Grateful Dead: TLEO Spring 1977 (10-version instrumental edit)

This mix is a 21-minute edit of all 10 Keith and Jerry “They Love Each Other” solo passages from April and May, 1977. Three tracks include only Garcia’s solo. 

It’s a wonderful, woozy conversation, in slow motion. They’re not quite two souls in communion. Keith is a little uptight and resistant, though flirtatious. Jerry’s just like, “Come on baby, let’s go downtown and have some fun.” Except for one night, when Keith was the horny one.

I did the best I could with the segues (jump cuts), given the combo of official sources and fan sources, including audience tapes. The sonic and mood shifts might actually enhance the drama of this dialogue going round in circles.

The download contains both a single-track (21-minute file) and an “album” made up of the 10 separate pieces - in case you want to poke around by date. The single-track file is tagged to become part of this mix, which includes similar edits of Spring ’77 performances of Peggy-O, Sugaree, and Brown-Eyed Women.

21-minute mp3 mix zipped up here (dates in tags)

Grateful Dead: Instrumental Eyes of the World (1974-1994)

This mix offers instrumental edits of eight performances of Eyes of the World, featuring many tempos and temperaments. The vocals appear once, in the middle of a long studio rehearsal edit from 1976. 

The aesthetic premise is to cut Eyes thematic jamming free from the song-structure and the vicissitudes of vocals. For instance, cocaine Eyes, minus cocaine singing. 

There aren’t many Dead pillows of grooviness as fine as Eyes. This mix overstuffs that pillow. One drummer and two. Keith, Brent, and Vince. The band and its members being all their different selves, across the decades, with their eye on this particular, happy place.

Cover art: Odilon Redon, “Closed Eyes” (1894)

100-minute mp3 mix zipped up here (tagged appropriately)

  • 6/8/74 (9:32)
  • 3/25/90 (8:55)
  • 5/76 (16:48, w/vocals)
  • 6/11/93 (8:00)
  • 11/5/79 (19:01)
  • 2/27/81 (6:03)
  • 9/11/74 (15:52)
  • 4/7/94 (17:14)

Grateful Dead: Clementine (1968-1969)

This mix provides a full hour of Clementine, as played by several Grateful Dead configurations in 1968 and early 1969. It was the band’s first jazz jam. 

I believe I have included every recorded version, except for the officially-released 8/13/68 studio jam (AOXOMOXOA bonus track).

This Dead Essays post is the place to find answers to all your Clementine questions. 

62-minute mp3 mix zipped up here

  • Clementine Rehearsal Edit (9/12/68, studio Hartbeats)
  • Clementine (1/27/68, live Grateful Dead, Seattle)
  • Clementine Jam (10/30/68, live Hartbeats)
  • Clementine Instrumental Edit (1/26/69, live Grateful Dead, Avalon Ballroom, SF)
  • Clementine Jam 1 (10/8/68, live Hartbeats, The Matrix, SF)
  • Clementine (2/2/68, live Grateful Dead, Portland)
  • Clementine (1/20/68, live Grateful Dead, Eureka)
  • Clementine Jam 2 (10/8/68, live Hartbeats, The Maxtrix, SF)

Edits:

  • For the 9/12/68 rehearsal, I have edited together fragments of the stop-start practice session to simulate a complete performance. Vocals by Lesh!
  • I took the vocals out of the final, 1/26/69 performance, because they’re not good, kind of buried, and way less interesting than early ’69 Dead exploring the musical opportunities. For great Garcia vocals, listen to early ’68.
  • I edited out the slack parts of the Hartbeat’s 10/8/68 performance.


Grateful Dead: In the Twilight Zone (1985)

It is a dimension as vast as space and as timeless as infinity. It is the middle ground between light and shadow, between science and superstition. This is the dimension we call the Grateful Dead.

Imagine if you will, 30 minutes of 1985 Grateful Dead music related to “The Twilight Zone” theme and mood.

With the help of middle-man Merl Saunders, the Dead were hired to create theme and incidental music for the 1985 reboot of “The Twilight Zone.” A soundtrack album was released containing a combination of ominous Dead “space” and cheesier, ‘80s pop moves.

This mp3 mix includes all the “space” passages, plus an edit of studio outtakes, plus three live passages. No cheesy stuff.

