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'm really happy about this upcoming box set. I've never been too keen on 1977 Dead but I'm learning to appreciate it more and more over time (using good headphones is a big help, too). I've got lots of 77 stuff going back to my tape trading days and also all the official 77 releases but don't think I've heard a single note of these shows(except maybe the "Fallout from the Philzone" Jack-a-Roe).
Regarding the recent release's artwork, I sort of agree with Katapultable, that most have been pretty good. But I really think the "Dave's Picks" logo is too big and garish and shouldn't be on the front nohow. Let the front have only the artwork so it has a chance to breathe. Put the logo on the spine and you have a much handsomer product. The words "Grateful Dead" on the front are not bad, especially if artfully done. Those words have cachet out the ying-yang. But the words "Dave's Picks, Vol.**" are purely utilitarian and belong on the spine or back! I also wish there were some way that the artwork could be done by deadheads who truly love the music. Deadhead folk art. Lots of artistic Deadheads out there who would love the opportunity. I suspect lots of the artwork is done by corporate professionals who may or may not care about the music. I do really love the Europe 72 box artwork and also the Spring 90 box artwork, though. (art critic hat off)
I also agree Dave's Picks 6 is one for the ages! Yes, it's a great time to be a Deadhead :)
Okay, order placed (not an easy transaction to make right before Mother's Day) but this will undoubtedly be a great box. I'm excited, another great by Dave.
Just wondering, am I the only one who is not impressed by the artwork and packaging of this box? It doesn't look very special to me but this is NOT a complaint. In fact if that helps keep the cost down then I'm all for it. I couldn't pull the trigger on the Spring 90 set because of the price. Would have got around to it eventually but it sold out. Haven't bought the Warlocks box yet either because I can't justify paying an extra $20 or so for a cigar box. I guess my point is it's all about the music and if we can get great sounding shows in packaging that protects the discs at a decent price, that's more important than buttons and tour programs. Maybe Dead.net could offer those extras separately for those who really want them.
It looks like the discs in this box are in a DVD sized case which, I'd be willing to bet, is less than ideal for most of us who collect these things. I'd prefer to put these CDs in their proper chronological place in my collection but that's a minor complaint.
Overall, this looks great, we're getting some fantastic music, complete shows from one of the best tours ever at a decent price per disc.
I can't find any information on how to order the downloads. Has that info been released? It appears that we'll be able to order them once this is released but I'd like confirmation, if anyone knows for sure.
Yeah Mustin, I like the GTN cover just fine. Oddly, my least favorite covers over the last few years have been the premier releases of Road Trips and then of Dave's Picks. Both series have ended up having some terrific cover art, but started slow - seems like a very Grateful Dead thing to do :)
I still have an affinity for some of the most simple cover designs, such as the DP 1-6 fake reel box covers. If they catered to my taste they'd save a lot of money on graphic design, har har.
Zuckfun: Thanks for the info. . .. A lot of bills coming as I buy summer tickets and the $ drainage of The Capitol Run. . .. Everybody here please promise not to tell my girl that I spent the bucks on May 77. . .. OK?
Go to Heaven, on the other hand, may be the best album cover ever!
Whats so bad about the go to nassau cover? Its just some people walking around outside a show...
No individual shows are going to be sold. You have to buy all 111 songs for $99.98
So how soon will the individual shows be made available?
Where does GD Productions find the artists who create the artwork for their releases? I don't think I've seen a single bad album cover since Go To Nassau. Every artist is able to give the releases a personal touch and this is probably one of the coolest boxes I've seen. Ever. In any genre.
The very thought that a new box set is released every year is exciting, but it always comes as a surprise to find out what the contents will be for this year (especially when design etc. of the box is all done). I didn't see a 1977 box set coming, especially not a May '77 box. I hadn't expected another '77 until at least Dave's Picks 11 or 12. This set will make the number of complete shows from 1977 fourteen, with ten earlier releases being dedicated to this year. With only a handful of songs from two different shows being released and considering the reputation of the tour, this set has the words ''WORTH IT'' written all over it. It includes most of the songs from the first half of '77 that I like: ''Minglewood Blues,'' ''Scarlet Begonias'' > ''Fire On The Mountain,'' ''Mississippi Half-Step'' and ''Dancin' In The Streets'' but only one version each of ''Row Jimmy,'' ''Eyes Of The World,'' and ''The Music Never Stopped''. Nevertheless, this should be at least as good as Winterland 1977: The Complete Recordings.
