Grateful Dead

Holy S#%*! It’s the COMPLETE Europe ’72 Box! On Over 60 Discs!

Europe '72:
The Complete Recordings

Hey now! Due to overwhelming demand, surprising even those of us with huge faith in the Europe '72 project, the entire limited edition run of 7,200 boxed sets has sold out in less than 4 days. We thank you beyond words for your support and belief in this unprecedented and wonderful release.

After lengthy discussions, we've decided we don't want to deprive anyone of this music, some of the finest the Grateful Dead ever performed. Of course, we're keeping to our promise that the boxed set and all of its accouterments will not be made available beyond these 7,200 boxed sets (and wait until you see the case in which the music is housed, the hard-bound coffee-table book, plus all of the other cool surprises we've been unearthing!). But, we're going to offer just the music, all 22 shows, more than 60 CDs, more than 70 hours of music, each show housed in its own packaging, for the same price as the boxed set, $450 including domestic shipping. Although perhaps not as cool as the boxed set, the bottom line is that the most important aspect of Europe '72: The Complete Recordings is going to be made available to all, the music.

- David Lemieux

Because you dared dream this might happen one day… Because you went down to the Gypsy Woman and offered up your first-born to try to make it happen… Because there are enough passionate Dead Heads at Rhino/GD who thought it might be cool for this to happen… It’s happening! Coming in September is a gargantuan, beautifully designed EUROPE ’72 MEGA-BOX SET containing ALL 22 SHOWS of what is arguably the greatest tour the Grateful Dead ever played, on a whopping 60+ DISCS (over 70 hours of music!). Bet you didn’t see that comin’!

Really, at this point we probably don’t need to lay on too much hype about how wonderful the music is: Chances are, if you’re even considering buying a copy of this stunning box, you already know how amazing the Dead’s tour of Europe in April and May of 1972 was. To review briefly, though, the Dead’s first tour outside of North America took them to all sorts of historic and unusual venues in England, Denmark, West Germany, France, Holland and even tiny Luxembourg. Many members of the Dead “family” came along on what was really an extended working vacation that was designed to both expose the Dead to new audiences and also reward the band for their unlikely conquest of America during the preceding two years. As a hedge against the costs of the nearly two-month trip, the Dead’s label, Warner Bros., paid for the band to lug around a 16-track recorder to capture the entire tour… and we’re glad they did!

This was a band at the top of its game, still ascending in the wake of three straight hit albums — Workingman’s Dead, American Beauty and the live Grateful Dead (“Skull & Roses”). It had been a year since the lineup had gone to its single-drummer configuration, six months since Keith Godchaux had been broken in as the group’s exceptional pianist, and this marked the first tour to feature Donna Godchaux as a member of the touring band. There was a ton on new, unreleased material that came into the repertoire in the fall of ’71 (after “Skull & Roses” was out) and during the spring of ’72, including “Tennessee Jed,” “Jack Straw,” “Mexicali Blues,” “He’s Gone,” “Comes A Time,” “Ramble on Rose,” “One More Saturday Night,” “Black-Throated Wind,” “Looks Like Rain” and Pigpen’s “Chinatown Shuffle,” “The Stranger (Two Souls in Communion)” and “Mr. Charlie.” (Sadly, this was Pigpen’s final tour.) All those future classics were interspersed with songs from the aforementioned “hit” albums—such as “Uncle John’s Band,” “Brokedown Palace,” “Cumberland Blues,” “Casey Jones,” “Sugar Magnolia,” “Bertha,” “Not Fade Away,” et al — and then were topped off by loads of big jamming numbers — the Europe ’72 tour produced spectacular versions of “Dark Star,” “The Other One” “Playing in the Band,” “Truckin’,” “China Cat Sunflower” > “I Know You Rider,” “Good Lovin’,” “Lovelight” and even the early Pig chestnut “Caution.” And that’s leaving out a truckload of other tunes, too! There wasn’t a clunker show in the bunch, and many are acknowledged today as classics. No doubt you already have some favorites.

Through the years, there have been a few releases of material from the Europe tour—starting with the 3-album Europe ’72 which knocked our socks off in the fall of that year, and followed many years later by material from a pair of German shows and the fantastic 4-CD Stepping Out, culled from the group’s eight shows in England. Incredibly, though, only one full show from the tour has come out previously: the excellent 4/24 concert in Dusseldorf, Germany, released as Rockin’ the Rhein in 2004.

Until now, that is. Jeffrey Norman, who has been the primary mixer of Dead archival multi-track material for the past 15 years (Fillmore West ’69, Ladies and Gentlemen…, Rockin’ the Rhein, Nightfall of Diamonds, etc.) has spent many months toiling over the 16-track masters from the tour, and will continue working on the mixes through the Winter and Spring, employing the high-tech Plangent Processes transfer and restoration tools, trying to get every show to sound “just exactly perfect” (as Bob Weir says) for this release. You might think you’ve heard that intense “Dark Star” > “Sugar Mag” > “Caution” from Copenhagen, but I guarantee you’ve never heard it sound this alive! Mastering to HDCD specs is two-time Grammy-winning engineer David Glasser of Airshow Mastering. Needless to say, all the songs that turned up on previous Europe compilations will be appear in their proper show contexts, and in the case of songs from the Europe ’72 album, without overdubs that were added later (where possible).

