga, Merriweather, Cuyahoga, the Greek, Long Island and Philly in the Spring, etc) and I vastly prefer 1985 to 1988 or anything afterwards.

 

And I really dig Spring 1987 for Jerry's triumphant return to the East.  Touch of Greys and Candymans on that tour were usually exceptional, due to Jerry and the crowds emotional poignancy for those songs at that time.  Too bad the soundboards are really mostly AUD recordings, though.  Good summer tour that year, too.  Oakland and Anaheim were hot with Dylan.

 

I think the early and mid 80s were pretty good, later 80s was when the shows were far less consistently satisfying to me.

I pretty much agree with all of this, especially about the Spring '87 Tour. Not the best musically, but that tour was the most fun I ever had following the band. The energy in those rooms were completely off the chart.

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Yeah, I'd say the sound did kind of change around '86.  Everything sounded more processed or digitized because of 'better' equipment it seems.  Definitely more of a polished sound and not the organic band on stage with amps sound.  The sound changes over the years are really interesting.  It's hard to pinpoint when each happened.  I think the mid 70s through 81 sound best because Bob had no effects, all instruments were real and jerry's effects were analog.  Probably tube amps over solid state played a role.  It's crazy how much went into Garcia's guitar just to make a clean, tight tone.  You'd think it would be easy.

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https://archive.org/details/gd1987-03-24.sbd.milller.94349.sbeok.flac16

 

3-24-87 Hampton  Jack Straw is smoking with the whole band firing on all cylinders right from the start especially Phil and the drummers and Jerry blazing away in the jam. Followed by a really good Candyman except for the blown lyrics in the first verse, but he recovers well and they pull out a corker.  This first set is pretty good all the way through.  A very strong Terrapin Station in the second set is another highlight.

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8/12/84. Pretty nice setlist overall, even the Bobby cover tunes. Great set 2. Fierce St. of Circumstance. Nice outro jam in UJB, stretching it to 15 minutes or so, then Playin>UJB reprise, and a ferocious Dew to cap it off. One stinker in the set is Don't Need Love. What the hell is that? It's like a bad Hall and Oates tune. I could imagine it being used in an 80's rom-com montage. Thumbs down Brent.

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I wasn't aware of Don't Need Love for years. It is pretty bad. Definitely a set two buzz kill. Gotta say, Brent did keep the guys going with original material. Tons of Steel and Easy To Love You were pretty good tunes.

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I wasn't aware of Don't Need Love for years. It is pretty bad. Definitely a set two buzz kill. Gotta say, Brent did keep the guys going with original material. Tons of Steel and Easy To Love You were pretty good tunes.

I could do without Tons of Steel. We Can Run is another stinker. From Brent, I'll take Easy to Love You, Little Light, Blow Away, Mr. Fantasy, and that's about it.

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I could do without Tons of Steel. We Can Run is another stinker. From Brent, I'll take Easy to Love You, Little Light, Blow Away, Mr. Fantasy, and that's about it.

I like Tons of Steel (wife says it's "bad") and We Can Run.

 

Don't care for Just a  Little Light, though. The carnival-esque keys are a turn off, and used to really like "

Take You Home," but it's hard to listen to, now.

 

Love Easy to Love You, Far From Me, Maybe You Know, Blow Away, Pocky Way, Louie, Louie.

 

As much as I appreciate a lot of his lead vocal tunes, he really shined on backing vocals and co-vocals (Gimme Some Lovin', Mr. Fantasy, Keep On Growing, Let the Good Times Roll, etc.)

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There is a Ravinia event this year called "Jerry Garcia Symphonic Crlebration featuring Warren Haynes" looks like it might be the CSO with Warren Haynes.

This is coming to Red Rocks again this summer and based on the previous reviews it's well worth the ticket price....

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I like Tons of Steel (wife says it's "bad") and We Can Run.

 

Don't care for Just a  Little Light, though. The carnival-esque keys are a turn off, and used to really like "

Take You Home," but it's hard to listen to, now.

 

 

^ This

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