Grateful Dead

The Wait Is Over… The Winterland 1973 Box Has Arrived!

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!)


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Joined: Jun 6 2007

Cornell is not in the vault; otherwise it would have been released years ago...Fortunately, what's out there is really high quality, as is Buffalo...

Steve-O's picture
Joined: Jun 4 2007

What's wrong with you people, this is great. Although it would be even better on DVD!!!

Joined: Mar 18 2008
These compilations are

These compilations are great. Am still waiting for you to release a compilation of possibly the greatest 3 night run in Dead history, namely Boston, Cornell, and Buffalo in May of 1977. I was at the Buffalo show, and have tapes of all 3, but would love some remastered soundboards of these shows. I'm sure many other Deadheads would agree. Keep the music coming! Peace, Jumpin Jim

Joined: Jul 9 2007
a t-shirt would be excellent

A t-shirt with the cover art would be a big seller. The cover is very well done. onsider a shirt offer like the Cow Palace offer.
CD looks very appealing. This is to tempting to pass up.

Joined: Jun 7 2007

I agree with 1 of the above comments. I've also placed my order & a shipping date would be nice. The April 30th cutoff for the bonus disc is a guess but for my $100 I'd kinda like to know. Having said that, I CAN'T WAIT. The samples that I've checked out sound GREAT!

AnalogKid's picture
Joined: Jul 23 2007
Keep 'Em Coming

Keep releasing entire runs like this and I'll keep buying them!

musicrama's picture
Joined: Jun 5 2007
At last!

So happy to see this release finally coming out. No one can complain about the content. As far as price, sure 10$ per cd is modestly high, but what isn't these days. Hopefully cool packaging and quality of sound will make it well worth it. Now the last thing Rhino could do to fully "redeem" themselves is release a DVD selection next. I really love the surround sound experience found on The Grateful Dead Movie, Truckin to Buffalo, etc.

"Music is the best" - FZ

Bamski's picture
Joined: Jul 11 2007
More Downloads

This would be a nice addition to my collection. But given that it is 2008, why can't I have the option of being able to purchase via download? I am not interested in having more CDs clutter my space.

richard's picture
Joined: Jun 7 2007
...and the self righteous lead the way

Everyone is entitled to an opinion, even when they are wrong.

Flame on, candyman.

stone jack baller's picture
Joined: Jun 8 2007
The Asshole Parade Continues.....

Winterland 73 is finally released and we have assholes out there complaining.

They sound just exactly perfectly like that flaming one in The know, the complainer about cameras on stage and royalties.


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