Grateful Dead announce 23 CD limited edition box set

The Grateful Dead honored the start of its 25th anniversary as a band in 1990 with a celebratory three-week jaunt through North America’s east coast that’s still considered by many fans to be one of the group’s finest tours. Two years ago, fans enjoyed a taste of that special journey with the now-sold-out Spring 1990 boxed set. Now, a second helping is on the way.

Spring 1990 (The Other One) is a colossal 23 disc boxed set that covers eight complete shows, all previously unreleased, from this historic outing. Available September 9th, the collection will be limited to 9,000 individually numbered copies and is currently available for pre-order exclusively from Dead.net for $239.98. The collection will also be available for HD digital download (192kHz/24 bit) on the same date, exclusively at dead.net for $199.98. In addition to its inclusion in the boxed set, the legendary Nassau Coliseum show with Branford Marsalis will also be released separately as a three-disc set. Wake Up To Find Out 3/29/90 will be available for a suggested list price of $34.98 on CD and $19.99 digitally.

During these shows, Jerry Garcia, Mickey Hart, Bill Kreutzmann, Phil Lesh, Brent Mydland, and Bob Weir elevated their game to deliver inspired performances of concert staples (“Tennessee Jed” and “Sugar Magnolia”), exceptional covers (Dylan’s “When I Paint My Masterpiece” and the band’s last performance of the Beatles’ “Revolution”) and rare gems (the first “Loose Lucy” in 16 years). The band also played many of the songs from Built To Last, which was released the previous fall and would become the Dead’s final studio album.

Much like its predecessor, Spring 1990 (The Other One) boasts a staggering variety of songs. Of the 159 tracks that are spread across 23 discs, more than half are unique song titles, including the Dead’s first-ever live performance of The Band’s mournful track, “The Weight.”

Spring 1990 (The Other One) also includes the official debut of one of the most sought-after shows in the Dead canon: the March 29, 1990 show at Nassau Coliseum, where Grammy-winning saxophonist Marsalis sat in with the group. The entire second set is one continuous highlight, especially the breathtaking version of “Dark Star.” Blair Jackson captures the moment, writing that, “Of all the guest musicians who shared the Dead’s stage through the years—and they were many and varied—none embodied both the Dead’s adventurous, questing spirit and their obsession with beautiful melodies and accessible structures quite like Branford did.” Their performance of “Eyes Of The World” appeared on the 1990 live collection Without A Net, but the entire collaboration has not surfaced officially until now.

“When I agreed to sit in with the Dead in 1990, I didn’t know what to expect, aurally or visually,” says Marsalis. “What I experienced was what I remembered music to be in my younger years, something that I’d felt was lost long ago. Process over product. No set lists, light shows and costumes required, but music first. It’s an experience I will always remember with great fondness.”

“When we produced the first Spring 1990 box in 2012, there were a lot of tough choices to make about what shows to omit from that box. However, we knew we’d do this second box someday, so the choices of omission were easier to digest,” says Grateful Dead archivist David Lemieux. “Now we’re able to complete the picture the first box painted with music that’s every bit as good, and in some cases surpasses, the six shows in the original box. These are eight extremely high-level Dead shows, each and every one of which would make a terrific CD releases. It only seemed fitting that in the face of such an abundance of quality Dead, we should release it all at once.”

Presented in a stunning box, similar in design to the first Spring 1990 release, the music is accompanied by a 144-page paperback book with essays by Nick Meriwether and Blair Jackson, a portfolio with three art prints by Jessica Dessner, replica ticket stubs and backstage passes for all eight shows, and a few other surprises.

The powerful and pristine sound heard on this collection is the result of work done by the band’s longtime audio engineer John Cutler, who originally recorded the shows, Jeffrey Norman, who mixed the tracks from the master 24-track analog tapes at Weir’s TRI Studio, and David Glasser who mastered each show to HDCD specs.

The release also marks a significant milestone as now, across the two Spring 1990 boxed sets, Dozin At The Knick, and Terrapin Limited, the entire spring tour of 1990 has been officially released, making it only the second Grateful Dead tour, after Europe 1972, to have that honor.

Spring 1990 (The Other One) Featured Concerts:

3/14/90 Capital Centre Landover, MD
3/18/90 Civic Center Hartford, CT
3/21/90 Copps Coliseum Hamilton, Ontario
3/25/90 Knickerbocker Arena Albany, NY
3/28/90 Nassau Coliseum Uniondale, NY
3/29/90 Nassau Coliseum Uniondale, NY (featuring Branford Marsalis)
4/1/90 The Omni Atlanta, GA
4/3/90 The Omni Atlanta, GA

Author: Buddy Iahn

Buddy Iahn founded The Music Universe when he decided to juxtapose his love of web design and music. As a lifelong drummer, he decided to take a hiatus from playing music to report it. The website began as a fun project in 2013 to one of the top independent news sites.