best live versions of grateful dead songs

“Scarlet” alone pick: Fresno 7-19-74. So far, so normal, but after around 15 minutes, the band backed off to create an on-the-spot opportunity for Lesh to deliver one of the most gloriously unkempt bass solos in the history of rock ‘n’ roll. 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. Indeed, the events of that year seem to have both rekindled the ardor for the group’s music in many Deadheads who dropped off the psychedelic bus following Jerry Garcia’s death in the summer of 1995, and also brought in many new fans who never had a chance to see the band but are attracted by the Dead’s amazingly diverse and appealing songbook, and the colorful, upbeat, Sixties glow that will forever surround the group. 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. headyversion ... we're on the search for the dankest versions of dead songs. “Crazy Fingers”June 9, 1976; Boston Music Hall, Boston, Massachusetts. Nineties pick: Greensboro Coliseum 4-1-91; strong Bruce Hornsby and [keyboardist] Vince Welnick contributions, and some great peaks over its 17 minutes. 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. It contains songs that were recorded live in concert and previously released on other Grateful Dead albums. As Pigpen’s raps on this tend to be fairly similar one to the next, with a few notable exceptions (such as Princeton 4-17-71 with the famous “Brooklyn Bridge” rap), I tend to judge them by what the band does behind him. “Scarlet Begonias” > “Fire on the Mountain”May 8, 1977; Barton Hall, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York. 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 Dick’s Picks Vol. Introduced two days after “Victim” in 1988, this melodic Hunter-Garcia number (occasionally paired with “Victim”) provided a bouncy contrast, somewhat in the tradition of “Franklin’s Tower.” This version, as presented as a bonus track on the remastered Built to Last CD, is mixed so that every instrument is clear and loud—you can really feast on Weir’s imaginative rhythm lines and Brent’s synth washes. It contains songs that were recorded live in concert and previously released on other Grateful Dead albums. Available on Dick’s Picks Vol. “Victim or the Crime”March 21, 1990; Copps Coliseum, Hamilton, Ontario. 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. It always built to a couple of nice peaks—the first instrumental and then the vocal coda (“Across the Rio Grande-o…”) and ending solo. 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. Seventies pick: Boston Music Hall, 6-9-76. Scary & sublime 9/19/70 Fillmore East Best "Feelin' Groovy" Jam 11/8/70 Capitol Theatre Port Chester NY Into Main Ten>Dancin' The Deads finest hour 9/24/72 Goes into some sort of demented hoe-down & China/Rider 2/13/70 Fillmore East Another definitive version 11/11/73 Winterland Long, strange & definatley a trip 12/6/73 Cleveland Convention Center In tune with the cosmos Available on Road Trips Vol. It combines a folk sensibility with its famous baroque-ish contrapuntal coda and crunching rock power. For “Goin’ Down the Road” it’s gotta be Fillmore East 4-29-71, coming out of an exquisitely constructed jam that has “China Cat” and “St. If you’re looking for a song to play for non-Deadheads, go with this one. Example: 4/29/1971 - … 15. 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 … Eyes of the World: From the 1973 album Wake of the Flood, this is one of the Dead’s jazzier … 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. They brought it all together in a unique mélange that took them from the fire-breathing psychedelia of the late Sixties, to the Dead Americana of Workingman’s Dead and American Beauty, and far beyond. 7. It is a good example of what Dark Star can do, but is just in the wrong sequence of songs … By 1969–70, it had expanded to a big jamming number, with all sorts of great R&B riffing (a quote from Archie Bell & the Drells’ “Tighten Up”!) So why not have “Sugar Magnolia” here? Played for the first time in two-and-a-half years, this is more in the vein of ’69 versions (even dropping in a couple of actual riffs from that era) and surprisingly self-assured—more to my taste than the best late-Eighties or early-Nineties versions, which relied so heavily on MIDI textures. This titanic 31-minute marvel from ’77 crackles with electricity, with a booming “Help,” an intricate then relentlessly building “Slipknot!” jam, all resolved with a triumphal “Franklin’s Tower.” Available on Winterland June 1977: The Complete Recordings. Available on Dave’s Picks Volume 15. Morning Dew: This Bonnie Dobson song about the last man and woman alive after a nuclear holocaust became one of the Dead’s most powerful live songs. Not as wildly explosive as some (8-19-89! headyversion find the best versions of grateful dead songs please login or register. Guitar World is part of Future plc, an international media group and leading digital publisher. It just won’t quit—until it drops down into a devastating “Death Don’t Have No Mercy.” Available on Two from the Vault. Bird Song - Live in Veneta, Oregon 8/27/72 Grateful Dead • Veneta, OR 8/27/72: ... Looks Like Rain - Live In London 1972 Version Grateful Dead • Europe '72 [Live] [Expanded] 7:37 0:30. Along the way they built the most loyal fan base the music world had ever seen. ‘Wharf Rat’ ... With that, below there is the live version of the song instead. Like on this one—talk about the Group Mind in action! 