“Merl says that the night he sat in during the ‘space’ jam at one of the recent Berkeley shows, ‘we did a bit of the Zone without the theme. It was kind of loose. We’d been in the studio working things about a week, and then all of a sudden I was just up there onstage!’” (Golden Road #6)

According to Garcia, the band recorded enough bits to construct a much larger Twilight Zone space.

“… but what we got [to do] was a collection of little musical inserts called stings and bumpers – you know, little hunks of non-specific music of various lengths that have different moods. One might be a mood like, ‘Don’t open the door,’ or ‘Don’t go up into the attic.’ Or, ‘I’m going to work work, honey. Are you sure you’ll be OK home alone?’ They go all the way from a sort of noncommittal [he makes light, almost playful guitar sounds] to a real ominous ‘Braaaaaagh!” They gave us a huge menu of those – 40 that are like 5 seconds, 20 that are 6.5 seconds, a bunch that they can fade in and out. Then it’s the music editor who actually fits them into the show.” (Golden Road #6)

My assumption is that the 17 minutes from the official soundtrack included on this mix are made up of a slew of these tiny pieces of mood music, edited together. 

31-minute mp3 mix zipped up here

  • Twilight Zone (live 6/21/85)
  • Twilight Zone (live 9/15/85)
  • Twilight Zone (studio outtake edit)
  • Space (live 3/9/85 w/Merl Saunders)
  • TZ Soundtrack: Main Title Theme
  • TZ Soundtrack: Kentucky Rye Pt. 3
  • TZ Soundtrack: Shadowman (edit)
  • TZ Soundtrack: Nightcrawlers
  • TZ Soundtrack: Eye of Newton (edit)
  • TZ Soundtrack: End Credits

The session/demo edit comes from this set of fragments. I found that several of them contain the exact same, main passage (w/some different treatments), so my edit comprises the non-repeating passages. 

If you enjoy the Dead making soundtrack music, you might like:

Grateful Dead: Pouring Light Into Jazzes (1973-1974)

This two-hour mix features a particular zone of 1973-1974 jazz Dead. It’s comprised of some of the most diffuse and drifty “Dark Star” passages of the period, plus adjacent jams that took the same mood into additional territory. 

Common denominators are complex, gentle beauty and Bill Kreutzmann’s amazing drumming.

Soaring-melodic-rock “Dark Star” moments occur very rarely. The first verse of “Dark Star” appears periodically to present the straight melody that solves the Rubic’s Cube happening everywhere else. 

Each track is a continuous, as-played, Dead passage (with one exception that I forget). I’ve chosen start and end points based on the coherent zone I was seeking. I’ve created segues where opportunities presented themselves and faded elsewhere. 

I figured two hours of this trip was enough. It’s the same length as this compendium of Europe ’72 “Dark Star” passages and adjacent jams. The two mixes offer an easy and interesting way to compare and enjoy the two extremes of the mature one-drummer period. 

2-hour mp3 mix zipped up here

  • Dark Star > (12/6/73)
  • Jam After Dark Star (12/6/73)
  • Dark Star (11/30/73)
  • Dark Star (2/24/74)
  • Dark Star (6/23/74)
  • Dark Star (11/11/73)
  • Jam After Dark Star (11/11/73)
  • Dark Star > (10/18/74)
  • Jam After Dark Star (10/18/73)

Errata: The two 12/6/73 tracks are mislabeled as 12/5/73 in the mp3 files.

Cover art: Detail manipulation of Leo Morey, 1934. Used as the cover of the August 1934 issue of the pulp magazine “Amazing Stories.” High resolution image of the original painting courtesy of Heritage Auctions.

Grateful Dead: The China > Rider Jam (mostly 1974)

This mix presents thirteen 1972-1974 performances of the transition jam between “China Cat Sunflower” and “I Know You Rider.” 

Most selections are from 1974, the bounciest, grooviest year of the band’s history, and consequently the peak year for this jam. As one would expect of 1974, the passage got longer and more hair-raising. 

All the performances followed the same pattern:

  • Transition-introduction (25 seconds)
  • Weir solo (1.5 to 2 minutes)
  • Garcia solo > Feelin’ Groovy jam (variable, the length of the whole jam minus ~2.5 minutes)
  • Approach to I Know You Rider's first verse (10-30 seconds)

The Feelin’ Groovy theme was added to the China > Rider jam in March 1973.

