WHO ARE THEY? That band your old hippie uncle used to follow on tour.
WHAT IS THIS? A deluxe three-disc upgrade of their beloved third album. This package features the rare original 1969 mix — it was one of the first albums to be recorded on 16-track tape, and the band went way overboard (and way into debt) — along with a shorter, streamlined 1971 remix and a selection of live recordings from a multi-night stand at San Francisco’s Avalon Ballroom in early 1969. Sadly, it doesn’t include some of the previously released eight-track recordings they scrapped in favour of the newer technology.
WHAT DOES IT SOUND LIKE? The sonic equivalent of a before-and-after picture.
WHAT WOULD BE A BETTER TITLE FOR THIS ALBUM? Remiximer. Or Spot the Difference.
HOW SHOULD I LISTEN TO IT? On headphones — all the better to soak up the nuances with.
WHAT 10 WORDS DESCRIBE IT? Psychedelic, folksy, expansive, audacious, ambitious, experimental, restless, jammy, welcoming, revealing.
WHAT ARE THE BEST & WORST SONGS? It’s hard to top fan faves and concert staples like St. Stephen and China Cat Sunflower. On the other hand, the bizarrely creepy What’s Become of the Baby remains totally skippable.
WHAT WILL MY FRIENDS AND FAMILY SAY? ‘Didn’t we just hear these songs? And didn’t they sound different?’
HOW OFTEN WILL I LISTEN TO THIS? If you’re a Deadhead, you won’t be able to get enough. If you’re not, this might help make you one.
IF THIS ALBUM WERE A CAR, WHAT KIND OF CAR WOULD IT BE? A Volkswagen Beetle painted in day-glo colors.
SHOULD I BUY, STREAM OR STEAL? WWJD? (What would Jerry do?)