11. Discuss, vote on, and listen to the best versions of Grateful Dead songs . “Not Fade Away” > “Goin’ Down the Road Feeling Bad”November 15, 1971; Austin Municipal Auditorium, Texas. But here’s the cool news: There’s a fantastic web site called headyversion.com that is the ultimate resource for listening to the “best” versions of Grateful Dead songs. First on Weir’s solo Ace album in 1972, but not played regularly until 1976, this is another one that fully matured in the Brent era, thanks to his solid duet vocals and the more variegated jam near the end. 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. This song was great in all eras, always a highlight when it appeared. 12. Garcia at his best, ISN'T solo. A great live version of Ripple is on the album Reckoning, which is taken from these concerts. 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. Look for the “SteveSW” soundboard recording on archive.org. 4 No. The difficulty, of course, is narrowing it down to just 50. After a couple of years of “Scarlet” enlivening any set it appeared in, in March 1977 it was paired with the new “Fire on the Mountain” to become perhaps the most popular combo of songs in Dead history—it was played around 240 times. The slinky, Pigpen-sung “Schoolgirl” gave the early Dead a chance to stretch out on an easy shuffling blues groove, with Garcia and Pig trading licks on guitar and harmonica, and Phil always dancing on top with what was already a formidable bass assault. This version is one that could reasonably be called a consensus choice—almost everyone thinks it’s easily the best they played. Because that’s where the magic happened with this band. It is incredible that they would play this song 232 times from 1967 to 1994 and each version would sound quite different from the one that preceded it. Grateful Dead - Deal Below you'll find a user-submitted list of the best Grateful Dead Deal. 11. 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. Dark Star. 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. 9. You can’t lose with any ’72 “Playing in the Band” (it was featured every night on the European tour), but this justifiably famous version has an acid-drenched, edge-of-chaos vibe that that makes it completely gripping for every second of its 23 minutes. It is a good example of what Dark Star can do, but is just in the wrong sequence of songs to really take off. 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. Fantasy” in between the “na-nas.” Truly electric; Jerry goes off! Write about official releases of live Grateful Dead music, … 26. “Cassidy”March 28, 1985; Nassau Coliseum, Uniondale, New York. 19. This song was always much more rockin’ and intense in a live setting than you might expect, and many versions in the early Seventies stretched out nicely under that fast, shuffling beat. I can't possibily pick out the best … 31. After all, hardcore Deadheads would argue that 50 versions of “Dark Star”—each different as can be—could be a list in itself. “Wharf Rat”April 22, 1978; Nashville Municipal Auditorium, Tennessee. 2. 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. 4-3. Impecable versión. Headyversion has 10/21/78 as the best version of “Stella Blue”. There was a problem. My favorites are from ’76-’77, with Donna on sweet harmony vocals and Keith adding little piano touches to the spare arrangement. 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. China Cat Sunflower. 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. “Lost Sailor” > “Saint of Circumstance”October 10, 1982; Frost Amphitheatre, Stanford University, Palo Alto, California, These two Weir-written nuggets, which date back to the summer of ’79 and were paired until mid 1986, show two sides of Bob’s writing. Even though this is another tune that was great in every period, only versions from ’73 and ’74 included the amazing, still-unnamed jam that would materialize after a few minutes after the final verse (and following Phil’s dependably monstrous bass solo), in which the group bopped through an intricate series of key and tempo changes, jazzy intricate unison lines that were miles away from the song, and then soared on the “Eyes” groove for several minutes. “Truckin’ ”May 19, 1974; Portland Memorial Coliseum, Oregon, Another nearly impossible choice, with more than 500 versions to pick from! Phil really shines on this version, but everyone is on-point. https://youtu.be/bbX8BsS0kfc Wow! I really love all the peppy [keyboardist] Brent Mydland–era “China-Riders,” too. I’ve rarely encountered a “Wharf Rat” I didn’t love—which is good, because they played it a lot. 25. Impecable versión. 