Grateful Dead

Dick's Picks, Vol. 11: Stanley Theatre, Jersey City, NJ September 27, 1972

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For the first entry in the Dick's Picks series from 1972, Grateful Dead tape archivist Dick Latvala has made a surprising but satisfying choice. Deadheads might have opted for a more obvious show -- such as the August 27, 1972, benefit for the Springfield Creamery in Veneta, Oregon, that tops many of their lists -- but Latvala looked exactly one month later to the middle date in a three-night stand at the Stanley Theater in Jersey City, New Jersey. The audience tape for this show has not been among the most circulated by Deadheads, perhaps because it is subject to edits, so this full-length version is welcome. No one has questioned the quality of the performance itself: it is stellar, characterized by an unusually slow opening with "Morning Dew" and an especially effective second set dominated by a half-hour "Dark Star" that, for the only known time, segues into "Cumberland Blues." (OK, maybe you have to be a Deadhead to care about something like that, but then, who else is likely to buy Dick's Picks albums?) It's possible that the Dead have avoided 1972 before this because the under-two-hour triple-LP Europe 1972 album chronicled their live performances well enough at the time. Fair enough, but this three-and-a-quarter-hour triple-CD set does an even better job.

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