Grateful Dead

Dick's Picks, Vol. 6: Hartford Civic Center 10/14/83

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After five consecutive albums of 1970s material, Grateful Dead tape archivist Dick Latvala finally picked a performance from the 1980s, presenting an entire performance from the Hartford Civic Center on October 14, 1983. The Dead's publicist has been reported as saying that it was the material on the second of the three discs, a lengthy version of "Scarlet Begonias" that segues into "Fire On The Mountain" and a medley of "Estimated Prophet" and "Eyes Of The World," that earned this show the nod. All well and good, although Dead Heads could cite better performances from this period. Latvala's problem is that, as sound quality improves with technology over time, the quality of the Dead's performances deteriorates in the early 1980s, making the picks more problematic. (No wonder the series has focused on the '70s until now.) Maybe the solution would be to do more editing together of performances from a particular tour or run of shows. In the meantime, this album will see far more plays for its second disc than for its first or third. (Note that this marks the first official release for the Jerry Garcia-Robert Hunter song "Keep Your Day Job," which the band played in the early 1980s but never recorded because its message was not welcomed by Dead Heads.)

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