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Best China Doll

 
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spencer540



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PostPosted: Fri Sep 10, 2010 1:27 am    Post subject: Best China Doll Reply with quote

I hear a lot of people say this is a great song, but for me it falls right in the same category as Looks Like Rain. I know there has to be great version out there that changes my mind.

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nickJ



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PostPosted: Fri Sep 10, 2010 5:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wasn't there a thread on this once? I can't find it, though.

I'm sure there are some super dark, spacey versions that the 83-84 fans could point you to. My favorite is still the one from Reckoning, which I know isn't much help to you, but listen to the ending again if you haven't in a while. It's one of the most perfect moments of fragility and purity I've ever heard from the boys. Jerry's voice cracks a little on "take up your chii//na doll" and one lone voice hollers "woo!", the band responds, Jerry finishes, everyone gloriously comes in on "just a little nervous from the fall" and then the whole crowd cheers. I don't know why, but that's one of those moments for me that just sums it all up.
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tizi



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PostPosted: Fri Sep 10, 2010 6:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm not a specialist of China Doll!

Anyway yesterday I was listening to the first show Swami suggested as a Dark / Obscure Brent'era show ... and I discovered this strange version I love, with a very mellow Jerry voice so try this one (I don't know if it comes close to the "best" but I don't care):

The show:
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The link to the therad ... if interessed:

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sundargu



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PostPosted: Fri Sep 10, 2010 7:06 am    Post subject: Re: Best China Doll Reply with quote

spencer540 wrote:
I hear a lot of people say this is a great song, but for me it falls right in the same category as Looks Like Rain. I know there has to be great version out there that changes my mind.


China Doll is probably a notch or two (or three) above LLR. But I am also puzzled why LLR takes such a beating at this forum. It's no master piece but it's not horrible either.
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Duderino



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PostPosted: Fri Sep 10, 2010 8:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I love China Doll. The Brent era versions are my favorites.
Two right off the top of my head are 10/11/83 and 10/15/83 - both, interestingly had China Doll's before drums and St. Stephen out of Space.
10/11 features an interesting jam that starts out of thin air after Bertha, leads into a lovely China Doll. 10/15's version is preceded by a Massive 15 minute Playin.

12/29/77 (DP10) has a good one.

3/10/81 features an excellent (and rare for the time) version.

7/7/84 Alpine is one of my faves. Very dark and ominous.

3/25/85, 11/2/85, 3/29/87 and 8/11/87 also very good.

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Kochman
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 10, 2010 8:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Good calls above...
Want to highlight the 11/2/85, I recently watched the show for the first time... and it's placement is awesome!

There is one that gets pretty jammed out that I can't seem to recall very well the date, go figure.
I think it was an 81?

And then the Deer Creek 7/15/89 was perfect...
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tizi



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PostPosted: Fri Sep 10, 2010 9:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Duderino wrote:
I love China Doll. The Brent era versions are my favorites.
Two right off the top of my head are 10/11/83 and 10/15/83 - both, interestingly had China Doll's before drums and St. Stephen out of Space.
10/11 features an interesting jam that starts out of thin air after Bertha, leads into a lovely China Doll. 10/15's version is preceded by a Massive 15 minute Playin.

12/29/77 (DP10) has a good one.

3/10/81 features an excellent (and rare for the time) version.

7/7/84 Alpine is one of my faves. Very dark and ominous.

3/25/85, 11/2/85, 3/29/87 and 8/11/87 also very good.


How can you do this ... how can you remember all of that ... I will never get it ... I give up! Very Happy

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Gopher



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PostPosted: Fri Sep 10, 2010 11:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

2/22/74 China Doll>Wharf Rat (A future road trips or box set Smile)
6/18/74 (Road Trips Vol. 2 #3)
5/19/77 Wheel>China Doll>PITB Reprise(DP 29)
12/29/77(DP 10)
5/8/79 TOO>China Doll>PITB Reprise (Only China Doll of '79)
'80 Acoustic versions

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Kochman
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 10, 2010 11:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

tizi wrote:
Duderino wrote:
I love China Doll. The Brent era versions are my favorites.
Two right off the top of my head are 10/11/83 and 10/15/83 - both, interestingly had China Doll's before drums and St. Stephen out of Space.
10/11 features an interesting jam that starts out of thin air after Bertha, leads into a lovely China Doll. 10/15's version is preceded by a Massive 15 minute Playin.

