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Grateful Dead: Dick's Picks 23

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Grateful Dead: Dick's Picks Vol. 23—Baltimore Civic Center Baltimore, MD 9/17/72. 3CD Set

It's the topic of endless argument, but, bolstered by the legendary Europe '72 album and tour, consensus opinion holds that 1972 was the peak year for Grateful Dead live shows. And this Dick's Picks volume certainly adds to the weight of evidence in favor of that view; recorded exactly three months after Pigpen left the band due to health reasons, this beautifully recorded (by Bear, presented here in HDCD sound) show features the organic yet focused ebbs and flows and unexpected improvisational twists that are characteristic of a classic Dead show. Among the highlights (and they are many) are a sublime, exploratory reading of 'Playing in the Band,' a soaring 'Bird Song,' a potent coupling of 'China Cat Sunflower' and 'I Know You Rider' and a surging, emotional hour-long medley of 'He's Gone/'The Other One'/'Sing Me Back Home.' Out of print for years and a real keeper.

CD One
Set One
1. Promised Land
2. Sugaree
3. Black-Throated Wind
4. Friend of the Devil
5. El Paso
6. Bird Song
7. Big River
8. Tennessee Jed
9. Mexicali Blues
10. China Cat Sunflower
11. I Know You Rider

CD Two
Set One (cont.)
1. Playing in the Band
2. Casey Jones
Set Two
3. Truckin’
4. Loser
5. Jack Straw
6. Mississippi Half-Step Uptown Toodeloo
7. Me and My Uncle

CD Three
Set Two (cont.)
1. He’s Gone
2. The Other One
3. Sing Me Back Home
4. Sugar Magnolia
5. Uncle John’s Band

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