Even with a 12-disc box set of the Grateful Dead's Warner Bros. years due out in the fall via Rhino, the band's namesake record label is not resting on its laurels. Grateful Dead Records has just issu
Even with a 12-disc box set of the Grateful Dead's Warner Bros. years due out in the fall via Rhino, the band's namesake record label is not resting on its laurels. Grateful Dead Records has just issued "Dick's Picks, Volume 22," the latest in its continuing series of live concert releases, and "View from the Vault II," a complete live 1991 concert on DVD, VHS, and a three-CD audio set. Both titles are available from the band's mail order service and through its Web site, and will be released to traditional retailers this fall.
"View from the Vault II" captures the Jerry Garcia-led band at Washington, D.C's RFK Stadium on June 14, 1991, the peak of renewed and reinvigorated interest in the perpetually touring act, which this time around included both Bruce Hornsby and Vince Welnick on keyboards. The Dead played the venue 15 times inside of 22 years, and as stadium shows became commonplace, a video crew was employed to put the band up on projection screens for the massive crowds and produced the tapes from which this title is comprised.
The DVD and CD versions of "II" feature the entire show (due to the constraints of the format, the VHS version has been edited), which features a range of Dead originals and covers that the band made its own. Among the songs included are "Dark Star," a medley of "Help on the Way/Slipknot!/Franklin's Tower," "Maggie's Farm," and the stellar encore of "It's All Over Now Baby Blue."
As a bonus, the DVD and CD include the quartet of "Box of Rain"/"Victim or the Crime"/"Foolish Heart"/"Dark Star" recorded in the summer of 1990 at the same venue, featuring the late Brent Mydland on keyboards during what was his final tour with the band. The DVD also includes the music video for the Dead's "Liberty," which was directed by Justin Kreutzmann, the son of Dead drummer Bill Kreutzmann.
While the new "View" title is a glimpse of the Dead near the end of its long, strange trip, "Dick's Picks, Volume 22" delves much deeper into its history. The release is taken from Feb. 23-24, 1968, shows at the Kings Beach Bowl (bowling alley) on the North Shore of Lake Tahoe, Calif., where the band recorded parts of that year's live/studio album "Anthem of the Sun." Among the highlights are some of the earliest known recordings of "Dark Star" and "China Cat Sunflower," as well as "Morning Dew" and "Turn on Your Lovelight."
And while the Dead officially ceased activity with Garcia's passing in 1995, the band's legacy lives on. Its prolific Warner Bros. tenure will be documented on the 12-disc set "The Golden Road 1965-1973." Due Oct. 16 from Rhino, the set will feature digitally remastered versions of all of the albums released during the period, bolstered by rare and unreleased material.
The only album not to feature added material will be 1969's "Live Dead," which longtime band publicist Dennis McNally tells Billboard.com, "is perfect as it is. I said, 'Don't touch that one.' There's nothing that can be added to that to make it any better."
Along with contributing substantial liner notes to the set, McNally also put together a pair of compilations for the box. Dubbed "The Birth of the Dead," one is made up of live material, the other of studio recordings.