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!)
It great to see this release and I am sure more to follow of this most exceptional period in GD musical development. Perhaps only 1972 is more interesting since it was the only time Pigpen , Keith and Donna ALL were performing in the band at the same time.
This moment in time was pivotal, and a noticeable change for any of those (myself included) who followed the music of this most extraordinary and very different band from the mainstream music scene.
It is in retrospect amazing to realize how much of the most loved repetoire started at this time . I can say from personal experience , it was a heady time indeed.
Enjoy it , I am sure you wont be sorry. Keep em coming.
I'm ecstatic about this release, and am confident it will have been worth the wait. 1973 was Primal Dead at it's finest.
Thanks for letting us now that it is not in the vault. Now for everyone that has been holding their breath for all these years, you can breathe now.
If the doors of perception were cleansed, everything would appear to man as it is, infinite.
The reason people get upset with the pricing is because they've shown they can sell them cheaper, but they choose not to. DP29 is $33 for 6 discs. The Winterland Box (if you don't count the pre-order bonus disc) is 50% more music at 3-times the price. It's easy to see why people are taken aback by the cost. Compared to retail outlets, $10 per disc is a good deal. Compared to other items they sell on this website - it's really not. I'm sure the music is nothing short of stellar.
Drop the first disc from each show and drop the price to $60 and I'd be all over it. But for $100, I'll probably pass.
I have placed the pre-order of this item ... now I hope the sum will be drawn from my bank account ... before the US dollar gets more expensive ...
I still cry over the missed opportunity to get the Fillmore box. Since I had dental bills to pay then, I couldn't convince myself to order it, even though "Live/Dead" is THE record of my life and THE record I want to have with me in my coffin when I make the final journey ...
Of course I agree the price of this new box is a little too much but on the other hand, with the bonus disc and the costs for shipping and handling in mind, the total sum is below what I had to pay for the Garcia Studio Sessions box, when bought from one of the best Swedish online stores. And that box only contained six records.
I haven't got the Beyond Description box yet, which about $ 215,00 in Swedish currency, but I had to pay about $ 300,00 for the Golden Road box set when that one was released. So I will not make any further complaints about the cost of the Winterland box.
I'm amazed at the whiners out there. 100.00 for this is a steal. it has been remastered and will sound great. I'm very grateful to have my copy on the way. I will get a lot of quality jamming time out of this. I love to collect this stuff, please keep it coming, many of us are very happy to part with a 100.00 bucks.
Coconut Phil, living Free.
"(I do hope that the set's limited, but I'm guessing that they were so badly burnt by the limitation on Fillmore that they decided to scrub 'round that.)"
Yah we know... This must be one of those jerks who will buy some boxsets and resell them on EBAY for $500.00 each and not pay a cent in taxes over those rip off profits. Rhino can sell more than 10,000 copies worldwide. Repeating thier last mistake only encourages a few buyers to make bootleg copies for their friends, just to satisfy the real demand. Rhino is gona make their money this time around...
Normally '73 doesn't excite me, but playing the preview tracks has gotten my attention. Might be worth picking this one up. And actually, for a 2 track release, it sounds like it was well recorded at the time.
But as usual, I will continue to beg for a download option. I have way too many cd's on my shelves.
I know I can't swing the box set now, but
it looks so mouth watering! It will make
a great birthday or Hannukkah present.
"And if you go no one may follow,
That path is for your steps alone..."
Didn't like the first RT, unfortunately. This, however, is the real deal. DP14 is one of my favorites, Disc Two being one of the BEST discs of dead anywhere, anytime, and I was listening to it today, roll in from Billings and BAM here's this sample from just around the corner.
Three WR Suites. Wow. Morning Comes.