Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Dick's Picks, Vol. 5: Oakland Auditorium, Oakland, CA, 12/26/79
Genres: Country, Pop, Rock, Classic Rock
By the end of the 1970s, the Dead had modified their nuanced, multifaceted sound and had become much more of a rock & roll band again. What they lost in subtlety, they made up for with aggression. This 1979 show comes from... more »
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By the end of the 1970s, the Dead had modified their nuanced, multifaceted sound and had become much more of a rock & roll band again. What they lost in subtlety, they made up for with aggression. This 1979 show comes from their annual year-end run in Oakland and features recent addition Brent Mydland on keyboards, not to mention a near-metal edge. Jerry Garcia often sounds like Chuck Berry gone mad (well, madder); the band covers three Berry tunes as if to illustrate the point. However, this one was a prototypical "Bobby show," with Garcia struggling at times to keep up with the rest of the band, although he does seem spurred on by Weir in many spots. Raw, angry, and frayed, Volume Five sports the Dead at their roughest. --Marc Greilsamer
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More than worth it for the Shakedown
My Uncle Stu | Boston | 02/03/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"No doubt the Dead of the early to mid seventies was the best if you have to chose a show at random and get lost in it. If you have to restrict yourself. After that, the Dead were less consistent. But the Dead with Brent were great too, different and great in other ways. I love that Hammond B-3 sounds, and I love Brent's voice. He could certainly sing better than Donna. In fact, tuning out Donnna from seventies shows can be quite exhausting. Hart's percussion jams also seem to get more interesting in the eighties.
There were two 80's shows early in the Dick's Picks series, volumes five and six. (OK, I just noticed the date, this show preceded the eighties by about five days, but if you had to classify it, for all practical purposes this is early eighties Dead) Both vol. 5 and 6 provide good historical illustrations of what was wrong with the Dead in the 80's as well as what was right with them. Overall, though, Dick's Pick Vol. 5 is the one I would go with. Vol. 6 has a great second disc but overall the band sounds too haggard.
Volume 5 starts off shaky and we realize there will be too many of those R&B numbers that they were so fond of in the 80's. It hurts to say it but, they just don't do those well. C.C. Rider, Around and Around, Promised Land... I don't know why no one in the organization had the courage to tell Bobby he doesn't sound good trying to belt out soulful numbers. Maybe they never went back and listened to their shows. More likely they just didn't care because the fans have demonstrated that they will continue to pay and show up. But lets not dwell on the negatives. Though off to a bit of a weak start, we have a Brown Eyed Women in the first set in which Jerry sounds great, brings you back to the days when he had the energy for thirty-second notes, ripping off high energy, intense sheets of sound. When disc 2 starts, there's a great Uncle John's Band followed by Estimated Prophet. Phil tries to transition them into He's Gone but Jerry is on fire and takes off in a different direction for a five minute or so track labeled "Jam 1." They finally do get back to He's Gone, which then transitions into The Other One with a massive bone-rattling Phil bomb. We get a good drums>space, a couple other tunes, and then the track that alone makes this a worthy purchase, Shakedown Street. There aren't too many official releases of live Shakedowns, but of them this is the best, better than off So Many Roads for sure (the single best Live Shakedown I own is off a bootleg from a 1990 Madison Square Garden show with Branford Marsalis). It's a high energy jam that eventually transitions a little sloppily into an Uncle John's Band reprise.
Overall, a worthy Dick's Pick. There's enough great music that it would be a shame to miss this. Don't overlook the Brent era Dead.
DP #5 is a keeper
B. J Lam | littleton, colorado United States | 10/23/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Generally, I concur with previous reviewers who provide spot on summaries. Why write then, you ask? Well, no one has mentioned Bobby's killer slide on disc one's New Minglewood or the great version of disc one's Brown Eyed Women. Disc one's songs have wonderfully played versions of the songs and one may attribute this to the likely lenghty practice sessions that preceeded this tour as the band got Mydland up to speed.Disc two especially is just a killer and disc 3 has a great Jam-NFA-Brokedown Palace section. The excitement of the band during disc 2's UJB is simply palable and you will listen drop jawed as you understand that the band knows that the audience knows that they sound great.Absolutely, Weir and Mydland and the rythym section steal the show. Jerry is starting to show signs of deteriation and does seem at times to be "trying to keep up" as the Amazon reviewer above wrote.However, as an attendee to several Dead shows in the late 70s one must concur that by the late 70s the Godcheauxs were personas non grata and the addition of Mydland who both sang and played keyboards head and shoulders above his predecessors absolutely re-invigorated the band. You will note from the opening of Cold Rain throughout the jamming on discs two and three that Garcia and the others were thrilled with what the personnel change had wrought. This show will please your ears immensely."
2nd Disk Is Killer
B. J Lam | 03/16/1999
(4 out of 5 stars)
"A solid show, but the highlight is an amazing second disk, that offers one of the most intense Other Ones ever. The second disk is worth the price of the whole set, and is essential for any deadhead."