Dick's Picks Volume 4

Dick's Picks Volume 4 is the fourth live album in the Dick's Picks series of releases by the Grateful Dead. It was recorded on February 13 and February 14, 1970, at the Fillmore East in New York City, and released in February 1996. It was the first of the Dick's Picks CDs to have three discs. It was also the first Dead album to include the song "Mason's Children".[1]

Dick's Picks Volume 4
Grateful Dead - Dick's Picks Volume 4.jpg
Live album by
ReleasedFebruary 23, 1996
RecordedFebruary 13–14, 1970
GenreRock, folk rock, psychedelic rock
LabelGrateful Dead
Grateful Dead chronology
Dick's Picks Volume 3
Dick's Picks Volume 4
Dick's Picks Volume 5

Dick's Picks Volume 4 was the second album of live material from the 2/13/70 and 2/14/70 concerts. The first was History of the Grateful Dead, Volume One (Bear's Choice), which was released in 1973.

The Grateful Dead played three sets of music at each of these concerts — a relatively short electric set, an acoustic set, and another, longer electric set, followed by an encore. Dick's Picks Volume 4 contains the complete third sets of both shows, plus two additional songs.

The Fillmore East showsEdit

On February 11, 13, and 14, 1970, the Grateful Dead — along with the Allman Brothers Band and Love — performed at Bill Graham's Fillmore East auditorium in New York City. The February 13 and February 14 Dead shows were widely regarded as among the band's best concerts, even before the release of Dick's Picks Volume 4. In addition to the evidence offered by Bear's Choice, high quality soundboard bootlegs of the concerts had been in circulation for quite some time. In a 1993 poll of Grateful Dead tape traders, based on the concert recordings then in circulation, the 2/13/70 show was ranked #2 on the list of all-time favorite Dead tapes, and 2/14/70 was #17. (The May 8, 1977 concert at Cornell University's Barton Hall received the top ranking.) The same poll rated the 2/13/70 versions of "Dark Star", "The Other One", and "Turn On Your Love Light" as the best ever. (The "Dark Star" played on August 27, 1972, in Veneta, Oregon, was ranked #2. The February 27, 1969, version from the Fillmore West, included in Live/Dead, was #9.)[2]

Selections from the Allman Brothers Band's performances at this set of concerts were released as the album Fillmore East, February 1970.

Liner NotesEdit

Dick's Picks Volume 4 is the first release in the series to include liner notes. Written by Owsley "Bear" Stanley, who recorded the show, this short essay briefly reviews the place these shows hold in the band's history and spends some time discussing the sound equipment the band used at the time.

Bear writes that the PA system "worked pretty well most of the time" but that "[m]onitors continued to be a vexation until 1978." He goes on to describe the system used for the shows in some detail to "help those technically inclined to understand why this recording sounds the way it does."[3]

Following these technical notes, Bear goes on to make some personal observations, noting that "[t]aping was just something that I always did and the performance was always more important than getting the tape right." He then mentions that the Allman Brothers also played during these shows, and "[e]veryone was having a real good time." He closes with some nostalgic musings, stating:

"Listening to these tapes again after so many years was a real treat for me, remembering what a good time we all had in those early days of youth and hijinks."[4]

Critical receptionEdit

Professional ratings
Review scores
Allmusic      [5]
The Music Box      [6]
Rolling Stone      [7]

Dick's Picks Volume 4 received a rating of five stars out of five from Rolling Stone, The Music Box magazine, and Allmusic.

Greg Kot of Rolling Stone wrote, "But when the early Dead were at their best, few American bands were better in concert. Exhibit A is Volume Four, which culls highlights from two masterly 1970 performances at the Fillmore East. Here the full range of the band's arsenal is represented: the luminous 'Dark Star', a raging 'Not Fade Away', the sheer nastiness of McKernan on his showpiece, 'Turn On Your Love Light'."[8]

In The Music Box, John Metzger said, "I don't think I need to tell anyone about the performance of the Grateful Dead on February 13 – 14, 1970, as these have long been fan favorites.... If you have never heard the February 13 performance of Dark Star / That's It for the Other One / Lovelight, you must be living in a cave or have never seen the Grateful Dead. It's one of the most amazing performances they ever did. Over 90 minutes of pure bliss that is sure to convert the unconverted."[9]

William Ruhlmann of Allmusic wrote, "It isn't just the set list that makes this a legendary show, it's the playing: amazing interaction among the players on every song, with Garcia noodling his way to nirvana. While it would be an exaggeration to say that if you own this three-CD, three-hour-and-ten-minute album you have all you need of the Grateful Dead on disc, the overstatement is only slight."[10]

On Jambands.com, Dan Alford wrote, "This performance really needs no introduction; it’s one of the most famous two night stands in the Grateful Dead’s history, and if you don’t think 5/8/77 is the best GD performance, it’s possible you think 2/13/70 is.... Easily one of the best moments of the 30 year trip."[11]


Over 14 minutes of the 2/13/70 version of "Dark Star" was included on the Grateful Dead / John Oswald plunderphonics collaboration project Grayfolded. The section of music used was the jam in between the first and second verse, affectionately called the "Feelin' Groovy Jam" by Deadheads, because of the musical similarity to Simon & Garfunkel's "The 59th Street Bridge Song (Feelin' Groovy)". The section of Grayfolded where this can be found is on Disc 2, track 2 called "73rd Star Bridge Sonata".