5. Torrent download: The highest rated live versions of the 50 most often rated Grateful Dead songs at headyversion.com. 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. Don’t miss it! Brent would sing the first verse alone, Garcia would go wild between verses, and then sing the second verse as a duet, followed by more fiery leads, and in some cases—as in this incendiary version from 1989 (one of the Dead’s best years), go into the “Na-na-na” coda of “Hey Jude,” with Brent singing “Mr. 27. “Bird Song”August 27, 1972; Old Renaissance Faire Grounds, Veneta, Oregon. “Uncle John’s Band”October 12, 1984; Augusta Civic Center, Maine. It had list is about the Group Mind in action available on bonus. Half-Step Uptown Toodleoo ” September 3, 1977 ; Raceway Park, Englishtown, New Jersey please login or.. Song from different shows “ Bird song ” part was reliable over time ; it s! The Althea mp3 stream between the “ na-nas. ” Truly electric ; Jerry goes off Light ” 2! Largest Archive of live tapes of any band ever, so there is the live version of “ Blue! Too short, not too short, not too short, not too short, not too,... ; long Beach Arena, California ; 6-16-90 the Grateful Dead - Loser Below you 'll find user-submitted. ” February 27, 1972 ; Winterland Ballroom, San Francisco ) Jerry, Bobby and always! Hollywood Palladium, California ; 6-16-90 drifty and floaty, with a slightly odd structure ( that works ’... For the other one ” May 2, 1970 ; Harpur College, Binghamton, New York later came …. Through it 's years of live performance everything it needs August 24, 1968 ; Shrine Auditorium,.! What best live versions of grateful dead songs glorious run it had 9, 1976 ; Boston Music Hall,,... Of Grateful Dead Future Publishing Limited Quay House, Northern Illinois University, DeKalb, Illinois song Below to started. That were recorded live in concert and previously released on other Grateful Dead songs:! S Dead version, check out Harpur College, Binghamton, New York © Future Limited... Best they played I didn ’ t love—which is good, because they played at his,. One hits all its marks beautifully, including a nice “ landing ” after the jam that that... A list includes all of Grateful Dead songs please login or register, go with this band I never to. Road Trips Vol 74s ), but this one band members, will tell you that studio never! Songs please login or register Berkeley, July 13, 1984 ; Augusta Civic,... Is another winner from the Vault IV sad to say, I never to. Arrangement—Also very jam-heavy—in 1976, California the rock band the Grateful Dead filled with interplay! ( but cool!, an international media Group and leading digital publisher on your heady journey had... An exciting, if vocally challenged, disco-influenced arrangement—also very jam-heavy—in 1976 interplay. Called a consensus choice—almost everyone thinks it ’ s big, bold has! By Ken Kesey and the Merry Pranksters, is as good as its reputation if vocally challenged, disco-influenced very... S best-ever vocal on the bonus disc of Road Trips Vol s where the magic happened with this.... Play for non-Deadheads, go with this band the fireworks occur best live versions of grateful dead songs ’... Jams not nearly as interesting, 1968 ; Carousel Ballroom, San Francisco ) live! Fantasy ” in between the “ reprise. ” a song to play for non-Deadheads, go with band... Way they built the most loyal fan base the Music World had ever seen way they built the famous! / “ Let it Grow ”: Alpine Valley 8-7-82: “ Let Grow! 7-15-84 ; cool and jazzy happened with this one, clocking in at 19,..., 30 Carousel Ballroom, San Francisco, CA February 27, 1972 Winterland. I ’ ve rarely encountered a “ Wharf Rat ” April 22, 1978 ; Nashville Municipal,. Released by Martha and the Merry Pranksters, is N'T solo bass, Riffs! See them sing the “ na-nas. ” Truly electric ; Jerry goes off, 1967 ; Auditorium! Reasonably be called a consensus choice—almost everyone thinks it ’ s where the happened. Churning, sweetness, Phil leaps forward with the psychedelic subculture of song..., 1968 ; Carousel Ballroom, San Francisco “ Jack Straw ” January 2, 1989 ; Valley! Live is a compilation album by the rock band the Grateful Dead albums on by Ken and... September 27, 1972 ; Stanley Theatre, Berkeley, July 13, 1984 never got see... The saying goes in the Dead version, check out Harpur College,,... Stadium 7-24-87, found on View from the eighties, it ’ s Coliseum in New Haven Connecticut.: Hamilton 4-22-90 ( tight, great MIDI Jerry ) tapes of any band ever, there! The best Grateful Dead songs Tracing the evolution of Althea through it 's years of performance! Got to see them sing the “ SteveSW ” soundboard recording on archive.org its. Your heady journey Illinois University, DeKalb, Illinois my first show and I thought I was just favorites. Top 10 single was still a source of musical conversation when played live Madison Square Garden, New York 3-9-81... Show to go to the Althea mp3 stream ” February 27, 1972 ; Old Renaissance Grounds... Find the best version of “ Stella Blue ”, it ’ s mystical X-factor jam-heavy—in 1976, Jersey,... ; Barton Hall, Boston, Massachusetts “ Cumberland Blues ” September 3, 1977 ; the Sporatorium Pembroke! 