Nightfall of Diamonds

Nightfall of Diamonds

5.0 4
by Grateful Dead
     
 

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Grateful Dead live albums are kind of like salt-and-vinegar-flavored potato chips: If you're fond of the distinctive flavor, there's no way to stop at just one. Well, this double-disc set -- recorded on October 16, 1989, at the Meadowlands Sports Arena in East Rutherford, New Jersey -- is a particularly tangy one, rife with hidden pockets of wonder. The first disc… See more details below

Overview

Grateful Dead live albums are kind of like salt-and-vinegar-flavored potato chips: If you're fond of the distinctive flavor, there's no way to stop at just one. Well, this double-disc set -- recorded on October 16, 1989, at the Meadowlands Sports Arena in East Rutherford, New Jersey -- is a particularly tangy one, rife with hidden pockets of wonder. The first disc kicks off in unusually aggressive mode, with Bob Weir pushing his bandmates through a wired version of "Picasso Moon" that's veined with raw soloing and underscored by Brent Mydland's skittish piano runs. By mid-set, the band has settled down some, offering up languid, back-porch takes on "Never Trust a Woman" and "Built to Last," but an 11-minute rendition of Bob Dylan's "Stuck Inside of Mobile with the Memphis Blues Again," propelled by some insistently sinewy Garcia solos, finds them taking off for the ether. Disc 2 finds the band still in orbit, with an opening salvo of "Dark Star" -- the ever-changing concert staple that, on this evening, took on a jazzy, faintly Zappa-esque tenor in its initial 12-minute presentation (interestingly, a shorter second version turns up at set's end, tacked onto a vibrant "I Need a Miracle"). As ever, the mood shifts restlessly, from joyous (a celebratory skip uniting "Playing in the Band" and "Uncle John's Band") to the tranquil ("I Will Take You Home"), before closing out with the lullaby farewell "I Bid You Goodnight."

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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Lindsay Planer
This double-disc release highlights the Grateful Dead's final performance of a five show run at the Meadowlands Arena. Deadheads unanimously herald October 16, 1989 -- guitarist/vocalist Bob Weir's 42nd birthday -- as one of the best shows not only of the band's fall tour, or even of the year, but of the decade. Nightfall of Diamonds presents this landmark concert replete with one of the most accurate soundstages of any Grateful Dead vintage release. If you couldn't get a floor seat then, you can now. The Dead's fall tour of 1989 coincided with the release of Built to Last -- their 13th studio release. The loosely structured and perpetually evolving set lists allowed for the integration of newer tunes such as "Picasso Moon" -- the up-tempo rocker that opens this set -- with more established works from their 200-plus song canon. "Mississippi Half-Step Uptown Toodleoo," coupled here with the funky "Feel Like a Stranger," reveals some excellent ensemble playing. Jerry Garcia's lead guitar lines are precise and well developed as he maneuvers the band into territories considered unattainable in the late '80s by skeptical enthusiasts. Another first set highlight is the overtly bluesy "Never Trust a Woman" -- featuring the first of two lead vocals from the Dead's '80s keyboardist, Brent Mydland. The pairing of "Let It Grow" to an exceptionally engaging performance of "Deal" conclude the first set with the same high energy with which it began. Set two/disc two continues to exhibit the Dead's imposing strength. From the opening strains of the psychedelically acquiescent "Dark Star" -- which envelopes a majority of the second set -- to the a cappella encore "We Bid You Goodnight," the Dead morph their entire quarter-century history into the space of less than 80 minutes. Every genre and stylistic approach is uncovered, including nearly half an hour of premier instrumentation which links "Uncle John's Band" to the second Brent Mydland vocal, "I Will Take You Home." Nightfall of Diamonds disengages the misnomer that the Grateful Dead were outmoded and strung out in their final years of performance. Additionally, the set is offered as the quintessence of everything musically addictive to Deadheads during this era.

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Product Details

Release Date:
08/31/2004
Label:
Grateful Dead / Wea
UPC:
0081227894320
catalogNumber:
78943
Rank:
31442

Tracks

Disc 1

  1. Picasso Moon  -  Grateful Dead
  2. Mississippi Half-Step Uptown Toodleloo  -  Grateful Dead
  3. Feel Like a Stranger  -  Grateful Dead
  4. Never Trust a Woman  -  Grateful Dead
  5. Built to Last  -  Grateful Dead
  6. Stuck Inside of Mobile With the Memphis Blues Again  -  Grateful Dead
  7. Let It Grow  -  Grateful Dead
  8. Deal  -  Grateful Dead

Disc 2

  1. Dark Star  -  Grateful Dead
  2. Playing With the Band  -  Grateful Dead
  3. Uncle John's Band  -  Grateful Dead
  4. Jam  -  Grateful Dead
  5. Drums  -  Grateful Dead
  6. Space  -  Grateful Dead
  7. I Will Take You Home  -  Grateful Dead
  8. I Need a Miracle  -  Grateful Dead
  9. Dark Star  -  Grateful Dead
  10. Attics of My Life  -  Grateful Dead
  11. Playing in the Band  -  Grateful Dead
  12. We Bid You Goodnight  -  Grateful Dead

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Album Credits

Performance Credits

Grateful Dead   Primary Artist
Mickey Hart   Drums
Jerry Garcia   Guitar,Vocals
Bob Weir   Guitar,Rhythm Guitar,Vocals
Bill Kreutzmann   Drums
Phil Lesh   Bass,Electric Bass,Vocals
Brent Mydland   Keyboards,Vocals

Technical Credits

Mickey Hart   Composer
Jerry Garcia   Composer
Grateful Dead   Arranger,Composer
Bob Weir   Composer
Robert Hunter   Composer
John Perry Barlow   Composer
Bob Bralove   Composer
John Cutler   Engineer
Dan Healy   Contributor
Bill Kreutzmann   Composer
Phil Lesh   Composer
Ron "Pigpen" McKernan   Composer
Brent Mydland   Composer
Dick Latvala   Contributor
Willy Legate   Contributor
Randy Tuten   Cover Design
Sue Stephens   Contributor
Traditional   Composer
Cameron Sears   Contributor
David Lemieux   Tape Archivist

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