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.
Bear family does wonderful work, and they're not cheap. Their "Sweet Soul Music" collection, spanning over a decade is a favorite. I worked in Polygram's transfer facility back in the eighties and was impressed that Bear Family would send someone over to supervise the transfers to make sure they were up to their standards. As far as Dead scholarship goes, no better model exists then noted Ornithologist, Phil Schaap: world's pre-eminent Charlie Parker expert. Phil also happened to do sound when the Grateful Dead played Columbia University in 1968 in support of the student strike. Phil told me that when the Dead went into "Feedback" he immediately reached for the volume and Jerry threw him a quick glance and said, "Don't touch those buttons, Son. We want that feedback." Unfortunately, the reel to reels have vanished from Columbia's archives.
They clearly state that your card will not be billed until the box ships. That's 9 months away! Save your money, so when it does ship, you'll have the money in your account. It's a no brainer!
so i just went to ebay to look at bear family box sets. if your not familiar, they are a german company thats been putting out box sets for years. johnny cash, hank snow, carter family, etc. (i saw a freddy king set i didn't know about!!!) so i looked up the most # of cd's and price. the complete sun singles vol 1-4 is a 16 cd box set that sells for $300. bear family is really famous for what they do. just thought i'd try to put things in perspective...
Thanks, Lovecraft, I wonder if this will be the policy with the need for firm pre-orders before going to production (since one can always cancel an order once made). I suspect this is all academic, since there will certainly be plenty of pre-orders to cover even some folks pulling out. An academic discount for institutions would be great, since I, among others, have been slowly winning the battle of getting "Dead Studies" taken seriously. But, of course, Heads first!
I just wonder... Will there be a bonus disc included????????
AHAHHAHAHHAhahhhhhaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa.................. 'scuse me.
Lovecraft is right.. It won't be charged until it ships in Sept.
I don't think they charge your card until they ship the box
I knew as I was typing that post that I shouldn't have been taking the bait. We've had our share of vehement disagreements, but it never occurred to me to question your abilities as a writer. As I said, I think it smells a bit of envy/jealousy. No one's holding a gun to anyone's head to make them read your ponderous and self-congratulatory (LOL) essays.
I'm over it, though. It just gave me a glimpse into your world, and I'm glad I don't have to deal with it. I daresay I'd be a bit less gracious than you, were I in your position.
important, wonderful music, great to have properly mastered and treated with the care and respect it deserves. However, the preorder time, of almost half a year, is a long time to have a lot of folks money collecting interest, which alone will amount to hundreds of thousands of dollars. I agree one should be limited to, say, two copies, or else they will be on e-bay the very next day for inflated prices (particularly when a limited run is announced, which I never quite understand, why not produce second editions of popular recordings, and keep the money in the family, so to speak, instead of simply pumping up the prices on the resale market? I will get my university to purchase this for sure, and I suspect others would, particularly if there was a stripped down version, with the discs and documentation, but minus the packaging, which cannot be handled easily by a library. Anyhow, I look forward to the release, but not having $450 tied up for so long--do we get our money back with interest if there are not enough pre-orders? : ) (as if there is any chance that will happen, folks may just have to cut down on a baggie or two for a couple of months.......
If this is a success Blair, may there be other full run box sets? Thank You very much...