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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Anna rRxia's picture
Joined: Dec 25 2009
Response to last poster's question:

While I couldn't afford to buy the E72 set, my heart certainly goes out to those poor deadheads who went ahead anyway and threw it on the credit card ("Put it on the plastic and I wonder where we'll be when the bills hit.") based on that unbelievable three pages of hype written by Blair Jackson.

You just knew there was going to be a lot of Fubar. Well, this one set the all-time record for Fubar with nary a word of apology to the faithful who plunked down their hard-earned cash. Rhino grossed millions of dollars from sales, whole and partial of this "limited" edition. They could have done more press runs of those digi thingies and devoted one person to inspecting incoming defectives and replacing them. Inside of this replacement package would be two more things -- another piece of ephemera. The second? A letter of apology with a peel off at the bottom with your number and personalization. Doing all of that, they still would have made millions.

Instead, there was no uniform policy on anything and nobody devoted to correcting the endless errors. If you truly want your money back, mail the set back postage due and dispute the charge on your credit card. It's a shame it has to come to this.

inthemoment1's picture
Joined: Jul 7 2008
europe 72 box defective

just read your post. my set has alot of defects and dr rhino cant get their act together. how did you get a refund???
please help

mpace's picture
Joined: Sep 25 2009
Tired of being negative...

The music is great but the fullfillment of this purchase keeps bringing me down. I just received the personalized sticker that was not orignally included with my order and unfortunately they spelled my name wrong. Also the box is in the 7k range not the first 3k as stated when I placed my order. I guess this sums up the whole experience. With that said Marye has been helpful and when I have called the cst serv reps have been fine. The fullfillment of this order has honestly been the worst customer service experience I have ever had.
I really would like to just feel good about the music and the product in general, but there has been issues with just about everything.

Joined: Feb 24 2010
More on Disputes

Some time ago I posted a comment about problems with my set - 48 (Yes 48) scratched and defective discs delivered here in England.
Marye bless her, thankfully got involved when I got no joy, and informed me around 3 weeks ago that the discs were ready to ship. They havn't arrived yet so I have just asked for a shipping date and tracking number (hopefully). When something materialises I will keep you interested parties updated.

stone jack baller's picture
Joined: Jun 8 2007
4-16-72 Dire Wolf

Thanks, Mike

Joined: May 17 2007
Halfway there!

11 shows down, 11 to go.


Mike Edwards's picture
Joined: Jun 17 2007
4-16-72 Dire Wolf

To my ears, it sounds like a misplaced breath on JG's part, not a drop out.

stone jack baller's picture
Joined: Jun 8 2007
Dire Wolf Glitch ???

Anyone else have this.....

Aarhus 4/16

Dire Wolf @ 0:18.....Jerry's mic drops out briefly

"froze __ feet underground"

Joined: Nov 20 2011
Just rec'd my music only set

First post on this site. Have to admit I was a bit irritated with the people who run the dead organization over the past several months. Order my box back in mid-summer, expected delivery in august, and just receive it in november. In the interim I rec'd probably 5-6 different excuses each time i called customer service to get an update. Either no one knew what was going on or they were just making excuses up.

In any event, I rec'd my shipment this past Friday and it has been joyful. I went straight to 5/4/72 and have been savoring it it repeatedly this weekend. Just wonderful. Jerry's guitar is luminous, Keith is like I've never heard him before, etc etc and even songs I've never warmed to before are flawless.

All good things are worth waiting for. Only 21 more shows to go.

Best to all.

marye's picture
Joined: May 26 2007
not that things don't blow up

but in this particular case...


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