Grateful Dead

Best of the Grateful Dead Live CD

THE BEST OF THE GRATEFUL DEAD LIVE is the ultimate live collection, a two-disc set with recordings selected from the band’s official live albums on Warner Bros. and Arista, plus a few tracks from their many archival live releases, beginning with “St. Stephen” – from the group’s first official live album, 1969’s Live/Dead – and ending with the poignant “So Many Roads,” taken from the band’s final concert at Chicago’s Soldier Field in July of 1995

“We wanted to follow up the 2015 The Best Of The Grateful Dead studio set with a live counterpart, and have focused our efforts on the band’s primary live albums as well as some key tracks from archival concert releases,” says band archivist and producer David Lemieux. “Just as there was nothing like a Grateful Dead concert, there is also nothing like a live Grateful Dead recording; it’s no secret that as good as the Dead’s studio recordings were, they excelled in front of an audience, and this set provides an overview of just how great the Dead were live in concert.”

THE BEST OF THE GRATEFUL DEAD LIVE will also be available as Apple Lossless and HD FLAC digital downloads on release day.

Product Details

2-Disc Set
Release Date: March 23, 2018

Product Details


Disc One
1. “St. Stephen” – Fillmore West (2/27/69) from Live/Dead (1969)
2. “Bertha” – Fillmore East (4/27/71) from Grateful Dead (Skull & Roses) (1971)
3. “Wharf Rat” – Fillmore East (4/26/71) from Grateful Dead (Skull & Roses) (1971)
4. “Sugar Magnolia” – Olympia Theatre (5/4/72) from Europe ’72 (1972)
5. “Jack Straw” – Olympia Theatre (5/3/72) from Europe ’72 (1972)
6. “Truckin’” – Lyceum Theatre (5/26/72) from Europe ’72 (1972)
7. “Morning Dew” – Lyceum Theatre (5/26/72) from Europe ’72 (1972)
8. “Brown Eyed Women” – Tivoli Concert Hall (4/14/72) from Europe ’72 (1972)
9. “The Music Never Stopped” – Great American Music Hall (8/13/75), One From The Vault (1991)
10. “Estimated Prophet” – Barton Hall (5/8/77) from Cornell 5/8/77 (2017)

Disc Two
1. “Friend Of The Devil” – Radio City Music Hall (10/27/80) from Dead Set (1981)
2. “Feel Like A Stranger” – Warfield Theatre (10/4/80) from Dead Set (1981)
3. “Fire On The Mountain” – Radio City Music Hall (10/31/80) from Dead Set (1981)
4. “Bird Song” – Warfield Theatre (10/14/80) from Reckoning (1981)
5. “Ripple” – Warfield Theatre (10/4/80) from Reckoning (1981)
6. “Eyes Of The World” – Nassau Coliseum (3/29/90) from Wake Up To Find Out (2014)
7. “Touch Of Grey” – Rich Stadium (7/4/89) from Truckin’ Up To Buffalo (2005)
8. “Blow Away” – JFK Stadium (7/7/89) from Crimson, White & Indigo (2010)
9. “So Many Roads” – Soldier Field (7/9/95) from So Many Roads (1999)


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Joined: Aug 31 2011

Can't believe it's got the Cornell Estimated, which is great, but so were so so many versions from that year, whereas the Brown Eyed Woman and the Dancin' from that show are two of the best ever. (Not to mention the Dew, which are superior to '72 versions) Anyway that and the spring 90 were just put out not long ago. Very Europe '72 heavy. Can see the appeal of this to casual fans, just wish the selections were a little more exotic. Aside from it being the last show-why put out So many Roads again? Other nuggets from 90s from shows that will never come out but are great single versions. The Bucket opener from 9/29/93 Boston is one. The Samson from 12-6-92 is killer. The Saint from 6-17-91, as well as the Eyes are great, not as great as 3-29-90, but, again, that just came out already. Oh well.

The UJB with the Cosmic Charlie tease from 2-27-94! Guess that would've been a little long and adventurous. Whole show may not be worthy, but that part is great. Another bitchin' deadhead.