Within the standard frame, variations abound in the individual playing and the collective mesh. Drop the needle into the same sections of many versions in a row, and you’ll be surprised. 

Pried loose from the two songs, the China > Rider jam stands up on its own as part of the bubbling “thematic jam” arc that runs through Alligator, Dark Star, Good Lovin’, Tighten Up, and “stuff that happened after Truckin’ in 1974.” (You'll find more mixes focused on such themes here.)

Different sound board mixes also contribute to the experience of variety. This variable is especially cool for the Weir solo section, where his guitar part syncopates more strongly with with different musicians on different recordings.

I was stuck between two options for this mix: Choose five or six versions, or include too many for any sane person to listen to at one time. I went with too many.

For review purposes, I isolated 28 of the period’s jams (mostly 1973-1974), and then I winnowed them down to 13 for this compilation. 

There was no rhyme or reason to the 28 I started with, except that I tried not to miss long versions. Of course, my picks are entirely unrelated to how well or badly the band played and sang the two songs on either side of the jam. 

Some versions got cut for bad sound or out of tune instruments. Some performances were simply okay. Others were really good, but lacked any great distinction when compared to many other versions. In this last respect, 1973 got trampled by 1974; I started with a dozen versions from each year. 

Anyhow, here are 13 really fine China > Rider jams. 

82-minute mp3 compilation here

  • 72/10/08 (4:44)
  • 73/07/28 (5:27)
  • 73/09/11 (5:56)
  • 74/02/22 (5:34)
  • 74/02/24 (7:00)
  • 74/03/23 (5:24)
  • 74/05/19 (5:23)
  • 74/06/08 (5:17)
  • 74/06/16 (7:36)
  • 74/06/30 (7:54)
  • 74/07/31 (6:26)
  • 74/08/05 (8:18)
  • 74/09/10 (6:46)

Cover art by Mary Poliquin. You can purchase a print here.

Grateful Dead: Firelike Jams (1968-1979) - EXPANDED EDITION

This mix collects Grateful Dead improvisations that have something in common with “Fire on the Mountain.” It also includes a live Diga Rhythm Band performance with Garcia, and an early studio take of a vocal “Fire on the Mountain” by The Marin County Collective, which featured Hart and Garcia. 

NOTE: This is a much-expanded revision of an earlier mix. I have simply revised the original blogpost and linked to the expanded file. Apologies to those who grabbed the first one, but comments on that one got me to this one, so there you go. Special thanks to @MrCompletely, @DeadsoundApp, and @MarkRichardson, without whom…

83-minute mp3 mix zipped up here

Firelike ’68 (10/10/68, Hartbeats) (10:59)

  • Starting with a gentle riff that sounds a bit like the Dave Brubeck quartet noodling Scarlet-into-Fire, this jam mutates into a bop-like exploration of the “Dark Star” melody, before revisiting Firelike territory around the six-minute mark, then wandering off again. I kept the jam intact, since it’s good and organic all the way through.

Firelike ’68 (12/16/68, Hartbeats w/David Getz) (9:17)

  • This is the earliest instance of this kind of groove that I’m aware of. Garcia brushes up against “Dark Star” and ventures into explicit “China Cat” territory.

Firelike ’71 (8/21/71, Mickey’s Barn) (12:08)

  • This jam finds its fire gradually and kicks in hard around five minutes. From the “A Day in the Country” radio broadcast. Players include some combination of Jerry Garcia, Phil Lesh, Bob Weir, Mickey Hart, Ned Lagin, David Crosby, and John Cipollina.

Firelike ’73 (7/27/73, Watkins Glen Jam pt. 2) (5:12)

  • The most famous Firelike jam appeared in the second half of the 30-minute “Watkins Glen Jam.” I edited tight, since everyone knows the Watkins jam.

Firelike ’75 (Blues for Allah rehearsal) (14:04)

  • I had the most terrible tape of this in the 1980s - 100th generation, with more hiss than music - but I loved it. The five minutes preceding my start-point are also cool, but they kind of turn the beat around and pounce decisively at the place I begin. (The Save Your Face mix, “Knot Jazz,” contains the whole thing.)

