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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