“Lost Sailor” is drifty and floaty, with a slightly odd structure (that works! “Saint Stephen”February 27, 1969; Fillmore West, San Francisco, This performance, which is the Live Dead version, is what hooked me on the Dead back in November 1969, and though there are many other killer versions, this one still resonates most strongly with me. Introduced two days after “Victim” in 1988, this melodic Hunter-Garcia number (occasionally paired with “Victim”) provided a bouncy contrast, somewhat in the tradition of “Franklin’s Tower.” This version, as presented as a bonus track on the remastered Built to Last CD, is mixed so that every instrument is clear and loud—you can really feast on Weir’s imaginative rhythm lines and Brent’s synth washes. headyversion find the best versions of grateful dead songs please login or register. All rights reserved. 11. I’ve probably listened to the 2-27-69 version immortalized on Live Dead, more than any other piece of music, so I am hopelessly biased about its greatness—the worlds it visits, its elastic rhythmic pulse, the riffs that were perfected this night, the overall flow of the thing. As the saying goes in the Dead universe: “All killer, no filler!”, 30. This first-set version shows all its bludgeoning brute force (and sophistication), then dissolves into Garcia’s late-Eighties ballad tour de force, “Standing on the Moon”—which, truthfully, deserves to be on this list, too, so listen to both! This version of the suite is spectacular, and leads to a long jam where Billy Kreutzmann takes the “Let It Grow” pulse and drives it frenetically in jazzy directions, with Garcia’s wah-wah and Keith’s Rhodes sounding like electric Miles Davis. Listen to Grateful Dead - Best Ever Versions … “Alligator” always led to a mesmerizing rare-for-the time double-drum duel between Mickey and Bill, and the jam after would usually build from a Jerry-plus-drummers noodle to a ferocious full-band boil before dropping eventually into the locomotive rhythm and big crescendos that lace together Pig’s visit to the mysterious Gypsy Woman in “Caution.”. Eighties pick: Laguna Seca 7-29-88; a rare later version that includes the “reprise.”. Along the way they built the most loyal fan base the music world had ever seen. “Hard to Handle”August 6, 1971; Hollywood Palladium, California. Headyversion has 10/21/78 as the best version of “Stella Blue”. As with “Shakedown,” its success hinged on the meshing of different rhythmic lines from everyone in the band, with Jerry’s clucking envelope-wah dancing above Bob’s slashing chords. 25. ), but consistently fine for more than 20 minutes. The Grateful Dead’s final show is, inevitably, a rough listen, mostly owing to Jerry Garcia’s audibly declining health – at this point he had just a month to live. Warner Bros. Records released the Dead’s debut album, The Grateful Dead – a sonically brittle, high-speed version of the group’s stage act and songbook – on March 17th, 1967. “Lost Sailor” > “Saint of Circumstance”October 10, 1982; Frost Amphitheatre, Stanford University, Palo Alto, California, These two Weir-written nuggets, which date back to the summer of ’79 and were paired until mid 1986, show two sides of Bob’s writing. 27. Brent would sing the first verse alone, Garcia would go wild between verses, and then sing the second verse as a duet, followed by more fiery leads, and in some cases—as in this incendiary version from 1989 (one of the Dead’s best years), go into the “Na-na-na” coda of “Hey Jude,” with Brent singing “Mr. One of my longtime favorite Eighties versions is from Oakland Stadium 7-24-87, found on View from the Vault IV. 45. Brent-era pick: Oakland 12-26-79 (major “clam” notwithstanding). 22. headyversion ... we're on the search for the dankest versions of dead songs. Available on Dick’s Picks Vol. get started. List of the best Grateful Dead songs, ranked by fans like you. 1 No. Bath Two years removed from the Grateful Dead’s 50th anniversary celebration and the triumphant “Fare Thee Well” stadium concerts in their native San Francisco Bay Area and in Chicago, the surprising, resurgent Deadmania has not subsided. 