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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unkle sam's picture
Joined: Oct 3 2008

can't order, just trying to get the shipping prices, won't go to cart, can't find out anything, guess I'll try again later.

marye's picture
Joined: May 26 2007

it wouldn't be without spirited expressions of opinion.

Joined: Jun 4 2007

I'm already envious. Guess I'll have to put $500 aside for the Spring '90 tour box when that comes out. I'd sell a kidney for that.

Joined: May 1 2010
then don't buy it

why don't these guys have the right to make money like anyone else? $450 for 60+ discs is hardly a ripoff. what the hell do you know about their production costs?

if you don't like the economics, just pass on it.

and shut up.

Joined: Jan 18 2009
Imperfect World

I agree. There will be some "investors" buying these. In fact if the price goes high enough, I myself may sell my copy (provided I can get through to buy one), after I have digitized the contents for my personal use. It's the nature of the beast I suppose. We live in an imperfect world.

In regards to the 1.3 million dollar earlier post. I can not stay quiet. I must speak. That post looks a lot like right-wing-talk-radio-inspired bull pucky. Like the right-wing AM talkers it hand picks the "facts." I'm sure everyone else noticed this too, but what those figures do not include is the cost of producing the set. Yes, the sell will bring in 1.3 million, but the cost going out will be -- I have no way of knowing and won't pull numbers out of my arse as some folks do -- but at approximately $7.50 per disc, the profit margin has to be close. There are physical costs to producing CDs not to mention that Jeffery Norman, as well as all the lesser people involved in the project have to get paid. (That's right I placed Mr. Norman above the rest. That guy works magic.)

Joined: Jun 4 2007
Shopping cart working again, but...

But there's still no international shipping options displaying. Sigh...

Joined: Oct 23 2008
Individual Shows

Since I already own all the official releases of this tour, I'd like the opportunity to buy individual shows. I'd also like to buy downloads, since I no longer feel the need to own big box-set productions (just the music, please, and thanks).

cosmicbadger's picture
Joined: Jun 13 2007
No international shipping option

I got everything done before the rush only to find that international customers cannot select any shipping option and so it is impossible to process the order without a shipping option. Sigh.........

simonrob's picture
Joined: Jun 7 2007

I cannot get past the "Checkout" button. Earlier when I tried I got as far as the login page where it refused to recognize my password. Give it a while, I thought, but now I can't get anywhere. Is demand so high? If I do eventually get to checkout and login, will I then be confronted with no International shipping option or an absurd shipping charge? Ho hum.

Joined: Jun 4 2007
Limited edition

My guess is they don't want to take the risk to press too many and get stuck with them at this price. So pressing what has been ordered makes a lot of sense.


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