Over the years a number of studio rarities have been appended to the deluxe or expanded versions of The Grateful Dead’s studio albums. In addition, two critically acclaimed career-retrospective box sets—2001’s The Golden Road and 2004’s Beyond Description—further increased the number of “alternate” studio recordings available in their best fidelity. This collection (like its companion Complete Live Rarities Collection) mops up the loose ends in one spellbinding place. These tracks are best understood in context with the new digital book The Golden Road and Beyond: A Grateful Dead Primer, which has two essays written for those aforementioned box sets by the band’s longtime publicist Dennis McNally. However, you only need ears to enjoy the Scorpio Sessions versions of “Don’t Ease Me In” and “I Know You Rider,” the under-three-minute take of “Dark Star,” and the studio outtakes of “Catfish John,” “Jack-a-Roe,” and “Peggy-O.” The b-side “My Brother Esau” is a great find, while the studio rehearsal of “Touch of Grey” should interest anyone who fell under the spell of the band’s biggest hit single.
This chronological, decades-spanning collection offers revelatory peeks at little-heard tunes as well as thrilling takes on beloved setlist staples. Reaching back to 1966, we get rare outings of folk/blues covers like "He Was a Friend of Mine" and Lead Belly's "In the Pines," while a 1978 recording from the legendary Egyptian performances at the foot of the pyramids produces a collaboration with oud master Hamza El Din on his own "Ollin Arageed."
Fritz Reiner was one of the foremost conductors of his time. Crowning his long career in Europe and America was the decade from 1954 to 1963 as music director of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra – an illustrious partnership that ranks along such other historical tenures as Karajan’s in Berlin, Szell’s in Cleveland and Bernstein’s in New York.
The most comprehensive collection of Pogues material to date, 30:30 - The Essential Collection arrived on the heels of the band's 30th anniversary. Comprised of material culled from 1984 to 1996 and representing each of the group's seven studio albums, the two-disc set offers up a winning mix of bona fide classics ("If I Should Fall from Grace with God," "A Pair of Brown Eyes," the contemporary Christmas standard "Fairytale of New York," and its less yuletide-centric kissing cousin "A Rainy Night in Soho") and fan favorites ("Rain Street," "Boys from the County Hell," "Misty Morning, Albert Bridge") that dutifully encapsulates the best of the band's "lost decade."