As the saying goes in the Dead universe: “All killer, no filler!”, 30. “Weather Report Suite”/“Let It Grow”August 4, 1974; Philadelphia Civic Center, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. 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 Seventies pick: Boston Music Hall, 6-9-76. It always built to a couple of nice peaks—the first instrumental and then the vocal coda (“Across the Rio Grande-o…”) and ending solo. Eighties pick: Greek Theatre, Berkeley, July 13, 1984. Eighties pick: Santa Fe 9-10-83 (“Slipknot!”). ‘Truckin’ ... Few of The Grateful Dead’s songs were written this way and … This version is one that could reasonably be called a consensus choice—almost everyone thinks it’s easily the best they played. “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. “Dear Mr. Fantasy”July 2, 1989; Sullivan Stadium, Foxboro, Massachusetts. It was best in the early Eighties, once Brent solidified the harmonies that were often rough in the late Seventies, and Garcia took more time getting into and out of the song. 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. Yes, the Beatles-ish harmonies were a challenge, but the jams were varied and often tremendous. As for the criteria for the choice of songs—most are ones that, over time, were most variable night to night either because of the jamming in them or the intensity of the vocal delivery, or some other elevating force. The longest and perhaps most intense versions are from the late period of the song’s relatively brief existence in the repertoire (such as Chicago 4-26-69 and Harpur College 5-2-70), but this one from 1967 really encapsulates what made this song such an important part of the Dead’s first years—it was the biggest jamming vehicle for the early group, capturing that era’s feral intensity, with all the parts interlocking, more by kismet than by calculation, Phil completely monstrous on the bass, and [Ron] Pigpen [McKernan’s] swirling organ still such a fundamental part of the sound. The infamous version from Englishtown '77 still stands out quite a bit. Grateful Dead are synonymous with the psychedelic subculture of the '60s and '70s, and are known for their epic-length live performances. https://youtu.be/bbX8BsS0kfc Wow! 36. Nineties pick: Cal Expo 5-26-93—one of the band’s last truly great jams; the “reprise” comes later in the set. ), but consistently fine for more than 20 minutes. It is a good example of what Dark Star can do, but is just in the wrong sequence of songs … Available on Dick’s Picks Vol. Dark Star. 47. From the Eighties, it’s hard to top Augusta, Maine 10-12-84. Available on the bonus disc of Road Trips Vol. 33 versions. 3. 1. headyversion find the best versions of grateful dead songs please login or register. Listen to Grateful Dead - Best Ever Versions now. No collection should be without the superb 2013 set called Sunshine Daydream, which includes the full concert and also a DVD of the trippy, long-bootlegged-but-now-restored film of (some of) the event that gives the box its name. The Best of the Grateful Dead Live is a compilation album by the rock band the Grateful Dead. BITE launches fur-midable new custom bass, Sick Riffs: Vanny Tonon teaches you his innovative 'Hybrid Slap' technique. 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. (Available on Sunshine Daydream). 5. Nobody sounded quite like Garcia (often imitated, never duplicated), and the same could be said of Bob Weir, whose designation as a “rhythm guitarist” is hopelessly inadequate given the sophistication and depth of his playing. “Jack Straw”January 11, 1979; Nassau Coliseum, Uniondale, New York. “Sugaree”May 22, 1977; The Sporatorium, Pembroke Pines, Florida, Again, lots of great choices from 1977. What a great moment it was at any show when the first golden notes of “The Wheel” would emerge, float into the air, and point the way to that rousing sing-along. Of course there are, and so it is with nearly any tune you’d care to mention that is not here. Written by: Grateful Dead and Robert Hunter The band’s definitive psychedelic jam epic, with wondrous versions in nearly every era it appeared. 33 versions. 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. 