The Wait Is Over… The Winterland 1973 Box Has Arrived!
In The Archives
Watch The Trailer
A Winterland video scrapbook
::Watch it now
Do you have any photos of Winterland?
::Share Them With Us!
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!)
Got it today-it's spectacular and I reiterate what others have said about the packaging. Great, great material from one of the best eras of GD music!
Bring on more and soon.....
Edward C Wood I recently received my 1973 Winterland boxed set and it is as great as I remember the Dead in 73.What more can I say about it,it is simply fantastic.Many thanks.
The melt in the middle made me forget who, what, and where I was...
Here Comes Sunshine:
Phil is trying his damndest to break a string
I'm not Beethoven
Good luck waiting for the vinyl, MayoStudentT. The music sounds just fine on CD. And, although the quality of sound degrades considerably on an ipod, I'm able to carry my 843 Miles Davis tunes, 634 Coltrane tunes, 320 Mingus tunes and 1,700 Dead tunes anywhere around the world. Much easier than with a turntable in my pocket. A great set of headphones works just fine. In fact, this audiophile is having a fabulous time right at this moment listening to disk number 2 on CD. No complaints here.
I came home for lunch from work today to make sure no one had the chance to take it off my porch. So I opened the door and I was surprised to how small the box was. I was thinking it was much bigger for some reason. I like the box and the trippy design and I actually do like the cardboard holders. They are actually safer than you think, caus i've ordered some cd's that come in plastic cases and sometimes they get knocked out of their holders and get scratched up. But these are securely in there and are easy to get out. So I had to go back to work and I picked the bonus cd to listen to first since everyone else that posted did. Caus everyones doin it. haha. It sounds great. The Eyes of the World is one of the best I've ever heard. Some really different notes than normal in that song. In the middle of the song you hear this explosion of something. Then I realized it was Phil somehow made this sound on his bass. I can't wait to listen to the run of shows here this weekend. Jerry sounds crisp and clear as he's young and flowing with style. Bobby was in the yelling mood sounding like he was having lots of fun. This was only the bonus disc so I'll get back to you on the flip side.
Please release this set on vinyl! It would be a true blessing to audiophiles. We don't need no stinking itunes/ipods/downloads!
You don't have to add the art one song at a time in itunes. All you have to do is highlight all of the songs by clicking on the first song, scroll down to the last one (depending on which show you're working on ) and then hold the shift key down and click on the last song. Everything highlights, then right click on the highlighted songs and find the tab for artwork. Paste it right in.
Boy, Keith has tasty chops in some of these tunes. I think he was very underated.
I had no idea those pictures were there. Thanks for pointing them out. I copied them as will add it to my iTunes tonight. A fun little project as I watch the Mets game.
I found the jpg's I saw. You can get them when you go to purchase the set. All four covers are lined up right there for the task. I too am ready to peruse the art. Very cool.
I copied the picture right from this websight. The story about the new Winterland 1973 release has a picture you can click and enlarge. I just copied the picture and saved it on my computer. I added it to each song after I burned each CD and loaded the shows on my iTunes and iPod. It can be a bit of a tedious process because it has to be uploaded for each song. Nonethless, the picture is very cool when you are playing songs in iTunes.
I too must be one of the lucky ones as I have had no issue burning/uploading Bertha or any other song or disc from the compilation.
Overall, it is good stuff. 1973 was a year that wasn't represented well among my collection of shows and this is good representation for that period. The packaging is cool and identifing all the historical people/figures in the drawing can be a good way to spend a few minutes. I noticed alot of different people, but who is the heavyset guy right in front of the picture in the middle with the glasses, beard and black shirt to the left of the alligator?