May 1977 Box (Digital)
• Five Complete Shows
• 5/11/77 St. Paul Civic Center Arena, St. Paul, MN
• 5/12/77 Auditorium Theatre, Chicago, IL
• 5/13/77 Auditorium Theatre, Chicago, IL
• 5/15/77 St. Louis Arena, St. Louis MO
• 5/17/77 University Of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, AL
•14 Discs, 111 tracks
•Mastered in HDCD by Jeffrey Norman, Plangent Processes playback system for maximum sonic accuracy
•Artwork by Grammy Award-winning graphic artist Masaki Koike
•Period Photos by James R Anderson
•Historical Essay by Steve Silberman
•Individual show liner notes
MAGICAL, MYTHICAL MAY 1977!
If you're a Dead Head, chances are you've spent many an hour expounding upon the distinction of May 8, 1977, Cornell University, Barton Hall. Well, at the risk of preaching to the choir, we'd like to reintroduce you to a series of shows that matches said greatness from that same gloriously fertile season. While Barton Hall is well known, the astounding tour that surrounded it has occasionally flown under the radar due to the uneven quality of tapes in circulation. May 1977 is set to change all of that with a boxed set that zeroes in on this high-water mark in the Grateful Dead's long strange trip.
For a band resurrecting itself after a 20-month hiatus, there was a great frenzy of expectancy that surrounded the Spring of 1977. We anticipate a grand reoccurrence of this fervor with the release of May 1977, a 14-disc boxed set featuring five complete shows from consecutive stops on that magical tour. Mastered in HDCD by Jeffrey Norman at Mockingbird Mastering, the "psychoacoustic phenomena" as Jerry once put it, of St. Paul Civic Center Arena, St. Paul, MN (5/11) Auditorium Theatre, Chicago, IL (5/12, 5/13), St. Louis Arena, St. Louis MO (5/15) and Coliseum at the University Of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, AL (5/17) can now finally be appreciated. Each of these shows finds the Dead delivering punchier, more focused sets, tightening up the framework; each night turning out first-ever renditions ("Passenger,""Iko Iko,""Jack-A-Roe"), unloading potent new pairings ("Scarlet Begonias">"Fire On The Mountain", "Estimated Prophet">"Eyes Of The World"), classic covers ("Dancing In The Street") and soon-to-be staples ("Estimated Prophet," "Samson and Delilah"), and ultimately rising up to paradise.
And now for the nitty-gritty...
Due June 11, May 1977 is limited to 15,000 individually numbered copies. Presented in a psychedelic box that boasts an intricate die-cut design created by Grammy®-winning graphic artist Masaki Koike, the set also includes a book filled with stories about each show, as well as an in-depth essay by Dead historian Steve Silberman, who delves deep into the history behind the tour and the band’s return from its extended hiatus.
Once these 15,000 boxes are gone, May 1977 and its shows will never be available again on CD. However, the 111 tracks will be made available on release date as FLAC and Apple lossless full-set-only downloads for $99.98.
Like its predecessors Europe '72: The Complete Recordings and Spring 1990, we expect May 1977 to sell out. Your best bet is to pre-order it now, then sit back, relax, and enjoy all the exclusive content we'll be rolling out over the next few weeks right here and on Facebook.com/GratefulDead and Youtube.com/gratefuldead.
May 1977 Show By Show
Take a closer look inside of our numbered, limited-edition boxed set May 1977 with listening parties, videos, artwork and more from each featured show.
5/11/77 St. Paul Civic Center Arena, St. Paul, MN
5/12/77 Auditorium Theatre, Chicago, IL
5/13/77 Auditorium Theatre, Chicago, IL
5/15/77 St. Louis Arena, St. Louis MO
5/17/77 University Of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, AL
"Wharf Rat" 5/11/77
"Mississippi Half-Step" 5/12/77
"Dancing In The Street" 5/15/77
"Terrapin Station" 5/17/77
David Lemieux on What’s Inside May 1977
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that single track from Barton Hall is actually on the 12cd set Beyond Description (1973-1989).
I believe they have only one set from the show in the vault. Either way the existing copies on the internet are near perfect...at least the one I found.
On ebay I saw 2LP set of the show from an Italian record company. Who knows what that sounds like
Chris killer, it's not in the vault therefore not fully released. One song from Cornell is available, Dancin' in the Streets, on the So Many Roads box set. The 5 cd 'So Many Roads' box set is still available for sale on this website last I checked. I hope this helps.
Happy as hell, but wondering is there a CD version of Cornell Barton hall 1977 officially released,just wondering, if is a get able or is it just something best left as the unicorn out on tape ? I still have two tape decks . Thanks anyone
Yes great set!
Believe it or not, I missed this box and just picked it up on Ebay. Wow I'm sure glad I did. I'm still working through St. Louis, looking forward to the Dancing, and the Terrapin mentioned below. The sound is pretty damn good for 1/4 inch, thanks to the amazing Betty! I hope she gets her share of this pie. She deserves it.
