Grateful Dead

Checking In (Again) With Europe '72 Mixing Engineer Jeffrey Norman

I think I'm as excited as anyone on Earth about the upcoming release Europe '72: The Complete Recordings. I am a 1972-vintage Deadhead (first show 3/5/72), and the "Americana/jamband" phase of the Dead's amazing creative journey has yielded up many of the most enduring songs and creative improvisations ever made, by the GD or anyone else.

I visited with mixing engineer Jeffrey Norman near the start of his massive undertaking (you can hear that conversation here), and I returned to Prairie Sun Recording in Sonoma County on June 3 to check in with him again. Enjoy!

-David Gans



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Joined: Jun 7 2007
Well, I hope by throwing in

Well, I hope by throwing in my two cents I don't escalate the cost of this debate too much... but I just have to say, from experience, mixing can be super laborious, time consuming, and very costly, especially if the source material has a myriad of issues which I can only surmise a bunch of live concert multi-track mixes can be - especially given the circumstances of the tour, the experience of those recording it at that time, and a ton of other hurdles that go along with the DIY spirit that the Dead approached problems with especially during this period. This isn't like working with a studio session mix where so much of the recording environment was controlled. Add in all the archival work on photos/videos/legal etc. and by golly there you go why they have to charge what they charge for it.

This whole debate reminds me of those scenes in "Festival Express" where the young freaks are bugging about having to pay $15 bucks to see all those bands while everyone that actually spent money to make something cool and fun for everyone was losing money hand over fist.

Yeah, of course we all wish everything was free... or at the very least that we, ourselves, didn't have to pay... but sometimes unfortunately we do have to live in the materialism world now don't we...

Farrell Timlake
president, Homegrown Video

guit30's picture
Joined: May 1 2009
Wish I could afford this

I am going thru one of the lowest income periods of my life, This album turned me on to the Dead back in 72, I wore out at least 2 LP sets, Wish i could afford this,

"Jesus Christ, The Same, Yesterday, Today and Forever"

easy70wind's picture
Joined: Feb 5 2011

It's a mystery what's going to be in this box, blue ray? na could'nt be, dvd hopefully, autographed please! ~ only time will tell.

This will officially be the most prized possesion I own and will cherish till the day I die!

Rhino ~ thanks for making this happen.

paisley's picture
Joined: Jun 9 2007

I have it from the highest authority that at least half the band will not sign this box set!!! Jerry, Keith, and Pigpen have boycotted the entire project to meet current committments playing celestial music for heavenly bodies. As a result, they have forfieted all profits from this project to Bob, Phil, Billy and Donna (provided that she doesn't scream any more into expensive microphones---too tough on engineers ears!!). Anyway, money isn't too necessary where they've been hangin' out lately.....

And in that vein, since were all going to the great beyond sooner or later, might I suggest that instead of complaining about spending some money on music some of us have been waiting 40 years to hear, do what all capitalists do. Vote with your dollars. Don't buy it. Quit bitching.Me, I'm gonna enjoy this music for the rest of my life, and that makes the money NOTHING. These recordings are PRICELESS, end of story. Thanks to everyone who has had a hand in making them available in my lifetime. I'm sure there are many people who feel the same way.

....all the years combine.....

Joined: Jul 10 2008
Pricing is just fine

I don't want to sound like the Dead's PR mouthpiece but I've been a fan since the late '60s. For all these years I and others have enjoyed high-quality concert recordings by the Dead free of charge with the band's blessing providing these recordings be traded and not sold. Whenever a show that I own is released officially, I buy the official version. Why? Because all these years I have enjoyed the concert recordings free of charge. I sort of feel obligated. In this case, the $450 I'm spending are a pittance considering to the hours of enjoyment I've spent with this music -- hours that wouldn't have been available if the band had been as predatory as most of their contemporaries. The people whining about the cost should get a life.

Joined: Jun 8 2011
Europe '72 Box Set

What are the chances of getting this autographed?

swf1's picture
Joined: Jan 6 2009
I need the miracle TODAY!

I need the miracle TODAY! But will wait ' 72 more days if needed.

Joined: Jun 15 2007
Upon Further Reflection... just never know when that ol' alligator will getcha. And 7200 in one bite ain't too shabby!
Music's a funny thing, you know...and you've now all heard things the rest of us haven't, and probably never will...

Now, I'll show you, snow and rain...

The Byrd

JackstrawfromColorado's picture
Joined: Jan 2 2009
Yeah dstache!

I have no problems about price or anything about the product for that matter... what I do have a problem with is how they handled the ordering and payment for this ... THAT was and is a cluster f**k beyond all comprehension. Take the order but not charge the credit card till 9 some months later?? F-ing ridiculuos... plain and simple .. but the product they are offering is beyond fair price-wise and the quality should be out of this world. I just wish they would take my money and stop f-ing around... I think that is the most F-bombs I have dropped in one post =)

"It's got no signs or dividing line and very few rules to guide"

dstache's picture
Joined: Sep 10 2007

I have no problem criticizing the price when it is exorbitant (Warlocks box). The releases are not like a band's studio albums, where tons of time is spent in a studio by both band members and engineers. Here, the music is made, it just has to be mixed. Granted, that takes some time, and I have no issue whatsoever with the job the engineers here do (they do a great job to my ears). But it takes very little time compared to a studio album, and the price should be adjusted accordingly. That being said, as stated above, this release comes out to less than $7 per disc, plus there are a bunch of extras thrown in. That is a similar price to the Dick's Picks and the 69 Fillmore West box. In my book, it is quite fair.

I passed on the Warlocks box because of the price (wasn't that about $16 per disc?) and the era (I like 89 but not at that price). I did buy the 2 Winterland boxes despite the price but because of the era. I also consider the sound quality of what is already out there in my magic equation. I will continue to do a calculation before I buy, I won't buy every release.

I hope people continue to sound off, whether positive or negative, and I commend for doing very little if any editing of posts. Thanks!


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