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.


Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.
Joined: Feb 6 2009
@Kima -- Reselling of boxset.

Well, you would have to buy after the 3,000 mark to resell.

It's hard to resell something that's personalized for

...and what do they mean exactly by personalized...?

Joined: Jul 9 2007
Here come the scalpers

I agree SPACEBROTHER. This should be limited to one to two per household. Don't see this happening due to the need to hit the 3,000 by April 1st.

Joined: Feb 6 2009
Great shows -- but look at these numbers !!

You need to sell 3000 copies before you can put this into production?

$450 x 3000 = $1,350,000

You need 1.35 million $$ to start production?!

$450 x 7200 = $3,240,000

You'll make a total of 3.24 million $$ on this box set and end tally...

Isn't that a bit overboard?

Can we please take and the Vault public with an IPO so we can invest in the stock --- because $3.24 million increase in revenue with $1.35 guaranteed as upfront costs would be a sure winner in my portfolio.

Congrats on becoming multi-millionaires !!!

(of course, I'll be selling some other memorabilia to purchase this set...just thought we should see the ramifications of this insane price scheduling)

Joined: Jun 23 2007
oh heIl yeah!

now this is something special! thanks GD!!
will it be better than the "Genius of Miles Davis" box set? Probably not...but looks to be the best GD box set ever!!! Let's keep these coming!! how about a box set the complete '80 acoustic shows or maybe the complete summer tour 1985?
woo hoo! labor day can't come quick enough!

Joined: Jun 4 2007

They would limit this to one or two per household/account. I can visualise someone out there buying up the bunch and reselling them for $5000 (or more) a pop.

Oswald55's picture
Joined: Mar 23 2010
oh my god

oh my god

puroshaggy's picture
Joined: Jan 9 2011
Really!?! They had to wait

Really!?! They had to wait until AFTER Christmas to release this. I guess I'm filing taxes early this year.
I love box sets!

Joined: Jun 4 2007
No international shipping?

Don't tell me this is going to be another clusterf*ck... I'm trying to order, and there is no international shipping option...

Joined: Jun 12 2007
Whoa BABY!

This was my idea, a giant Europe 72 set, just so everyone knows. Okay, it was pretty much everyone elses idea too.

zepthompson's picture
Joined: Nov 1 2010

I think its a good deal


Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.