Albums Of The Week: Grateful Dead | In And Out Of The Garden: Madison Square Garden ’81, ’82, ’83

THE EDITS PRESS RELEASE: “They got on the bus Port Authoritydrove on the one Long Island Railroad and the New Jersey Transit Line. They traveled north, south, and west on the subway lines, and their numbers grew the farther they went Penn station. Some curled up in those iconic New York yellows. Some walked excitedly by the bright lights of Broadway and Times Squaremeeting up with old friends along the way and picking up some new ones as they climbed the garden steps.

If you were there, now you can recapture that MSG magic – and if you weren’t, you can hear what the fuss was about – on the typically epic newcomer Grateful dead box set In and Out of the Garden: Madison Square Garden ’81, ’82, ’83. Numbered and limited to 12,500, this 17 CD set celebrates the band’s rich history in “the most famous arena on earth” and introduces six previously unreleased shows recorded at MSG between 1981 and 1983. It offers the dead a front row seat to the early 1980s, an overlooked and underestimated rebirth era for the band.

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Madison Square Garden was a second home for the band, a reliable haven where the band would ultimately play 52 shows, a record for the time. The venue’s superb acoustics combined with the unbridled energy of the fans consistently brought out the best in The Dead. At the band’s induction ceremony in 2015 Madison Square Garden‘s walk of fame, Bobby Weir said: “This place was both terrifying and tingling with a sophisticated but ravenous audience. We had to face the situation every time.”

Explained Grateful dead archivist David Lemieux: “As Jerry Garcia famously said Madison Square Garden was “juiced”. It had an energy like no other venue The grateful dead played, especially of this size, due to the symbiotic relationship between the dead, the dead heads, and New York City itself. The Dead did not play at the Garden until 1979, almost halfway through their performing career. But once they got rolling they made it a second home and played 10 shows over the next 15 years. These performances from 1981, 1982 and 1983 are six of the best The Dead played at the Garden, each of which could be released individually. However, we’re pleased that these six complementary shows can be housed together, each with their own story, their own event, but all contributing to the story that makes up the entirety of The Dead’s 52 shows Madison Square Garden.”

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In and out of the garden (appropriately named after the line in St. Stephenthat the band played live for the first time in four years on October 11, 1983, news offers the Dead a front row seat in the early 1980s, an overlooked and underestimated rebirth era for the band. At the time of recording, the group consisted of singers and guitarists Jerry Garcia and Weir, bassist Phil Leshdrummer Bill Kreuzman and Mickey Hartand, on keyboards and vocals Brent Mydland. Mydland’s vocal prowess and colorful keyboard palette invigorated the band and revived older material like The wheel, truckin’ and eyes of the world. He also gave the band more musical flexibility, which encouraged them to dust off rarely revealed treasures Dupree’s Diamond Blues and crazy fingers.

In and out of the garden touches on the three-year period after the 1980s go to heaven was released at a time when the Dead were constantly on the move and playing more than 200 dates. While they were in no rush to return to the studio during this time, they continued to write new music. During 1982 and 1983 the band played most of the songs that would appear on the 1987s In the dark, a Top 10 double platinum album, considered the group’s biggest commercial success. The new collection includes performances of four songs from this album — Touch Of Grey, Hell In A Bucket, Throwing Stones and West LA fadeaway – plus the B-side My brother Esau.”

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