Joined: Jan 19 2008

That comment really cracked me up! Only laugh I had at work today.

bryonfake's picture
Joined: Aug 4 2007


bryonfake's picture
Joined: Aug 4 2007


purpleerik69's picture
Joined: May 24 2015
So if you.....

like to turn on an newbie to the Dead this is the right stuff.
Otherwise save your money and spend it on something useful ( DAP ,
DIP or whatever.... )

BornXagainXdead's picture
Joined: Jan 23 2018
Best of the Grateful Dead Live*

*excluding the greatest vocal performer ever to belong to the Dead

Joined: Nov 21 2017
Fine and Dandy...

I applaud the effort to condense so much into two discs.

I set out to make a "best of Spring '90" road set. It filled 25 CDs.

kevjones's picture
Joined: Apr 28 2009
This One Is For The Normies

This is for the normies only...

marye's picture
Joined: May 26 2007

I've always been really partial to the Ripple from Reckoning, which is pretty much in my DNA now because I played it so much in the wake of my first show. It has a lot to do with my being here now, most likely!

So I'm glad it made the cut.

Joined: Oct 19 2015
I Wish

I wish somebody could find the tape of one of the best shows I ever saw (Actually the whole run of 4 nights was amazing).

Wednesday, 11/11/70 at something called the 45th Street "Rock Palace" in Brooklyn. A couple of songs into the second set out popped Jorma, Jack and Papa John from the Airplane who were playing the next night at the Fillmore East. They played most, if not all, of the rest of the set.

There is a copy of this show on Archive but the quality is horrendous. I've asked both David Gans and Betty Cantor if they know of a copy but neither does. I don't think tapes from the next 3 nights have ever surfaced.

So Dave, if a better copy of this show exists please release it. It would be a great money maker.

PatagonianFox's picture
Joined: Oct 25 2011
what's the point of this release?

i already own everything on it.


SkullTrip's picture
Joined: Jan 11 2018


Joined: Jun 10 2013
Pigpen & Donna

I would've added a Next Time You See Me or Chinatown Shuffle from Europe 72 and Also A Sunrise from Spring 1977.

MinasMorgul's picture
Joined: Feb 4 2015
Agree, this is not for us
Joined: Jul 2 2015
I'd rather see one of these sets

derived from bonus disks from Dick's, Dave's Picks and Road Trips series.

Seth Hollander's picture
Joined: Aug 27 2009
Yep, not for "us", indeed.

"30 TRIPS AROUND THE SUN: THE DEFINITIVE LIVE STORY 1965-1995 serves as an introductory sampler to the Dead’s live canon"
"THE BEST OF THE GRATEFUL DEAD LIVE is the ultimate live collection"

Which one do I buy my nephew who doesn't like GD but wants to be cooler than his friends with their studio best-ofs?... Oh, hold on, kids download so this must be for my wanna-be-cool uncle...

This does look like a good product for "newbies", but most of those young people don't buy/play CDs.

This IS a pretty good comp if you're someone who doesn't really give a shit. At 2 CDs it really couldn't be what it claims to be, but it is a fair try. I expect to see it often at BigBox stores (Walmart, Best Buy, Target, etc).

An odd byproduct of the 2 Disc limitations is that the 1st disc is Bobby-heavy while the second is almost all Jerry. Kinda the opposite of their actual performance balance historically...

And that "Blow Away" gets my vote for BOAT, but it pales beside anything Pig did...

Remember when reading GDM marketing blurbs about upcoming DaPs or boxes that the same people called this "the ultimate live collection".

KeithFan2112's picture
Joined: Aug 6 2014
Re: Jack Straw alvarhanso

They do have the back and forth with Bobby and Jerry on the 5/3 version that was chosen for this compilation. As you astutely noted, they didn't start the back and forth for a couple more shows (it was in fact the Amsterdam show on 5/10); however, the 5/3 version is the one they used for the original Europe '72 LP that came out in 1972, and they doctored it to allow for the inclusion of Jerry doing the back and forth with Bobby.

I noticed all of the Europe '72 tracks they selected were from the original LP.

Joined: Nov 2 2010
Oh come on folks

If you haven't noticed, there are a million newbies out there experiencing the Dead's music for the first time. Believe it or not, there ARE people out there who didn't pre-order the entire Europe Box set. So give the folks a break, Dave is releasing the GOODS (Eugene, Red Rock, Binghamton, etc. etc.) and those of us who are on board know where to go for our fix. A little intro sampler for the younger crowd isn't such a bad thing, and we can nitpick all day long about their selections, but really, quit yer bitchin.