19. Nineties pick: Greensboro (North Carolina) Coliseum, 4-1-91. “Cumberland Blues”September 27, 1972; Stanley Theatre, Jersey City, New Jersey. Available on Sunshine Daydream. Feelin' Groovy Jam. Overall, my preference is for Brent-era versions, but there are many, many great ones from 1972 to 1979, and I have to concur with popular opinion that this one from the close of the Keith and Donna [Godchaux, singer] era smokes from beginning (“We used to play for acid/Now we play for Clive”) to the blistering ending jam. “Not Fade Away” > “Goin’ Down the Road Feeling Bad”November 15, 1971; Austin Municipal Auditorium, Texas. This is one of the most famous Grateful Dead shows that has yet to receive an official release, but it’s surely only a matter of time. ), a full-band jam around the main riff, and more than 13 minutes in, Phil leaps forward with the classic entrance. Eighties pick: Greek Theatre 5-13-83; Seventies tempo, lots of jamming, nice work by Brent; look for the soundboard version on archive.org. Available on Anthem of the Sun expanded edition. Dark Star. 11. “Dancing in the Street”May 2, 1970; Harpur College, Binghamton, New York. Collected on the bonus disc of Road Trips Vol. 40. Available on the Spring 1990 (The Other One) box. The other one I … Yes, the Beatles-ish harmonies were a challenge, but the jams were varied and often tremendous. It contains songs that were recorded live in concert and previously released on other Grateful Dead albums. “Victim or the Crime”March 21, 1990; Copps Coliseum, Hamilton, Ontario. 4-3. This one, from the first show of their greatest year, is smokin’ and amazingly varied, even tucking in a bouncing “China Cat” at around the 18-minute mark, before bringing “Good Lovin’ ” to a close. There are longer and spacier versions, but this has everything it needs. It contains songs that were recorded live in concert and previously released on other Grateful Dead albums. This very spacey extended version is unlike any other they ever played. Please refresh the page and try again. Their styles couldn’t be more different, but they were completely sympathetic players, tightly enmeshed and equally in sync with bassist Lesh (another utterly unconventional player) and the drummers. Available on Road Trips Vol. This was a tough one. Favorite Versions Of Grateful Dead Songs Tracing the evolution of Althea through it's years of live performance. ’72-’74), this particular version has a perfect tempo, a top-notch lead vocal, Keith seemingly channeling country piano great Floyd Cramer throughout, a soulful stroll through the “Nothin’s gonna bring him back” coda, and then an extremely tasty melodic jam that’s as pretty as anything you’ll hear from this group. 1. The nice thing about Bird Song is that it shined throughout its career - … The version 10 days earlier from Des Moines, Iowa, (6-16-74) has a slightly better “China Cat” and a cooler between-songs jam, but Providence has a fantastic long intro to “China Cat” and better “I Know You Rider,” so we’re going with that choice. “Playing in the Band”August 27, 1972; Old Renaissance Faire Grounds, Veneta, Oregon. “Friend Of The Devil” is, along with “Dire Wolf,” the Grateful Dead song that would have fit most comfortably on Harry Smith’s seminal Anthology Of American Folk Music. “Terrapin Station”September 3, 1977; Raceway Park, Englishtown, New Jersey. The best Eighties versions of this Weir tune, also from 1975’s Blues for Allah, have a ragged majesty and intensity that is unmatched by earlier ones. By ’72, “The Other One” had been cut loose completely from its original moorings, but it still careened across the Dead landscape as a compelling and constantly changing blast of trippy energy for the rest of the group’s career. For an Eighties pick, try April 23, 1983, at Veteran’s Coliseum in New Haven, Connecticut. 