Happiness is Drumming ’76 (6/28/76, Chicago) (6:31)

Happiness is Drumming ’76 (6/22/76, Philadelphia) (1:57)

  • The Chicago performances is a full-band, full-blown “Happiness is Drumming” – essentially the debut of “Fire.” (The mix, unfortunately, has Keith pretty loud, and he's playing without imagination or swing.) The brief Philadelphia occurrence is just a glancing blow, but in a crazy-fun context.

Firelike ’79 (4/16/79, Brent Mydland rehearsal)

  • This is an actual Scarletfire jam – “Scarlet” improv on top of an almost-“Fire” rhythm bed. 

Happiness is Drumming ’75 (5/30/75, Diga Rhythm Band w/Garcia) (10:56)

  • I decided not to include Diga’s familiar released studio recording of this song (which also includes Garcia) in favor of this long, live take.

Fire on the Mountain 1972-1973 (Melton, Garcia, Hart, Freiberg) (5:09)

  • As far as I can discern, the two versions of the Marin County Collective’s unreleased, Mickey’s Barn, “Fire on the Mountain” (1972 and 1973) are based on the same recording, edited shorter and longer (3:17 vs. 5:09). I’ve included only the longer edit (1973). This is the first recording to include the song’s lyrics, with extra and different words, which are rapped by Mickey Hart. Personally, I’m cool with all aspects of that scenario.

Grateful Dead: The Tighten Up Jam (1969-1971)

This mix compiles 25 performances (two hours) of the “Tighten Up Jam” by the Grateful Dead, including several adjacent “Feelin’ Groovy Jams.” The jam typically appeared in the variable middle of “Dark Star” and as a side-trip prior to the final chorus of “Dancin’ in the Streets.” 

The Dead’s “Tighten Up” is named for its plausible derivation from the song of the same name by Archie Bell and the Drells (1968). “Soulful Strut” by Young Holt Unlimited (1968) has also been suggested as an influence. 

“Tighten Up” could be languid and sweet or fast and fierce. It’s one of the very special, pliable, thematic sub-plots in Dead history. Aside from a 1971 outlier, it was only played during a 14-month period from late summer 1969 to fall 1970.

While being distinctive musically, “Tighten Up” was also just a short reach from other comfortable 1969-1970 zones. The band could jump or creep into it from “Dark Star’s” theme, in the middle of a “Dancin’” jam, out of “Feelin’ Groovy,” or from more open spaces in the music.

Yet, while being very much an expression of that moment’s band, the “Tighten Up Jam” also tilts forward toward things to come. 

It is the era’s “Eyes of the World,” allowing the band to explore jazzy rhythms and chords to a greater extent than nearly anything else they were playing at the time. Though in a different key, it gets very close to “Eyes” at numerous points on these recordings. If the band hadn’t had other ideas about the 1973-1974 “Eyes” jam, you could easily imagine set lists containing “Eyes > Tighten Up,” and vice versa.

Some other points of future-song interest:

  • The second half of the 1/2/70 “Feelin’ Groovy” sounds like it is inventing “Sugar Magnolia,” which doesn’t appear on a tape before 6/24/70 – when it bursts, half-formed out that night's "Tighten Up" jam, inside that night's "Dark Star."
  • The second half of the 9/18/70 “Tighten Up” sounds like it is inventing “The Wheel.”
  • In several of the speedier performances, Garcia leads the band into a place that’s related to the second half of the 1973 Watkins Glenn jam – which is itself close kin to “Fire on the Mountain.” Check out the final minute of 5/6/70 and 4/3/70 (1:25 until nearly the end) for examples.

The first 20 tracks on the mix are the highest-fidelity recordings, sequenced to provide both continuity and variation. The final five tracks are exciting performances that only circulate on lo-fi-but-listenable audience tapes (e.g., Portchester, 6/24/70).

There are no jump cuts or edited segues on this mix; I just managed start and end points for each performance.

111-minute mp3 mix zipped up here, which looks like this:

A note of thanks to my masked collaborator:

This mix would not have been possible without this amazing guide to where to find “Tighten Up” in the Dead’s recordings. I don’t know who “enjoy every (dead) sandwich” is, but they are awesome.

Grateful Dead: The Spanish Jam (1968-1995)

This mix compiles 47 performances of the Grateful Dead’s “Spanish Jam” – which may be every recorded version. Lasting 4.25 hours, the mix stretches from January 1968 to June 1995, nearly the band’s whole career.

