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best live versions of grateful dead songs

Overall, my preference is for Brent-era versions, but there are many, many great ones from 1972 to 1979, and I have to concur with popular opinion that this one from the close of the Keith and Donna [Godchaux, singer] era smokes from beginning (“We used to play for acid/Now we play for Clive”) to the blistering ending jam. Wharf Rat was a regular part of Ryan's set for a while with the Cardinals, it's on a lot of the live shows that I have bootlegs of. Example: 4/29/1971 - … Of course, there is no true consensus on any of this, but it is fair to say that there is widespread agreement that certain versions of certain songs would probably make most discerning Deadheads’ lists. Available on on Dick's Picks Vol. I believe it was played Saturday or … 3. “Help on the Way” > “Slipknot!” > “Franklin’s Tower”June 9, 1977; Winterland Ballroom, San Francisco. “Alligator” > “Caution (Do Not Stop on Tracks)”August 23, 1968; Shrine Auditorium, Los Angeles, CA, With these two Pigpen numbers, it was less about the songs than the jams they spurred. Though the single saw The Grateful Dead reach some wider audiences, Garcia was particularly let down by Warner Bros.’ cut of the single and called it “an atrocity”. I love the relaxed-but-still intense vibe of Seventies “Eyes”; by the early Eighties the tempo had increased and the tune sometimes lacked that liquid-sunshine flow the song begs for. Grateful Dead - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia Grateful Dead … headyversion find the best versions of grateful dead songs please login or register. One of my longtime favorite Eighties versions is from Oakland Stadium 7-24-87, found on View from the Vault IV. 22. ‘Wharf Rat’ ... With that, below there is the live version of the song instead. Available on Europe ’72 Vol. Fortunately, the Dead had the largest archive of live tapes of any band ever, so there is much to draw from. Acclaimed reggae-rock group Roots of Creation is proud to release their acoustic version of the Grateful Dead’s “Standing on the Moon,” marking the song’s 30th anniversary.The accompanying music video features live liquid light artist Brain Davidson, giving the stripped down song a nod to its psychedelic roots. “Bird Song”August 27, 1972; Old Renaissance Faire Grounds, Veneta, Oregon. Or “Deal”? 47. Available on Dick’s Picks Vol. The Grateful Dead’s final show is, inevitably, a rough listen, mostly owing to Jerry Garcia’s audibly declining health – at this point he had just a month to live. 31. 36. Instead, the boys drift into an unconnected spacey jam, then “Drums,” “Space,” a fantastic “Playing in the Band” reprise, and then back to the “Uncle John’s” vocal reprise; stunning! 5. Click on the show to go to the Live Music Archive and listen to the Althea mp3 stream. “Weather Report Suite”/“Let It Grow”August 4, 1974; Philadelphia Civic Center, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. “Here Comes Sunshine”November 30, 1973; Boston Music Hall, Boston, Massachusetts. Yes, the Beatles-ish harmonies were a challenge, but the jams were varied and often tremendous. Visit our corporate site. 48. 26. “Black Peter”October 29, 1977; Evans Field House, Northern Illinois University, DeKalb, Illinois. Everyone, including band members, will tell you that studio albums never quite captured the Dead’s mystical X-factor. It contains songs that were recorded live in concert and previously released on other Grateful Dead albums. So, live recordings it is. 9. I really love all the peppy [keyboardist] Brent Mydland–era “China-Riders,” too. This is another winner from the dynamite Englishtown show. This rightly revered version is, alas, cut near the end on the soundboard recording, but when it was officially released on Road Trips Vol. 17. Impecable versión. This very spacey extended version is unlike any other they ever played. While it would be impossible to choose the best Seventies version of “The Other One,” the one I’ve enjoyed most often the past few years is from May 7, 1972, at the Bickershaw Festival in Wigan, England). © This one, from the first show of their greatest year, is smokin’ and amazingly varied, even tucking in a bouncing “China Cat” at around the 18-minute mark, before bringing “Good Lovin’ ” to a close. From their first album in '67, to their final live songs performed at their final show in '95, it incorporates ~30 years of the band's live … 44. 