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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Someone is selling this on Amazon for $299.
I can't get enough of this underrated show. I actually had this show on CDR for years and never gave it much chance after the first listen. But the version on this set just sounds so good... I can listen to the silence between notes and it sounds sweet. You know, the whole "thick air" thing?
I bit the bullet last week and spent the $139.98 (shipping & handling not included) for the limited-edition box set. It arrived in the mail yesterday and has been copied over to Ye Olde iPod for my listening pleasure. And I gotta say, I LOVE the artwork on this box set. It's simply gorgeous!
Looking forward to the experience!
oh for a spare 150 dollars.
Yeah ace, it's a killer box! But personally, I don't think the 5/13/77 FOTD could hold the jock of the 4/24/78 FOTD. Just my opinion.
p.s. thanks for changing your profile pic! previous image was disturbing :)
there is zero justification for releasing 4.24.78
on the heels of this killer boxset...
a valid arguement could be made that
there are better versions in the boxset of
EVERY TUNE played on 4.24.78...
okay there's no Black Peter, tis a great rendition...
make mine the Comes A Time, in this instance...
4.24.78 coulda waited...
and, as our BROTHER from SPACE reminded us of Comisky
(circa 1979?? was only 3 but...) much to my delight that:
& that s/fire is waaaaaay overrated...
so, again, delve away...
you will find good t'ings...
pss... our reviews now start @ #102... i&i think...
...give this a chance!!!
especially if you dig 5.19, 5.21 & 5.22(!)
...and/or 5.5, 5.7, 5.8, 5.9(!!)
it's interesting to hear the 'days between'
(sorry, couldn't help it... great tune...)
those 2 epic runs of shows...
especially straight from the vault...
this box is fill with gems to fall in love with...
it may take some time/listens...
guit30, claney & myself all wrote, imo, very
'helpful' notes about these shows...
please read #s 90-100 on this thread &
hopefully some of our words/thoughts will
inspire your future listens...
keep irie... ~ace
ps... o.pen vaporizers... insane...
Hey I'm glad you love it and think its a great value. I just was underwhelmed by it. I've posted many positive opinions about several releases. I was pleasantly surprised by the beautiful spring 90 box set, I still love listening to it and reading the awesome book as well as the cool back stage passes and other goodies that weree included. Sorry for the negativity on this one, I just expected it to be better. Regardless I am thankful for all the releases. Sorry to have brought you down, enjoy the music it's all good.
This is easily one of the best box sets the Dead have ever issued. 1977 is pretty much defined by Phil's funky bass lines and he's on fire during this run of shows. The artwork and packaging surpasses anything the Dead have released previously, as it seems they just keep getting better and better with each new one. You can tell they really care about their fans and it hasn't gone unnoticed here. People get on here and just have to say something negative, and I guess you can't please everybody as there's always that tiny group who actually prefer bad vibes over the good ones. I don't see how you can find one negative anywhere with this release, unless you're just pre-disposed to do so. Again, excellent work guys, and thanks for these '77s which are well worth the money, and a very good value in my opinion. And, we can't wait for the next one!
I agree with Charles. I am still somewhat disappointed with the set. It's just sort of ho-hum until the last show 5/17. I am of the opinion that the Dicks vol 29 2 shows & the June Winterland box blow this away. It's just that for $163 cost I expected to really enjoy it. They should have just made it with a simple CD sized box like Dicks 29, charged $100 and then I would not feel like I wasted a lot of hard earned cash.
See post #1 (or #875 if you have it sorted by newest first):
"Wonder how they dealt with some issues on the masters like the cut in Wharf Rat on 5/11 and the 5/12 Playing in the Band. The circulating copy of 5/13 has sound issues at the end of the tape which may not have been on the master, but both David Gans and David Lemieux have said in the past that the 5/11 and 12 masters have those issues. Not that this will ruin it for me - just curious. Looking forward to another release!"
I'm actually ok with the alternative version patch approach as it allows uninterrupted enjoyment of the flow of the show. I would rather have consistent sounding patches than leaving cuts alone or using drastically different sounding sources such as AUD patches. Disclosure of the fix is, however, another issue ....
Cannot agree that it is great stuff. I got my copy here in the UK a few days ago and have played the first 2 concert sets. This is the first big box I have got that I don't like (I did not get spring 1990).
For £136/215 dollars delivered I am not impressed, it seems inferior musically to other sets from that year/tour for example Winterland from June or Hartford from the same tour.
Is it me,what am I missing. I have loved the Dead since first hearing them in 1968.
Thanks for noting my detective work, but really it was just one of those things that was driving me crazy, b/c I have always considered 6/8/77 one of THE best GDTRFB's ever, and when I kept listening to 5/13 on the boxed set it was nagging me how familar it sounded.
