May 1977: Get Shown The Light (All Music Edition)
Four Complete Shows on 11 discs
Four folios housed in a slipcase
5/5/77 Veterans Memorial Coliseum: New Haven, CT
5/7/77 Boston Garden: Boston, MA
5/8/77 Barton Hall, Cornell University: Ithaca, NY
5/9/77 Buffalo Memorial Auditorium: Buffalo, NY
50-page book of liners and photographs
Sourced from the Betty Cantor-Jackson soundboard recordings, transferred by Plangent Processes
Mastered in HDCD by Jeffrey Norman
Artwork by Grammy-winning graphic artist Masaki Koike
Release Date: May 5, 2017
WHAT DEAD HEADS HAVE BEEN SAYING ABOUT...
NEW HAVEN 5/5/77
"Here is a prime example of the saying ‘the whole is greater than the sum of the parts’ … It’s called synergy and the Dead wrote the book on it.”
“The music they laid down brought me places I had not been before.”
“...the single best rock performance anywhere, anytime, by anyone.”
“There was just some kind of magical connection this night between the band members and the band and the audience - some texture, or some type of cosmic or celestial force is in the room.”
"This show is, was, and always will be Mecca.”
"...an awesome display of the Dead’s captivating power"
If you've been following this site for quite some time, then you will know we are often flush with hyperbole when it comes to our releases. We can't help it, really - for we, like you, are Grateful Dead fans above all else. Just like you, we've spent countless hours debating the merits of show over show, year over year. We've kept a watchful eye on your wish-lists and carefully considered how to make - excuse the cliché - your dreams come true. And once we've made our commitments, we are steadfast in our determination to conjure up those dreams fully-formed and nearly perfect. Sometimes these heights cannot be reached without physical and cosmic elements aligning, and that, dear friends, is why it has taken so long for us to bring you THE ONE and the epic shows that surrounded it. No need for even the slightest embellishment here, 5/8/77 Barton Hall, Cornell University: Ithaca, NY, has for decades, been THE resounding favorite; you've said it yourselves - the "holy grail" of Grateful Dead shows. Thanks to the passion and perseverance of Dead Heads like you, we are beyond pleased to finally be able to present this show and its brethren, the fabled four of Spring '77, in sonically pristine condition.
MAY 1977: GET SHOWN THE LIGHT is a collection of what is unanimously believed to be the most sought-after previously unreleased complete shows the Grateful Dead ever played. Collected, traded, and debated for decades, "the beloved Golden Trinity" of Boston, Ithaca, and Buffalo, along with their New Haven prelude, have inspired fans to "get on the bus," converted critics, and even garnered national attention (Cornell was added to the Library of Congress’ National Recording Registry). But until now, you've never really heard them quite like this!
The Dead is in the details... how serendipitous is it that the notorious Betty Cantor-Jackson soundboard recordings were returned to the archive just in time for the 40th anniversaries of these shows? Lovingly sourced from these well-reputed recordings, we invite you to experience four utopian shows just like they happened, to "be inside the music" as engineer Betty Cantor-Jackson intended. Whether you listen to each night on its own or imbibe the whole lot at once, we suspect you'll hear why every note mattered. Much like we were, you will be hard-pressed to determine which of these fine documents - will it be the understated but nuanced New Haven, Boston's festive fantasy vibes, the monumental catharsis of Ithaca, or Buffalo’s dreamy exuberance - is truly "the best." Does it really matter? We think not.
Listening Party: 5/7/77, Boston, MA
“The Music Never Stopped”
"Samson And Delilah"
A Closer Look At 5/5/77
First Listen: "Morning Dew" 5/8/77
"Mind-roasting"? Don't mind if we "dew." Rollingstone.com's got an exclusive sneak preview of what might be the most magical "Morning Dew" of all time.
A Note On Digital Downloads
New download links will be emailed to ALL customers that purchased 192/24 and 44/16bit audio. We are currently working with the fulfillment company to provide updated links that will offer a more reasonable and expedient downloading experience. We do not have an exact estimated date of delivery, but are working to resolve this as soon as possible.
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Hard to believe it's been 27 years. Horrible venue, awesome three shows.
RIP Brent..... ;(
Hold off on the Dave's announcement. Sure, I'm excited to see what it is. In another week or so I'll stop coming on here and just wait til mine arrives. Opening that mail would be like Xmas! Although it kind of is anyway. Just would be fun to not know 'til it arrives.
