The Wait Is Over… The Winterland 1973 Box Has Arrived!
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Sherman, set the Wayback machine for the second week of November, 1973. The Grateful Dead are on a roll…yes, again! The summer had seen the band playing triumphant mega-shows with the Allman Brothers at RFK Stadium in D.C. and at Watkins Glenn in upstate New York. With their popularity seemingly still escalating by the month, fall tours took them to various East Coast haunts and all over the Midwest. On October 15, they released Wake of the Flood, their first album on their own independent record label, and copies were flying out of stores coast to coast. So the mood in the band was WAY UP when their incredibly busy schedule brought them home for three shows at Winterland in San Francisco November 9, 10 and 11—before they set off again for points East.
Winterland always brought out the best—and the beast—in the band. Located across Geary Boulevard from the Fillmore Auditorium, the one-time home of the Ice Follies had hosted dozens of amazing rock shows since Bill Graham started putting on shows there in the late ’60s. It’s where the top tier of Bay Area bands would get together occasionally for marathon shows, and it’s where the most popular out-of-town acts—from The Doors, to Hendrix, to The Who, to the Rolling Stones—would play in the era before faceless sports arenas became an unfortunate fact of concert-going life. But nobody played Winterland as often as the Dead. By the time they’d trucked their ever-expanding sound system to the venue for their November ’73 shows, they’d already logged 31 concerts there—and there would be another 28 eventful Dead nights at Winterland before the old place was closed after the Dead’s New Year’s Eve show in 1978, and eventually reduced to rubble to make way for condos. Sure, the 5,000-capacity hall was acoustically challenging and a little frayed on the edges. But with its narrow open floor, shallow lower balcony that encircled the entire venue, its deeper back balcony chill zone, and serpentine walkways between floors, it was a tremendously fun and entertaining place to see a show—especially a Dead show.
Winterland 1973: The Complete Recordings captures the Dead during one of their peak years and absolutely at the top of their game. Spread over nine discs, it includes every note of three complete consecutive shows (save for the encore of November 9, which was not recorded), so there’s plenty here to satisfy every fan: magnificent jams on “Dark Star” (which sprawls to 35 completely compelling minutes!), “Playing in the Band,” “Eyes of the World,” the still-new “Weather Report Suite” and more; kick-ass rockers of every variety (“Sugar Magnolia,” “Casey Jones,” “Johnny B. Goode,” “Truckin’,” et al); haunting ballads including “China Doll,” “Stella Blue” and “To Lay Me Down”; a truly spectacular “China Cat”; and the first of just three versions ever of the dazzling sequence of “Playing in the Band” > “Uncle John’s Band” > “Morning Dew” > “Uncle John’s” reprise > “Playing” reprise. (For a complete listing of the contents of the nine discs, go here.)
All the music here was drawn from Grateful Dead crew member Kidd Candelario’s crystal clear and wonderfully present 2-track soundboard reels of the shows, and enhanced by the mastering work of the always reliable sonic wizard Jeffrey Norman, who used all sorts of arcane processes to bring it all into the glorious world of HDCD sound. This stuff will rattle your bones! The beautifully designed box also comes with a colorful booklet containing scads of great photos and a fine essay by Grateful Dead historian Dennis McNally.
We like to think of Winterland 1973 as being part of the noble tradition established by the ecstatically received Fillmore West 1969: The Complete Recordings, and as a precursor for other complete-run boxes to come. So clear out a chunk of space in the ol’ CD case, ’cause this mutha’ is a BIG ONE!
Don’t delay! You can order Winterland 1973: The Complete Recordings right now by clicking here !
(To help get you in the mood, you can preview some of the music on the Winterland 1973 box by clicking here. And to give you a little glimpse of what Winterland was like, check out this video montage with audio from the ’73 shows and visuals from The Grateful Dead Movie, shot at Winterland a year later!)
Can't wait to get this. Over 10 hours of Dead music sweet!!!!!!
Road Trips V2#2 [2/14/68] is released as Catalogue #GRA2-6006 and Hartford 77 is released as GRA2-6008.
So where is GRA2-6007 ???