Time to throw away some inferior mp3-files with I hadn't gotten around to listening anyway. The announcement regarding Dave's Picks Vol. 7 shouldn't be too far away either. It's gonna be a show from the mid to late eighties. It just has to be. Then again, a good '78 show wouldn't be bad either.
And let us please not complain about what should and what should not be in this box set. This group of shows seems perfect, bridging the gap between Vol. 1 of the Download Series and Dick's Picks 29. Probably not my choice for a box set, but I'm not complaining.
....and many of us aged by more than the same number of years ;-)
When ordering with a debit card, a hold for the purchase price is put on the account for three days. This hold is then removed until the box ships in June, and the funds are withdrawn. Spring of 90 sold out in about a month, Europe 72 sold out in four days.
This box set is gonna be awesome--ordered mine within an hour of receiving the email. Alabama show is a top 5 of the year!
I wish they had included the missing tracks from DP 3 on this release but am very Grateful for this new box set :)
Does anyone recall how fast the Spring 1990 box set sold out? Or E72???
It looks like a great box set but I am still trying to get all of Europe 72 cd by cb by hook or by crook. Thank god they decided to break up the Europe box set and thank you for that. As for the price its worth it if you got the cash. I feel the down loaded music should be cheaper and you should be able to get individual shows. What they should do is release all the Grateful Dead studio albums and live shows on there web site as downloads like the used to. I would like it if they released all of the studio albums in DVD 5.1 surround again. I had the chance to purchase working mans and american beauty years ago but passed. Shame on me. For all those who purchased the 77 enjoy and thanks for the latest dave picks primal dead is my fav.
I think a fundraiser for the tapes is the dumbest idea Ive ever heard.
@claney. Sorry for missing your sarcasm.
The April 30 77 show was released as Download Series Number 1. It includes some bonus tracks from April 29.
I emailed Dave about the idea of compiling a list a few months ago. Here was his response:
"Thanks for the note. I wish we had teams of interns (or an intern!) who could do things like this, but we don't. We tend not to focus too much on the shows we can't release, but rather the shows we can, so it'd seem like a lot of effort that we'd have to expend for something that doesn't really do much. But, perhaps someday we'll compile a list."
I figured it'd be worth not having to slog through so many emails, but considering how frequently it's been known that Cornell isn't in the vault and the number of people who still clamor for it, perhaps it would be an effort in futility.
Looking forward to this box though. Got mine ordered! I've only ever listened to St. Louis and Tuscaloosa (and the 5/12 on the bonus disc from Winterland 77) but everything else is new to me. I haven't listened to the StL show much so that'll be like new too!
Thanks for the Relix link! I've always wondered why they can't just post a list of what is in the vault. It's always nice when someone gives a little information, but it's always in snippets, you have to search far and wide to piece it together, and even then you know it is incomplete. So it seems David is saying that the entire January '78 tour of California and the one off in Eugene is missing, though reading his statement you would think the entire month is missing and we know that is not true as the taper's section/jam of the week has included 1/30 and/or 1/31. Anyways, it is a great month and tour(s).
I think David is playing fast and loose with the word "phenomenal" in describing the first leg of the spring '78 tour. 4/16 is certainly a top notch show but quite a few of the others (4/6, 4/7, 4/15) are Good shows at best.
There was no mention of the 5 '77 Palladium shows, most of which circulate only on AUD. I'd certainly be interested in these but haven't listened to these shows in a long time and haven't graded them. The fact that Dick never apparently allowed the tapes to sneak out of the vault has me wondering if perhaps he was unimpressed.
I read that post while waiting to pick up my son at school, and had a good laugh! If you new me you would understand, money is not a big deal to me, even if it is helping goats. No offense taken.
for doubting you, guy (the goat people?!?)
