Dick’s Picks on iTunes!

Grateful Dead fans around the world rejoice! The iTunes Music Store today added some 30 Dick’s Picks albums (a series of the best live Dead recordings), as well as a handful of other live Grateful Dead recordings, such as the Vault series and other individual releases.

Dick’s Picks, first started in 1993 as an “archivist’s choice” series (the cover above is the first release), selected and remastered by the late Dick Latvala, has proved to be the testament of what may be the best live band ever. (Okay, if you like that kind of music; I do.) After Dick’s untimely death in August 1999, the Grateful Dead organization kept the series going, and there are now a total of 34 Dick’s Picks, presenting some of the Dead’s finest moments.Steve Jobs, it seems, is a Grateful Dead fan, and it’s no surprise that the Dick’s Picks series shows up today on iTunes. While the releases have always been more than affordable on CD (a 4-CD set is currently $25), the prices are nice on iTunes as well: Dick’s Picks 30, a 4-CD set, is $19, and Dick’s Picks 29, a 6-CD set, with two amazing shows from 1977, is only $25 (compared to $33 on CD).

The only thing this Deadhead, who doesn’t own many of the Dick’s Picks sets, has to say, is, “why lead me into temptation?”

Bear in mind that you can still, in the spirit of the Dead and tape-friendly bands, download thousands of Dead shows legally: the Internet Archive currently has 2,777 live Grateful Dead concerts for download in a variety of formats: FLAC, SHN, MP3 VBR and Ogg Vorbis (though not all the shows are available in all formats). May the music never stop!

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1 reply
  1. Movieguy43 says:

    Just wanted to point out that the GD’s policy of downloading shows changed several months ago. Most of the 2700 shows mentioned above are still available for streaming, but only the audience recordings can be downloaded. Hey…it’s their music and they can do what they want with it. I’m grateful there was so much amazing music available for so long, but the times they are a changin’.

    As far as iTunes goes, it’s great that virtually all commercial live GD is up there but interested downloaders might want to get them directly from the Grateful Deads official site http://www.gdstore.com. The 128kbps shows are the same price as iTunes, but they also offer every show in 256kbps for only .75 more or in FLAC for an extra $4.00. Phil’s bass bombs just don’t make the grade in many of the 128kbps transfers. Why doesn’t iTunes offer a less compressed option? They’d get a heck of a lot more of my money if they did.

    And BTW your site is GREAT. Intelligent discussions of music, books, and macs make the perfect partner for my morning coffee. Keep up the great work!


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