12/29/77 (DP10) has a good one.

3/10/81 features an excellent (and rare for the time) version.

7/7/84 Alpine is one of my faves. Very dark and ominous.

3/25/85, 11/2/85, 3/29/87 and 8/11/87 also very good.


How can you do this ... how can you remember all of that ... I will never get it ... I give up! Very Happy

He is a very knowledgeable head, that's for sure! That's why we're so glad to have him... need a list with several options, "Ask the Dude!"
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cheesebeer



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PostPosted: Fri Sep 10, 2010 12:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Amen to that. I would say don't give up on China Doll, maybe head to the 80s. The China Dolls have an extra dimension in the Brent era and are more suited to my taste. I like when Brent rocks the harpsichord setting too. Playin-China Doll is a sweet combo, territory definitely worth exploring, aforementioned 7 7 84 and that 9 10 83 show I reviewed not too long ago -
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- are two I have listened to lately that I really enjoyed.
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Zephyr
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 10, 2010 12:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Two that haven't been mentioned yet:

3/31/85 This may be the version Koch was trying to recall. It has a lengthy and very interesting jam off the tail end. It's a strange version of China Doll, too; it almost sounds like it's being played in the wrong key or something.

8/18/91 This one pleases me, and it's so far the only nomination from the Yo Vinny era.

As far as "Best" goes, the already mentioned 3/10/81 is a prime contender.

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Last edited by Zephyr on Fri Sep 10, 2010 2:20 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Duderino



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PostPosted: Fri Sep 10, 2010 1:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Kochman wrote:
tizi wrote:
Duderino wrote:
I love China Doll. The Brent era versions are my favorites.
Two right off the top of my head are 10/11/83 and 10/15/83 - both, interestingly had China Doll's before drums and St. Stephen out of Space.
10/11 features an interesting jam that starts out of thin air after Bertha, leads into a lovely China Doll. 10/15's version is preceded by a Massive 15 minute Playin.

12/29/77 (DP10) has a good one.

3/10/81 features an excellent (and rare for the time) version.

7/7/84 Alpine is one of my faves. Very dark and ominous.

3/25/85, 11/2/85, 3/29/87 and 8/11/87 also very good.


How can you do this ... how can you remember all of that ... I will never get it ... I give up! Very Happy

He is a very knowledgeable head, that's for sure! That's why we're so glad to have him... need a list with several options, "Ask the Dude!"

What can I say, I saw many shows and have listened to a lot of Grateful Dead since 1978!! It is addicting. Good call on the 9/10/83 show cheese - I recently listened to that one and they extend the jam out into drums..
There is also a Unique Playin>China Doll>High Time from 4/27/84.
Also Zeph you mentioned the 3/31/85 show. They kind of mess the song up in the beginning. Jer comes in too fast and they do not get the tempo right until midway through. But that jam afterwards was sooooo cool. Jerry, drummers and the audience doing a little Hamza-esque jam. Did he ever leave the stage that night?

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lucasmcain



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PostPosted: Fri Sep 10, 2010 1:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

From what I recall he might have ducked around the amps for a few minutes tops during Drums.
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Zephyr
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 10, 2010 3:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Duderino wrote:
Also Zeph you mentioned the 3/31/85 show. They kind of mess the song up in the beginning. Jer comes in too fast and they do not get the tempo right until midway through. But that jam afterwards was sooooo cool. Jerry, drummers and the audience doing a little Hamza-esque jam. Did he ever leave the stage that night?


My recollection from being there was that the issues went way beyond tempo. The whole tune, certainly the first half, had a sour overtone, like strong marmalade. It was the weirdest-sounding patch of music I ever heard them create. I think Weir included it, along with the spectacularly botched inverted PITB after drums, when he said he wished he could have refunded everyone's money.

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swamiGD80s
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 10, 2010 3:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Can't leave out mention of this GEM of a version:

05-10-86 Frost Ampitheatre

Surprisingly intense and compact rendition.