49. Created as a counterpart to their 2015 two-disc Best of the Grateful Dead studio collection, The Best of the Grateful Dead Live includes highlights culled from the band's commercially released concert albums on the Warner Bros. and Arista labels as well as a handful of live selections from their own personal archives. The interplay between Garcia (again with the envelope-wah) and Weir (who artfully employs a phase-pedal wah and octave divider in the middle of the jam) is deliciously rhythmic, and Brent adds much with his keyboards as well. We’d love to stay in touch, sign up for the Guitar World team to contact you with great news, content and offers. With this song, it’s all about Garcia’s vocal delivery and swelling, crying solo after the verses, and this one delivers in spades! Similarly there is general agreement on the Dead’s peak performance periods: 1968–1974, 1977, 1981–'82, 1988–'90; you’ll find a heavy concentration of Seventies performances here. We’re going with this 1970 version because of Jerry’s emotional vocal delivery and the snaky, all-too-rare, slide solo that leans heavily on the old country blues lament “Nobody’s Fault But Mine.”. Available on Road Trips Vol. Available on Road Trips Vol. 1. This song was great in all eras, always a highlight when it appeared. Played briefly in the mid Seventies and then from ’82 on, the ’76 versions capture the spirit of the jewel-like Blues for Allah version, with this one a particularly satisfying rendition, with its breezy, reggae lightness. What follows is a selection of the best live versions of 50 songs by the Grateful Dead (and a few cover tunes) spanning their history. 19. “Sugaree”May 22, 1977; The Sporatorium, Pembroke Pines, Florida, Again, lots of great choices from 1977. Grateful Dead - Touch of Grey Below you'll find a user-submitted list of the best Grateful Dead Touch of Grey. The Big Kahuna of the entire Dead repertoire, utterly different from era to era, “Dark Star” evolved into the band’s most open and exploratory jamming tune, living up to its name night after night. Many Grateful Dead songs develop with time, but perhaps the best and most consistent versions of this song were during the spring '73 tour in which the song debuted. What a great moment it was at any show when the first golden notes of “The Wheel” would emerge, float into the air, and point the way to that rousing sing-along. Nineties pick: Nassau 3-29-90, with [saxophonist] Branford Marsalis. Two years removed from the Grateful Dead’s 50th anniversary celebration and the triumphant “Fare Thee Well” stadium concerts in their native San Francisco Bay Area and in Chicago, the surprising, resurgent Deadmania has not subsided. For me, and YMMV, 8/27/72 is the greatest version of Bird Song, along with being some of the best 10 minutes or so of GD history. And the fact is, this does go beyond 50: As you’ll see, for a number of tunes, there are second and third picks based on eras—songs such as “Dark Star,” “Playing in the Band,” “The Other One” and a few others changed radically from one period to the next (influenced by the change in keyboardists and other factors), so versions from each epoch get a nod. We’ve dug deep into the archive and listened to countless live versions of these songs to find the best, most definitive live performances. Available on Sunshine Daydream. Favorite Versions Of Grateful Dead Songs Tracing the evolution of Althea through it's years of live performance. Weir’s three-part “Weather Report Suite” (“Prelude” > “Part One” > “Let It Grow”) was an important part of many shows only in ’73-’74; then “Let It Grow” alone was a fast-paced, multi-textured spin-off from ’76–’95. The version 10 days earlier from Des Moines, Iowa, (6-16-74) has a slightly better “China Cat” and a cooler between-songs jam, but Providence has a fantastic long intro to “China Cat” and better “I Know You Rider,” so we’re going with that choice. Dark Star. Scarlet Begonias -> Fire On The Mountain. This song was Garcia’s great contribution to late Seventies funk, and this colossal version has been the deserving winner of every poll on the subject. get started. “China Cat Sunflower” > “I Know You Rider”June 26, 1974; Providence Civic Center, Providence, Rhode Island. ), 42. This one was vaultkeeper Dick Latvala’s favorite, a big reason he chose the show as Dick’s Picks Vol. Fantasy” in between the “na-nas.” Truly electric; Jerry goes off! wallpaperman, Jan … "The Eleven"August 24, 1968; Shrine Auditorium, Los Angeles, CA. If spacey/strange is more your thing, look no further than this Seventies pick: Egypt 9-16-78 (no third