Grateful Dead: Spring 1990 – So Glad You Made It

Edited highlights of the recent nine-CD live boxset.

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By 1990, The Dead had become both a more formal and more formidable band and organisation. The first spring of the new decade saw the former Jug-Band-turned-psychedelic-explorers bringing the softly cushioned stadium-friendly MOR of Brent Mydland’s Easy To Love You into their embrace.

Mydland would OD weeks after this tour finished. Described by Bob Weir as the band’s greatest era, it was quite some high to go out on.

The band are in fine fettle throughout, none more so than grizzled kingpin Jerry Garcia. He’s the rogueish adventurer, road warrior and impish improviser-in-chief.

The jazz, funk, mountain rambles and hallucinated flavours that power careering covers (Let The Good Times Roll, Its All Over Now, the title track) and mind-melting originals (Eyes Of The World, West LA Fadeaway) merge magically and uniquely. Go on, give ’em some loving.

Gavin Martin

Late NME, Daily Mirror and Classic Rock writer Gavin Martin started writing about music in 1977 when he published his hand-written fanzine Alternative Ulster in Belfast. He moved to London in 1980 to become the NME’s Media Editor and features writer, where he interviewed the Sex Pistols, Joe Strummer, Pete Townshend, U2, Bruce Springsteen, Ian Dury, Killing Joke, Neil Young, REM, Sting, Marvin Gaye, Leonard Cohen, Nina Simone, James Brown, Willie Nelson, Willie Dixon, Madonna and a host of others. He was also published in The Times, Guardian, Independent, Loaded, GQ and Uncut, he had pieces on Michael Jackson, Van Morrison and Frank Sinatra featured in The Faber Book Of Pop and Rock ’N’ Roll Is Here To Stay, and was the Daily Mirror’s regular music critic from 2001. He died in 2022.