The Grateful Dead – Winterland June 1977: The Complete Recordings

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grateful dead, winterlandSound the imperial trumpets! Bang the drum! Pop that champagne! Another Grateful Dead box set is comin’ your way! Yes, in the grand tradition of the beloved Fillmore West 1969 and Winterland 1973 boxes, comes Winterland June 1977: The Complete Recordings, a 9-CD box set that is sure to knock your tie-dyed socks off.

At this point, we probably don’t need to hype you on the glories of ’77 Dead. It was a magical time for the band, which was reinvigorated by a plethora of great new material—“Terrapin,” “Estimated Prophet,” “Passenger,” “Fire on the Mountain”—and really hitting its stride again following the October ’74 to June ’76 performing hiatus. The group spent much of the first three months of 1977 recording their Terrapin Station album with producer Keith Olsen, and Garcia also managed to find time to complete the much-anticipated Grateful Dead movie (which opened June 1, 1977). The third week of April, the band embarked on what most Dead Heads agree was one of the greatest tours ever: 26 concerts in the East and Midwest in a little over a month—an awesome stretch that produced so many great shows, a few of them already released in the Dick’s Picks series and subsequently (and more, no doubt, destined to come out down the road.)

So when the Dead returned to San Francisco’s Winterland for shows on June 7, 8, 9, they were pumped up and feeling good! They treated their hometown fans to three superb concerts that included excellent versions of much of their current repertoire, from the new combo of “Scarlet Begonias” > “Fire on the Mountain,” to a truly colossal, more than 30-minute “Help on the Way” > “Slipknot!” > “Franklin’s Tower,” “Saint Stephen,” “Terrapin,” “Good Lovin’,” “Not Fade Away,” “The Other One”… too many favorites to mention (you can see the complete song lists here). Winterland June 1977: The Complete Recordings contains every note recorded from the three shows, more than nine hours of prime Dead, all taken from the master analog tapes, restored using the Plangent Processes, and mastered in HDCD by that inimitable sonic tweakster, Jeffrey Norman.

The nine discs are packaged in a beautifully designed box that includes artwork by Emek (you loved his crazy Winterland ’73 phantasmagoria); a 28-page booklet featuring a wonderful and illuminating new essay by Rolling Stone senior music editor David Fricke (who dubs this a “box of paradise and circus… six complete sets of inspired risk and collective explosion”); lots of great Winterland action shots by noted GD shutterbugs Ed Perlstein and Bruce Polonsky; and a couple of little pieces of period memorabilia we won’t reveal here.

As if nine discs isn’t enough, we are also once again sweetening the deal by adding a limited edition Bonus Disc for folks who order promptly from dead.net. This is a hot one: 78 minutes lovingly selected from the rare, never-circulated 5/12/77 show at Chicago’s beautiful Auditorium Theater! Among the treasures on this disc are a few tunes not on the Winterland June 1977 box, including “Dancing in the Street,” “Playing in the Band” (with reprise!) and “Comes A Time.”

So why wait? Order your copy of the Box’n’Bonus today by clicking here. We know you’re gonna dig it! And rest assured, there’s plenty more where this came from: We know you love the box sets; well, we do, too!

– Blair Jackson