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!)
To the head who didn't like the new covers you have a point. they should have sleeves, because no matter how careful you are if you play these often they will get scratched. I put them in sleeves. The next point is an old one but I'll put my 2 cents in. The only time something short of a whole show should be released is when there is a serious problem. I forget which DP it was but they cut Cosmic Charlie, I was pissed until I listened to my tape.. it was God awful. Comps don't make it.One final whine or should I say response to many whines. Forget reissuing the Fillmore Box, what part of ltd. edition don't you get. Since I have no doubt that you could get someone to burn it for you it really isn't "about the music " is it, you want the nice package.Well let me help you contrary to marxist theory(sitting in that historical dustbin) value is not the labor+materials=worth. Otherwise I'm sure if you were one of the lucky ones to get a New Years Eve Ticket you'd be happy to sell it for face value or let in so many extra people you couldn't breath, 'nuff said
I've received my box today (I live in Argentina) and I´m just starting to listen to it. Very few complaints about the packaging (in fact, only one: I don´t like the cardboard envelope-type sleeves to store cd's), but anyway, who really cares about it. After all, what should be taken into account is the music played. As I write this, the Dead are playing first night`s "I Know You Rider" and I can tell you for sure I am not being let down. 1973 was definitely a peak year in the group's history.
The sound quality, as it has been stated before, is superb. For moments it´s hard to believe that it is a 2-track recording. It sounds really better than other 2-tracks from that year (found in some Dick`s Picks volumes, which by the way I love no in spite some sound anomalies). The main problem with these recordings sound quality regards vocals, which sound tinny adn thin due to the kind of phase-cancellation mics the band was using. But anyway these discs (or at least the first one in the set as far as I'm concerned) sound live and freaking alive, mark my word.
What can I say? Peak Dead era, superb sound quality. Enjoy and let there be songs to fill the air!
I too have noticed this in Itunes, a universal style would be well received by us mac freaks who love to jam.
Coconut Phil, living Free.
A question for the "powers that be". Can you decide on a format for labeling the cd's when you release the live stuff? It seems that in both the DP series as well as WInterland boxes, the individual cds all have different labeling some starting with the dates, some with DP, some with GD etc. It makes it weird when you archive into ITUNES etc. Small complaint, but we like to keep things in order!
I attended all of these shows & vaguely recalled how very lovely they were played.
This collection confirms my tattered recollection that we were indeed in the presence of brilliance. They seemed to be approaching all of their shows in this era with the idea that perfection was attainable at any moment & for sustained periods. These documents contain many such moments as every song at every turn seems imbued with its own sense of importance & no detail is overlooked in the execution. Much of the material is in its infancy & is being rendered letter perfect as opposed to future renditions of the same tune played to greater length & more forcefully as they, their confidence & their music evolved.
The recording on these 3 evenings is remarkable as an accurate document of what it actually sounded like in that building of buildings--the seminal rock-palace. The volume levels & tones indicate the fastidious effort put forth by musicians & crew to ensure a pristine result. Much of it is rocking to blistering effect! If there was ever a period in this band's checkered history when everything was as close to "just exactly perfect" as we & they could hope for, this is probably the epicenter of their realizing perfection was within their grasp. & we were biting down on it hook, line & sinker! Check the richly deserved thundering ovations after many of these benchmark versions of defining material.
As breathtaking as they wanted to be & as we could want them to be.
So much for the first show being lacklustre. I think it's great. I agree with what's in the liner, i.e. that there aren't many incredible moments and there isn't a lot far out jamming but that means it's a show of really well played songs instead. It's the Dead showing off their repertoire.
Some highlights for me -
* Me And My Uncle
* Bob Weir's playing in the China> Rider jam
* WRS> Eyes> China Doll is just beautiful.
If this is the warm up for the next two nights, I must be in for a real treat. Can't wait to get onto the second show this weekend.
Also, the sound is wonderful. In my opinion, it puts the sound on Download Series Vol. 8 to shame, although I haven't really gotten into that release. I bought it as "revision" for the Winterland box set but it hasn't grabbed me (yet).
Ramble On Rose:
Phil drops a bomb that will rattle your molars...
Jerry is ripping notes that just positively drip off his fretboard... sweet golden gobules of gooey goodness...
I'm not Beethoven
I too, had a defective CD 2, I e-mailed customer service and they took good care of me and sent me a replacement. I just loaded it to my Mac, Bertha played well, no skips or pops. I did not pay anything for this. I simply asked for another one. You can too. Keep jamming America.
Coconut Phil, living Free.
Thanks a lot,I`ll do that.
I love this set, Music does`nt get much better than this does it?
maybe we will get a lyceum 72 set next year? pretty please? sugar on top?
"Outside of a dog a book is a man`s best friend. Inside of a dog it`s too dark to read."