This version has always been special to me. Cornell is very good, but this version from original Europe 72 has always been the cat's meow for me!!!
Yes I spun Duke too. That was my first LP by them. Ah mammeries........oops. Memories!
There was one year when they announced the next pick real late , like on the 28th or something. How has Dave's 23 not leaked yet? Ii have a feeling the announcement will be Monday, but I hope I'm wrong.....
Here's hoping for an uncirculated Betty from '79 or an upgraded Eugene '78..
I've been in a huge Genesis kick the last couple of weeks too. Started with Selling England by the Pound, then Lamb Lies Down, Trick of the Tail, Wind and Wuthering, detour to Supper's Ready from Foxtrot, then Seconds Out, then And Then there Were Three...(which is underrated). Only problem is, some of those reissues are compressed as hell.
Also watched a video of the "Mama" Tour on YouTube the other night. It was the only time I saw them, 1984, I was 15. Kicked ASS, and it was nice to see confirmation in the video. Never wanted to see them after that as Invisible Touch and everything after that causes some nausea for me.
Three Sides Live is a great live album too, especially the "In the Cage" medley.
I don't share the antipathy felt by many toward the post-Gabriel Genesis, up through Mama anyway. I mean, Duke, Abacab, and Mama still have some pretty effing proggy stuff.
It occurs to me that Genesis and the Grateful Dead have something in common - they're both "uncool" to a certain type of music fan. Bummer for them.
While we are waiting, Garcia Live Volume Nine: August 11th, 1974 Keystone Berkeley comes out next week.
Dave's Pick should be announced today?
LedDed, I also just took DP12 for a spin. I noticed the Mind Left Body jam isn't really the Mind Left Body Jam; it's the "unofficial" Feelin' Groovey jam that appeared sporadically in Dark Stars from '69ish to '72ish. Then they began incorporating it into the China Cat Sunflower jam. Strange...
That DP 29 disc you speak of Space is pretty darn good. I like all of the preparation banter that precedes it. The one piece of 1977 I love best is disc one of Dave's Picks Volume 1, 5/25/77 at the Mosque in VA. I missed out on that one when it was initially released. By the summer of 2014, you could barely find a new one on eBay, and if you did, the price tag was between $300 - $400. I eventually got a burned copy of one that summer and then later found someone here who was selling his used one for a good price. I had not given 1977 much attention before hearing DaP 1. I'd had To Terrapin: Hartford 77 for many years, and considered it a decent showing. I had also downloaded May 1977 from dead.net around the same time.
But it was the Mosque show that did it for me, particularly the first disc. I hadn't heard Mississippi Half-Step before, and I remember going out for a cool summer night walk with the headphones on, and giving the Dave's Picks with the Star Wars cover its first listen. I was totally blown away, first by the smooth sound, then by the flawless instrumentation, then by the spot-on vocals. The lead vocals were pretty much always good, but here the backing vocals were in perect unison and perfect harmony. And of course I was getting my first taste of Mississippi Half-Step, right out of the starting gate.
The rest of disc one was as good as the opening. Jack Straw, Cassidy, Promised Land, Mexicali, and Lazy-Supplication from Bobby; and there was Peggy-O, They Love Each Other, Loser, & Brown-Eyed Women from Jerry (and these were all exceptional versions). The guitar solo in BEW is as good as it gets; Jerry rivaled it only a couple of times that I've heard (DP 29 & DaP 12). Discs 2 & 3 were just as good. But there is some magic in disc one that puts it above all else '77 for me.
In hindsight, now that I've listened to all of Spring '77 many many times over, the Mosque still holds up. I prefer the sound of the later May shows, due to Keith moving away from the organ sound he employs up through this Cornell box, and just into the beginning of the first May 1977 box set. I prefer the piano / electric piano sound that he shifted back toward around mid-May. He didn't forsake the organ altogether, but it was featured less, and not so prominently in the mix.
I think I would choose this show over Cornell (and everything else). Would be nice if it featured Help / Slip / Franklin, but I guess I cant have it all. I suppose I could tack on the 5/22 version to the end....But yeah, Dave's Picks, Volume 1, great show, disc one. Get some.
5/19/77 Atlanta (Dick's Picks 29) disc 3 may be the most perfect 65 some-odd minutes of music from the entire year to this listeners ear.
Besides the Terrapin>Playin'>UJB>D>Wheel>China Doll>Playin' sandwich, that 16 and-a-half minute Sugaree is quite epic.
