The road to Dick’s Picks Vol. 1 began in 1985, when Grateful Dead archivist Dick Latvala sat bassist Phil Lesh down and virtually forced him to listen to some tapes from older shows. It still took Dick eight years to get the band to agree to release the first volume of Dick’s Picks, and the second one didn’t come till two years later…but Dick’s persistence paid off with a series of live recordings that revolutionized the way bands approach archival material.
Now, on the 30th anniversary of its release and the 50th anniversary of the show itself, we at Real Gone Music are proud to reissue Dick’s Picks Vol. 1, remastered for vinyl by Jeffrey Norman from the original analog tapes for the first time ever (the previous LP release was taken from digital files). Right off the bat it’s easy to understand why Dick chose this show; the version of “Here Comes Sunshine” that leads off disc one is pretty much universally considered the best ever, a piece of seamless and gently swinging ensemble work featuring lyrical Jerry Garcia guitar leads that distills the essence of the band’s mythos and appeal.
Throw in a great rendition of the rarely-performed “Nobody’s Fault but Mine” that leads into a stellar 16-minute jam that flirts with a full-fledged “The Other One” but dances spacily away, and a moving “Stella Blue” before the “Around and Around” finale and you have another legendary night—in fact, the LAST night—from a great year (1973) of touring….and, as such, the perfect way to begin the long strange trip that is the Dick’s Picks series.
Our release actually includes some material (featuring the long-lost Phil Lesh bass solo) that was left off previous iterations of this show, and, with lacquer cutting by Clint Holley and Dave Polster at Well Made Music and pressing on 180-gram black vinyl by Gotta Groove Records, the sound on this 4-LP boxed set—which, again, comes straight from the original analog tapes for the first time—is simply sublime.