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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Gypsy Blue - Cosmic Travelers's picture
Joined: Jun 16 2007

I got mine!!! I would recommend it to ANYONE who is not sure if you want to fork out the 100+ bucks for the cds and shipping it is WAY WORTH IT!!! THE ARTWORK IS INCREDIBLE! And the music is just as good as everyone says... I agree the sound quality is not THE BEST, but the BEST I EVER heard for a two-track recording and MUCH better then the ones I had of the 9 and 11 show (Audience recordings)!!! This is a DEFINITE GEM of a run.. I'd buy it all over if I had it to do over!!!! Just DON'T WASTE YOUR MONEY ON QUICK SHIPPING, IT DOESN'T get there ANY FASTER! I PAID FOR OVERNIGHT GOT IT IN 5 DAYS..... SO I just want to let all of ya know that it is POINTLESS to pay for over night because they don't ship it for at least a few days after you order it anyways and it didn't even come overnight, they mailed it 2 night delivery (*PROB. took the rest for their "FEES") God I LOVE it when HUGE companies have complete control of the Grateful Deads Vault..Yeah right) (LOL YEAH AND I LOVE GW BUSH AS WELL.LOL HAHAHAHA LOL NOT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!)
Peace to all my friends/Former lovers/tour partners,one night stands:-), and all the many bands i formed after meeting people at dead shows!!! ! and PEACE to all else out there in the DEADHEAD NATION!!!

Cosmic Travelers - Gypsy Blue
Tshirts, Glass, something 4 U!

Joined: Jun 5 2007
Disc 7

Just listen to those tasty fills Jerry throws in between each line of verse...
I'm not Beethoven

cosmicbadger's picture
Joined: Jun 13 2007
that Bertha Problem

My Bertha skipped all over when I played it. It is quite a full CD and being the last track Bertha is right on the outside edge. Looking closely I saw a small machining error on the edge of the CD, a tiny tag of plastic sticking out. I removed it with some tweezers, gave the CD a good clean and hey presto it worked fine.

Might be worth a try..but at your own risk of course :-)

dank's picture
Joined: Feb 20 2008
poor bertha

I just got mine and Bertha has some issues - too bad but they tell me a new disc 2 is on the way. Playing in the Band on this disc is sweet. The customs guys at the Canadian border didn't get me for duties 'suckers' Thanks to GDM for the quick response......................................

cosmicbadger's picture
Joined: Jun 13 2007
that cover art

you can look at a higher resolution image of the cover art at

and then click the 'detail' button

giantnerd's picture
Joined: Jun 24 2007

I just want to say that I've been able to listen to all 9 discs over the course of two days, I really enjoy the experience of being with the band for an extended period of time. You get such a better feel of where they are coming from, and begin to see the experience not just as one show but one place. Anyway, thank you again for the new releases. Please keep them coming....and of course I have to ask for a new DVD release again.

Joined: Jun 7 2007

It looks as though my replacement disc has shipped ,,, thanks.

I would have to say that even though 11/9 is a little less stellar than the next 2 nights, there are some surprises there. For instance, Don't Ease Me In was a big surprise. I really do not like that song, but it is one heck of a good jam.

Greg SC

deadmike's picture
Joined: Jun 13 2007

Ordered it in March, it was shipped on April 1st and I'm still waiting for the package to arrive ...

Micke Östlund,
Växjö, Sweden

"New Swedish site for those who love to make lists and want to display their record collection, more as a way to find like-minded than to show off, of course."

My collection is here:

gdhead77's picture
Joined: Jul 13 2007
Quick Review

Ok so I'm one of those "I hate compilation" guys... I admit it... But I do support the cause whenever full-on shows are put out even though I may already have the SBDs of the shows... Anyway I do have the 11/9 and 11/11 SBDs which I have to say are pretty darn good in terms of quality. The quality of these discs compared to those SBDs are definitely an upgrade but not a huge one. The best upgrade in sound is the Jerry's guitar is more prominent and resonant on the new release. Also the sound is far more balanced than the soundboards which often have keith;s piano loader than anything else. Additionally the circulating SBDs have some sound variations going on which come in/out. Anyway to the music... It is just great! Anytime you can listen to a 1973/74 Lay Me Down life is good! You can hear Jerry's guitar sing. Also fantastic to have the 11/10 show now and the great Morning Dew!!!! I REALLY like the concept of putting out runs of shows at a venue. You could probably keep doing winterland runs and put out another 100 releases... My fav all time for winterland runs is 6/7-9/77.... Anyway Love it and keep 'em coming!!!! In terms of customer service this was near perfect. order this last friday and arrive this tuesday. No skips on the CD player with greatest>bertha so hopefully I am good to go. Anyone on the fence... Go for it! Its worth the cost...

Joined: Jun 21 2007
Winterland 1973 Box, SWEEEEEEEEEEEEEET !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

''LOVE IT MAN'','' LOVE IT''!!!THE music,artwork,everything, love it. Two thumbs up for this. I also would like to thank everybody involved in puting out this box set. THANK YOU!!! This is a GEM in my book..


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