Like you kevjones, I'm a sucker for '77 and '78 Dancin' in the Streets. Not sure the one from 10-20 Winterland graced RT 1.4 though. It's just not there. Oh well.
Have fun on your May '77 excursion! DP 29 is going to be nice, real nice...
Oh, and that Dancin' from STL is so groovy. It rivals the legendary one from Dick's Picks 25 and Winterland '78 (From Egypt with Love). My jaw dropped...
SO GLAD I purchased this set. It gives me a whole new appreciation and understanding for 1977. As a 20+ year 'Dead Freak' I have never fully understood the power of 1977, until I heard a string of shows consecutively, in their rightful context. We all know 1977 is majestic, but I think I have come to take it for granted. As a tape trader, I would come across a random 1977 here and there...5/8/77, 11/4/77, 6/9/77, 11/6/77/ 2/26/77, 12/29/77, and embrace each and every one with exuberance, but casually move on to another era or decade. Over the past few nights, I have been delving into this box set and have a whole new appreciation for the music of the Grateful Dead. I have listened to the first 3.5 shows in their entirety and am blown away. I cannot wait for Tuscaloosa tomorrow!!! To hear the ebb and flow of each show in its proper context is unspeakable. The transformation of the music from night to night is uncanny. The 2nd night in Chicago is the only 'clunker' of the bunch, but with that being said, there are some serious moments of serendipity and majesty in that show. I cannot wait to piggy back on this box set and listen to the Fox and Lakeland shows and the Sportatorium show, followed by 'To Terrapin' after I have completed the adventure of this box set.
On a side note, the 'Terrapin' from the first night in Chicago is one of the most beautiful versions I have ever heard. Bobby hits those notes just like it begins on the album, and he keeps going with the lick. It is rare to hear a version of "Terrapin' were Bobby keeps hitting that lick (put it on, you'll know what I am talking about). It's so bright and beautiful.
Finally got my set yesterday. I listened to the first set of the St. Paul show, and I'm glad I decided to get it. The St. Paul show has such a unique and warm sound to it. I really like the feel. The boys blister through a number of the songs, and they are all really unique. Looking forward to enjoying the second set tonight.
looks like the physical set will sell out shortly. I got mine a long time ago and still have it in regular rotation. I'm a little surprised this took so long to sell out given the quality of the performance and beauty of the physical product. What is next on the release agenda?
I am excited to see that this box set is on the UPS truck waiting to be delivered to my home sometime today! Decided to take the plunge and finally order this set. Looking forward to some heady jams this week.
LIke many others, I have so much '77 stuff I was not excited when this came out. Thanks to a night of heavy drinking, I pulled out the credit card and dove in when judgement was impaired. I am so glad I did, I just keep coming back to this. Maybe it is the beautiful sound, or great performances, I don't know. I love almost all the releases, but this one just seems extra nice.
This box is something special , I listened to May 11, and it blew me away again. Just great stuff
This is some incredible music. Took a break for a while after first getting it but it is so so good to come back to. St. Paul and Tuscaloosa are my favorite two but there is something wonderful in each show. Best sound quality for sure goes to the 11th. We have had some great releases lately. Am so grateful to have this on my bookshelf. Thanks again and again. To anyone not sure if they want this because there is already a lot of 77 released, just get it. The box is beautiful. Love the fact that I can have this physical media on my shelf. The sound quality is sure worth it. Windows media player decodes HDCD btw...really makes these discs shine.
I have been cranking this box on my car system while commuting and can't get enough of it. I reminds me of the old days when I wore out that Skull and Roses live lp set with constant listening. There is something about 1977. Also 1969, 1970, 1976, 1972, 1973, 1980, 1990 oh and 1988, 1989-ah well I could go on.
Holy smokes I'm like a kid on Christmas morning checking the mail everyday after work! Can't wait to jam this.
I am still enjoying this box. Have gone through the entire run multiple times. After hearing a lot of 77 it's nice to go to the later years...but coming back again for another listen and it's just amazing how you find even more to love within this set. Now if I could only get my hands on spring 90 and Europe 72!
heh, no worries, I took it elsewhere for them.
I have been enjoying this site since its inception. I'm always curious to read the thoughts on releases and any other news revolving around this community. (I do still miss the days of receiving the almanac in the mail) One thing I'm not interested in is some phony compliment followed by a link to whatever DVD sets you're pushing. You are not adding to this forum. I had never joined or posted a commented before but we don't need this. Thanks to all of you that I have been enjoying for years. Have a safe, healthy, happy, holiday season.
Like the continuing popularity of the core classic composers and exalted religious texts, the great music of rock's seminal acts endures not as antiquated nostalgia, but living, breathing words and sound that still profoundly change lives or simply entertain in a way contemporary artists largely fail.
Built largely around mining, exploiting, and disposing of the next young talent, the sustained popularity of 30-40 year old performances by the Dead, Young, The Doors, Jimmy, Janis, et al, defies appropriate classification or constructive recognition by the industry paradigm. "Reissue", indeed./K
The May 1977 Box is #6 on the Rolling Stone list of the Top 10 Reissues of the year.