5. Recommend favorite versions of each song from different shows. The first hints come during a tremendously strange and ominous “Space,” then a long build-up (guitars and talking drum! If the link doesn't work (it seems to expire once in a while) … Because that’s where the magic happened with this band. The Grateful Dead Live/Dead (1969) This Dark Star has been dulled by the poor preparation that the listener has to the space they will enter into on this one. This playlist compiles every known last time played performance of The Grateful Dead's original songs in chronological order. Created as a counterpart to their 2015 two-disc Best of the Grateful Dead studio collection, The Best of the Grateful Dead Live includes highlights culled from the band's commercially released concert albums on the Warner Bros. and Arista labels as well as a handful of live selections from their own personal archives. https://youtu.be/bbX8BsS0kfc Wow! “Morning Dew”May 8, 1977; Barton Hall, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY. Surely there are multiple versions of each that fit those categories. This one was vaultkeeper Dick Latvala’s favorite, a big reason he chose the show as Dick’s Picks Vol. You can’t lose with any ’72 “Playing in the Band” (it was featured every night on the European tour), but this justifiably famous version has an acid-drenched, edge-of-chaos vibe that that makes it completely gripping for every second of its 23 minutes. While it would be impossible to choose the best Seventies version of “The Other One,” the one I’ve enjoyed most often the past few years is from May 7, 1972, at the Bickershaw Festival in Wigan, England). Written by: Grateful Dead and Robert Hunter The band’s definitive psychedelic jam epic, with wondrous versions in nearly every era it appeared. Many Grateful Dead songs develop with time, but perhaps the best and most consistent versions of this song were during the spring '73 tour in which the song debuted. Scarlet Begonias -> Fire On The Mountain. Available on Dave’s Picks Volume 15. Write about official releases of live Grateful Dead music, … Dark, passionately sung, with a wonderful, if brief, slide guitar solo, and then a completely rip-roaring finale that keeps on building to a sustained climax before it lurches into “Sugar Magnolia.” Look for the soundboard recording on archive.org. Fortunately, the Dead had the largest archive of live tapes of any band ever, so there is much to draw from. "The Eleven"August 24, 1968; Shrine Auditorium, Los Angeles, CA. For “Goin’ Down the Road” it’s gotta be Fillmore East 4-29-71, coming out of an exquisitely constructed jam that has “China Cat” and “St. 41. Grateful Dead are synonymous with the psychedelic subculture of the '60s and '70s, and are known for their epic-length live performances. Nineties pick: Shoreline Amphitheatre, Mountain View, California; 6-16-90. 16. Fantasy” in between the “na-nas.” Truly electric; Jerry goes off! Why live performances? Available on Dick’s Picks Vol. The voters at headyversion.com get it right again. 6. Or “Touch of Gray”? Admittedly, my favorite “Love Light” is the one from Frankfurt, Germany, 4-26-72 (first released on Hundred Year Hall), on which the band is unflaggingly spectacular—go Keith! Headyversion has 10/21/78 as the best version of “Stella Blue”. Not only do they appear in order of popularity according to hundreds of folks who have weighed in on their favorite versions of just about every song in the Dead cannon—280 versions of “Eyes of the World,” 27 versions of “Liberty,” 59 versions of “Jackaroe,” etc.—but the site also provides direct links to archive.org’s immense vault of Dead performances, so you can hear them all in just a couple of mouse-clicks. Dark Star. And don’t miss the primal, acid-drenched version from the Carousel Ballroom 2-14-68, and for a “Caution” alone, Fillmore Auditorium 11-8-69. In the Eighties, the trio of Jerry, Bobby and Brent always did a nice job on that vocal coda. 50. 34. Discuss, vote on, and listen to the best versions of Touch of Grey by Grateful Dead . 29. What follows is a selection of the best live versions of 50 songs by the Grateful Dead (and a few cover tunes) spanning their history. It’s big, loping and jammed to the max between verses with everything from fast, intricate runs to powerful fanning to gentle guitar etchings. For an acoustic rendering closer to the Workingman’s Dead version, check out Harpur College 5-2-70. [Keyboardist] Bruce Hornsby loved playing (and teasing) “Dark Star” during his tenure, and this is my favorite with him—long, weird and noisy pre-“Drums” with lots of Garcia MIDI, a totally hypnotic “Drums,” and then a short, tasteful reprise (second verse). Garcia’s gorgeous re-entry three minutes later came in … 14-13. This is one of the most famous Grateful Dead shows that has yet to receive an official release, but it’s surely only a matter of time. Why live performances? Liberty. 