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The annotations to the 1968 Grateful Dead album Anthem of the Sun identify "Feb. 14, '68 - Carousel Ballroom, S.F." as a source for the recordings on the LP, which has nearly the same track listing, in the same order, as disc two of the 2009 Grateful Dead album Road Trips, Vol. 2, No. 2: Carousel 2-14-68. Yet a legend on the back of that album reads, "All selections are previously unissued recordings." Is it possible to reconcile these seemingly conflicting statements? Actually, yes. The Grateful Dead's Valentine's Day 1968 performance at the Carousel Ballroom in San Francisco was only one of the many live and studio sources for Anthem of the Sun, an elaborately edited and overdubbed effort the assembly of which stretched over many months. The unadorned, unedited Carousel performance really hasn't been issued before. That is, it hasn't been issued on a commercially released album. Since the Grateful Dead have been putting out archival recordings for quite a few years, it may seem surprising that an early concert in such good sound quality (not to mention that it's a killer show) has gone unnoticed by the band's archivists for so long. But that's the point. The second set was broadcast over the radio, and it would have seemed that any self-respecting Deadhead already had a tape of it. It's not that 2-14-68 was overlooked. Far from it. It's that it must have seemed too obvious for commercial release. As it is, annotator Blair Jackson makes a point of noting that "this marks the first time the entire show has been mixed down completely from the 8 tracks." And the key phrase here really is "the entire show." Deadheads didn't have their hands on the first set, with a relatively short "Dark Star" and two Pigpen showcases in "Good Morning Little Schoolgirl" and "Turn on Your Lovelight." As if that weren't enough, four tracks have been appended to disc one drawn from the Grateful Dead's Northwest tour of January-February 1968, just before 2-14-68, among them a 20-minute "Viola Lee Blues." Yet all of that is gravy. The meat is really found on disc two, with a 12-minute "Spanish Jam" in between "Born Cross-Eyed" and "Alligator," a portion of the show edited out in the much altered version on Anthem of the Sun. Disc two is so good, and such an impressive summation of what the Grateful Dead were about in 1968, that in retrospect it seems amazing they didn't just release it instead of Anthem of the Sun. More than four decades later, however, it is finally available beyond the Deadhead taping community. - William Ruhlmann
The annotations to the 1968 Grateful Dead album Anthem of the Sun identify "Feb. 14, '68 - Carousel Ballroom, S.F." as a source for the recordings on the LP, which has nearly the same track listing, in the same order, as disc two of the 2009 Grateful Dead album Road Trips, Vol. 2, No. 2: Carousel 2-14-68. Yet a legend on the back of that album reads, "All selections are previously unissued recordings." Is it possible to reconcile these seemingly conflicting statements? Actually, yes. The Grateful Dead's Valentine's Day 1968 performance at the Carousel Ballroom in San Francisco was only one of the many live and studio sources for Anthem of the Sun, an elaborately edited and overdubbed effort the assembly of which stretched over many months. The unadorned, unedited Carousel performance really hasn't been issued before. That is, it hasn't been issued on a commercially released album. Since the Grateful Dead have been putting out archival recordings for quite a few years, it may seem surprising that an early concert in such good sound quality (not to mention that it's a killer show) has gone unnoticed by the band's archivists for so long. But that's the point. The second set was broadcast over the radio, and it would have seemed that any self-respecting Deadhead already had a tape of it. It's not that 2-14-68 was overlooked. Far from it. It's that it must have seemed too obvious for commercial release. As it is, annotator Blair Jackson makes a point of noting that "this marks the first time the entire show has been mixed down completely from the 8 tracks." And the key phrase here really is "the entire show." Deadheads didn't have their hands on the first set, with a relatively short "Dark Star" and two Pigpen showcases in "Good Morning Little Schoolgirl" and "Turn on Your Lovelight." As if that weren't enough, four tracks have been appended to disc one drawn from the Grateful Dead's Northwest tour of January-February 1968, just before 2-14-68, among them a 20-minute "Viola Lee Blues." Yet all of that is gravy. The meat is really found on disc two, with a 12-minute "Spanish Jam" in between "Born Cross-Eyed" and "Alligator," a portion of the show edited out in the much altered version on Anthem of the Sun. Disc two is so good, and such an impressive summation of what the Grateful Dead were about in 1968, that in retrospect it seems amazing they didn't just release it instead of Anthem of the Sun. More than four decades later, however, it is finally available beyond the Deadhead taping community. - William Ruhlmann
848064012696
Road Trips Vol. 2 No. 2carousel 2-14-68
Format: CD
New: Available $41.99
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Formats and Editions

DISC: 1

1. * February 14, 1968, Carousel Ballroom - 1st Set
2. (Walk Me Out in the) Morning Dew
3. Good Morning Little School Girl
4. Dark Star
5. China Cat Sunflower
6. The Eleven
7. Turn on Your Love Light
8. * Bonus Material, January-February, 1968
9. Viola Lee Blues
10. Beat It on Down the Line
11. It Hurts Me Too
12. Dark Star
13. * February 14, 1968, Carousel Ballroom - 2nd Set
14. That's It for the Other One
15. New Potato Caboose
16. Born Cross-Eyed
17. Spanish Jam
18. Alligator
19. Caution (Do Not Stop on Tracks)
20. Feedback
21. In the Midnight Hour

More Info:

The annotations to the 1968 Grateful Dead album Anthem of the Sun identify "Feb. 14, '68 - Carousel Ballroom, S.F." as a source for the recordings on the LP, which has nearly the same track listing, in the same order, as disc two of the 2009 Grateful Dead album Road Trips, Vol. 2, No. 2: Carousel 2-14-68. Yet a legend on the back of that album reads, "All selections are previously unissued recordings." Is it possible to reconcile these seemingly conflicting statements? Actually, yes. The Grateful Dead's Valentine's Day 1968 performance at the Carousel Ballroom in San Francisco was only one of the many live and studio sources for Anthem of the Sun, an elaborately edited and overdubbed effort the assembly of which stretched over many months. The unadorned, unedited Carousel performance really hasn't been issued before. That is, it hasn't been issued on a commercially released album. Since the Grateful Dead have been putting out archival recordings for quite a few years, it may seem surprising that an early concert in such good sound quality (not to mention that it's a killer show) has gone unnoticed by the band's archivists for so long. But that's the point. The second set was broadcast over the radio, and it would have seemed that any self-respecting Deadhead already had a tape of it. It's not that 2-14-68 was overlooked. Far from it. It's that it must have seemed too obvious for commercial release. As it is, annotator Blair Jackson makes a point of noting that "this marks the first time the entire show has been mixed down completely from the 8 tracks." And the key phrase here really is "the entire show." Deadheads didn't have their hands on the first set, with a relatively short "Dark Star" and two Pigpen showcases in "Good Morning Little Schoolgirl" and "Turn on Your Lovelight." As if that weren't enough, four tracks have been appended to disc one drawn from the Grateful Dead's Northwest tour of January-February 1968, just before 2-14-68, among them a 20-minute "Viola Lee Blues." Yet all of that is gravy. The meat is really found on disc two, with a 12-minute "Spanish Jam" in between "Born Cross-Eyed" and "Alligator," a portion of the show edited out in the much altered version on Anthem of the Sun. Disc two is so good, and such an impressive summation of what the Grateful Dead were about in 1968, that in retrospect it seems amazing they didn't just release it instead of Anthem of the Sun. More than four decades later, however, it is finally available beyond the Deadhead taping community. - William Ruhlmann

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