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Best of Dark Star


The Best Versions Project differs from the lists in the Grateful Dead Taper's Compendium in what Ribot_for_President calls good taste and common sense. This project isn't necessarily definitive, and its not an invitation to debate. Its a list of solid versions that you all ought to hear. For more information about the processes used to create these lists, please check the, About the Projects section on the home page.

And now...

The Top 10 Versions oF Dark Star:

2/27/69 - Fillmore West, San Francisco, CA - STREAM SBD

11/2/69 - Family Dog at the Great Highway, San Francisco, CA: STREAM SBD

2/13/70 - Fillmore East, New York, NY - STREAM SBD; LATE SHOW MTX

9/19/70 - Fillmore East, New York, NY - STREAM SBD

4/8/72 - Wembley Empire Pool, London, England - STREAM SBD

5/11/72 - Rotterdam Civic Hall, Rotterdam, The Netherlands - STREAM SBD

8/21/72 - Berkeley Community Theatre, Berkeley, CA: STREAM SBD

9/21/72 - The Spectrum, Philadelphia, PA - STREAM SBD

11/11/73 - Winterland Arena, San Francisco, CA - STREAM SBD

12/6/73 - Cleveland Convention Center, Cleveland, OH - STREAM SBD

Honorable Mentions:

4/22/69 - The Ark, Boston, MA - STREAM SBD

1/2/70 - Fillmore East, New York, NY - STREAM SBD

5/15/70 - Fillmore East, New York, NY - STREAM SBD

8/24/72 - Berkeley Community Theatre, Berkeley, CA - STREAM SBD

10/26/89 - Miami Arena, Miami, FL - STREAM MTX; AUD

Historically Significant:

12/13/67 - Shrine Exhibition Hall, Los Angeles, CA (First Time Played) - N/A

8/27/72 - Old Renaissance Faire Grounds, Veneta, OR (Springfield Creamery Benefit) - STREAM SBD

12/31/78 - Winterland Arena, San Francisco, CA (last Winterland; Bustout) - STREAM SBD; AUD; MTX

10/9/89 - Hampton Coliseum, Hampton, VA ("Formerly The Warlocks" Bustout) - STREAM SBD

10/31/91 - Oakland Coliseum, Oakland, CA (Bill Graham/Ken Kesey/last Halloween show) - STREAM SBD

- The Omni, Atlanta, GA (Last Time Played) - STREAM SBD

Dark Star

Lyrics: Robert Hunter
Music: Grateful Dead

The Annotated Dark Star

Dark star crashes
Pouring its light into ashes
Reason tatters
The forces tear loose from the axis
Searchlight casting
For faults in the clouds of delusion

Shall we go, you and I, while we can?
Through the transitive nightfall of diamonds

Mirror shatters
In formless reflections of matter
Glass hand dissolving
To ice petal flowers revolving
Lady in velvet
Recedes in the nights of goodbye

Shall we go, you and I, while we can
Through the transitive nightfall of diamonds?

Robert Hunter wrote the following ending to the lyrics. You can hear it being spoken at the end of the single version of "Dark Star" - available on the compilation CD What A Long Strange Trip It's Been and as a bonus track on The Golden Road (1965-1973) (thanks to Ben Miller for pointing this out to me). They are also spoken at the end of the Henry Kaiser version on "Those Who Know History ..."
Spinning a set the stars through which the tattered tales of axis roll
About the waxen wind of never set to motion in the unbecoming
Round about the reason hardly matters nor the wise through which
The stars were set in spin

Iin some versions (eg 16 Mar 1968 and 18 Feb 1971) Jerry sings "Dark star flashes"

The Annotated Dark Star