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.
I checked out your auction, and the counter at the bottom of the page said "72"! Should I rush out and buy a lottery ticket, or are you yankin' our chain with a fake counter? ;-)
Just giving you guys a heads up that I have put the steamer trunk on eBay for auction. It's just the trunk and the books. No music. I'm not sure how the All Music Edition is packaged, but it would seem the trunk might be a good way to store it. All information is listed in the auction. You can search "Europe 72 Steamer Trunk".
Auction has 24 hours left on it. If it's something your interested in, please take a look. If you're not and free market economy makes you mad enough to flame me, do you and me a favor and don't.
Received a package today of the replacement E72 CDs (in paper sleeves) that I requested from the good doctor. All apear to OK. No scratches or glue, but I'll have to play them and see how they sound. Thank you Dr.Rhino
My E72 box had no issues and all discs play perfectly fine. The entire transaction went for the big box went as smooth as one could hope or expect.
My copy of Road Trips 4.5 on the other hand is another story. Neither my disc numbers 2 and 3 will play without skipping on my home computer, my laptop, either of my three stand alone CD players, my car CD player or my old walkman CD player. To make matters worse, it's taking an "Eternity" to recieve replacements.
In the past, I have had problems with skipping discs and discs that my CD player won't initialize (though no Dead discs so far !). I tried a few players and discovered that the player in my hi-fi (top quality) was more critical than the player in my computer, which in turn was more critical than the player in my car (crap !). A few CDs that wouldn't play or skipped in my hi-fi player would play in my computer, and the very few that wouldn't play or skipped in my computer and my hi-fi would mostly play in my car. Thus not all players are created equal. Checking the discs with a program such as EAC (Exact Audio Copy) is a good idea. Additionally, EAC is my ripping program of choice - because I find it the best not because it is free (which is a bonus of course). EAC can be downloaded from www.exactaudiocopy.de
I have no pretensions to expertise along these lines, but I figure the advice of Charlie Miller is worth passing along in this regard in case it is helpful.
When I got my set several discs skipped on a Sony SACD player. I tried them again on an identical player. Same results. I however tried them on other players and they did NOT skip. I bought another player and they played fine. I'm not suggesting you purchase another player, however it might be your player. In some Dead-centric sites I'm on no-one has reported these problems. So it seems like it is rare as I have read skipping complaints elsewhere and the discussions are mostly about the music, mixes etc., in relation to circulating 72 recordings. When imposed the question of damaged discs many people including Charlie Miller told me to use a program like EAC to Test the discs. I can't remember which one Charlie recommended, but I used Exact Audio Copy and tested each disc. I took a few hours and confirmed that my discs were fine but my player was finicky with these discs. Since then I have played the set through on an Integra player and noticed none of the audible blemishes I heard on my Sony SACD players. I'm not implying that one should have to purchase a player to play these but in 20 years plus of buying discs I've had ones that certain players don't like. It's unfortunate but it is what it is. I'd suggest EAC , a free program, to find out if they are ok. None of my friends that bought the set are having trouble either. So while I think that there are some problems, I don't think that the percentage is as high as what it appears if you look at other sites with Dead. Net collectively. Good luck with whatever you decide.
I was one of the lucky ones who had no issues with ordering(even calling to change my cc#), getting the box pretty quick and having no issues with defective discs. Aside from that I'm surprised how many people are criticizing this box set.
I love the trunk, the different colored cd cases for each show and the coffee table book. I really don't care about stickers and magnets; what would I do with them? I've had no problems removing the CD's from the sleeves--it can be tough, but it's doable if you're careful.
As far as the music, I totally love it. I'm not the type to sit there and critique every single note and then compare it to previous releases of that song. I don't see the point. Sometimes it's better to just enjoy the shows and not analyze it so much. It sounds good enough to me. I was impressed with each show and hearing how certain songs progress, such as "Jack Straw." I like how it goes from Bobby singing all the lyrics, where the first verse begins to change; to Jerry doing his part on one show; then going back to all Bobby, then Jerry again who briefly changes the amount he steals from the watchman, until ultimately the final version they stuck with. It's interesting how "He's Gone" starts off without the ending harmony, then Jerry tries it in one show, then back to no harmony. Pigpen is definitely one of the stand-outs on this tour, especially with "Chinatown Shuffle." As this is his last tour we get to hear his farewell in its entirety.
This box is a great time capsule not only for the music, but to hear how the band is working through their new songs until they become the ultimate versions they'd play for years to come. They're young, their voices sound great and they have a lot of fun interaction with the crowds. We have shows in a college cafeteria, television shows where they goof around, an outdoor show in the cold rain, a free outdoor show in France.
I like to play these shows, in order, while driving in my car. It's fun whenever my wife joins me and asks, "what city are we up to?" and I can respond with, "Paris" or "Amsterdam" or some other exotic European location. It just adds to the whole experience.
This is probably my favorite box set, and I have them all. While I love the Fillmore West box, four shows cannot compare to 22 and being able to witness many of their classic songs begin to form and take shape. There are other boxes I'd love to see released, such as the acoustic shows from 1970, but I don't think anything can compare to Europe '72.
Initially, I thought I had only 1 bad disc, but with each repeat playing I am finding all kinds of issues with the quality of the discs.
I'm not gonna rant, just report.
Yes the music is important but so is the coffee table book. The fact that just the music cost the same ($450.00) as the deluxe box set is bullshit. It is like those of us that were not lucky enough to get one of he deluxe sets are getting punished. I want the music just as much as I want the book and carrying case but I don't get them and I still had to pay the same price. I feel ripped off and disappoint that some that considers themselves a deahead would do this to a fellow head. Plus this is tough economic times and 450.00 is a lot of money to spend to not get everything. Also the CDs are packaged so tight you can't get them put of he folder without ripping it. I wish I would have never taken the first one out and ripped the folder because I would be sending them back because of the unfair pricing. This should be cheaper Han the deluxe set. Thanks for ripping me off dead net.
The '73 set is masterful. Really came off better than the Complete Europe '72 all tolled. Just sweet, this set had bona fide ephemera and great music to boot. Music aside, the '73 box is what I could have only hoped the Complete Europe '72 would have been but on a larger scale. That said I am still very glad to have the Euro '72 set. But, maybe they should stick to the smaller sets for now.