Joined: Jan 23 2018

I love this release and think it's spot on. Some of us older dead-heads that started seeing shows in the late 70's don't have the ability to get out like we used to. I would love to see more content released on DVD and would instantly buy the second they were released.

Joined: Nov 28 2011
SO Typical.....UHHGGG!

Not one "previously unreleased" song in the collection....and "best of Live" without a Scarlet>Fire?!?! WTF!

mustin321's picture
Joined: Aug 12 2011
No Pigpen?

not very "Grateful"

Joined: Nov 9 2013

A mish-mash may be fine as an intro for newbies, but why it doesn't include a killer version of Deal, in preference to - say - Feel Like A Stranger or Bird Song, is a bit of a mystery, not to mention the surprising number of selections from the somewhat tepid Dead Set.

Joined: Aug 19 2012
Looking forward to it.

Well, judging from the comments looks like there are a few snowflakes even in the Dead community. If you're not interested why bother with replying? Do you think they're going to scrap this and make a CD catering to you? Guess what, you can do that yourself by burning a cd or creating a playlist. Personally I think this is a great selection of songs for when you don't have time to listen to an entire show. Thanks to the guys who put this together. I for one am Grateful for this.

nappyrags's picture
Joined: Jan 24 2013
On Pigpen

They could of at least added the edited Lovelight from Live/Dead that was released on the Warner Bros sampler Big Ball...oops

nappyrags's picture
Joined: Jan 24 2013
On Pigpen

They could of at least added the edited Lovelight from Live/Dead that was released on the Warner Bros sampler Big Ball...

Joined: Jan 16 2014
Best Jack Straw to put out?

Didn't Jerry start singing Shannon's part a week later? If they can choose Estimated from Barton Hall, why not choose a Jack Straw from another release like Dave's 11 in Wichita, or Dick's 29, or Dave's 23, all of which give the back and forth point of view, and the song was definitely more muscular by then. And surely a Mr. Charlie could have been squeezed in.

Joined: Jan 23 2018
NOT in the spirit at all...

I'm not sure what's going on the day of instant downloads and cd burning why the Dead feel the need for an "introduction" cd in the first place. THAT being said, WHAT in the Sam Hill is going on with this selection? I find it incomprehensible to listen to St. Stephen from live dead with neither Dark Star NOR The Eleven surrounding it! Newbies, you want a good intro to the Dead? May I suggest used copies of "Live Dead" and "Europe '72"?

August West Wharf Rat's picture
Joined: Nov 1 2013

Really? I got excited when I saw an email about a new release, and then....oh, Nevermind.... I already have all of this. I guess it would be ok for a chance to use it to introduce someone to the catalogue and have the slick packaging? And to make more money off of stuff that’s been out there forever!?
This would have been good for me in ‘85 as a clueless 13 yr old who had only skeletons, but then again, no. I bought Dead set on vinyl at age 14 in a head shop in CA while on vaca and wow, just wow... I don’t think just a couple of tracks would have done that for me. This will not give one the immersive sense of a show, rather a hodgepodge of diff eras... etc. I guess it will be good for newbies on Spotify to test the waters.... and NO PIG TUNES!? Disgraceful

Sixtus_'s picture
Joined: Nov 8 2014

Agree this is a decent shoehorn for those who need a concise intro to some live GD. It's a shame they dont have more segues and longer jams, but then again if it's a way to get your feet wet there need to be some reigns in there I suppose. Also, as one poster noted, no Pigpen. Needs some grease!


Joined: Mar 13 2010
It’s not for “us”

Yes, it’s for mass release and like David stated, counterpart to the other mass release...

Joined: Jan 22 2014


Joined: Jun 5 2007
Cue the Criticism...

I surely wish this had been available when I was a clueless kid curious about the GD, instead of Skeletons From The Closet, which is what I bought and did not understand.

but I am sure we can all go through each and every track and come up with a BETTER version from some other already released live track. Except the Truckin>Morning Dew from Europe 72, because that is sublime. And the Ripple from 1980, which is also wonderful.

Joined: Jan 13 2010

the next generation

unkle sam's picture
Joined: Oct 3 2008
no new music?

seriously? who's gonna buy this?

cosmicbadger's picture
Joined: Jun 13 2007
No Pigpen?

Some mistake surely?

Born Cross Eyed in 1956's picture
Joined: Aug 25 2008
A good selection

A good inexpensive (CD) introduction to the live music of the Grateful Dead.

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