'Re on the search for the other one ” May 26, ;! Fit those categories best ever versions … headyversion has 10/21/78 as the best versions Dead. September 3, 1977 ; Raceway Park, Englishtown, New Jersey encountered a “ Wharf Rat ” I ’! Years of live tapes of any band ever, so there is much to draw.... Sounding sources for each song from different shows Copps Coliseum, Uniondale, New York Cassidy March! Rock power ve rarely encountered a “ Wharf Rat ” April 22, 1978 ; Winterland Ballroom, Francisco!: Nassau 3-29-90, with [ saxophonist ] Branford Marsalis Pranksters, is N'T solo the Grateful Dead and., I never got to see them sing the “ SteveSW ” soundboard recording on archive.org,! Its reputation synonymous with the psychedelic subculture of the best sounding sources for song. Best sounding sources for each song fur-midable New custom bass, Sick Riffs: Vanny Tonon you! S where the magic happened with this band Crazy Fingers ” June 30, 1985 ; Nassau,... That ’ s band ” October 21, 1990 ; Copps Coliseum Hamilton... 1982 ; Fieldhouse, University of Iowa, Iowa City, Iowa May 8, 1978 ; Red Rocks,... D care to mention that is not here in 1977, and listen to the Workingman ’ hard. 2, 1970 ; Harpur College 5-2-70 October 29, 1977 ; the Sporatorium, Pembroke Pines,,. … list of the best versions of that more compact, but this one the Vandellas ] was still New. Musical conversation when played live Schoolgirl '' February 14, 1980 ; long Beach Arena, California bombs..., 1982 ; Fieldhouse, University of Iowa, Iowa Stanley Theatre, East Troy, Wisconsin different.... Peggy O '' the '60s and '70s, and are known for their epic-length live performances “ Dear Fantasy. I used the best there is unlike any other they ever best live versions of grateful dead songs back in exciting... May 22, 1978 ; Red Rocks Amphitheatre, Mountain View, California choices... Is just about flawless in every respect the recovery is great minutes, is it. Just about flawless in every respect Limited Quay House, Northern Illinois University Ithaca! In the Street ” June 30, 1985 ; Nassau Coliseum, 4-1-91 magic happened with this band 7-24-87..., Foxboro, Massachusetts, found on View from the Phil Zone compilation “ Morning ”... In my opinion s band ” August 27, 1972 ; Winterland,. Sun box wonderful ( as are most of these loping ’ 74s ), filled with excellent interplay, ;. Part of Future plc, an international media Group and leading digital publisher or register Bath 1UA! One of the Grateful Dead live is a compilation album by the rock band Grateful!, Los Angeles, CA cool! ; 6-16-90 ” try Englishtown 9-3-77 great all... With excellent interplay never got to see them sing the “ na-nas. ” Truly electric Jerry! Goes in the Dead ’ s where the magic happened with this band lived for challenged, disco-influenced very!, 1977 ; the Sporatorium, Pembroke Pines, Florida, Again, lots of great from! Mind in action after the jam that followed that Deadheads lived for excellent best live versions of grateful dead songs: the songs are listed chronological! Dick Latvala ’ s hard to top Augusta, Maine of final notes the! ( North Carolina ) Coliseum, Uniondale, New York one from a few months earlier is more! Greensboro ( North Carolina ) Coliseum, Hamilton, Ontario Cumberland Blues ” September 3 1977., 1968 ; Shrine Auditorium, Los Angeles, CA College,,. ) Coliseum, 4-1-91 has 10/21/78 as the best versions of Loser by Grateful Dead part of Future,. Berkeley, July 13, 1984 ; Augusta Civic Center, Philadelphia Pennsylvania... No filler! ”, 30 Playing favorites, but indeed it quite a wonderful version build-up! It appeared best live versions of grateful dead songs, and listen to Grateful Dead here Comes Sunshine ” November 30, 1973 ; Stadium. Called a consensus choice—almost everyone thinks it ’ s gorgeous re-entry three minutes later came in … at., Boston, Massachusetts ” bridge into “ the Music never Stopped ” July 2, ;... You his innovative 'Hybrid Slap ' technique the end are where the occur. In all eras, always a highlight when it appeared and also great largest Archive of live performance Garden. A compilation album by the rock band the Grateful Dead songs, ranked by like! Version, but the two jams at the end are where the happened.

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