Let me assure everyone that I am not one of the goat people. if i had any master tapes i would return them free of charge to their rightful home in the vault. i would hope for a complimentary copy if they were released!
No - You completely misread my post. I was simply advising taphedfrek that the individual mentioned in the hyperlinked story matches the description of the Betty Boards guy featured in the New Yorker article (a retired teacher with goats etc.). I have no reason to believe taphedfrek IS that person. Just made a couple of minor edits to mitigate the confusion.
Are you saying that Taphedfrek is one of the people hostaging Betty Boards to help goats? That the guy is actually on this thread advocating for a paycheck from the Dead for their own music? Like people who buy from Rhino to later resell on E-Bay, I find the whole motivation to make money off the Dead very strange. What did they ever do to you? Keep ticket prices reasonable even after they became wildly popular?
C'mon. A band this generous (at least while Jerry was still alive) deserves NOT to pay to get it's own music back. On the other hand, deadheads of like mind can do whatever they want to. Like give to the Rex Foundation or help starving children.
You know, I wouldn't discount the possibility of a few hidden tracks along the lines of those on DP29 - disc 3 of 5/15/77 looks a little short for instance!
Bums me out, I'm on Disability, can't afford this. My Favorite year. The samples are sweet, What's going on with Bobby, is his Shoulder ok?
I won't post my usual gripes about the cost (hooray!). I've been requesting for years that 5/12, a Great show, be released in its entirety. For years all we had was an AUD that required one to be in a generous mood to even consider it listenable. Then the Winterland '77 box gave us most of the second set. Thank you Rhino for finally giving us the whole show. As for the other shows, 5/17 has long been a favorite and 5/13 is at least very good. I graded 5/11 as below par, but another listen on an A+ recording will probably change my opinion. I don't have a grade for 5/15. Looking forward to this very much. Thanks again!
Thank you David and everyone involved, not to mention the band. Can't wait to get this one. Hope it arrives soon.
Next up, or sometime soon, how about Fall of 73? I think there are a few shows that go under the radar from that period. Quite notable is San Diego, 11/14/73, just a few days before the great Pauly Pavilion release from 11/17/73.
Love what you folks are doing.
Hi Taphedfrek -
This guy matches the New Yorker's description of the Betty Board "owner:"
Of course, his batch doesn't likely contain Cornell '77. Nevertheless, I suppose you could make a donation.
No, man. Do NOT pay for those tapes. They are being held for ransom and we already have listenable copies. And it would be unconscionable to give money to someone hoarding that little slice of history. They suck. Give your money to a worthy cause, not an evil one.
Just curious if anyone knows how these new releases are being mastered. Here is a blurb from Jeffrey Norman from the site regarding the remastering ofDP 3 and 4 for the limited vinyl releases
"“I was excited to get the chance to remaster the early Dick’s Picks’ releases for vinyl…they were originally mastered for CD in 1995-96, and I was looking forward to hearing the 1/4″ source tapes once again, 17 years later. What I didn’t expect was the dramatic improvement the new mastering gives to these classic releases. The original CD resolution is 44.1KHz/16bit (as is any released CD), while the mastering I am now doing for the vinyl releases is 96KHz/24bit. I’m now using a state-of-the-art analogues to digital converter (Pacific Microsonics Model 2)….and I’ve probably gotten better at doing this over the years! I used the original CDs as a guide for the new mastering, but when listening to the CDs I feel like I’m listening in black and white, while the new mastering feels like I’m listening in color. It’s very exciting!"
Sounds kind of limiting for the vinyl, which should be all analog. But it makes me think these will be offered in high resolution digital in the future, since the digital transfers are there and sound so much more "colorful" Any one have insight as to how the May 77 box is being mastered, and if it's the same methodology as for the DP vinyl remasters, why not offer up the higher res transfers for download? and why not 24/192?
sorry, triple post
I like the idea of money for tapes. Why is there a discussion? Do not call the cops, give the kidnappers their money and get the babies back! They get what they want, we get what we want and nobody gets hurt.
I think this is a great idea! What is to discuss? They get what they want and we get what we want.