So dig deep, raid the penny jar, take a weekend job at Jack-in-the-Box, beg your kindly ol’ grandma for some of your inheritance early… Yes, it’s an extravagance, but jeez, you (or your loved one) deserve it! This is way cool.


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inthemoment1's picture
Joined: Jul 7 2008
A little help.........

What is this soft plastic strip to which are normally attached 12 Size 8 Plasplugs that you speak of?

cosmicbadger's picture
Joined: Jun 13 2007
Necessity is the mother of invention

I have fashioned an excellent and non damaging disc puller from the soft plastic strip to which are normally attached 12 Size 8 Plasplugs. It works a treat.

inthemoment1's picture
Joined: Jul 7 2008
Some folks trust to reason others trust to might....

How do?
First off let me make this clear. I am not a neurosugeon, but I have excellent fine motor control. I am having a nightmarish time it is trying to get the discs out without damaging the cases. How the heck do you get disc one out of each set? Am I right? I own tons of cds and have never had such a hard time just trying to take a disc out of a case. Really. This is quite frustrating......what happened in the design room? Who okayed these cases after it was discovered that they were too small? should understand that it is very poor business to:
1. Release a music set promising limited pressing, then in immediate succession release the exact same music set in 2 different issue deals.
2. Not include items promised in the original sales pitch when the deal was sealed without any warning.
3. Issue a set using sub-par materials.

I love the Grateful Dead's music, but am underwhelmed with the tomfoolery surrounding this release. I hope this message gets to the right people. I am going to go back to trying to get this darn thing out of the case without ripping the $25 case apart. I hope all the cds play ok, so far so good for me after the first two shows.

.....I don't trust to nothin' but I know it come out right.

stone jack baller's picture
Joined: Jun 8 2007
Customs Ticket

I received my baggage inspection sticker in today's post.

For those who concern themselves with such details, it is customs ticket # 3859.

For all the negativity on this forum topic and also on the all music edition posts, I guess you're either on the europe bus or you're off the bus.

Joined: Aug 27 2008
5/11/72: PITB - the new multi-track mix

After listening for decades to that 2 track bad beginning (the first 90 seconds or so) mix of Playing In The Band, finally we get to hear a proper mix of this song.
I really like this mix from the 16 track tape way, way better.
Thank you very much, Jeffery Norman!

JackstrawfromColorado's picture
Joined: Jan 2 2009

That whole notion was obviously a joke. How can you promise so much and not deliver on the promise? They bank on the fact that you are so happy to get the cds that you will over look all the other flaws. I suppose that works for some...

lamagonzo (not verified)
E72 Box Set

I have just finished the E72 Box Set. I have he usual problems people have mentioned:
One of the discs malfunctioned in Vol.17.
About half the cheesy CD covers ripped at the corner.
There were variations in the mixing of the tracks

This sounded like a band that was rehearsing new material in some nontraditional venues, for them. Now, listening to 22 separate versions of Black-Throated wind can be a bit tedious, and the adventurous side of the band is not really full throttle.

Still, there is that '72 energy here that is just unmistaken.

Having said that, the product itself could have been a lot more solidly made and with a few extras. They sold a ton of "music only" editions and individual shows, They could have delivered up a superior product on the scale of the Warlocks 89 box.

I am sorely tempted to return this based on the shoddy production principles but like the music too much and will give them a fair chance to correct the problem. But back it goes if I get a "stupid" run around. .

Joined: Aug 27 2008
I got my box set!

"This is way cool!" Indeed it is.
My box was on the doorstep when I got home late Wednesday afternoon. Right now I'm going thru some of the noted "problem discs" and I find no problems with these discs, so far. I really like this new hardback essay book and the reprint of "The Book Of The Dead" is neat, too. The case is good, but could have been better. The disc sleeves are a bit if a problem, they just seem a bit too small. The discs fit in, OK, but pulling them out is not that easy, I already ripped 3 sleeves at the folds, but only minor tears. There is a trick to extracting discs from the sleeves - just be careful & hold the sleeves facing up or down, depending if you want to remove or re-insert the discs.

The audio mixes are great with the 5/11 show being the best & cleanest sounding show and 5/7 show being the roughest and "dirtiest" sounding show.
Overall, the mixes are very good, but are not quite refined as they really could be. But, it was clearly stated that the overall sound would have this live roughness to it, and each show would be sounding a bit different. And I like it

And to all who contributed their talents to this project, THANK YOU VERY MUCH!

Joined: Jul 1 2009
Still no word :(

Hi everyone. I got this email on the 14/9

"Your order is preparing to ship. Please allow extra time seeing as this is an international order, and you should receive an email with a tracking number once it leaves the warehouse. Thank you for your patience."

Does this mean they have taken my money?

I realise I live in Australia, but the wait has been ridiculous.

scott1129's picture
Joined: Jun 6 2007
Europe '72 : The Way The Weird & The What the #&@%

So, as we continue our European adventure, many issues arise.
1) Sound quality and disc errors - none so far
2) Box Numbers - received an e-mail on 9/7 (today is 10/6) that it would be in the mail but still no sign and the CSline is full of "Europe '72 order" calls
3) Europe '72 awarded Gold Record Status - Presentation at Greek Theatre in LA on 10/5/11 - absent Mickey and Billy and Donna

Still I dig the music especially the Pigpen tunes

Chubba Chubba


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