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Kochman
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 10, 2010 3:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

[quote="Zephyr"]3/31/85 This may be the version Koch was trying to recall. It has a lengthy and very interesting jam off the tail end. It's a strange version of China Doll, too; it almost sounds like it's being played in the wrong key or something.
quote]
Yes, that was is... I thought it was 81, but I always get that show and the 81 show with the extended Wheel confused (8/28/81? 8/31?)
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Grateful_nirvanA



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PostPosted: Fri Sep 10, 2010 4:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've always been partial to the version from 7/19/74. The whole jam there really gets me and the China Doll finale is so very satisfying after such an intense ride.

WRS Prelude > Pt. 1 > Let It Grow > jam > Spanish Jam > Eyes > China Doll.
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jed



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PostPosted: Sat Sep 11, 2010 11:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

a few others that have not been mentioned yet:

07/10/81 St. Paul - well-executed version that is included in a great post-drums sequence (Uncle John's Band > Playing In The Band > China Doll > Uncle John's Band > Playing In The Band)

btw, the althea at the beginning of set 2 is also great...slow, summer tempo with perfect Garcia vocals

3/30/90 Nassau - beautiful intro made even more beautiful by the A7 chord played by Brent just before Jerry begins the lyrics (Iko-> Playin-> China Doll->UJB->Terrapin)

04/28/85 Frost - outro contains a short, pretty thematic jam initiated by Jerry vaguely reminiscent of the bridge in Blondie's "Heart of Glass" (Bucket > Crazy Fingers > Playing In The Band > China Doll > Playing In The Band )

I suppose the summary here is that spacey set = good versions of china doll
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spencer540



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PostPosted: Fri Sep 17, 2010 11:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Kochman wrote:
Good calls above...
Want to highlight the 11/2/85, I recently watched the show for the first time... and it's placement is awesome!.


Great call on that! Its my favorite so far. 7/18/74 is close one to.Knew this song clould be a good song, just hadn't heard the right version yet.

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spencer540



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PostPosted: Mon Sep 27, 2010 1:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well good job guys, you've converted me. This is really a beautiful song. I never knew it was about suicide. Maybe the best song written about the subject.

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chingsinkly



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PostPosted: Sun Oct 03, 2010 9:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I dig the 3/31/85...it's an interesting one, the jam is sweeeet
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tizi



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PostPosted: Sun Oct 03, 2010 1:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

10-15-83 ... I was looking for weird/dark shows and this show was suggested to me and I think it was Lucasmacain ... but I'm not sure ...

I loved this version of China Doll comeing out of PITB Cool

.... suicide is the topic of Chine Doll? Shocked I'll have to take some time to look at the lyrics ... I'm not american so sometimes the beauty of the music maes me forget about the lyrics Laughing

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nickJ



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PostPosted: Sun Oct 03, 2010 5:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

For anyone unfamiliar with the suicide interpretation of this song, see
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swamiGD80s
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 03, 2010 7:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

tizi wrote:
10-15-83 ... I was looking for weird/dark shows and this show was suggested to me and I think it was Lucasmacain ... but I'm not sure ...

I loved this version of China Doll comeing out of PITB Cool

.... suicide is the topic of Chine Doll? Shocked I'll have to take some time to look at the lyrics ... I'm not american so sometimes the beauty of the music maes me forget about the lyrics Laughing



Definitely an intense version!

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jessewood34



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PostPosted: Sun Oct 03, 2010 8:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have always thought that china doll was about two people having a duel.
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rgerbel



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PostPosted: Sun Feb 20, 2011 1:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Although I think Jerry and the gang may have done more interesting things in the outro in the mid 80s than earlier, I find that Jerry's voice in the 70s without the rasp is very important to my enjoyment of this song. I also like the background singing best with Donna on this particular song and I think that the smoothness of Jerry's guitar playing also is important to me on this song. I guess I am saying that I am a bigger fan of the 70s versions of this song, with my two favorites being 5/19/77 and 6/20/74, which has a short but really nice intro (coming out smoothly from a nice Slipknot jam). Keith's playing also is stellar in this 74 version.
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