Thing is, I think it's a GREAT choice to have subbed in 6/8/77 if the existing 5/13 SBD copies all suffered from distortion, which seemed to be the case...but why the subterfuge???
I sincerely hope Dave or someone involved w/the decision can just say "yes, the version on the boxed set from 5/13 is NOT really from that show, and here's why we did what we did."
From a customer satisfaction/honesty standpoint it really deserves some explanation.
This just in! 4 different May '77 'Venue' Stealies. Only 250 avail. per venue. Only $6 a pop and a nice addition to the box set. They are really nice, really unique, and they only printed 250?
That is kind of disappointing that they slipped a different version in without fessing up to it. It is definitely not the same GDTRFB as what is on the 5-13 SBD transfers at the IA. I give grendelschoice a ton of credit of figuring out which one it is. It would be nice if someone here (DL etc) would comment on this.
Finally got the box in my hands ;). Never thought it would happen. 1st cd is now blasting through the speakers, great stuff !
The run on SBD (MTX 5/9)/Katie
5/5/77-5/9/77 are not in the vault.
4/30/77 was officially released in the Download Series.
The Spring 1977 tour begins and ends at Winterland.
25 shows played between the Winterland shows.
Tour begins 4/22 in Philly at the Spectrum, ends 5/28 in Hartford, Connecticut at the Hartford Civic Center.
5/8 dubbed 'best of' but unreleased due to what must be sound issues(?).
10 shows officially released, exclusive to the 2nd leg of the tour beginning 5/11 St. Paul.
1 of 2 Winterland runs sandwiching the tour released, from June 7-9 (3 shows).
Note: * 6/4 show in CA> I don't count as part of the tour, a 'transplant' show if you will, but count as a show.
32 total concerts from Winterland->Winterland + 2 shows before Winterland 3/18-20 on 2/26-27 in CA for
a grand total of 34 shows from Jan1-Sept 3 at Raceway Park, Englishtown, New Jersey (Dick's Picks 15).
more notes; from 5/11 St. Paul to Winterland on June 7-9 only 2 concerts not released from 15 shows > Fox Theatre on 5/18. and 5/26 Baltimore Civic Center.
The last I read,all Dead archives are at Warner Brothers Music now, they own Rhino now, I think.
They were doing a lot of "Dancing in The Streets " in 76 shows, almost like these, Donna's vocals and the band make this just a fun jam, 77 is like a split year, as the year goes on, these songs keep evolving into new grooves, but this sure is a great part of the journey. For Sound quality, I have never heard music this rich from a live 2 track recording, no glitches,
As far as other shows in 77, I would sneak May 28 "To Terrapin" in this box, love those performances and good quality, not quite like here, this just an aural treat. As for one other show, DP15, "Englishtown ,NJ" 9/77,I was there in that peaceful 100,000 people show with the Marshall Tucker Band and it was the last show that I saw the Dead and I remember it so vividly, being out in the country and the Stars at night, They sounded so good, great "Truckin'" and a super version of "Terrapin Station". What a Year, and what a great Box sert of Music!!!
I agree with you on your list of favorite shows,that's what I like,
I personally hope this box set sells out for several reasons: (1)to show physical product has a sufficient market, (2) digital can also be offered as well for those who prefer it and (3) future box sets can be offered to this market with a reasonable expectation of adequate financial return. I wish to avoid the debate about limited editions as I can see arguments on both sides of the issue. I have been very satisfied with the preparation which goes into these archival releases and I am happy to own them now and I think I will be even happier to have them in the future to listen to at a time,perhaps, when the well has run dry for any number of reasons.
My faves from this box set in order;
It seems like every show in this box set is a little bit different as the music grows.
Still can't get over how good it sounds, lovin it. All from a 2 track reel to reel,
I'm still really enjoying this box set, the sound is just amazing. Guess it has not sold out due to being available to download. I'm glad to have a copy on CD. I'm delighted that Bluray format has finally arrived for us.
I also read Betty's letter to Rolling Stone magazine. It's odd that she says she has not been paid for any of her 2-track recordings. Wasn't she on the payroll when she was making them? Weren't they recorded for reference purposes and not for release? Don't they belong to the band, since presumably they paid for the tape and Betty's services? Does she expect some kind of residual? I don't know why she would. I'm not dissing Betty -- she made some great sounding tapes. And I agree she should not be mis-characterized as someone who "sold off" the tapes.
Betty Cantor wrote a letter to Rolling Stone magazine correcting them in the issue with Bruce Springsteen on the cover. In effect she says "I never sold any reels to anyone, and also no one ever paid for the re-release of the recordings I made." This was in regards to the may '77 article David Fricke had written where he says she sold off 5/8/77.