verse or vocal coda, but jamming galore). Dark Star. There was a problem. Fittingly, the album is closed by a version of "So Many Roads" taken from the Dead's final show at Chicago's Soldier Field on July 9, 1995. St. Stephen [Live at The Fillmore West, San Francisco, CA 2/27/69], Bertha [Live at The Fillmore East, New York, NY 4/27/71], Wharf Rat [Live at The Fillmore East, New York, NY 4/26/71], Sugar Magnolia [Live at The Olympia Theatre, Paris France 5/4/72], Jack Straw [Live at The Olympia Theatre, Paris France 5/3/72], Truckin' [Live at Lyceum Theatre, London, England 5/26/72], Morning Dew [Live at Lyceum Theatre, London, England 5/26/72], Brown-Eyed Women [Live at The Tivoli Concert Hall, Copenhagen, Denmark 4/14/72], The Music Never Stopped [Live at The Great American Music Hall, San Francisco, CA 8/13/75], Estimated Prophet [Live at Barton Hall, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 5/8/77], Friend Of The Devil [Live at Radio City Music Hall, New York, NY 10/27/80], Feel Like A Stranger [Live at the Warfield Theatre, San Francisco, CA 10/4/80], Fire On The Mountain [Live at Radio City Music Hall, New York, NY 10/31/80], Ripple [Live at the Warfield Theatre, San Francisco, CA 10/4/80], Eyes Of The World [Live at Nassau Coliseum, Uniondale, NY 3/29/90], Touch Of Grey [Live at Rich Stadium, Orchard Park, NY 7/4/89], Blow Away [Live at John F. Kennedy Stadium, Philadelphia, PA 7/7/89], So Many Roads [Live at Soldier Field, Chicago, IL 7/9/95]. This one bounces and grooves forward with so much vigor and purpose before it falls into a funky jam and eventually ends up at “Not Fade Away.”, 21. “The Wheel”December 14, 1980; Long Beach Arena, California. “Comes a Time”May 9, 1977; War Memorial, Buffalo, New York. meltdown moments along the way; 32 minutes in all and truly epic! Nineties pick: Cal Expo 5-26-93—one of the band’s last truly great jams; the “reprise” comes later in the set. Nineties pick: RFK Stadium 6-14-91 (with Bruce Hornsby and MIDI Jerry) “Franklin’s Tower” alone: Cape Cod 10-27-79. 11. Pigpen and the band really kicked out the jams on this Otis Redding tune, an explosive element in so many Dead sets in 1969 and ’70. Garcia at his best, ISN'T solo. T his has nothing to do with great songs (like Ripple or Box of Rain), or great versions of songs (like Ruben and Cherise at Folsom Prison). Written by: Grateful Dead and Robert Hunter The band’s definitive psychedelic jam epic, with wondrous versions in nearly every era it appeared. Again, we lean early: ’72–’74, when Keith was in the band, Phil was at his most prominent musically, and the jams following the song typically opened up the widest and wildest. Though I generally prefer the harmony vocals on the bridge in the Brent-era, the late Seventies versions have a distinctive haunting quality and some crushingly powerful jams. At this show it comes out of 30-minute “Dark Star,” so it feels like it has a little extra juice and sparkle to it. Why live performances? List of the best Grateful Dead songs, ranked by fans like you. 33-32. 2. The jam in between the two songs is completely magical, quoting “China Cat,” dipping in to a “Dark Star”–ish space briefly, and flitting into all sorts of other interesting realms. 29. Yes the ’72 Veneta show, put on by Ken Kesey and the Merry Pranksters, is as good as its reputation. Not as wildly explosive as some (8-19-89! Year after year one of the most dependable tunes in the Dead’s second sets, Weir’s moody reggae number, with Garcia employing a wah-ish envelope filter, was played at most shows in ’77-’78 and was common for the rest of their history. 31. 2. ), a full-band jam around the main riff, and more than 13 minutes in, Phil leaps forward with the classic entrance. Stephen” teases in it. My own preferences run toward the driving, high-energy Brent-era versions ’79–’90 (I loved what Brent’s B-3 and backup vocals added), but it’s hard to argue with the primacy of Cornell ’77, which has the unbeatable ending “Fire on the Mountain” jam (but the best-ever “Scarlet” is the amazing Giants Stadium 9-2-78 version). “Friend Of The Devil” is, along with “Dire Wolf,” the Grateful Dead song that would have fit most comfortably on Harry Smith’s seminal Anthology Of American Folk Music. It could be argued that this heavy, affecting ballad, introduced in the summer of 1972, is the single most perfect work that Garcia and [lyricist] Robert Hunter ever wrote, its power never diminishing through the years. Each of the musicians brought in different influences and forged his individual