Grateful Dead

Europe '72: The Complete Recordings - All The Music Edition

Europe '72:
The Complete Recordings -
All The Music Edition

Our Europe '72 boxed set is now officially sold out, with all 7,200 boxes now gone! We can't thank you enough for your support, for having faith in the project and taking the plunge to purchase this unprecedented release. Despite the fact that it's going to be a bit of a wait before it arrives on your door step, we are sure you'll be blown away with the results.

We are now offering the All-The-Music edition of Europe '72, which includes all of the music recorded on the tour, with each show in its own individual package, complete with its own liner notes by Dead scholars such as David Gans, Blair Jackson, Steve Silberman, Gary Lambert and others, as well as by attendees of some of the shows. You'll get 73 CDs and over 70 hours of prime Grateful Dead.


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 EUROPE ’72 MEGA-BOX SET containing ALL 22 SHOWS of what is arguably the greatest tour the Grateful Dead ever played, on a whopping and clearly cosmic 73 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 enormous 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.

Previous E'72 Post & Comments Thread


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One Man's picture
Joined: May 17 2011
The Sound -- Found!!

I just had a Eureka moment, listening to Show 8 (Rheinhalle). At first I was grumbling about the new mix (again) but digging the stellar performances. As Disc 3 began to play I noticed right away that it didn't sound like ass all of a sudden. Everything was brighter and clearer, and the bottom end was not a mess. The piano alone tells the story, sound-wise. It's night and day. So after it was over, I played the same sequence (Dark Star, etc.) from Rockin' the Rhein, and guess what? They used the old mix for this part! Check the vocal entry on Dark Star and you'll hear a "ghost" voice saying something just after Jerry sings "reason tatters." Then, there is a strong delay of his voice after "searchlight casting". These are not things likely to be replicated in a fresh mix. But there's more. Near the top of the Dark Star reprise, Jerry's guitar (panned left) is treated by a delay panned right. A little later, delay is applied to the piano for a couple of seconds. Case closed. The old mix was used here and it sounds way better than the new ones (not because of the effects, but because of the clarity). Too bad it took until the 23rd CD to get a good sounding one. Here's hoping for better on the rest.

Joined: Jun 4 2007

I won't lie, I was very worried there for awhile.

Whoever is running the merchant side of things hopefully will have learned a few things from this process (i.e. how to make changes to the original order).

For me, from start to finish, this was a very frustrating experience......but now that I have the box, I can sit back and listen to the music.

marye's picture
Joined: May 26 2007

glad to see it's late but right, dam...

Joined: Jun 4 2007

My box arrived yesterday and they got the personalization right.....I thought due to the delay in getting this out that the personalization would have been lost.

One show down and a ton to go.

Joined: Jun 4 2007
Macworld article

My Macworld article about ripping box sets of CDs, with special attention to Europe 72, is live today:

Meeko's picture
Joined: Jun 5 2007

Oh bliss, oh heaven....the box arrived yesterday. I pulled out 5/3 (my birthday) and what a monster show! The sound pristine, the playing perfecto, I was just stunned! I agree with a lot of what Hal M put in his post regarding the music, I'll always go to 70-74, however there is phenominal stuff in other eras, March '90 Nassau Coliseum comes to mind. Thanks to all who put this Europe box together, it's simply stunning! Back in '74 I was in a Poetry and Music class in H.S. we had to give presentations I did mine on The Dead and wrote to them for some direction. A short time later Ms. Rush sent me a whole lot of stuff, including the Europe '72 tour booklet, a treasure indeed! (thanks Goldie)...



Joined: Jun 9 2007
Europe '72

It arrived today (#1691) and wow, it's gonna be a sleepless night for sure. Well it is so far and loving it.

chkj11's picture
Joined: Jul 1 2009
Unique Box Label

Has anyone who did not have one of the first 3000 sets receive their box number label yet?

Joined: Mar 18 2010

I had a trance dance that Keith's piano in You Win Again from Paris transported me to the version of Half Step from 12/19/73, the first Dick's Picks. Then I realized it's the Grateful Dead, singing me home. That's the way it's always been, that's the way I like it

skwimite's picture
Joined: Feb 17 2008
and now back to the music

I agree with Hal M about the tightness of 1972. I remember seeing the Berkeley shows in August and they seemed note perfect. At the time I attributed it to the Europe tour and I think I was right. I've been listening chronologically and I'm only up to the Tivoli show. I was struck by how hot even the first show at Wembley is. First one and they were ready. As the years went on they seemed to loose alot of the textures and subtle segues for whatever reason. I used to feel that I favored the era of shows that I attended ( '71 - '80 predominately) but I do think they were more cohesive than the 80's or 90's. I have a few favorite picks from those years but for me they just lack a certain warmth. Being immersed in the Europe box, it's hard to think about what I'd like to see released next, but if there is a pristine version of 12-31-71 & 1-2-72, that would be cool. Oooh, 11-6 & 7-71. No wait. February 74 Winterland. Ugh. I gotta go finish off Tivoli.


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