If you're still on it, you'd best get off before it's too late. Even with Veneta on deck, these shows are not to be missed.
great stuff, the lead into Fire from Scarlet on 0517 is masterful. I listened to Barton Hall too (what the hell, it's Jerry's birthday...) and the copy I have wasn't quite as happening, the details of the mutron disappeared or weren't there, maybe Jerry was playing around with it and refined his technique by the 17th? I dunno but the transition there blew me away and I hit it a couple of times, really brilliant stuff. It probably helped that it was sunny and warm out and all that but it's a great recording.
This, to me, is a must have release. Even better than the last 77 box release IMHO. I am working through my third listen to all of the shows and I can't find disappointment in any of them. This is a "Desert Island" box set. Hell, put it in space for those theoretical aliens to parse-a glimpse of human accomplishment next to the Mozart, Beethoven and Stravinsky( and Mile Davis). I'm glad I got my copy before it is too late.
Yeah, this box just keeps on giving. Each show contains magic, often in unexpected places. Some versions of songs that normally coast by are intense (Brown-Eyed Women, Ramble on Rose, Minglewood Blues, Ship of Fools) and others have an unexpected edge (Eyes of the World, Estimated Prophet, even Dancing in the Street). I love every show in this box. I don't think there's a weak one in the bunch. And although I disagree with pretty much everything Ace says, I'm glad others see it differently and find their own ways of appreciating it. Amazing. I'd ditch every other 1977 release before you could pry this one out of my hands.
Sometimes I know (better: feel) that I'll love a certain part of a show before having ever heard it. This time it was the "Mississippi - Dancing" bit of May 12. To combine two "dance songs" of such different styles somehow grabbed me. IMHO, these 25 minutes are pure fun. There's so much to discover in "May '77". Isn't Jerry's solo at the end of "Stella Blue" pure magic? It can't get much better than this...
Thanks DL2 for all of the effort you and your buds put in on these projects. Much appreciated!
Customer service came through and decided to send me a new copy. Very happy about that, hope this one actually arrives ;).
Preordered the box and was very much looking forward to it, but now almost 2 months later, still nothing. Why sent a $140,- package with no tracking info ? Customer service seems clueless and just says please wait for delivery for another 2 weeks ....
At this point I just want my money back.
I'm going through these today to figure out which discs to toss into the 6 disc changer in my car for a while, finally a bit burnt on DaP5&6 that have been out there for a bit. So far it seems likely that 15 & 17 are going to be the winners, I like the Dancing-> Estimated- Eyes string and also St. Stephen-> Iko-> NFA is pretty sharp to my tastes. And 051577 disc one's country jams also seem pretty tight for the most part. 051777 is an easy pick, for many of the same reasons, cool country warmups and groovy jamming.
After listening to them, I can sympathize a bit w/ the folks who are not as into these because they're not maybe as "raucous" (sorry, I'm not gonna scroll back for quotes...) but they're still a beautifully packaged, great sounding set to my ears that I'm very pleased to have picked up.
No, I did not tape 9/17/82 myself. I got it 2nd generation from a college friend. It's a good audience tape -- one of the best I had heard of any show at that point. But check out the archive.org Barry Glassberg aud tape of 3/14/81 that someone recently mentioned. That one demonstrates why audience tapes are sometimes better than soundboards. The excitement in the room comes shining through. Plus, the post-Drums Bertha is a scorcher, and it interrupts what would have been a painful Weir slide solo coming out of Miracle.
I'm still chipping away at the May '77 box. Today, I'll probably get through 5/15. I can't say which is my fave yet. I really like all of them so far -- all of them better than Dave's #1, IMO.
I agree, This Box set sounds epic, what was the bonus disc you found from? Thanks for taking your time in making the 3 best of Discs!!!
Hi One Man,
Did you happen to tape it yourself? Have you listened to any more of May 77? I am listening to May 12 again and enjoying it more. I'm liking more stuff in it this time around. You can hear the drums better in this show better than others. Don't know why I did not like it first time around. Seriously great First Set. Take care One Man.
This one is especially interesting, since Brent did not even have a microphone on stage. Bob & Jer handled all the vocals and it sounded surprisingly great. It is one of the only (of about 30) shows I attended that I care to hear now. I bet it is not in the vault. There are so many versions on archive.org that I don't know where to start. I transferred my crisp aud cassette to CD years ago and I listen to it regularly.
If it's going to be an 89 show, I sure hope it's either 10/20/89 (listen to that Other One, w/ Phil chomping at the bit long before it is actually played!) or 7/15/89 (w/ the Close Encounters space!).
