Grateful Dead: Space 1995

The Grateful Dead remained an experimental band to the end. This mix arranges portions of 1995 “Spaces” from 11 cities/runs, February through May, into several listening arcs, totaling two hours.

In 1995, certain themes recurred regularly in the open improv sections of shows, arguably making them a jam or jams that ought to be named. You’ll hear them in the “Philadelphia Suite” that leads this mix, and then more insistently and extensively in the “Thematic Suite” that follows.  

I’ve also assembled a different flavor of improvisation into a “Melancholy Suite,” which highlights a quest for strange, gentle beauty. This portion of the mix sometimes aligns with the decade-spanning Save Your Face compilation “Chamber Music.”

And lastly, there are several great outliers from the above categories, with which I’ve concluded the mix.

Lesh said the Dead were always playing “Dark Star,” even when they weren’t. This is that music in 1995. 

1h 50m mp3 mix zipped up here (dates/cities included in song titles)

Philadelphia Suite (18 minutes)

  • Three nights edited into a single track. It was a run packed with notable passages, which I’ve melded together.

Thematic Suite (49 minutes)

  • Nine segments from various shows, indexed as separate tracks

Melancholy Suite (31 minutes)

  • Eight segments from various shows, indexed as separate tracks

Outliers (13 minutes)

  • Three segments from three shows

Cover art: Detail from “Bed” by Robert Rauschenberg

34 responses
Melancholy Suite might be perfect. This whole listen is phenomenal, and an excellent addition to the 'jambient' catalogue on this blog. Easily my favorite approach of yours. I've listened to Tones, Chamber Music, and the Spaceport Saga at least 30 times each at this point. Your vision for this side of the Dead is a wonderful world to inhabit, Thank you!
Virago Mixtapes, this is amazing to hear. I find this material extremely compelling and unique in the Dead's oeuvre, and I'm glad to have a companion in that appreciation.
Thanks John for such a labour of love in creating this amazing mix of Dead music, unavailable in this style anywhere else. I look forward to your mixes with far more enthusiasm than I do the official releases as they truly showcase the nuances of the Dead's sound in a fresh and compelling way that keeps bringing me back. I'll listen to Dave's Picks 46 maybe twice before filing it away with numerous other 72 releases. With your mixes, I can spin them dozens of times and very rarely have to skip anything. Thanks and best wishes from Sydney. Michae
Michael Sides, thank you once again for supporting my curveball takes on the Grateful Dead's accomplishments.
You continue to help me find the nuggets from the 90s that I would otherwise have missed. Thanks for keeping me not totally focused on the 72-74 version of the band.
I was really looking forward to listening to this when I saw it posted. And I was not disappointed! Your mixes are always such a treat, especially the ones like these which view the band's explorations from a new perspective. My children are used to hearing some crazy stuff from the music I play, but even they were surprised that this was a mix of 30 year old Dead... "No Fire on the Mountain, Pa?" Thank you once again for another of your wonderful mixes. To transform transformative music is no easy feat, and you excel.
You continue to be incredible. Dedicated, and charged with a love for this music. Am inspired by your curation. Am often flabbergasted how original your thinking is, and how well you execute the demands of joy you place upon yourself. The graphics you put together, or others put together for you - they are all invigorating, like an open sky, inviting the listener into the music.
Hi John. Are you based in/near NYC? If so, would love to meet and buy you a drink for all your great work.
absolutely love these space mixes! have been waiting on a new one for a while. thanks, john!
Harko, Campfire Bob, and Kumori - I have been remiss in not responding your extravagant praise. THANK YOU! It means a lot when someone provides feedback like this. J.M.N. - I am in Michigan, but I may be coming to NYC in the Fall.
Def. let me know if you end up making it to NYC. I figure I'm probably not the only fan of yours here!
JMN, do you follow me on twitter? @4CPcomics That's probably where I'd send out an inquiry about heads who might want to get together on my travels.
I’m back from 8 weeks as a summer camp counselor and am very excited to check this out. Keep up the great work!
Hey, Bartographer! Hope you enjoy.
Would like to echo the sentiments of Michael Sides, I had a boss ages ago whose entire raison d'etre was Sinatra, reggae and the Dead, all of which he burned me out on half a lifetime ago LOL but then I found the infamous Grayfolded by John Oswald and 'the Grateful Dead' which suddenly gave me an entrance point I was never going to have since just as I was about to submit to a free Dead concert at the time to fully indoctrinate me, Garcia passed, and though the song retains the name, that was it for that chance. That project, as I said, gave me an entrance vector, and you just expand upon that, and I had a family friend who, also, was a heavy collector of same, and he passed during the pandemic height and only now are his family being able to go through them, though as I understand it, most are just going to fellow collectors he knew...considering some of the conversations we had about the Dead, I think he'd be surprised to see me getting into them as I have, thanks to your manipulational ability and creative new and varied tapestries to bring out new ways to approach the megalith that is the Long Strange Trip It Still Is...;)
Frederick, thanks for this thoughtful post! I'm so glad these "space" mixes are finding appreciative ears.
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