Doctor Who fans have been trying to do this for years with missing episodes and the overall efforts haven't worked all that well for buying back missing episodes. Also, those tapes, when even stored properly, will show wear. If the master reels are stored in less than ideal conditions, it's possible that the masters will be worse than what currently circulates.
I will do with my money what I want..........my family makes many charitable donations of time and money, SEVA being one of my favorites if you must know. I am not talking about a charitable donation my friend, I am talking about an investment in a love and passion of mine and many others, quit playing big brother with my suggestion, if you dont like it, make an anonymous donation somewhere and go on. I simply like the idea of bringing stuff to its rightful home, and sometimes people (right or wrong) want money for its return. Another off example would be the rules of basketball......a bunch of Kansas Jayhawk fans paid BIG money to house them in Lawrence, Kansas. I feel the reels belong in the vault, and I am ready to donate, if your not, fare thee well. Peace
P.S. Remember your comment below as well bambini... "Not to nitpik I bought this in a second but I would rather have the five nights at the Palladium if they are available."
Were you very happy and let down all at once???
II imagine that they mean that each set will be one file(i.e. 1st set of 5/12/77 St. Paul will be one file). Therefore you can expect to download about 10 files. This is fine, unless you like to listen on an iPod or something. In my case, I bought the actual set, so I am looking forward to it.
GIVE MONEY TO SOMEONE WHO NEEDS IT NOT RHINO THE GRATEFUL DEAD OR SOMEONE TRYING TO EXTORT MONEY
That somehow wasn't intimately connected with the Dead? I think there must be a ton of strange stories out there. Very mundane ones too, like the storage locker bill that never got paid...
I say let the fundraising begin. Like I said on http://www.gofundme.com/ ............. you can set it up so contributors would get something in return if wanted, otherwise you can send anonymously. For instance, $50 gets you a download of files when reel is re-covered, $100 gets you cd pack...........and so on. I am not saying what I am proposing is they way it should be....... I am starting the conversation. My buddy recently died, and we used that site to raise money for his family, and it worked great. The Garcia movie was another example, I gave $50 bucks and when nothing panned out, my money was returned, no problems. Anyway, I started this conversation because I believe in negotiating with terrorists. Peace
If you pay for any tapes, any possible returns will stop. I sure there is enough in the vault to keep people happy. paying someone a lot of cash will set the bar too high for any possible returns as well as increase prices.
The download price is $99.98 for all 111 songs. This is the only way it is being offered.
I got 15% off on this order?
Not trying to gloat, just pointing out the upgrade in customer service. My 15% off code dropped into my lap because my DaP 4 shipped a few days too late -- I didn't even know it was late until I got the email with the code.
At the time I was both pleased and a little disappointed in my timing -- I'd just purchased the 2013 DaP subscription and would have loved to get the extra off. But I decided to save it for the next big release, and yeehah! It worked!
No way that this would have happened during the E72 debacle. Good job, guys!
If kickstarter can raise $3 million in a few days to fund a Veronica Mars movie, surely we can find enough deadheads to contribute a few bucks to raise $1 million to buy back the Cornell master.
I understand Dave not wanting to put up cash out of principal, BUT...............we (fans) would. I also believe Rhino should be ready as well. Its money. If money gets the vault completed for generations to come....I am personally on board. I dont quite frankly care if the holders of these grails are taking a ransom approach, I will negotiate. I have given years and tons of cash to this beautiful world, why would I stop now. Love to all. Bring our reels home boys.
When they say the downloads will only be for the full set, I assume they mean the entire box set. Seems like a bummer really - it would be nice if each individual show were up for a separate download (I'm getting the box set anyway, but it's just the principle, heh). Am I reading that wrong?
...not thrilling like Dave's Picks 6, but very nice. There will surely be some beautiful music on here, even if these shows don't represent what most people think of as the best of the tour, except maybe for the 17th.
Anyway, if these really are going to be released as FLAC downloads, dead.net really ought to put that up for pre-order as well right now. There's no way the download price can reasonably be the same as the physical set but I suppose dead.net doesn't want to list that yet so as not to encourage people "just" to get the downloads. Regardless, please put up the downloads for pre-order. It's only fair. The reality is, I probably won't buy the physical set and may have lost interest by the time the downloads are available. If they come up soon, though, and for a sensible, I'll happily order.
