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
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.
Ace man, well done... really enjoyed your picks. I was (am) surprised they didn't release a three-disc compliation from these shows for the mainstream release. Maybe they're saving up for the big Veneta release they'll lay on us in August (fingers crossed)
Interesting to read how varied are the opinions of these shows. 5/17 is generally accepted as the best of them, but then there is no consensus I can see. I gravitate toward the mellow buttery smoothness of 5/11, which really surprised me, and I love 5/12. 5/13 is a snoozer for me, though of course I'll give it another shot. Andj I need more time with 5/15 but what's not to like...
Well, that was a great idea, your best of set was a great idea,Well 77 and 72 were my 2 favorite years. I attended a show in Sept of 77, the Englishtown 100,000 people outside show in New Jersey. They were excellent. This box set is excellent, I have heard it all the way through and it is a great set of shows, sound quality is just awesome. I have a pretty nice stereo, it has an Oppo multi disc player on it so it can decode the hdcd which really enhances the sound. For me, the 2nd show in Chicago is killer, it is a 2 disc show, but at 80 minutes a disc it is still a good long show. I'm listening to a song and it just hits me, this is a 2 track, it sounds like it was mixed. Betty Cantor was a genius,Loved her recording talents on a reel to reel. So, the show on May 13 in my opinion, was just the best sound quality and some great performances too. In 77, "Ramble On Rose" comes on and with "Estimated Prophet" turning into a real strong song, Garcia starting to used The "Envelope Filter" on Estimated which sounds like a dirty autowah. I got a broken case on this show, but it did not bother me, the sound quality much more important. Donna's vocals are just awesome on this set, overall the vocals are great, Jerry's voice never sounded better. Check out Jerry's expression on the big inside picture. Kinda Priceless. Well Ace, this is my take on the middle show of this great box set.
It's winter time here in South Australia and to have this 77 box plus the Dave's Picks and I've just realised I still haven't finished the spring 90 box yet. Keep the releases coming! I'd like to see 4-11-88 at some point. (My first). Great time to be a Deadhead!!
Ace – These shows are new to me, too, which sets us apart from the norm. What a joy it is to hear for the first time. Many of the posters here have become jaded from having too much access to too much of the music; unlike Dave L. who has that youthful exuberance even after all these years. Ace, and Dave, I enjoy your fresh perspective. Keep up the good work. And Ace, I look forward to being able to delve into this release to the degree you are now and will use your work as a reference. I have other releases on my to-do list as well, including the E72 box of which I have listened to only about half.
so, it appears all the fussing & fighting over Dave's latest Pick has sucked
all the energy out of THIS release... look, the thought of an entire Dead show
with repeated Stayin Alive teases nauseates me, personally... but people who
know 4/24/78 intimately SWEAR by it... if the Scarlet>Fire is as epic as has
been reported, bring it on... bickering about what should be released/Dave's
taste is an act of futility...
anyway, Disc #3:
1. Bertha ~ 5.12
2. Playin! ~ 5.17
3. Terrapin ~ 5.12
5. Wharf Rat! ~ 5.11
6. OTHER ONE!!! ~ 5.13
7. St. Stephen ~ 5.15
8. Saturday Night! ~ 5.13
9. Brokedown Palace ~ 5.11
~The Other One is dynamic, unique, awesome...
it is 'The Dark Star of Other Ones' insofar as the overall mellow vibe...
there is a passage of about 2 minutes where Garcia is just playing solo...
not "a" solo, just Jer playing as quietly as you have ever heard...
simply brilliant... & the fact that it's only one verse adds to the
Dark Star-ness... THIS IS THEE HIDDEN GEM OF THE BOXSET!!!
~after repeated listens, the 5.12 Terrapin nudged the 5.17 version, for me...
~really wanted to include the 5.12 NFA but it just would not fit...
~guit30, lookin forward to more of your analysis as you, like myself, delve
deeper into the box...
~thanx again for reading... irie vibes... ace.
okay, disc #2 has been completed...
i'm diggin the flow of this one bigtime:
2. Fire!! ~ 5.17
3. Estimated! ~ 5.15
4. Sunrise ~ 5.17
6. Samson! ~ 5.15
7. High Time ~ 5.17
8. Lazy Lightnin>
9. Supplication ~ 5.11
10. Comes A Time! ~ 5.12
~5.13 has grown on me... it is well-represented on disc#3...
definitely a 'bobby show'... alot of my 2nd favourite
versions of tunes played multiple times in the box...
~5.15 is great, just not my 'cup o tea' insofar as setlist, although the Estimated
& Samson are the best versions of the box, for me... & yes i've left the
Eyes off, i'm not a fan of that version... it's a tune i'm picky about...
~disc#3 soon & maybe a bonus disc??
~agreed guit30 they do sound amazing, especially through headphones...
~thanx again for reading... continue to stay irie... ace.
I find myself ageing with you on most everything, Loved the 11th, but just could not get into the 12th which made me skip to the 17th which was different and then back to the 13th which I think is my favorite,but I have not heard the St Louis show yet.Love the quality of the recording, I do love 77, one of my favorite years.
so, upon studied listens to these 5 'completely new to me' shows
these are my choices to make a lil 3 (maybe 4, not sure yet) disc
mini-boxset... the criteria was (since i'm totally UNbiased, having
never heard any of these particular shows) superlative versions &
'best' version from thee entire box...
btw, me & my head friends are all 5.9.77 people, yes 5.8 IS great,
but 5.9 is where it's @ for us...
note: no idea if this will fit on a cdr if your using a computer & just
burning this as a playlist...
my set-up is old school...
