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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Joined: Jan 13 2009
thrilled and disappointed

similar to many, this is not what i preordered. Seems like last minute thrown together 'booklet' that comes with the "coffee table book". A book with another book? Perhaps that was the last minute trade-off for having to produce 12 more disks to get all the music in there...

and if that's the trade-off, i'll take it, because its about the music anyway, right?

im damn tickled to hear 4/7 as a soundboard. 4/29 in this quality because all circulating versions are terrible. many, many shows previous incomplete that i can listen to in entirety. and the completeness of the recordings - many things im noticing where there are not cuts between songs to take out dead air.. i far prefer that and the resulting extra disks to the "extra goodies we've been unearthing" suggestion.

nevertheless, its disappointing that something with the GD name on it got this treatment. i lay the blame fully at rhino's feet. even they lamented not making more, if they couldn't get these right, how dare they?

btw, don't understand the comments about the numbered boxes. mine says 0384 of 7200, not 0384 of 3000.....

scott1129's picture
Joined: Jun 6 2007
Europe '72 : Myths and Legends

Europe '72 is the holy grail of dead tapers, hard to get, clean copies of legendary shows in the European theaters, cudos to for taking the chance.

In the original announcement the number of CDs was predicted to be 60 + (note the plus sign),
This was quickly revised as mixing began, (guess that the set list started to demand this in the first few shows). Just at first glance, 22 shows x 3 cds per show = 66 so only 7 extra discs(okay 9 since the tv broadcast is one cd)

If you look at the skectch above of the box it looks very similar to the box in hand,
but the text in the original announcement (since removed) did go on about all the cool
extras to be included in this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to own a piece of history.

A re-do Tour program and book do not count as extras.

Where is the postcard photos
Where is the button
Where is the copy of the reviews in local papers

Still as said before

It's all about the MUSIC

So grab your partner and swing and sway
Grateful Dead all night and all day.

The Sky Was Yellow And The Sun Was Blue
People Stopping Strangers Just To Shake Their Hand.

zepthompson's picture
Joined: Nov 1 2010
what are these forums for

if its not to complain, just alittle

The music is totally awesome

loving every pigpen track!

I've been on these boards nearly every day
since the November giveaways
and then taking advantage of all else there is

Thank you!
(you know who you are)


Oswald55's picture
Joined: Mar 23 2010
andy s

i'm afraid you're missing the point. true, they went from 60 discs to 73, but they didn't include 13 extra discs of music. instead, adding the extra discs allowed them to preserve the original set lists without having to worry about resequencing or breaking-up jams due to disc changes. i'm, of course, quite happy they went that route.

you obviously don't need me to tell you that you are entitled to your own opinion, but the facts remain that they made promises in black and white that ultimately went unkept. there's no denying that. everyone's happy that they are able to listen to this music after the terrific mastering job, but if they were planning on scratching some of the "extras" that were planned up front (when the super-high demand for the product caused a complete meltdown of the ordering process), it would've been nice to know about it.

Joined: Aug 1 2008
Ephemera vs Music

I'm not sure why some folks are so upset about the lack of the extra "ephemera" included in the box. Sure it was in the original description when the set was announced, but pre-production samples are just that, pre-production. They are not the final product. The fact is that the set was originally planned for 60 discs. Is anyone returning the extra dozen discs they actually got ? I doubt it. That said I am satisfied with what I got, I might be a little sad at the lack of extra goodies, but it is the music and the book I really wanted and that's what I got. All I have to do now is Smile, Smile, Smile.

Joined: Jul 11 2008

Same here too much anticipation to little in box . I'm over the 3001 number but still want to know what it is after 450 dropped you guys should be a bit more organized

Joined: Sep 3 2011
My unnumbered box has arrived

First of all THANKS to GDP/Rhino for a wonderful set, I am very happy with what I got.

The quality of the recordings is incredible, compared to what has been in circulation for the past 30+ years, You did a great job.

I hope you do more of these extended run sets, I'm thinking spring 1990 from the multitracks or Boston 1991 from the DSBDs...

If you do, here's some hints on how to do better it next time.

Don't offer it for presale before you know exactly whats going to be in the box. Most of the disappointment I have heard isn't for what's in the box, its what people speculated on for 8 months based on the info last january. The fact it turned into 73 CDs instead of the original 60 cut into your margin, which you will obviously recoup with the music only versions for the same price.

The 8 months of hype aboout the mystery goodies and tour ephemera, the misleading photo of ephemera and the sketch of a box that barely resembles what came in the mail is a huge problem, because you made us think that was going to be in the box. If you had just had a photo of the outside of the box and then put in the beautiful hard cover book, UK program replica and the sticker most people would have been more than happy at what they got.

In the end the personalization was pretty lame, and you should have just stuck the individually numbered "inspected by" sticker in all 7200 of the boxes and let the person that got the box write in their own name. When you promise a numbered box, you should deliver one, if not, that is false advertising.

Seeing how only the 1st 3000 got numbered I suggest we start a database of the rest of the boxes. I have already used my sharpy to number the GD sticker that covers split and claim 3001 of 7200.

So in the end the Europe 72 Complete box is fantastic and has some great bonus stuff compared to the Music only version. I'm very happy with what I got, but it is not what I thought I was preordering for 8 months ago.

Joined: Jan 22 2011
NEVER AGAIN Lamagonzo?

Even when they discover unknown videos of Europe shows and offer up a matching suitcase to the steamer trunk full of dvds ?
I do understand. Believe me!

lamagonzo (not verified)
Received last Wednesday

I haven't played a random disc yet that has any kind of problem. For a four-hundred-and-fifty dollar product I think they should have used plastic protective cases. This is a major problem with this set. Also, they promised more ephemera than they delivered. Much, much more.

In short, Rhino is stuck in the old way of presenting multiple discs for sale and in the end we, the die-hard fan base are the ones who end up paying for it.

To be fair, $6.17 per disc is not a bad price for the MUSIC, but it wasn't only the music that was promised. That is as succinctly as I can put it.

PS: Despite having e-mailed, received a return e-mail confirmation that the addy had been changed, I still wasn't happy. I called CALDEAD and talked to Walter who ASSURED me the addy would be corrected. It wasn't! Only through the UPS guy going beyong and above the call of duty did I get my E72.

My rating for the store goes to (F) Never ordering again!.

inthemoment1's picture
Joined: Jul 7 2008

I have just began the musical oddyssey that is E'72, listening through good headphones as I write this. The sound is rich, separated, and clear, heartbreakingly beautiful!!! Wow! Complete too. The boys were obviously peaking creatively and having a blast doing it. What a pleasure to be able to hear 40 year old music so well presented. Listening to this set makes me feel so good, knowing I can hear these glorious and triumphant shows again and again. Long live the Grateful Dead.



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