Ditto for Spring '90 actually, the blurb for which was carefully worded so (I assume) to allow for later downloads. I really want to buy this stuff but I'm gradually running out of space. I'm delighted that FLACs will be available. A really positive development. I think it would be fair if they're listed the same time as the physical set though!!! Please??
@44 Moose: Thanks for the link to the DL interview. I didn't realize that DL and crew apparently have some idea (indirectly) who has the reels "in their closet." Dave.... call Seal Team Six.
@Wilfred: I admire your optimism! I agree, there is hope (in fact I firmly believe the early May reels will eventually find their way home - see my Seal Team Six idea above). I was really addressing the people who complain that Cornell isn't being released, as if Dave is just keeping it locked up out of some kind of spite. There was a comment from a guy under the Relix article, the guy says "I don't know why Dave says they don't have May 9 - that Betty Board has been around for years." Maybe I'm just getting crotchety, but dumbassery is wearing me down.
@Mustin321: Thanks man, glad you like the stats. When I said I was sad that MAMU only appears once in this box set, I was being very, VERY sarcastic :-)
Last year the 5/8/77 show was selected for addition to the National Recording Registry of the Library of Congress. Shortly after this announcement, we interviewed Dead archivist David Lemeiux. In this portion of the conversation which has yet to appear online, Lemieux confirms that the band has never released 5/8/77 because a master copy does not exist in the Dead archives. He goes on discuss the matter while also affirming the vitality of the group’s May 1977 run as a whole.
For more on archival Dead shows over the years, check out our recent relix 40 list.
In terms of 5/8/77, do you know where the source tape resides?
I do not know specifically but I have heard from many people that they know where it is and they know who has it and that’s fine. We’ve certainly made a note that we’d love to have it back as we would with any master Grateful Dead tape that we don’t have in the vault. But there’s really nothing we can do about it. We’re not going to pay for our own tape. That’s one thing I don’t think we’d ever do is to pay to buy them back and I don’t think they’ve been offered to the band in a long, long time. They know where we are, we’re easy to find and I think it has been made clear that we would love to have them back. Some people would just rather have the tapes in their closet than in the vault, but that’s fine. It is what it is. Again, there’s nothing we can do, we don’t lose sleep over it, but it is as it is.
In terms of that collection of tapes, how many are there that the archive does not possess?
It’s in the dozens, during the period from 1976-1978. I get a lot of emails from people suggesting shows for release and it kills me because I agree with what these people are suggesting, but we just don’t have the tapes. So for example, a lot of people will ask for the July 1978 Red Rocks shows [7/7 and 7/8] and I agree. I think there are great concerts, great sounding shows, we just don’t have them. We have the August 78 Red Rocks [8/30 and 8/31], but not the July shows. Other examples: April 6th through April 16th a ten day run of about 8 shows in April of 1978, a phenomenal run of shows and we don’t have any of them and they do exist. Those tapes are part of this batch that we’re talking about.
Another example would be January of 1978, also we don’t have any of those. We don’t have Eugene. We get asked for the MacArthur Court show, January 22nd in 78 [from Eugene, OR], we don’t have that. We don’t have the Pacific Northwest Tour, the fall of 1977, which is a couple of shows in Portland and a couple of shows in Seattle, very good shows, we don’t have those. We don’t Binghamton November 6th of 1977, great show, phenomenal, again, another one of these shows that we get requested a lot and then of course, May 5th, 7th, 8th, and 9th of 1977, we don’t have. Great shows that obviously include the May 8th 77 Cornell show.
June of 1976 is a terrific tour, we are missing most of it. We’ve got a couple of shows. We just released one from Boston on June 9th of 76, but the Beacon shows, the middle nights in Boston, the second and third shows, we don’t have any of that. There are gaps but you know, such is life. Luckily we do have a lot of stuff, plenty of stuff to work with and the hope is there that some day we will get them back, but if it doesn’t happen that’s okay too.