Grateful Dead: Europe '72 3LP

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From April 7 to May 26, 1972, the Grateful Dead performed and recorded 21 live concerts, plus a set in a television studio, with every night being an exceptional display of the magic that was uniquely the Dead. These concerts and this tour, 50 years later, are still considered one of the highest of high points in the Grateful Dead's performing career. This 50th Anniversary 180g vinyl 3LP reissue has been newly mastered by Grammy Award-winning engineer David Glasser with newly restored audio by Plangent Processes. Europe '72 not only one of the band's best-selling releases, but also set the gold standard for live Dead. The band's first tour outside of North America took them to all sorts of historic and unusual venues in England, Denmark, West Germany, France, Holland and even Luxembourg. Many members of the Dead family came along on what was really an extended working vacation that was designed to both expose the Dead to new audiences and also reward the band for their unlikely conquest of America during the preceding two years. As a hedge against the costs of the nearly two-month trip, the Dead's label, Warner Bros., paid for the band to lug around a 16-track recorder to capture the entire tour. This was a band at the top of its game, still ascending in the wake of three straight hit albums: Workingman's Dead, American Beauty and the live Grateful Dead (Skull & Roses). It had been a year since the lineup had gone to its single-drummer configuration, six months since Keith Godchaux had been broken in as the group's exceptional pianist, and this marked the first tour to feature Donna Godchaux as a member of the touring band. This would also be Pigpen's final tour with the band. There was a ton of new, unreleased material that came into the repertoire in the fall of '71 (after Skull & Roses was out) and during the spring of '72, including "Tennessee Jed," "Jack Straw," "He's Gone," "Ramble on Rose," "One More Saturday Night" and "Mr. Charlie." All those future classics were interspersed with songs from the aforementioned hit albums such as "Cumberland Blues" and "Sugar Magnolia," as well as spectacular versions of "Truckin'" and "I Know You Rider."

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