So let's see, it's not a "reissue" since the shows have never been released before. If I were at Rolling Stone I'd argue that they should have a "archival release" category, but oh well. Also seems a bit weird that once again they are ignoring Veneta. Good ole Fricke really loves his 77 I guess.
Underthevolcano is no doubt right; Downloads will have played their part.
But also, I think they got the numbers just about exactly right; I had to pass early on for lack of funds; it was great to get my chance and buy it last month.
Doubly nice to see the scalpers caught out on eBay too.
I hope it's worked for Rhino and GDP being able to keep some inventory on hand for less than a year to keep printing money AND locking out speculative purchases.
I hope for similar numbers in the future, with downloads.
have competed with physical product I would guess. But, I think this will sell out prior to the end of the holidays with giftgiving. Much more fun to get this glorious physical box set, IMHO. Data is data but the physical set is a thing to behold. I would never part with mine or my other physical sets like Europe 72, Spring 1990,etc.
This is an excellent set, why hasn't it sold out? Wow,listening to this weeks Jam, it is great, "Loose Lucy" , It is so different than I ever heard them perform, real staccato and it rocks,NICE JAM, IT SAYS FROM dp6 , great stuff, I did not get Dave's Pick, the last one out, from Montana,74. Want to look for DP31, I was at one of the 3 shows represented there. The Civic Center 8/4/74, it takes up 2 of the 4 discs. I'm glad,that the Rhino /Dead crew let the DP series live, some of hem are gems, others not so much,Listening to a great China Cat on this DP6.
I put these into ipod for listening while exercizing-great shows to focus on. This box is one of the best along with the 90 and 72 boxes.(also the winterland boxes from 77 and 73) Lucky Deadheads!
I did the right thing and got the tour. Each city concert just gets hotter. Sound quality is great. This is a special set. The magic is there in May and goes on and on. wow!!! Love the St.Louis show. Jerry is on fire. I was there for that show. Didn't realize how hot that show was. Oh yeah!!!!!!!!!!!!!
With Rhino you just don't know what you're going to get. It might be aces all around or there may be lots of problems. Usually the source material has to be up to a certain par before they'll let it go. I just listened to the Auditorium Theatre show and was disappointed when Jerry's vocal fell out of the mix on Bertha. So I guess every recording had the same snark in it? They couldn't find a patch for it? That is the point of doing these things up, after all. I do hope there are no other errors like that in the rest of the box.
I give high praise for the artwork and graphics decoration for this box. Rhino has definitely outdone themselves and hit a peak on this edition that will not be easily outdone. As good as it was, I find Spring 90 to be the polar opposite. It just seems to be a question of refined vs. unrefined; cerebral vs. crayola. Pardon my analogies.
My collection of '77 was not very extensive and I expect to get a lot of hours of listening pleasure out of these discs. For the greatest measure of grading, a very well done (as long as all the discs are in pristine condition w/o need of return)!
Thanks Zuckfun, Underthevolcano, and kakty111 - think I'll pass on the May '77 box. Between the Winterland stuff and other releases, there's plenty of '77 to go around. My next dollar will likely be invested in DaP 2014 - esp. now that he's dipping into fun "warts and all" stuff. (Dave gets a pass on DaP 8 - a deeply crappy choice, IMHO!)
I feel rather strongly that the Winterland box eclipses the May box; while I would not deem it superfluous, it's as close as I've yet felt with a new GOGD acquisition. I think sound quality is a wash and on the subject of performance, to quote Blair Jackson quoting Dave L., "...of these shows (i.e., 6/7-9), the first night is a Top 15, the second is a Top 10 and the third is a Top three".
Moreover - and I am a Spring 77 maven - I don't even think the May box contains the best commercially released show of the month...I give that distinction to DiP/3 (5/22). Anyway, just my .02; in retrospect I would have saved for the next DaP subscription or upcoming Fall '73 box (HINT Dave). Though honestly, if you've got the $$$, you can't go wrong buying everything :) /Katie
to the May '77 box set for performance quality. Does anyone know why this box wasn't given the two or three disc compilation treatment for general release as was Spring '90 or Europe '72? I just purchased the vinyl 4 record set from Spring '90 even though I have the full box set.
In terms of sound quality, both are great. If I had to pick a winner, Winterland wins the sound quality contest slightly, in terms of recording consistency. In terms of performance, May of '77 is too great to pass up. The 3 show run of 5/13-5/15-5/17 atleast equals the performance level of the 3 show Winterland run. And this without even mentioning the first two shows. But May of '77 doesn't have a 6/9- and Winterland doesn't have a 5/17. Whether or not this box is worth it perhaps depends on how much 1977 is desired. For me, this set is essential.
As someone who’s not yet pulled the trigger on May 1977, I’m very curious... Is it the consensus of those who have heard both the Winterland ’77 and May 1977 sets that Winterland wins out in terms of sound and performance quality?