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So Many Roads [1965-1995]

So Many Roads [1965-1995]

7 Nov 1999
4.1 out of 5 stars 9 customer reviews

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Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
The reviewer below must have been having a "bad trip". This is a very good box set. Granted not all tracks are great but what do you expect from 5 discs, but as with the Dead the whole is better than the parts. It gives a great review of their carrer, how the music has developed over the years and demonstrates some great musicianship.
The music flows from start to finish, its a combination of live, studio and tracks recorded in rehersal. The latter is the most revealing, showing the fun the band had and how well they played together.
If you are not a Dead fan already this is probably not the best place to start, if you are it compliments and enhances what you have already. Take an afternoon off work, lie on your living room floor and and listen to these 5 discs back to back.
Oh yeah, and the packaging is great, look beneath the cover and you get some excellent essays and photos.
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Format: Audio CD
It was with some trepidation that I purchased this set - its a lot of money to shell out on a retrospective of an improvisationary band. I needn't have worried - the compilers have done an excellent job in choosing really interesting jams. There's a good balance between early material where experimentation and rhythmic variation is at its peak and later work where the musicianship is stronger and more solid. I like both eras, but favour the earlier. That said, Disc 5 from the 90's is excellent, particularly the last song Garcia and Hunter wrote - you'd have to be hard-hearted not to feel a lump in the throat. Stand-out track of the set for me is the 18 minute 'Eyes of the world' Disc 3, the version featured in the live 70's video.
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Format: Audio CD
This five-CD set has a difficult agenda: trying to represent in six or so hours the music of one of the world's oddest rock band's varied 30-year career, without repeating songs from already-released albums. Recording most gigs and having a huge tape archive helps, but how does one whittle it down to this size and retain an accurate perspective of the band's output?

We get examples from every line-up of the band. Many are versions of well-known songs, although not all are the best. I've heard better goes at 'Stella Blue' and 'Estimated Prophet', both amongst the best of the band's songs, than the ones presented here. On the other hand, the 'Shakedown Street' here is powerful and doesn't let go for a moment through its 17 minutes; and 'Bird Song' from 1990 with Branford Marsalis sitting in is a gem. The 'Scarlet Begonias'/'Fire on the Mountain' duo, also from 1990, is also a classic rendition. There are also songs which for one reason or another fell out of the band's playlist. 'Mason's Children' from 1970 and 'Believe It Or Not' from 1988 are two good numbers that would have been welcome had they reappeared over the years, although I'm not too sorry that Brent Mydland's jaded 'Gentlemen Start Your Engines' disappeared after just a few plays.

We get half-a-dozen tracks from 1965-66 which present the band setting off on their long journey ('I Know You Rider' did, I think, appear on a semi-bootleg LP years ago); and quite a lot more from the period that many people feel is the classic Dead era of 1968-69, including a remarkable track 'Clementine' (no relation to the folk chestnut of that name) that one wishes the band had continued with. A couple more Pigpen songs would not have gone amiss.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Some fascinating stuff in here, and I'd been meaning to buy it for a while. Someone with a large collection of live material might think it rather expensive for the amount of genuinely new stuff in it, but it's a good attempt to show the full range over all periods, and the material from the never completed final album is the real draw.
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Format: Audio CD
How do you summarise the career of one of the most inventive bands ever?
You can't, so the compilers of "So Many Roads" decided to make this compilation a guided tour through the Dead's music,rather than an attempt at a complete history.
No acoustic, only one Pigpen, yeah loads of quibbles, but overall fantastic.Lots of early material-all of disc 1-and fantastic selections of the later Dead."Eyes of the World" is a real stand out,as is the "Scarlet Begonias/Fire On The Mountain" jam.My favourite is "Spanish Jam/US Blues".
If you can find an affordable copy, great.But the prices quoted here make that unlikely.
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