Buffalo (my other favorite) and Tuscaloosa are definite honorable mentions.
Speaking of Atlanta, 5/18 is an underrated gem of a show and not yet released. I could see that as a Dave's Pick with a bonus disc consisting of the remainder of Pembroke Pines show not included with Dicks Picks #3 5/22/77.
......here's to hoping the next Dave's Pick will be 9/26/91 or 4/1/91.....
it has to be announced tonite. i'll be checking around here at 3am as most of the time is when things are announced for me. if not at all today I fear it will be another dave's picks 20 situation where it wasn't announced until the day before Halloween. that was a rough a month.
Tonight, I got a new set of speakers for my laptop ,what a difference I thought I had the Wall on my computer. Still, nothing like my stereo system, I got them thru the mail.It was a nice surprise, they were not supposed to be here til Sat. Really sound good, had to make some adjustments on my realtec software, which can get so funky.
I listened to Barton Hall first, half, Betty Cantor and the other half, a matrix with Hunter Seamons and Jerry Moore. The Cantor recording in the archives did not seem to have as much reverb as the box set. Maybe Jeffrey Norman added some reverb to the mix, remember, Rob Eaton had to do a lot of work into those tapes, they were in real bad shape.
Then I watched The Beat Club on Youtube, was awesome, like the close footage on the stage.
one my favorite things about may '77 is when jerry would do those pop chops in certain songs. what exactly am I talking about? well a good example is on the music Never Stopped on that Dicks Picks May 77 show.
Can't rip away at anyone for liking Cornell the best out of the 4...
These shows are all so good and it's so close.
I'm with 'Frisco - I think that the New Haven show is highly underrated.
It's hard to say because I flip-flop all the time but I think that New Haven might be my favorite of the four.
I would definitely rank Boston as #4 on my list though.
For what it's worth, my favorite May '77 show is 5/17 Tuscaloosa.
I hope so. Im more than likely going thru a trough now. Might have to break out Dicks 19 or 28 to kick it back in gear.
Been on a Genesis kick as of late. Second Out and then there were three.
Im sure the rudder will turn for long.................. Be Well!!
I just went back to Dick's Picks 12 (Providence, 6/74) for the superlative Spanish Jam. It never fails to deliver on enhanced spaciness.
song titles are just a framework. Where the music goes within the song could be different each time. While shows could have similar setlists, each show could have a different feel. I remember before I "got shown the light", I remember Dead-Heads describing shows to me as "snowflakes ... no two are alike". I used to think that meant it was because they never had a setlist. The more I got into them, I realized it was much more than just being spontaneous with what to play, but how to play it.
Just finished listening to Buffalo again today for the second day in a row. Yes ...
it is a great Comes a Time! A great show all together, as is Cornell ...
But my vote goes to New Haven. I think this show is one of the best of the month.
but Loo, you know you'll roll away the dust next Spring, no?
Sad but true. Went thru about 3-4 times. But its not getting spun as much as I thought it would when it showed up. Not the end of the world...........but its collecting dust.
After listening through the box several times and just finishing Buffalo again I've got to say both shows are great but Cornell wins by a long shot. Why? Mainly because Buffalo contains a few duds, in my opinion and I'll probably get some shit for this but here it goes. First off, the Not Fade Away is much better in Ithaca and the older song mixed in, St Stephen is more of a treat than The Other One played in Buffalo. The Buffalo Comes a Time is great but the Ithaca Morning Dew is legendary and blows it away. Following these tracks I give the nod to Buffalo, Sugar Magnolia and Uncle Johns Band is a much stronger closer than One More Saturday Night. This is where Buffalo wins, at the end of the show it just keeps building and building where Ithaca peaks at Morning Dew and then is over, well other than the standard Saturday Night. Back to the duds, that Sunrise is pretty painful and I've never been a Ship of Fools Fan(runs and hides). Plus, Ithaca has a solid Scarlet > Fire which is always a plus in my book. Just my two cents, after reading people claiming Buffalo was the better show for awhile and having time to digest it all myself I just wanted to add my opinion. Rip away!
....i never thought I would ever say that. Actually, I didn't. Others did. I had to read these last few posts twice to be sure I was seeing the words correctly....yeah, they played Estimated pretty much every night, but they played Dark Star->St. Stephen->The Eleven->Lovelight pretty much every night in '69 and Touch every night in '87, so there's that....
