In addition to live Dead and recorded-for-release studio Dead, there’s the third way - demos and rehearsals.
Some high points include 1970’s Angels Share (on all streaming services), the vast 1975 Blues for Allah jams, the 1979 Brent rehearsals, the 1983 Stone House sessions, and rehearsals and unfinished sessions that capture some of the band’s final songs in the early 1990s.
This post presents a studio-album like condensation of May 1976 rehearsals ahead of the band’s return to the stage in June. They’ve got two drummers now/again, Donna’s finally, fully in the picture, and they’re working on perfect, end-to-end versions of songs.
I want to say this material sounds exactly as its timestamp and setting would suggest: 1976 coming into being, but with a lighter touch than the June shows. If June 1976 has been a series of small club dates, it might have come off more like this.
Aside from choosing what to include, I made only two editorial interventions. The “Supplication” jam is doubled from two takes, and the “Eyes of the World” is comprised of three takes, with vocals edited out of one of them.
Artwork: Rick Griffin, “Water into Wine.”
- Attics of My Life
- The Wheel
- Lazy Lightning > Supplication > Supplication (edit)
- Eyes Jam > Eyes of the World > Eyes Jam (edit)
- Playin’ in the Band
- Wharf Rat
- Cosmic Charlie (breakdown)