When i was reading the Deadhead's Taping Compendium 1965-'75 (by Dwork, Getz, and others), the description of these Winterland shows made me practically PRAY for their release on CD. Too good to ever be true, though!*****Years later (last week) it was indeed a revelation to find out that the COMPLETE RECORDINGS of ALL 3 SHOWS were released in a 9-CD deluxe package! I am psyched to hear that the Complete Recordings series will continue, apparently with entire runs of shows, mini TOURS! Many people were saddened that the Dick's Picks series came to an end, and some were downright frightened by the thought that Latvala's archival tradition was to be carried on only in the form of Road Trips compilations! Which is pretty neat by the way. I see each Road Trips--as it exists so far, anyway--as having 4 major functions: 1) as a sampler of a tour from which you have never heard a show; 2) as a way to introduce a new deadhead to what different "eras" of the Dead were like--i.e. Pigpen vs. Keith vs. Brent vs. Vince/Bruce; 3) as a GREAT way to introduce a new deadhead to the point of it all, to what each of these legendary "tours" really was: an adventure, shared by many friends, in pursuit of a living, breathing, moving, improvising, never-the-same-song-twice musical treasure. I can still remember a time when i hadn't yet experienced the majesty of one of their shows, but i WAS getting familiar with the chord structures from listening to studio albums, and so eventually was ready to get into Dick's Picks and tape trading, and of course going to current live shows! But there was a time...when the perfect music purchase to help me make the leap to serious deadhead...would probably have been a Road Trip. The COMPLETE RECORDINGS, however, is really where it's at for serious fans, along with their trades, and the already-existing Dick's Picks series. Many Picks are actually not COMPLETE shows, but the songs are indeed all from the SAME show (or two...or...) They are still far from being compilations. Volume 14, for example, representing the best music from the best 2 shows out of a 3-show run in late '73 at Boston Music Hall, is a joy to own--a real unique and multidimensional experience, from the cover artwork..to the liner notes...to the superintelligent saloon music contained on the discs. I have no gripes about the release not including the 3rd show (supposedly an "off" night)--the Experience was probably better for that! It is still a document of a real Dead Concert Experience. And that brings me to the last reason for Road Trips: 4) as a way for someone who has been a deadhead faaar longer than i have--and has heard a lifetime's worth of complete shows already--to experience a synthetic distillation of a whole tour into a single night's experience! This WOULD be a real trip, especially if it were a tour one had actually experienced live! ...oh God, this comment was originally about...what?? Oh YEAHHHH, the new Winterland box!...ohhhhhh, i want it more than anything. BeigePeter (ryan)
I just grateful dead eygpt 1978
Has anybody seen the new 'Phish at the Roxy' 8 CD box set? It's $45.
I'll be looking for more pixs from Winterland & post them soon as humanly possible.....Gypsy Cowgirl
...that is, except on the '79 downloads, Rhino, which you have miserably screwed up. Please do not make me regret my apology and the eventual assumption I came to that you are a good company compared to many others. 'Cause, right now, your silence on the issue, Jeffrey Norman's response, and the amount of time it took for folks to get their Winterland replacement disc 2's are all indicative of serious problems with upper management. Say what you want about "whiners," but are we being proven right? I urge everyone to check out the multiple-choice test on page 11 of the "New full-show downloads" thread, because it's freakin' hilarious.
However, the above being said, I have always purchased every single official release because of the vast wealth of material that's available to us for free. It's a given among the serious trading community, and I realized that I can't stop now if I am going to continue to enjoy the rest of my collection in good conscience. So I have placed my order and, as such, withdraw my earlier complaint about the price. Besides, Rhino is a good company that releases many things I enjoy due to excellent remastering and overall care. Harsh criticism in their case is unwarranted, the '79 downloads notwithstanding, and I apologize. I realized that paying a little extra for stuff that's remastered above and beyond previous releases is something I am glad to do anyway. Peace, Rhino. You do a good job.
Some people have left comments saying how the "whiners" should just be grateful that this music is being made available at all, regardless of the price. But what I am grateful for is the kind and tireless work by the community of tapers and collectors who corrected technical problems and made the Dead's music available over the years through an ever-expanding network of traders. When things like pitch needed to be fixed, they did it for free, which Rhino can't even do for profit (see the new '79 downloads). It was this community that ensured the geometrical growth of the Dead's fan base and created enough consumers of their official releases for them to even be able to sell the stuff at all. People like Charlie Miller are who I am grateful for. Has everyone forgotten that the Grateful Dead were always a two-way street? I'm sure that everyone has a story about how they were either turned on to the band by someone else's tapes or gave recordings to others who became fans themselves. Without this network, and without the Dead's once liberal taping/trading policy, there wouldn't be so many Deadheads today who are willing to buy the official releases.
I think the first set in particular is damn fine. Especially Don't Ease - Black Throated Wind. Don't know if there's a finer version of the latter (even on the third night!).