TVD Radar: Grateful Dead, Dick’s Picks 24 4-LP set in stores 2/14

VIA PRESS RELEASE | Real Gone Music continues its long strange trip through the Grateful Dead catalog with a vinyl release of one of the most momentous shows in the band’s long history.

For our second vinyl expedition into the Grateful Dead vaults, we’ve landed on one of the most momentous shows in the band’s long history: the March 23, 1974 show at the Cow Palace that marked the first appearance of the famous (or infamous, depending on which Dead Head you ask) Wall of Sound concert PA! And, since the calling card of that amplification system was its crystal-clear fidelity, we have taken absolutely no chances with the sound on this vinyl release: the show was mastered from the original analog tapes by long-time Dead engineer Jeffrey Norman at Mockingbird Mastering, and the venerable John Golden (who’s cut lacquer for everyone from Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings to Jonathan Wilson to Soundgarden) at Golden Mastering cut the lacquers.

It took two rounds of test pressings to run the approval gauntlet of Norman, Grateful Dead archivist David Lemieux, and Real Gone’s own Gordon Anderson, so rest assured you’re getting the very best vinyl listening experience we can deliver, and the 180-gram vinyl pressing ensures minimum warpage and surface noise. In short, you’ll hear the same unprecedented sonic clarity that Bear envisioned when he put together the Wall of Sound PA…and indeed the set includes the note from Bear that accompanied the original CD release as part of the 4-page, full- size, full-color insert that lies inside the color hardshell box containing the four LPs (which are housed inside poly-lined sleeves).

Aside from the debut of the Wall of Sound, the 3/23/74 show is notable for several reasons. First, it featured the debut of two songs, “Cassidy” and “Scarlet Begonias,” that were to become staples of the band’s repertoire. And, second, this show marked the third and last appearance of the “Playing in the Band/ Uncle John’s Band/ Morning Dew/ Uncle John’s Band/ Playing in the Band” medley, and you can see why…it would be very, very hard to top this performance, which stretched its “Playing in the Band” segments almost to their breaking point. It’s a peak show from a pivotal period in the band’s development… and we’re only pressing up 1500 hand-numbered copies of this 4-LP set.

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