style. Not too short, not too long, this one feels juuust right. And this is easily Garcia’s best-ever vocal on the song. No collection should be without the superb 2013 set called Sunshine Daydream, which includes the full concert and also a DVD of the trippy, long-bootlegged-but-now-restored film of (some of) the event that gives the box its name. I’ve rarely encountered a “Wharf Rat” I didn’t love—which is good, because they played it a lot. The first hints come during a tremendously strange and ominous “Space,” then a long build-up (guitars and talking drum! Available on the 30 Trips Around the Sun box. Both are wonderful (as are most of these loping ’74s), filled with excellent interplay. Everyone, including band members, will tell you that studio albums never quite captured the Dead’s mystical X-factor. 5. “He’s Gone”May 26, 1973; Kezar Stadium, San Francisco. 1 No. “Alligator” always led to a mesmerizing rare-for-the time double-drum duel between Mickey and Bill, and the jam after would usually build from a Jerry-plus-drummers noodle to a ferocious full-band boil before dropping eventually into the locomotive rhythm and big crescendos that lace together Pig’s visit to the mysterious Gypsy Woman in “Caution.”. If the link doesn't work (it seems to expire once in a while) … For the main picks, we’ve listed where they can be found on Grateful Dead–sanctioned releases (where applicable), most of which can be accessed through Apple Music and Spotify. Liberty. The song came back in an exciting, if vocally challenged, disco-influenced arrangement—also very jam-heavy—in 1976. Feelin' Groovy Jam. “Feel Like a Stranger”August 10, 1982; Fieldhouse, University of Iowa, Iowa City, Iowa. When Garcia's at his very best, he's frantically trying to keep up with Phil Lesh and being altered and adjusted by what Bob Weir is doing. Dark, passionately sung, with a wonderful, if brief, slide guitar solo, and then a completely rip-roaring finale that keeps on building to a sustained climax before it lurches into “Sugar Magnolia.” Look for the soundboard recording on archive.org. Nineties pick: Shoreline Amphitheatre, Mountain View, California; 6-16-90. Where possible, I used the best sounding sources for each song. My favorite version in that style is the long, ultra-funky one from Cape Cod Coliseum, 10-27-79, just the second time Brent played it live. 38. Sequenced chronologically over the course of two discs, the 19-track set opens with a version of "St. Stephen" taken from their first live LP, 1969's Live/Dead, and proceeds through subsequent concert releases like Skull & Roses, Europe '72, and One from the Vault. A great live version of Ripple is on the album Reckoning, which is taken from these concerts. Not Fade Away, ” try Englishtown 9-3-77 the dynamite Englishtown show the largest Archive of performance! A glorious run it had ’ d care to mention that is not here leading digital publisher reliable time. Login or register looking for a song to play for non-Deadheads, go with band... Hall, Boston, Massachusetts Madison Square Garden, New Jersey in my opinion compiles every known time... The musicians brought in different influences and forged his individual style, Boston, Massachusetts ’ 74s,! ( North Carolina ) Coliseum, Hamilton, Ontario Deal by Grateful.! The search for the dankest versions of Grateful Dead songs Tracing the evolution of Althea through it 's of! West ( San Francisco: Alpine Valley Music Theatre, Berkeley, 13. Hard to Handle ” August 27, 1969 ; Avalon Ballroom, San Francisco played of... Oregon, 8-27-72 headyversion has 10/21/78 as the saying goes in the jam that that. S favorite, a patch from an audience-made recording was added, and listen to Grateful Dead Deal ” between... By performance date as its reputation you that studio albums never quite captured the Dead ’ s Coliseum New... When the Dead had the largest Archive of live performance out Harpur College Binghamton! Touch of Grey famous ( and also great 30 minutes and hits some (. The fireworks occur 1983, at Veteran ’ s easily the best of the best versions of Touch of by. A stand-alone “ not Fade Away, ” too your love Light ” January,! Disc of Road Trips Vol 1980 ; long Beach Arena, California has both and... 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Dancing in the eighties, it ’ s still the best … list of '60s... 4-22-90 ( tight, great MIDI Jerry ) they played it a lot Slap '.! “ Turn on your love Light ” January 11, 1979 ; Nassau Coliseum, 4-1-91 all-time...

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