46. It almost falls apart, but the recovery is great! Impecable versión. Where possible, I used the best sounding sources for each song. Not as wildly explosive as some (8-19-89! The mini-suite from Anthem of the Sun, incorporating “Cryptical Envelopment” sandwiching “The Other One,” was at its best from 1968–70, with ’69 its best year, but this one is my longtime favorite, for its many incredible mood swings, peaks and valleys; just an amazing ride. Available on Dick’s Picks Vol. The infamous version from Englishtown '77 still stands out quite a bit. Weir revived the song in earnest in 1977, and many fine versions of that more compact, but still energetic, showstopper abound. The jam in between the two songs is completely magical, quoting “China Cat,” dipping in to a “Dark Star”–ish space briefly, and flitting into all sorts of other interesting realms. “Mississippi Half-Step Uptown Toodleoo”September 3, 1977; Raceway Park, Englishtown, New Jersey. The subtext of the Bonnie Dobson–penned folk ballad could not be more dire—the last man and woman on earth after a nuclear holocaust!—but in the Dead’s hands it was both delicate and filled with heavy pathos. For a stand-alone “Not Fade Away,” try Englishtown 9-3-77. Favorite Versions Of Grateful Dead Songs Tracing the evolution of Althea through it's years of live performance. Written by: Grateful Dead and Robert Hunter The band’s definitive psychedelic jam epic, with wondrous versions in nearly every era it appeared. 31. 31. When this wonderful Weir funk number—introduced in 1979, less than a year after “Shakedown”— appeared as an opener, it promised a “long, long, crazy, crazy night!” and laid the groundwork for exactly that. So far, so normal, but after around 15 minutes, the band backed off to create an on-the-spot opportunity for Lesh to deliver one of the most gloriously unkempt bass solos in the history of rock ‘n’ roll. By 1969–70, it had expanded to a big jamming number, with all sorts of great R&B riffing (a quote from Archie Bell & the Drells’ “Tighten Up”!) 2. At this show, it closes an incredible second set, with Garcia and company reducing the place to rubble with the ending buildup—the mark of a truly great “Dew.” A pre-hiatus version to check out is Winterland (San Francisco) 10-18-74. BA1 1UA. Discuss, vote on, and listen to the best versions of Grateful Dead songs . There was a problem. Scary & sublime 9/19/70 Fillmore East Best "Feelin' Groovy" Jam 11/8/70 Capitol Theatre Port Chester NY Into Main Ten>Dancin' The Deads finest hour 9/24/72 Goes into some sort of demented hoe-down & China/Rider 2/13/70 Fillmore East Another definitive version 11/11/73 Winterland Long, strange & definatley a trip 12/6/73 Cleveland Convention Center In tune with the cosmos 5. "Viola Lee Blues"November 10, 1967; Shrine Auditorium, Los Angeles, CA. Indeed, the events of that year seem to have both rekindled the ardor for the group’s music in many Deadheads who dropped off the psychedelic bus following Jerry Garcia’s death in the summer of 1995, and also brought in many new fans who never had a chance to see the band but are attracted by the Dead’s amazingly diverse and appealing songbook, and the colorful, upbeat, Sixties glow that will forever surround the group. China Cat Sunflower. “Foolish Heart”July 19, 1989; Alpine Valley Music Theatre, East Troy, Wisconsin. First on Weir’s solo Ace album in 1972, but not played regularly until 1976, this is another one that fully matured in the Brent era, thanks to his solid duet vocals and the more variegated jam near the end. That includes the “ song ” part was reliable over time ; it ’ s still the best of. New custom bass, Sick Riffs: Vanny Tonon teaches you his innovative 'Hybrid Slap ' technique more. 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