2 cd players like a true 'taper' should...
my preference is to add (some of) the tunings @ the
beginning of most tunes, which sounds more natural to me...
personally, my dislike for the system most folks & record labels
use to 'track' live cds is enormous (not that i&i use an mp3 player
or listen to cds on shuffle) it's just weird hearing the tuning of
a tune @ the end of the previous one... especially with these tunes,
just sayin... have @ it people, ace.
1. Music ~ 5.13
2. Half Step!>
3. El Paso ~ 5.17
4. Jack-A-Roe ~ 5.13
5. Big River!! ~ 5.11
6. TLEO ~ 5.17
9. B. E. Women! ~ 5.15
10. Looks Like Rain!!! ~ 5.11
11. Sugaree!! ~ 5.11
final thoughts: 5.11 is killer & underrated...
5.12 is the worst show of the 5... period.
5.17 is great, but 5.9, 5.19, 5.21 & 5.22 are better.
stay tuned for discs 2 & 3 to find out which Estimated & Samson were chosen!
thanx for reading... stay irie... ace.
the past several days - man, what an awesome job
some real fine music - I will be spinning these again in the near future
Hey Jack Straw - try again - I had a defective 5/15 case, and didn't get a reply initially (well, I got an auto-reply that said they were looking into it and would get back to me within seven days). They didn't, so I emailed again, then the other day I got a nice note from Dr. Rhino, and they are sending the replacement case, he says.
Still no reply from dead.net.....regarding defective May '77 box set product.
... I feel your pain, but take comfort in the fact that this particular '70s gig features quite a bit of mid-80's looseness/recklessness. ("Fun," as someone else put it.) At least it doesn't suffer from "too perfect" syndrome like some of that May '77 stuff. :o)
I have a strong suspicion DL will dip into the 80's for DP8 - a spicy '84 is L O N G overdue.
Normal 4/24/78 definitely deserves its status as a great show. It's tight, and a lot like a Fall '77 show, intensity level is just crazy. And a very Dick-like pick. THANKS DAVE.
Why Dave? Why????! As much as I love the Grateful Dead, have been a dedicated customer for nearly every release since "One From The Vault" and was really excited about the prospects for subscription surprises, especially after the first year when they were offered for the final year of the Road Trips series, with it's perfection of variety, the Dave's Picks series hasn't lived up to it's initial selling point.
Why did they list all of those different years when this series was first announced, when there hasn't been any offerings outside of the '70s?
This brother is losing the faith.
...do I win a prize? :o)
First correct guess ever (for DP, anyhow). What a fantastic pick, Dave!
love you dave!!
....DaP 7 , a '78 show..Its all over 30 Days folks, just consult your 30 days for future releases.. 78 is good,like every year of the Dead, its got its own sound, rawer, more hard jamming..Prediction for DaP 8, I'm down for some 80s..The 83 Lake Placid show would be good but I think Dave will go with the 12/30/89 show from the holiday run... you know how Dave loves 89-90!!! Take care folks!!!
There have been a lot of 70's shows, but this one's no slouch. I'm glad to see it released. I'm sure Dave's Picks 8 will be from the 80's...
confirmed as all already know by now!
ok you can tell us now
I listened to this again over the weekend, and I am convinced that Dave's #2 and the of course the Europe '72 set are the best choices by Dave thus far. Really nothing close in my opinion (<< flammable...). I find the UCLA release and the recording flaccid overall, and '77 is great but I have strong satisfied preferences from '77 (released and otherwise, Cobo Nov 1st, anybody?) and I don't get nearly the same satisfaction from '77 as I do from '74, although I think the Fall has comparable gusto. '74 is a special place on the continuum (i.e. the sound system, great new material, long sets, freaky jams and Seastones) and regular releases from that year should be part of the plan I think. If that means every 2-3 years, uh OK, but my vote is every year, because we have a lot more GREAT MUSIC to hear and enjoy. If you listen to the movie set, Dick's #12, #31, Road Trips #2.3, and Dave's #2 back-to-back, I think we hear the best combination of ensemble playing, gonzo moments, sweet first sets, and excellent singing. And most of the '74 tapes have unbelievable tuneful bottom and presence. So please, more Winter, Spring and Summer '74, 10-16-74 or complete retirement sets, so many GREAT shows yet to enjoy in fine sound.
Not released as such, but Greatest story, China cat/IKYR, DS(!) & Eyes were released as Bonus disc 2011.
12.6.73 was released? where?
12.6.73 was released? where?
First, I kind of hope that there isn't another box this year because, quite frankly, I'm running out of money. I spend hundreds a year on cds, t shirts and so on that are GD related. I can maybe afford a couple of more individual releases aside from the Dave's Picks (I have a subscription) but that's about it. Second, 1973 is one of my favorite years period but so much has been released from that era. It might be a better idea to release from a year that doesn't already have so many releases right now. If it's going to be another 1970's set (HOPEFULLY NEXT YEAR), make it something like from Brent's first few months May through September in 1979.