Dead.net, the official Grateful Dead web site and online store, continues its exclusive Road Trips series in 2011 with its fourth volume. Issuing quarterly in February, May, August and November, Road Trips puts a spotlight on different tours and series of shows and includes rarities from the deepest corners of the vault and many rare and never- before-seen photographs. Each three-disc set includes a beautifully designed booklet that contains an essay about how the music on the discs fits into the Dead's long history.
Road Trips Vol.4 No. 2 [$23.98] offers up the entire April 1, 1988 concert from the Brendan Byrne Arena (called the Meadowlands" at the time) in East Rutherford, NJ, plus the entire second set and a few first set highlights from the previous night's performance (the middle show of a three-night stand). The April Fools' show is a real barn-burner, with a first set that includes a double-opener" of high-octane versions of Mississippi Half-Step Uptown Toodeloo" and Jack Straw," a rare and nearly perfect take on To Lay Me Down" (played for just the second time since 1983), followed directly by the second (and final) Grateful Dead-only version of Bob Dylan's Ballad Of A Thin Man." Disc Three contains Set Two from April 1st.
A few nuggets from the 3/31/88 first set are tucked onto the back side of Disc One, including a superb Let It Grow," and then that night's second set fills Disc Two with classics including Scarlet Begonias," Fire On The Mountain," Terrapin Station," Dear Mr. Fantasy," the coda of The Beatles Hey Jude," and a rendition of Bob Dylan's All Along The Watchtower" before an encore with another Dylan tune, Knockin' On Heaven's Door." All selections are previously unissued recordings except Ballad Of A Thin Man," which appeared on Postcards Of The Hanging, a compilation album by the Grateful Dead consisting entirely of Bob Dylan covers.
Beginning with its inaugural release in November 2007, the Road Trips series of albums is the successor to Dick's Picks and are created using two-track soundboard recordings. The production of the CDs is supervised by vault archivist David Lemieux, with mastering by sound engineer Jeffrey Norman. Like the later Dick's Picks, the Road Trips albums are released in HDCD (High Definition Compatible Digital) format.
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