I, too, must say I'm a fair-weather '77 listener, although I'm working my way through the June '77 box and it's 101. I can remember on my first San Francisco sojourn listening to these shows in my hotel after long days of exploring the city in late July in 65 degree weather. Bliss!
Can't wait, however, to get back to my beloved '72, when the July and August shows ruled the earth!
I think I could only listen may '77 back to back for so long till I get burned out on the dead as well. there's very little variety in setlists
I agree in everything you say, I have difficulties listening to a lot of 77 contiguously. The playing and sound are very good, but it is missing the surprises you get from many other years. I have also decided I like the worts and better than perfect playing as well.
Interesting comments on the sound of the shows in Get Shown The Light. Comments in the book about how Betty had added reverb had passed me by. I always assumed that the shows being officially released were being released as heard at the time, if you were at the show, without being tampered with after the show ended to modify it in some way.
I feel as though the more attention I give 8/5/77, the more fallible it seems. Not only is the sound unsatisfactory-but the playing-exemplary though it is, is as guit30 says, just a little too smooth. it doesn't feel, to me, exploratory in anyway. Almost rehearsed in its "perfection". A great rock show-but it doesn't actually have the characteristics of what I have come to think of as a great Dead show. I can imagine it having appeal to someone who isnt into the Dead, more than someone who has heard a lot of shows and likes getting their head bent.
By contrast, the last Dead show I listened to was the first show in Dicks Picks 20-25/9/76. On a conventional level, this show is nowhere near as good as Barton Hall. But scratch the surface...the jamming In Dancing in the Street goes places way above the jamming on the same song on 8/5/77. There is a great jammed out Scarlet Begonias, and another highlight is, after a painfully slow Not Fade Away and a perfunctory drums, a Phil led jam that seems to grow organically, with none of the players quite sure where they are going or what will happen from second to second. Magical stuff!
This next Dave's Pick should be out real soon, I would think. I have not hesitated to listen to lots of Dead. I think I like the last May box set better than this Cornell box set, Now I got this set differently, got the Cornell show by itself and a friend burnt me Buffalo, just listened to the other 2 on the web. Just don't have a lot of dough to buy CDs at this time. Would anyone like to trade a 3 disc Dead show for my Barton Hall show? Just not listening to it much, it is in grate shape. I would trade for a good Dick's Pick,
Dave's Pick or maybe a JGB band release, just PM me.
Thanks and have a great day,Jim
the crowd must have been soaring
"Bird Song" ~ 7.26.87
"If you hear that same sweet song again, will you know why?
Anyone who sings a tune so sweet is Passing By
Laugh in the sunshine
Sing, cry in the dark
Fly through the Night ...
it's a good one so far. great choice for road trips. only acoustic dead I had was Reckoning. i'll always think of that moment where they totally nail it vocally on China Doll and the crowd roaring.
I also like the Let me Sing Your Blues Away and the Weather Report Suite, (with the stag banter for yelling at them) and the Dark Star... thanks I am listening now because of your post!!
September 1973 !!!!!
"But I'll still sing you love songs
written in the letters of your name ...
I just read what JiminMd said about the reverb. I agree and Betty says herself in the book about Cornell,77. Betty said she added reverb to the recording because Jerry liked reverb. But that recording is good, but it sounds a bit too smooth for a Dead recording, they played great, but there is a bit too much reverb.
While digging a bit back into the July 78 box set (which is fantastic and not sold out yet??), conversation led to 1978 Morning Dew and I learned that it was only performed once that year, 4/15/78 at William & Mary.
Been listening to a matrix of that second set, this is a fantastic show and recording. I love the bit of audience, a perfectly mastered matrix, not that I'm any expert. Cool Morning Dew as well, love that he unloads during the first solo similar to what he would do for the end of the song normally.
I downloaded the matrix so I'm not sure which version it is on Archive, but the high audio quality comes from a great Charlie Miller soundboard.
'77 is still pretty sweet no matter how you slice it.
Agree Dave, the gooey goodness years.
The reverb comment is interesting.. I believe Betty added this at the time she recorded the shows. I suspect it was not blasted out of the PA that way.. makes the case for a well made Matrix as I believe there are some very good audience recordings from that year.
I also believe this is one of the reasons for the legends surrounding these shows (and May 77 in general). For a band not necessarily known for their vocals and harmonies, this reverb smoothed out the rough edges and is pleasant sounding until you get into multiple listens and critiques. I liked it at first but it was a passing fancy.. I tend to prefer a little less of it was we saw later in the year.
