i listened to englishtown when i listened thru all the dicks picks in order but i don’t remember it too well, i will def give it another go. i like 77 stuff but there’s nothing like peak jazzy 73 shows. that rfk eyes where they’re super locked in like floating down an infinitely spiraling river.
Is that story about them playing somewhere and lightning or arcs of electricity or something flickering across the stage true? Apparently they were all so bombed they were just transfixed by it. Sounds like myth.
The studio lp’s after American Beauty and Workingman’s Dead aren’t the ideal places to sample. Try finding a tune you like off any lp though and go down the live rendition wormhole. Heady Version gives you song by ratings, good intro route.
68-70. = warming up as a band, psychedelic peak, ie St Stephen, Dark Star etc.
70-74 = sublime, 72 is repeated glory (too many good tunes, one drummer bails, Pig dies and addition of the Godchaux’s), check any number of Garcia and M Saunders gigs though. Saunders should’ve been recruited full time.
74-76 = sabbatical, there’s one or two gigs but check Legion of Mary and the Jerry Garcia Band from this period. Taking the piss levels of talent, Ron Tutt on drums no less.
mid 76-early 78 = God damn they‘re good. Spring 77 is a possible pinnacle.
early 78-81 decline, Godchaux’s leave, Mydland in.
81-86 = drug nadir, hard to watch some live sets.
87-90 = ok, brief upsurge but Mydland dies toward the end of period.