Dick's Picks Volume 31

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Dick's Picks Volume 31
Live album by Grateful Dead
Released March 2004
Recorded August 4–6, 1974
Genre folk rock, jam
Label Grateful Dead Records
Grateful Dead chronology
The Closing of Winterland
(2003)
Dick's Picks Volume 31
(2004)
Rockin' the Rhein with the Grateful Dead
(2004)

Dick's Picks Volume 31 is the 31st installment in the Grateful Dead's archival live album series. It was recorded on August 4 and 5, 1974 at the Philadelphia Civic Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and on August 6, 1974 at Roosevelt Stadium in Jersey City, New Jersey.[1] It was released as a four-disc CD in March 2004.

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 4/5 stars[2]
The Music Box 5/5 stars[3]

On Allmusic, Lindsay Planer said, "Incrementally, this [lineup of the Grateful Dead] began distancing the band's sound from the R&B-meets-psychedelia of the Ron "Pigpen" McKernan years, as well as the more recent rural twang heard on Workingman's Dead (1970) and American Beauty (1970). Instead, their collective fusion-based explorations continually challenge the musicians, while simultaneously providing fresh extensions and visages on familiar favorites. Nowhere is this more evident than on "Playing in the Band". After introducing the number in their repertoire (circa February of 1971), they cultivated it from a fairly rote and otherwise typical rendering into an unexpurgated show-stopping centerpiece — as shown by the pair of 20-plus minute excursions on Dick's Picks Volume 31. They not only clock in at nearly half an hour apiece, but each is distinctive and examines the Grateful Dead's ability to end up at different places, despite the similarities in the point(s) of departure."[2]

In The Music Box, John Metzger wrote, "Just days before Richard Nixon resigned his position as President of the United States to avoid impeachment, the Grateful Dead unleashed a trio of exhilarating performances in the mid-Atlantic. For certain, 1974 was a magnificent year for the band — even if it was the end of a rather disgraceful era for the country at large — for its mad-scientist amalgamation of country, rock, jazz, and blues blossomed beautifully, and although it soon would take a 20-month sabbatical from touring, its energy remained remarkably high. Indeed, the 31st edition of the esteemed Dick's Picks series culls material from the early August conclusion of the Grateful Dead's summer tour, and although it mixes and matches among the concerts to form what is essentially two shows, it does so in a seamless fashion, providing an intriguing and frequently mind-bending blast through the group's much treasured canon."[3]

Caveat Emptor[edit]

Each volume of Dick's Picks has its own "caveat emptor" label, advising the listener of the sound quality of the recording. The label for volume 31 reads:

"Dicks Picks Vol. 31 was mastered from the original 2 track analog source tapes, running at 7.5 IPS, recorded during the last American tour using the famed Wall Of Sound. Some sonic anomalies remain, particularly some over-exuberant piano-related sounds, but we have done as much as possible to bring the Wall Of Sound into your living room. Enjoy."

Track listing[edit]

Disc one

August 4:
  1. "Playing in the Band" (Robert Hunter, Mickey Hart, Bob Weir) – 25:50
  2. "Scarlet Begonias" (Hunter, Jerry Garcia) – 12:01
  3. "Jack Straw" (Hunter, Weir) – 5:27
  4. "Peggy-O" (traditional, arr. Grateful Dead) – 6:47
August 5:
  1. "Me and Bobby McGee" (Fred Foster, Kris Kristofferson) – 5:34
  2. "China Cat Sunflower" (Hunter, Garcia) – 11:13
  3. "I Know You Rider" (trad., arr. Grateful Dead) – 5:22
  4. "Around and Around" (Chuck Berry) – 5:08

Disc two

August 4:
  1. "Ship of Fools" (Hunter, Garcia) – 7:00
  2. "Loose Lucy" (Hunter, Garcia) – 5:32
  3. "Weather Report Suite"
  4. "Jam" (Grateful Dead) – 9:25
  5. "Wharf Rat" (Hunter, Garcia) – 11:21
  6. "U.S. Blues" (Hunter, Garcia) – 6:32
  7. "Sugar Magnolia / Sunshine Daydream" (Hunter, Weir) – 10:42
  8. "Casey Jones" (Hunter, Garcia) – 6:26

Disc three

August 5:
  1. "Mississippi Half-Step Uptown Toodeloo" (Hunter, Garcia) – 8:30
  2. "It Must Have Been the Roses" (Hunter) – 5:53
  3. "Big River" (Johnny Cash) – 5:17
  4. "He's Gone" (Hunter, Garcia) – 13:12
  5. "Truckin'" (Hunter, Garcia, Phil Lesh, Weir) – 9:46
  6. "Jam" (Grateful Dead) – 8:16
  7. "The Other One Jam" (Grateful Dead) – 2:30
  8. "Space" (Grateful Dead) – 10:25
  9. "Stella Blue" (Hunter, Garcia) – 9:36
  10. "One More Saturday Night" (Weir) – 4:58

Disc four

August 6:
  1. "Eyes of the World" (Hunter, Garcia) – 19:28
  2. "Playing in the Band" (Hunter, Hart, Weir) – 22:37
  3. "Scarlet Begonias" (Hunter, Garcia) – 9:25
  4. "Playing in the Band" (Hunter, Hart, Weir) – 5:04
  5. "Uncle John's Band" (Hunter, Garcia) – 10:44

Personnel[edit]

Grateful Dead[edit]

Production[edit]

  • Recording – Bill Candelario
  • CD mastering – Jeffrey Norman
  • Tape archivist – David Lemieux
  • Archival research – Eileen Law
  • Photo – Robert W. Danielson Jr.
  • Cover art & package design – Robert Minkin
  • Deadhead newsletter artwork – W. Keats
  • Booklet essay – Jay Saporita

Set lists[edit]

Following are the full set lists from the August 4, 5, and 6, 1974 concerts.[4]

Sunday, August 4

Monday, August 5

Tuesday, August 6

  • First set: "Bertha", "Mexicali Blues", "Don't Ease Me In", "Beat It On Down the Line", "Sugaree", "Jack Straw", "Eyes of the World"*, "Promised Land", "Deal", "Playing in the Band"* > "Scarlet Begonias"* > "Playing in the Band"* (between sets: "Seastones")
  • Second set: "Uncle John's Band"*, "Black Peter", "El Paso", "Loose Lucy", "Big River", "Ship of Fools", "Me and My Uncle", "Row Jimmy", "Sugar Magnolia" > "He's Gone" > "Truckin'" > "Spanish Jam" > "The Other One" > "Goin' Down the Road Feeling Bad" > "Sunshine Daydream"
  • Encore: "U.S. Blues"

* Included in Dick's Picks Volume 31

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Dick's Picks Volume 31 at the Grateful Dead Family Discography
  2. ^ a b Planer, Lindsay. Dick's Picks Volume 31 at Allmusic
  3. ^ a b Metzger, John. Dick's Picks Volume 31, The Music Box, July 2004
  4. ^ Scott, John W.; Dolgushkin, Mike; Nixon, Stu. (1999). DeadBase XI: The Complete Guide to Grateful Dead Song Lists. Cornish, NH: DeadBase. pp. 33–34. ISBN 1-877657-22-0.