Anyway.. just a comment, no wrong or right answer, after all it is what it is and we can't change the way it was recorded. Just very happy Betty recorded as many shows as she did and it looks like we are finally seeing a bunch of them in their full glory.
I agree, the reverb on these shows does detract from the basic sound. I think these May 1977 shows are great-maybe among the best....since their so called retirement in 1975. But they fall a long way short of the shows played during their peak years-which for me were 1968-1969 and late 1971-1974. The jams in those years knock the shows from 1977 into a cocked hat. Even ones played in May.
I bought all 3 Chicago shows, haven't even finished the labeling process yet,, a couple of pokes sounded good.
some have been saying the first two phish Chicago shows have been been garbage. they cant be that bad. I liked Coventry so I know I wouldn't have a problem with em at all.
I've been sipping Hornitos like a gentleman and cradling Charvel San Dimas Style 1 hardtail, noodling along giving Barton another listen, on shuffle, for interest.
What I'm struck by is the intense focus by the drummers and Phil. I can't say the rhythm section was ever tighter, without any loss of the loose feel that defines the Dead.
The "pulse" is omnipresent here. It's a pulse, that energy, when it is present and it is present as all hell here. 40 years later it draws the listener in. Talk about a shelf life.
It's great, all of it. I could do without Lazy Lightning/Supplication but that's just me and you go on and love it if you wish.
No phlegm on Jerry he sounds crystal as does everyone. It's all so subjective to say this is the best show or tour ever, but everything is really clicking here and this is a show where I can appreciate Donna.
A beautiful moment caught in time.
....I haven't listened to the Spring '77 box in a couple of weeks. Been stuck in '69-'71 shows. But all good things in all good time....
The book is pretty good reading. i'd much rather read people's stories of going to shows then actually reading about the band
i have not yet bothered to listen to any of these or read the book, merely checked the disks for issues when that hysteria was in vogue. it would suck if the reverb ruined this but yours is the first mention. 71 to 76 in heavy rotation, then maybe the 78 box again before getting shown the light.
I'll Bring it back around to May '77: I'm loading May '77 into my Ipod....that's all I have to contribute.
Isn't this a message forum for May 77? Back on to the subject, just need to ask where did that heavy reverb come from? May be the best concerts ever by GD but its such a shame the way its mixed.
I don't listen to a lot of shows from 1989-but from what I have heard, I would say that their use of midi and new technology was one of the defining aspects of the era. It was great that they were willing to experiment with sounds at that stage in their career. There is a real sense of adventure during the space and drums sections from 1989 onwards. They were never going to jam, in 1989, like they had in 1974, but they utilised sounds in 1989 that simply hadn't been invented in the 70s.
The other good thing about 1989-well, 1990 onwards perhaps, was their playing with guests, which worked better in this era than in any other.
I am All In on '89. I really enjoy the set lists; they sort of changed things up a bit during the year here and there; also of course the come-backs for several tunes. I also really like how many of the shows have a Stranger > Franklin's to open, or some variation on that with Franklin's up front. Plus the relatively new addition of the midi added different nuances and flavors that were otherwise nowhere to be found. I Know that can be a point of division for some, but I rather enjoyed the romping into that technology and the myriad doors it opened.
I say, bring on some '89 then.
Yep, 28 years ago, one of the all great runs of the latter era and their 30 year career. Should have already been released in it's entirety.
I attended only the 7/18/89 show out of the three and even that one was epic.
Virtually every show from '89 is epic. One of the great years, right up there with '70, '72 and '77.
Half a pound! what a serious Japan Tour...
I totally agree with albums ranking; I always got Ram or Flaming Pie for hiking...Thanks for the link
thanks for sharing the link;Bob have many skills... it is "laid back" like an old JJ Cale.I miss JJ very much.
Thanks for the heads up. Found a copy better than the one I had in stock. I didn't use the seamon mix (I'm usually not hot on the matrix mixes), but there was a very nice soundboard there. I had a ok(?) copy in audience, but the new soundboard is wonderful.
(note - the Peggy-O and Loser are very nice at this point, still waiting to get to It Must've Been the Roses :-) )
Thanks for that tip re: the free stream tonight, Phish. I'd like to take a look and have a listen. Something to fill the void as we all patiently await the next drop...