Set listsEdit

The concert set lists for the 2/13/70 and 2/14/70 shows at the Fillmore East were:[12]

  • February 13, 1970
    • First set (electric): "China Cat Sunflower" > "I Know You Rider", "Me and My Uncle", "Dire Wolf", "Smokestack Lightning"[b]
    • Second set (acoustic): "The Monkey and the Engineer", "Sadie", "Wake Up Little Susie"[b], "Black Peter"[b], "Uncle John's Band", "Katie Mae"[b]
    • Third set (electric): "Dark Star"[a] > "That's It for the Other One"[a] > "Turn On Your Love Light"[a]
    • Encore: "We Bid You Goodnight"
  • February 14, 1970
    • First set (electric): "Casey Jones"[a], "Mama Tried", "Hard to Handle"[b]
    • Second set (acoustic): "The Monkey and the Engineer", "Dark Hollow"[b], "I've Been All Around this World"[b], "Wake Up Little Susie", "Black Peter", "Uncle John's Band", "Katie Mae"
    • Third set (electric): "Dancing in the Street"[a], "China Cat Sunflower"[a] > "I Know You Rider"[a] > "High Time"[a], "Dire Wolf"[a], "Alligator"[a] > "Drums"[a] > "Me and My Uncle"[a] > "Not Fade Away"[a] > "Mason's Children"[a] > "Caution (Do Not Stop On Tracks)"[a] > "Feedback"[a]
    • Encore: "We Bid You Goodnight"[a]

[a] appears on Dick's Picks Volume 4
[b] appears on Bear's Choice

Caveat EmptorEdit

Each volume of Dick's Picks has its own "caveat emptor" label, advising the listener of the sound quality of the recording. The label for Volume 4 reads:

"This compact disc has been digitally remastered directly from the original half track 7½ ips analog tape. It is a snapshot of history, not a modern professional recording, and may therefore exhibit some technical anomalies and the unavoidable effects of the ravages of time."

Track listingEdit

Disc one

  1. "Introduction" (Zacherle) – 1:51
  2. "Casey Jones" (Garcia, Hunter) – 4:29
  3. "Dancing in the Street" (Stevenson, Gaye, I. Hunter) – 9:30
  4. "China Cat Sunflower" -> (Garcia, Hunter) – 5:09
  5. "I Know You Rider" -> (traditional) – 5:04
  6. "High Time" (Garcia, Hunter) – 6:51
  7. "Dire Wolf" (Garcia, Hunter) – 4:23
  8. "Dark Star" -> (Garcia, Hart, Kreutzmann, Lesh, McKernan, Weir, Hunter) – 29:41

Disc two

  1. "That's It for the Other One" -> (Grateful Dead) – 30:07
  2. "Turn On Your Love Light" (Malone, Scott) – 30:27

Disc three

  1. "Alligator" -> (Lesh, McKernan, Hunter) – 3:55
  2. "Drums" -> (Hart, Kreutzmann) – 12:31
  3. "Me and My Uncle" -> (Phillips) – 3:14
  4. "Not Fade Away" -> (Hardin, Petty) – 13:56
  5. "Mason's Children" -> (Garcia, Lesh, Weir, Hunter) – 3:53
  6. "Caution (Do Not Stop On Tracks)" -> (Grateful Dead) – 14:25
  7. "Feedback" -> (Grateful Dead) – 8:40
  8. "We Bid You Goodnight" (traditional) – 2:00


  • "Dark Star", "That's It for the Other One", and "Turn On Your Lovelight" recorded on February 13, 1970
  • All other tracks recorded on February 14, 1970.


Grateful Dead



  1. ^ "Mason's Children" on DeadDisc.com
  2. ^ Scott, John W; Dolgushkin, Mike; Nixon, Stu. DeadBase VIII: The Complete Guide to Grateful Dead Song Lists, 1994, DeadBase, ISBN 1-877657-15-8, p. 356, 360, 361
  3. ^ Liner notes included with Dick's Picks Volume Four, 1996.
  4. ^ Liner notes included with Dick's Picks Volume Four, 1996.
  5. ^ Ruhlman, William. "Dick's Picks, Vol. 4: Fillmore East". AllMusic. Retrieved September 30, 2018.
  6. ^ Metzger, John. Dick's Picks Volume 4, The Music Box, June 1996
  7. ^ "The Grateful Dead Album Guide, Rolling Stone". Archived from the original on 2013-12-28. Retrieved 2017-08-26.
  8. ^ Kot, Greg. Review of Dick's Picks volumes 1 through 13, Rolling Stone, May 27, 1999
  9. ^ Metzger, John. Review of Dick's Picks Volume 4, The Music Box, Volume 3 Number 4, June 1996
  10. ^ Ruhlmann, William. Review of Dick's Picks Volume 4, Allmusic
  11. ^ "Alford, Dan. "Dick's Picks 1-25: A Guide to the Silver Mine", Jambands.com, August 25, 2002". Archived from the original on February 9, 2008. Retrieved August 26, 2009.
  12. ^ Scott, John W; Dolgushkin, Mike; Nixon, Stu. DeadBase XI: The Complete Guide to Grateful Dead Song Lists, 1999, DeadBase, ISBN 1-877657-22-0, p. 14