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.
Yes, I assume that the actual mastering part is less time-consuming, but my comment was that of someone who doesn't know much about the technical terms. For me, it just meant that the whole job takes a lot of time.
The mixing from 16-track tapes is the really time-consuming part, the mastering less so (though also very important, of course)...
I have hoped that this tour would be remastered and released for a long time. But a limited edition run? Bad idea. I can hear the scalpers lining up. I thought about buying an extra one and trying my hand at one of those auction sites, but I could not deprive a fellow traveller of the set.
Of course, it would be nice if I could actually order the thing. I have never had such a hard time giving my money away as I do on this site. It's always something. By the time they get it up and running, I could be offline and miss out. I missed the Fillmore set :(
I hope they get this fixed soon.........
once have the remastering done - it makes too much $ense not to piece it out later
No, please, no... A few hundred is fine, but that'd just cost too much. To be honest, I'd rather there be a careful selection. There's plenty of SBDs you can download, and that many would never get many listens. No, I'd like to see some more runs/tours/seasons like this in the future. 60 CD sets are fine. Remember, it takes a lot of time for the remastering, so I doubt we'll be seeing a lot of big boxes like this.
This is yet another example of "If you ask Dr. Rhino, he will deliver". Lots have asked for this (I was one) and now Rhino have come up with the goods. Credit where it is due - they really do listen to us. In fact they seem to be listening a lot lately. Just be careful what you ask for. Once, in a moment of flippancy I suggested that the entire vault be released as a 5000 CD box set. If they do bring that out, I just hope they don't remind me of that fact and demand that I purchase one.
Why limit the production to 7500 copies? I'm sure it will sell out as quickly as the Fillmore '69 box, and a lot of prospective customers will be unhappy and/or mad as hell.
I say let the offer remain open for however long it takes for the market to be saturated, and let the investors and ebay sellers take their 'business' elsewhere.
I want to order from Canada - I know you ship out of Ontario so a Canadian solution would be TERRIFIC !!
It says above that if they don't get at least 3,000 orders, the box won't happen. So everyone should make sure to lobby their Deadhead friends so as many order as possible. Because at this price, it's entirely possible that there aren't enough people to got to 3,000. Cause it'd be a huge bummer to find out that this isn't going to happen....
I wish they'd back off calling it a limited edition and just go with a first production run...then they could do another production run in similar fashion if they were able to get another 3,000 pre-orders. They could even "cheapen" the packaging by switching from the Fillmore West style digipacks to the Winterland style foldable sleeves.
Per disc, this new box is the best value of the big boxes. Here's what I paid, including bonus discs and shipping/handling in the US:
Fillmore West 1969 - 11 discs/4 shows - $86 ($7.81/disc, $21.50/show)
Winterland 1973 - 10 discs/3 shows - $107 ($10.70/disc, $35.67/show)
Winterland June 1977 - 10 discs/3 shows - $106 ($10.60/disc, $35.33/show)
Europe '72 - 60 discs/22 shows - $450 ($7.50/disc, $20.45/show)
$450 is a lot to come up with for some people, but for those with the means it's a good deal. It would be nice if they did limited runs of each show and offered them monthly for those who wanted to cherry pick.