The performances are divided into five “discs” of various lengths, which align with the band’s discontinuous engagement with the theme. All performances have been volume equalized and edited to have ear-friendly start and end points.

The disc/track indexing is strictly chronological, except for the 1973-1974 disc, which is sequenced for a better-than-chronological listening experience. If you don’t like that, the song title tags are formatted to enable a full chronological sort.

Multiple members of the Dead have credited Miles Davis’ “Sketches of Spain” album as the band’s source/inspiration. Drop the needle on the song “Solea” around the 9:30 mark to hear why that makes sense.

"Solea" and “Spanish Jam” may share an origin in the widely-recorded composition “Malagueña” by Cuban composer Ernesto Lecuona. Here’s Lecuona playing it in 1954. Here’s Chet Atkins playing it in 1956. Here’s the Stan Kenton big band playing it circa 1961.

You can follow Dead-scholar trails about the song here, among other places.

The mp3 mix has been divided into four separate downloads, so that you don't have to deal with a single, gigantic file. The two 1980s discs are combined into a single file for downloading. 

Disc One: 1968-1970 (download)

  • Four performances
  • 49 minutes

Disc Two: 1973-1974 + 1976 (download)

  • Nine performances
  • 45 minutes

Disc Three: 1981 (download)

  • Nine performances
  • 41 minutes

Disc Four: 1982-1987 (included with 1981 download)

  • Seventeen performances
  • 79 minutes

Disc Five: 1992-1995 (download)

  • Eight performances
  • 38 minutes

Grateful Dead: Mind Left Body Jam (1972-1993)

This mix compiles 18 versions of the Grateful Dead’s “Mind Left Body” jam from 1972-1974 – plus an appendix of 12 later manifestations (1975-1993). These eras are presented as separate mixes.

(This is version two of the mix, including volume and EQ improvements on four tracks.)

1972-1974 MLB MVP goes to Billy. If you could isolate his drums, you would find so many killer samples.

All performances are provided complete. I created jump cuts in some places, but those are at or after the moment when the theme vanished from the jam. (Preferable to constantly fading out as some other theme begins.)

I created sequences for each disc that help create a listening experience with some coherence and flow. Every MLB had its own tempo, vibe, and attack - bursting or emerging out of somewhere else, on its way to somewhere else.

You can also sort all tracks chronologically. The song title format of the mp3 files is: “MLB (YY/MM/DD).” Chronological isn't an ideal, continuous listening experience, IMO, but it enables you to use the mix as an audio reference work.

The standard written reference work on “Mind Left Body” is here. Worth reading all the way to the bottom! I believe I checked out every version noted in the post, and I only omitted the ones that are barely there.

While it is true that most of the post-1974 performances aren’t full MLB Jams, by early Seventies standards, they also have the benefit of doing different things with those four chords. The 12/30/83 > 10/20/84 > 11/29/81 sequence combines into a pretty thrilling jam, for any era, with MLB cropping up in interesting ways.

Two-hour mp3 mix zipped up here

Disc One: 1972-1974 (63 minutes)

  • MLB (6/28/74)
  • MLB (5/12/74)
  • MLB (11/20/73)
  • MLB (10/17/74)
  • MLB (5/19/74)
  • MLB (6/16/74)
  • MLB (9/14/74)
  • MLB (4/8/72 w/other themes)
  • MLB (12/2/73)
  • MLB (9/21/73)
  • MLB (12/18/73)
  • MLB (11/11/73)
  • MLB (10/25/73)
  • MLB (10/19/73)
  • MLB (7/31/74)
  • MLB (10/30/73)
  • MLB (9/21/72 w/other themes)
  • MLB (3/5/72 inside “Good Lovin’”)

Disc Two: 1975-1993 (44 minutes)

  • MLB (10/18/78 - w/“Mojo" licks)
  • MLB (12/30/83)
  • MLB (10/20/84 - w/other themes)
  • MLB (11/29/81 - w/other themes)
  • MLB (2/28/75 - “Music Never Stopped” rehearsal)
  • MLB (7/16/90)
  • MLB (3/24/90 - “Mud Love Buddy”)
  • MLB (6/8/92 - out of “Corrina”)
  • MLB (3/10/93)
  • MLB (3/10/85 - AUD)
  • MLB (6/4/83 - AUD)
  • MLB (9/6/79)