THE GRATEFUL DEAD: Reckoning (200g Vinyl 2LP)

One of the most enduring bands of all time FINALLY gets the Analogue Productions treatment!

Cut by Kevin Gray from the original analog masters and pressed on 200-gram vinyl at Quality Record Pressings!

Now presented with a deluxe gatefold jacket for the first time!

“That Analogue Productions head honcho Chad Kassem has an uncanny ear for selecting superb originals on which to lavish his perfectionist ministrations has never been in question. One need only look at a few of his releases to know that his taste is as good as it gets: Dusty In Memphis, Ray Charles’ Genius + Soul = Jazz, Getz/Gilberto — you get the picture. Reckoning is a more-than-worthy entrant in the exceedingly distinguished Analogue Productions catalogue.” Music= 5/5; Sound = 4.5/5 — Paul Bolin, The Audio Beat, August 2012

“... I put on the Analogue Productions reissue. Suddenly, as the Dead kicked in to “Dire Wolf,” they holographically manifested themselves just behind and between my Wilson Sashas. ... Mickey Hart’s gentle cymbal taps, plain as a pikestaff on the reissue, hadn’t even been apparent on the original pressing. ... This was demonstration-quality sound coupled with great American music. ... Mastered by Kevin Gray from the original master tapes and pressed on massive 200-gram vinyl biscuits at Kassem’s Quality Record Pressings, this Reckoning features a foldout cover with full credits printed on thick, nearly archival-quality stock. The records themselves are absolutely flawless and dead quiet. It is my considered opinion that Quality Record Pressings is making the finest LPs that have ever been heard. I honestly cannot think of one thing about this release that could be improved. A total triumph in every way.” Music = 5/5; Sound = 4.5/5 — Paul Bolin, The Audio Beat, August 2012

"...The recording is nothing short of sensational. It's everything one could ask for in an acoustic live recording: breathtaking transparency and three-dimensionality, natural instrumental timbres and soundstaging that makes you feel as if you're sitting up there at the musicians' feet...The original's low grade pressing and packaging have been replaced with high quality from the 200g LPs to the gatefold packaging. Recommended without hesitation for both the musical craft and especially the recording that's nothing less than astonishing, as is the depth of the pressing blackness behind the music." Music = 9/11; Sound = 10/11 - Michael Fremer, Analog Planet, June 13, 2012

In the fall of 1980, the Dead purposefully played a series of shows at two venues — the Warfield Theater in San Francisco and Radio City Music Hall in New York City - that were considerably smaller than the stadiums and arenas they were by that point regularly selling out. They did so with the express purpose of recording in an intimate space the opening portion of each show — a stripped-down acoustic set of Jerry Garcia and Bob Weir playing acoustic guitars, Brent Mydland playing piano, drummers Bill Kreutzmann and Mickey Hart playing reduced kits and bassist Phil Lesh turning his electric volume down considerably.

The group chose a set list of classic folk and country tunes mixed with their originals. The record is a very obvious ode to the band's early 1960s origins of folk, bluegrass and country. These are the sounds from which this whole long, strange trip was born, and Garcia in particular shines radiantly.

The sound - as with all records that are stripped to their bare essentials and rid of an overcrowded electric set - is right up there with the very best the Dead ever released. This is also the record for those on-the-fence fans that could do without the wandering-away-from-the-pocket sound that characterized much of the Dead's music. The songs here are tight and compact while still mostly delicate.

Leave a Reply