Some other 1980s shows I would love to see chosen include:
7/10/81 (might not be in the vault)
Nice to see Sunshine Daydream is getting a September release
Nice to see Sunshine Daydream is getting a September release
the May '77 Boxset did not include a Bonus Disc...
this was/is a bummer...
so, my feeling was that there was still some tunes to be included here...
& a compare/contrast (sound quality-wise, specifically) by adding
something from 5.8 AND 5.9 as i've got KILLER copies of both of these
shows (like most of you all surely) anyway...
2. Franklin's ~ 5.9
3. Estimated ~ 5.12
4. Loser ~ 5.11
5. Passenger ~ 5.17
6. Ramble On Rose! ~ 5.13
7. NFA ~ 5.12
8. Morning Dew ~ 5.8
~the Boxset sounds EPIC... waaaay better than our 5.8s & 5.9s...
~love the pace of the 5.12 NFA... it needed to be included...
~we all agree that the lack of a H/S/F & Morning Dew is a toooootal
bummer, so they begged to be included from those amazing shows...
and, outta nowhere, while cleanin my apartment yesterday, BOOM!
BONUS DISC TOO:
1. Fire! ~ 5.13
2. Jack Straw ~ 5.17
3. Ramble On Rose ~ 5.11
4. Looks Like Rain ~ 5.17
5. Jack-A-Roe ~ 5.15
6. Bobby banter/Samson! ~ 5.13
7. Row Jimmie ~ 5.15
8. Terrapin ~ 5.17
9. Lazy Lightnin>
10. Supplication ~ 5.15
~~~~~thanx for reading, hope you all discover some gems... irie, ace...
I'm thinking about my own best-of playlist. LLR will not be on it. I love that some of us think that tune is what the GD were all about while others think the opposite. Agreeing to disagree is important. And I would not break up a segue by playing the 5/13 TOO without its successors. It won't be easy to boil it down, but I'll probably try.
DJ is truly the 'MVGDM' on quite a few nights in 1977, this has been my
feeling for quite sometime, so it's refreshing to hear your spot-on views
guit30... she really is in thee finest form in her time with The Boys in 77...
her 'duel' lead vocals on (to name a few) Passenger, NFA & ESPECIALLY
Looks Like Rain (examples: 6.29.76 & 5.19.77 & now 5.11.77!) MAKE those
tunes... feels like Bobby even backs-off a bit vocally & lets her shine...
it was laughable to me to read all the negativity dumped on
LL Rain as a 'skip-track'... the emotion evoked in those versions is the
ESSENCE of what the GD is all about... it is a Classic, Essential Dead tune... anyway, back to my OVER-analyzing of ze Boxset:
~5.12 has grown on me as is indicative in my choice's... it's the distortion of
the recording that gets to me (went to audio engineering school; trained ears
& as the former archivist for Joe Gallant & Illuminati, recording live bands is
something of a passion... anyone familiar with that bands interpretations
of the Dead or even heard of them???) sorry, sidetracked...
so my "period" about it being "worst in Box" in my Disc #1 post is retracted...
~here's my "Top 7 tunes of the Box" (staying with the theme of 7) considering
# of versions, strength of them ALL as a whole & lack of a cluncker... enjoy:
7. Lazy Lightnin/Supp. ~ 2 versions, both different & quite good.
6. Ramble On Rose ~ 2 versions, 5.13 is KILLER & 5.11 is great as well.
5. Sunrise ~ see my diatribe above about Donna Jean.
4. Samson ~ 5 to chose from, 5.15 is THEE finest of the lot for me...
5.12 is smokin too, just the distortion gets me (Betty
was awesome, but not perfect, which is a-okay)
5.13 is also smokin, with Garcia shredding as he sould.
3. Jack-A-Roe ~ we ALL love the shuffle vibe & all 3 versions are groovy.
2. Fire On The Mountain ~ all 3 versions are different, not drastically...
~just love the chill vibe of 5.11 & Jer's Mutron
sound is really warm & tasty here...
~5.13 is unique in that Lesh starts 'driven the bus'
before any transition jam is allowed to start...
Garcia's long solo before verse 1 is sweet...
5.17 is a beast, the band sounds like they're havin
a blast (no pun intended) AND confession:
~it is my favourite GD tune, so i'm biased in that respect...
1. ESTIMATED PROPHET ~ all 5 versions are fantastic, similar yet abit
different... 5.15 & 5.17 are powerhouse versions...
5.11 is chill/mellow, with Garcia laying back a bit...
5.12 both Weir & Garcia playing & sound is rite on...
okay, that's all for now, thank you all for your responses/opinions/kind words...
Bonus Disc with some surprises soon... & guit30 i'm from Jerz (although i&i live
in San Francicso now) so Englishtown having been your first show is VERY COOL!
thanx for readig, hope it wasn't "All Too Much..." irie time... ~ace.