Dick's Picks 31
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Dick's Picks Volume 31 Dick's Picks Volume 31 - Grateful Dead

Aug 4 - 6 

 
 
 
 
 
 
Order: GDM | Grateful Dead - Dick's Picks, Vol. 31: Philadelphia Civic Center, Philadelphia, PA 8/4-5/74 & Roosevelt Stadium, Jersey City, NJ 8/6/74

Dick's Picks 31 review

Dick's Picks 31 review 

Dick's Picks 31 is a four disc compilation from:  
Philadelphia Civic Center, Philadelphia, PA ~ Aug. 4 & 5, 1974, and
Roosevelt Stadium, Jersey City, NJ ~ Aug. 6, 1974.

Because the release is a compilation many fans will complain of it not being a complete show, and even threaten boycotts. Personally, I love the tone that the Grateful Dead produced in 1974, and looking over the set lists from the three shows, there is plenty of material left off that would have been a welcome fifth disc. But focusing on the music that is included as opposed to what is excluded, it's hard to find many faults or weaknesses with Dick's Picks 31

One nice aspect about this package is that each disc, while not a complete set, is a final stand alone statement. They all have their individual theme and each disc includes plenty of jams, and does not require one to flip the disc to hear the conclusion; very helpful when time is limited, or driving down windy roads! 

The first three discs include both meat and potatoes, that is, some jams along with some shorter songs. The first disc is a combination of set one material from different dates. Its emphasis is clearly on the jams rather than the songs, as it includes "Playing in the Band," "Scarlet Begonias," (both repeated on disc 4) and "China Cat Sunflower" > "I Know You Rider." 

The first disc is compiled from the first two nights and is excellent, both in song selection as well as performance. The treatment Garcia gives to "Jack Straw" warrants an immediate second listen. The version of "China Cat Sunflower" > "I Know You Rider" delivers exceptionally well too, though, that is standard for 1974. 

Both discs two and three are the last segments of the Grateful Dead's final set of their Aug. 4 and Aug. 5 performances respectively. Each includes a few shorter tracks of the warm up songs, while also not including a few songs due to space constraints. Then the discs weave into the jam portion of the performance. 

The second disc begins with "Ship of Fools" where Keith has some beautiful runs. While the long and experimental "Let it Grow" jam will get all the chatter, the ending jam of "Wharf Rat" offers the charm of the disc. Why?, it includes teases of "The Other One, then "Dark Star," then "Truckin'," before Jerry throws out the "U.S. Blues" riff leading to a high energy rocker. 

Disc three of Dick's Picks 31 offers a transition from "Mississippi Half Step" > "It Must Have Been the Roses," that works so well it is surprising that they did not use it more often. The final segment offer jams, the first taking an upbeat fusion feel, while the latter leads more to darkness. 

The final disc offers excerpts from 8/6/74. Word is that the last reel from this show is missing from the Grateful Dead's vault after "He's Gone." Thankfully, GDM took advantage of the opportunity with this 1974 release to include as filler some gems from this show. 

The selected highlights from 8/6 are tremendous. In 1974, "Eyes of the World" was generally quite strong and this version is no exception. Though, the gem of disc 4 is the "Playing in the Band" > "Scarlet Begonias" > "Playing in the Band." The "PITB" opens and explores, taking one to the edge and back several times, before ending in a nice melodic Garcia led jam that blends brilliantly into "Scarlet." There is some excellent jamming in "Scarlet Begonias," with a subtle transition back to "Playing in the Band" reprise.

Dick's Picks 31 is not a complete show, rather, it offers four discs of brilliant music.  The overall tone of the band is sensational with tight interplay throughout. Keith in particular is quite lively and is heard every where, and his interaction with Garcia throughout is a treasure. Though, his dominance does drown out Weir's guitar. Barry Small
Grade 
A - 

Note: If you looking for a 1974 Dick's Picks to complement Dick's Picks 31 we suggest volume 7. That release includes brilliant versions of several set one songs and a monster jam of "Dark Star" > "Morning Dew." 

 

 

Dick's Picks 31 track list
Track List

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CD One - Mixed dates
1 Playing In The Band 8/4 25:50 Weir, Hart, Hunter
2 Scarlet Begonias 8/5 12:01 Garcia, Hunter
3 Jack Straw ? 5:27 Weir, Hunter
4 Peggy-O 8/4 6:47 Trad Arr. by Grateful Dead
5 Me & Bobby McGee 8/5 5:34 Kristofferson, Foster
6 China Cat Sunflower 8/5 11:13 Garcia, Hunter
7 I Know You Rider 8/5  5:22 Trad. Arr. by Grateful Dead
8 Around and Around 8/5 5:08 Berry
CD Two - 8/4~- Philadelphia Civic Center
1 Ship of Fools 7:00 Garcia, Hunter
2 Loose Lucy 5:32 Garcia, Hunter
3 Weather Report Suite 14:57
Prelude 1:20 Weir
Part I 4:20 Weir, Andersen
Part II ( Let It Grow) 9:16 Weir, Barlow
4 Jam 9:25 Grateful Dead
5 Wharf Rat 11:21 Garcia, Hunter
6 U.S. Blues 6:32 Garcia, Hunter
7 Sugar Magnolia 10:42 Garcia, Hunter
8 Casey Jones 6:26 Garcia, Hunter
CD Three - 8/5~ Philadelphia Civic Center
1 Mississippi Half-Step Uptown Toodeloo 8:30 Garcia, Hunter
2 It Must Have Been The Roses 5:53 Garcia, Hunter
3 Big River 5:17 Cash
4 He's Gone 13:12 Garcia, Hunter
5 Truckin' 9:46 Garcia, Lesh, Weir, Hunter
6 Jam 8:16 Grateful Dead
7 Other One Jam 2:30 Weir, Kreutzmann
8 Space 10:25 Garcia, Hunter
9 Stella Blue 9:36 Garcia, Hunter
10 One More Saturday Night 4:58 Weir
CD Four - 8/6 ~ Roosevelt Stadium
1 Eyes Of The World 19:28 Garcia, Hunter
2 Playing In The Band 22:37 Weir, Hart, Hunter
3 Scarlet Begonias 9:25 Garcia, Hunter
4 Playing In The Band 5:04 Weir, Hart, Hunter
5 Uncle John's Band 10:44 Garcia, Hunter
Dick's Picks 31  Musicians
Musicians:       

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Jerry Garcia - lead guitar, vocals
Bob Weir - guitar, vocals
Phil Lesh - bass, vocals
Keith Godchaux - keyboards
Bill Kreutzmann - drums
Donna Godchaux - background vocals

Dick's Picks 31 Notes and Credits
Notes:

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Released - March 2004
Label - Grateful Dead 
Tape Archivist - David Lemieux
CD Mastering - Jeffrey Norman
Recorded by Bill Candelario
Cover Art, Package Design: Robert Minkin

Regarding 8/6/74 - A soundboard of this show does circulate among traders, so if DP31 leaves you wanting more 1974 Grateful Dead, we highly recommend it.  

According to a posting on the Dead.Net forum, the last reel of tape from 8/6 is missing after "He's Gone." 

Grateful Dead - Dick's Picks 31 review