am 24. Juli 2014
Well...this is a very nice Dead Set,..IMHO "Steppin' Out, England 72" and "Dicks Picks No.31, 1974" are more intense, but nonetheless, "Sunshine Daydream" has it's moments. The "Golden Age of The Dead" in my books is 1972-76; I experienced them quite often "live" during this period, thus,... I know what I'm talking about; so,... one can say, the door to "The Golden Age" has just swung open as this CD set was recorded. That is why I really DO like it.
This set is made up of three CD's and one DVD in a Digi-Pack. The DVD was produced in 2013 from films and tapes dating back to 1972. The sound (on both the CD's and the DVD) is/are excellent, the musicianship is excellent, but it's too bad the Dead NEVER worked with capable film people. A few album covers were real classics, but for the most part, the Dead always had totally ridiculous, dorky, and just plain embarrassingly BAD visualizations. A lot of the "trippy" sequences of the film look like the graphic artist was Richard Nixon trying to imitate Terry Gilliam. Phil is one of the best bassists of all time but somebody should have told him, "CLOSE YOUR MOUTH when you're on stage !" Standing there with an open mouth looks the opposite of intelligent, and all those filthy little mud-covered hippie brats running around make me want to take a shower. At certain times the cameraman can't make up his mind, if he wants Jerry's finger-work-playing-a-solo in the frame, or the swinging genitals of a naked hippie standing on a pole behind the stage....a tough decision, I must admit, however...maybe I'm just old fashioned, but, when I watch a Dead film I want to see Jerry's solo...when I want to see swinging genitals, I look in my mirror....I don't even need a DVD player for that treat ! I really had to laugh watching this film, ...after all, I was, many times myself, one of those trippy-hippies in the audience at a Dead concert. (Please don't ask which parts of me were swinging back then....or NOW for that matter!)
As I was watching the film I heard my fathers ghost saying, "Don't these people ever bathe?....YUK !!!"
Well....anyway, when the camera happens to drift onto the band... Jerry (in a black t-shirt and jeans...his uniform) is playing an amazing 50's sunburst Strat that sounds like HEAVEN; Phil is playing his Alembic with the 4000 knobs on it and it sounds ASTRONOMICAL, Bob is playing his red ES 335 and he is comping chords at near SUPER-HUMAN levels, Bill is playing a "Butcher Block" Rogers drum set and it is extraordinary to see how well he fills up the sound between the bass and the guitars which often leave a gap as wide as the Grand Canyon, he really IS a JAZZ drummer; and unfortunately, Keith, the piano player, is hardly seen in the film but, his piano playing is like an Ultra Hyper Atomic Glue holding the sound together. Five truly extraordinary and completely unique musicians, playing on a telepathic wave length, taking us from Veneta, Oregon to the edge of the universe and back again, in other words, ....your typical band involved in a typical daydream. (har-dee-har-har.)
The versions of "Dark Star", "Bird Song" and "Sing Me Back Home" (all three on CD AND on the DVD!) are the reasons for the 5 Star rating of this set. These are the BEST versions I've ever heard of these songs,(and I've heard MANY) and worth getting the set for.
All in all, an excellent Dead Set, at a great price, with some absolutely STELLAR highlights. Perfect music for Sunshine Daydreaming about Dirty Old Swinging Hippies......and much much more,.... indeed.
LONG LIVE the DEAD !!!