As people have already mentioned, this record sometimes takes flak for having been so successful, and 'popular'. I think this is the most re-assuring dead album created. It totally validates the dead as creative and evolving artists. I would find it hard to justify their success and constantly increasing popularity for such a long time based only on a golden era of creation, and their ability to improvise on those original tunes.
This is obviously not the '72 Dead. But, its 100% The Grateful Dead; their sound and their attitudes. Especially during a time when glam-rock and ...pop were so big, this album stands out.
The album is very produced, such that it has the sound of the technical edge that the Dead have always loved to play with, and include in their improvisation.
Every song on this short album is great, and great to hear live. When I search for shows now, I usually search for stuff from 69-72, and anything with In The Dark material...