Holy S#%*! It’s the COMPLETE Europe ’72 Box! On Over 60 Discs!
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.
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.
...in Vol 18 Kongresshall. Otherwise I'm enjoying the hell out of this band practicing their new material while on vacation in Europe.
Thanks everyone for their input ie... skips etc... I have an old Nak cd player purchased in 91 that I am going to hook up and see if the quality is better and if the skips disappear, will try and get to that today and will let you all know what I find. Does anyone else think that it is strange that in 2011 I have to pull out a 20 yr old cd player to experience these discs in all their sonic glory? Can anyone explain that? You know, I wanted to go back in time, but I didn't think that I would have to stop in 91 to pick up a player to make it possible. If these are really HDCDs, why won't they play correctly on a new player, or your computer, or anything else that was made this century? Maybe we could get some insight from the creators, if they can find time in their schedules to address some of these concerns/problems.
Somewhere it was asked which shows were the ones to cop individually, here's a few that I personally think are outstanding:
4-24- Dusseldorf Disc 3 Dark Star goes out of this world, then returns to destroy young German minds 5 stars
4-29- Hamburg Disc 3 another outstanding Dark Star, sounds like WWIII, bombs dropping all over 5 stars
5-4- Paris Disc 3 Dark Star explodes, shimmers, spins, returns viva la France 5 stars
5-11- Rotterdam Disc 3 Holland, windmills, hashish and liquid sunshine, over 40 mins of pure bliss 5 stars
5-23- disc 2 a shorter Dark Star with a beautiful Morning Dew following, 5 stars
5-25-disc 3 what can you say, Unkle John's Band, Wharf Rat, Dark Star, Sugar Magnolia>Sunshine Daydream, I'm sure it was this nite. 5 stars
None of these discs skip and the sound on them is excellent. I'm sure there's more greatness here, but so far, these are all wonderful. Still a lot more to listen to, still have all of The Other One's to experience, got to find time, I need more time, there's never enough time. I would love to listen to these in the same state of mind that the band was in, the acid was so good DeeGee was hiding under Keith's piano, but unless we invent that time machine, I don't see that happening, but, it's nice to dream :)
If it's all about the music, then they did an ok job, if it's about anything else about this box, they did a crappy job. Rhino, learn from your mistakes, make it right, do it now and all will be forgiven, (well, most all) I can't forgive the fact that you will always be a money orientated corporate greed machine.
It has arrived at my French hideaway. What a saga! No number or personalisation despite being one of the very first orders. Not sure I have the energy to chase that. But the box looks great, I love the book and the first show sounds fantastic to these ears.
Thanks to all have helped and supported, especially Marye and CJ
What other fans would have put up with such a catalogue of foul ups? The much vaunted Grateful Dead business model has been tarnished. Should we be proud of our tolerance or ashamed of our stupidity? I don't know ..I am just so glad to be able to hear these shows that a forgiving mood is unavoidable.
If Rhino ever attempts such a venture again ( and I hope they do) perhaps they should bear in mind the words of our Pigpen
Get it right, do it nice
If you make a mistake pay for it twice
Are you sure that's not Billy's cymbal? I can see how in parts it could be mistaken for skipping. Nothing's lost in the vocal so it's clearly not skipping on my copy.
P.S. Cool! Brought in the captcha...
Just about every disc I played skipped. Cleaned the player. It has realively low hours on it. Still the same. So I got a second SACD player out, identical to the one I was using. It was never used, still in the box. I unboxed it and the discs still skip all over. I tried a third and fourth player and they were ok except one set. I EAC tested each track and no problems came up. So I don't think the 2 players like these discs much. I went out today and bought a straight Cd player and so far they have been playing fine...
Ironically these are the only discs out of my 5000+ Cd and SACD collection that ever wouldn't track up on this player, go figure. My friend has had no problems with his set and I'm not reading much on a few other Deadcentric sites that I'm on.
I would try another player also. Who knows why. Maybe the plant they were manufactured in or whatever other gremlins it didn't like!
So I'm keeping my fingers crossed that my problems are over now!
Thanks for pointing out some of the defective discs, especially the 5/4/72 d2. I have not received my order, yet. I will keep all this in mind when I'm listening to my set.
Have you tried playing the problem discs on other players to see it the disc really is defective?
After listening for hours to several different shows and discs, there is a distinct difference in the first two shows at the pool hall over the others, the mix settles down considerably after the first shows and sounds much fuller and richer as the tour goes on. Perhaps it is the venue, perhaps the actual recording engineer on site got better as the tour went on, perhaps the remix was done differently after these first two shows, or perhaps I have defective discs. Not sure which it is, but I also have noticed slight digi skips on a few discs, most noticeably on the 5-4 Paris show, disc 2 Jack Straw skips all over the place.
All in all, with exception of the first two London shows, this sounds much better than originally stated, that being said, there is still an issue in my mind about these cheap sleeves, they rip even if you squeeze them in the middle, most of the discs are jammed all the way into the compartment, making them even harder to get out, ripped sleeves, 4, especially the 4 discs sets, real hard to get the discs out without damage.
I have decided to keep this set, but now with the individual shows being released, it's really not what was advertised, now is it. Look at all the rest of the knick nacks that have come out now, magnets, stickers, t-shirts, but we who put up the original cost of this release, (yes, without our 7200 pre orders, this wouldn't even be here) don't get any of that, even when it was implied that we would.
I will stick with my original comment, I will never buy from Rhino again, sight unseen or unheard, these corporate fools are not at all what the Grateful Dead was all about.
My credit card has still not been charged, I will continue listening, making a list of defective discs and contact customer service to see what will happen next, but I got a feeling it's gonna take a while to get replacement discs, if we ever do.
Maybe the way to go is for us to put a hold on our credit cards until this whole mess is sorted out. Obviously money talks with rhino, lets all talk in their language.
I am near SF too. A friend of mine 20 minutes away already got his 3 weeks ago! They cannot even tell me anything about my order because it was one of the very first orders, a DN order number. Arghhhhhhhh!!!
I got one of the first orders in, a DN order number and the hotline cannot tell me anything about it, except that "it should ship by next Friday." They keep telling me that every week, ARGHHHHHHHH!
Finally hearing Jerry let go a little on Cumberland. Pig has been his usual raving self throughout this tour. Now, I've never heard Europe played song for song in it's entirety so this is all fresh for me. At Tivoli, where they do that Good Lovin'>Caution>Who Do You Love>Caution>Good Lovin' it's great, but Pig blasts through one chorus of Who Do You Love in about 30 seconds in the middle there. It's all good but wish he could of took a little time.
About the way the engineers mixed these recordings: I'm still not happy but the more I listen the more I hear a consistency. Night to night and venue to venue didn't seem to make a big difference on this tour. It's like they were playing in a cosmic time warp.
So, I'm trying to listen to it in that way before the final report card comes in.