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
this has been my experience, in the past...

I agree with you, I have purchased almost all GD related music in my long strange trip with this band, and in the past, any and all defects (which have been few) were handled with the utmost professionalism and were addressed in a timely manner.
Unfortunately, not so with this shipment. I wish I had been one of the lucky ones that got a perfect set, but I did pay 450.00 for this set and I want it to be "just exactly perfect", not flawed with discs that skip and sleeves that rip the first time you try and pull the cd out. Let me ask anyone, say if you bought a new car and something that was suppose to work didn't, would you just accept it? Same concept here, we who received scratched and defective discs just want what we payed for, at least that's what it is with me. I can't speak for everyone and I'm sure there maybe a few out there that lack scruples and are taking advantage of a bad thing but to call the unfortunate "cop out's" and to "get over themselves" , then suggest that we all have defective players? Man, that's harsh.

organgrinder's picture
Joined: Jan 30 2011
Defective discs?

All my discs played fine I had some problems ripping some of them to my computer but that's because it's getting old and the laser is wearing out. Some of them have superficial scratches because of the nature of the packaging, but these don't affect playback in anyway at the moment and I have no desire to ask for replacements, which are as they stand, I'd regard as not defective in any way. As regards the cd packaging one has ripped which is understandable because they are quite flimsy but I acknowledge they must be this way in order to keep the overall size of the complete package as small as possible using digipaks would have increased the size tremendously and asking for a replacement for another which is likely to rip again would seem pointless.

I have had some issues with cds I’ve received from in the past but have yet to receive a defective disc and I have literally got everything released so far including all the bonus discs and box sets etc. From my personal perspective I believe it would be very rare for someone to have a disc which doesn’t play properly let alone have 48 defective discs. I would suggest anyone with problems playing them should thoroughly check their cd player before complaining about them to customer service. Once I took a cd back to a shop because it skipped on my machine and you know what, when they played it on their machine, it played perfectly well, this was a good indication I needed a new cd player which may well be the case for some of the complainers around here.

Overall I’m perfectly happy with the box as I’m sure the majority of those that purchased it are and those that are trying to cop out of paying for it and complaining about this and that should really just get over themselves and just appreciate what great box set this really is.

lamagonzo (not verified)
Hey Lilly

Don't stick your nose in here, it's brutal!

(besides, I've seen Marye get more compliments here for her work than anywhere else!)

TigerLilly's picture
Joined: Jul 2 2007

I don't think net has anything to do with this catastrophy, and for sure marye from has been doing the best she can, within her resources to fix things. But she is not Rhino, nor is this site.

mpace's picture
Joined: Sep 25 2009
Dave Pick's Subscription

I have decided not to get the Dave's Picks subscription because of my experience with the 72 box. I had the RT subscription last year and was planning to get this one, but now I have no reason to believe that either Rhino or Dead.Net values me as a loyal customer and that does not sit well. I will just wait until a show comes out that I really want and then I will take my chances, but not blindly.
Its obvious that this great music is now just being "pimped out" and that's too bad...

lamagonzo (not verified)
They were surely ephemeral in nature

Ah, the fleeting, transitory nature of this universe. The ephemera lasts only a day. One does have to give credit to Rhino for selling something that doesn't last for more than a day by definition -defined as such from the Greek, no less.

inthemoment1's picture
Joined: Jul 7 2008

I was told that the ephemera "ended up being included as images in the coffee table book" so we did recieve it. We were just looking in the wrong place. Our bad.

simonrob's picture
Joined: Jun 7 2007

Things that last no more than a day. So there you have it - when our boxes left Rhino Central, they were undoubtedly packed full of all sorts of ephemeral items relating to the tour. Unfortunately, due to the fact that the shipping time was more than a day, all these goodies, being ephemeral in nature, had evaporated into the ether by the time the boxes were delivered. Even the inclusion of small bags of silica gel couldn't prevent the inevitable from occuring. Now if these items had been described as long-term tour mementos then things would have turned out very differently and a whole lot of complaints on here would never have occurred. So in the end it all comes down to the careless use of marketing jargon.

The Weve's picture
Joined: Feb 16 2010
The dust is sort of settling - I don't think so.

How many customers that have written to customer service and Dr Rhino about problems with Europe'72 CDs and "CD SLIP CASES" (Dr Rhinos words, not mine) have received replacements. This I would like to know. Excuses and half hearted promises is all that's been received.
I look at this steamer trunk sitting on the desk and get aggada. That's not right, I just would like to enjoy the music from all 22 of these shows. For $450.00 I don't think that's too much to ask.

Joined: Aug 27 2008
What is ephemera?

From wikipedia:
Ephemera are transitory written and printed matter not intended to be retained or preserved. The word derives from the Greek, meaning things lasting no more than a day. Some collectible ephemera are advertising trade cards, airsickness bags, bookmarks, catalogues, greeting cards, letters, pamphlets, postcards, posters, prospectuses, stock certificates, tickets and magazines. More in the wiki


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