Presenting another entry in our extensive Listening in Depth series.
High Time tells you the most about the sound of side one on any given copy. If the pressing in question is lean, bright, grainy, transistory or aggressive in any way, Jerry Garcia’s voice will sound strained. Far from a professionally trained singer, he’s already straining to some degree on even the best copies.
The better pressings have him sounding ever so slightly dull at the beginning of the track. As the song progresses he starts pushing his pipes pretty hard. The sound will become quite unpleasant if there is any added brightness when he tries to reach those high notes.
More Track Commentary
Uncle John’s Band
This track tells you the most about side one. If the pressing is lean, bright, grainy, transistory or aggressive in any way, Jerry Garcia’s voice will sound strained. Far from a professionally trained singer, he’s already straining on this track.
The best copies make him sound ever so slightly dull at the beginning of the track; as the song progresses he is going to start pushing his pipes pretty hard and it will become quite unpleasant if there is any trace of brightness when he goes up to hit those higher notes.
New Speedway Boogie
The toughest track on side two. If the tonal balance is lean, or if the bad domestic vinyl causes the sound to be grainy, this track will be close to unbearable. On a Hot Stamper copy the sound can be absolutely MAGICAL.
Probably the best sounding track on the album. Here Jerry Garcia manages to sing within his range, the guitars are wonderfully sweet, and there is loads of Tubey Magic to go around. I can’t think of a better sounding Grateful Dead song than this one.
On the best pressings you can hear startling immediacy and transparency in the midrange of this track.
(Not one of their stronger efforts.)