27. This one bounces and grooves forward with so much vigor and purpose before it falls into a funky jam and eventually ends up at “Not Fade Away.”, 21. One of my longtime favorite Eighties versions is from Oakland Stadium 7-24-87, found on View from the Vault IV. meltdown moments along the way; 32 minutes in all and truly epic! 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. All rights reserved. “Stella Blue”October 21, 1978; Winterland Ballroom, San Francisco. Fittingly, the album is closed by a version of "So Many Roads" taken from the Dead's final show at Chicago's Soldier Field on July 9, 1995. Available on on Dick's Picks Vol. Write about official releases of live Grateful Dead music, … “Playing in the Band”August 27, 1972; Old Renaissance Faire Grounds, Veneta, Oregon. Available on the Spring 1990 (The Other One) box. When Garcia's at his very best, he's frantically trying to keep up with Phil Lesh and being altered and adjusted by what Bob Weir is doing. Discuss, vote on, and listen to the best versions of Deal by Grateful Dead . 3, and it’s hard to argue against its greatness. “Victim or the Crime”March 21, 1990; Copps Coliseum, Hamilton, Ontario. “Good Lovin’ ”January 2, 1972; Winterland Ballroom, San Francisco. We’ve dug deep into the archive and listened to countless live versions of these songs to find the best, most definitive live performances. This song was great in all eras, always a highlight when it appeared. 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. Discuss, vote on, and listen to the best versions of Grateful Dead songs . 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. You will receive a verification email shortly. Garcia at his best, ISN'T solo. For me, and YMMV, 8/27/72 is the greatest version of Bird Song, along with being some of the best 10 minutes or so of GD history. For an Eighties pick, try April 23, 1983, at Veteran’s Coliseum in New Haven, Connecticut. As was so often the case, the centerpiece of this show was the big jam in the second set, which kicked off with a beautiful “Dark Star”. “Estimated Prophet”July 8, 1978; Red Rocks Amphitheatre, Morrison, Colorado. 3. [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). 9. and sinewy threads. Played briefly in the mid Seventies and then from ’82 on, the ’76 versions capture the spirit of the jewel-like Blues for Allah version, with this one a particularly satisfying rendition, with its breezy, reggae lightness. This song was Garcia’s great contribution to late Seventies funk, and this colossal version has been the deserving winner of every poll on the subject. As Pigpen’s raps on this tend to be fairly similar one to the next, with a few notable exceptions (such as Princeton 4-17-71 with the famous “Brooklyn Bridge” rap), I tend to judge them by what the band does behind him. Eyes of the World: From the 1973 album Wake of the Flood, this is one of the Dead’s jazzier … Scarlet Begonias -> Fire On The Mountain. 17. “Crazy Fingers”June 9, 1976; Boston Music Hall, Boston, Massachusetts. After a couple of years of “Scarlet” enlivening any set it appeared in, in March 1977 it was paired with the new “Fire on the Mountain” to become perhaps the most popular combo of songs in Dead history—it was played around 240 times. 20. 5. 2. 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. 2. I really love all the peppy [keyboardist] Brent Mydland–era “China-Riders,” too. The “song” part was reliable over time; it’s what happened in the jam that followed that Deadheads lived for. direct download link. It combines a folk sensibility with its famous baroque-ish contrapuntal coda and crunching rock power. “Morning Dew”May 8, 1977; Barton Hall, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY. This titanic 31-minute marvel from ’77 crackles with electricity, with a booming “Help,” an intricate then relentlessly building “Slipknot!” jam, all resolved with a triumphal “Franklin’s Tower.” Available on Winterland June 1977: The Complete Recordings. 33 versions. Everyone, including band members, will tell you that studio albums never quite captured the Dead’s mystical X-factor. It was still powerful when it was revived in the mid Eighties, and from that era I’d recommend checking out Richmond Coliseum 11-1-85, which has a fragile but committed Jerry really baring his soul. 29. 22. China Cat Sunflower. Everyone, including band members, will tell you that studio albums never quite captured the Dead’s mystical X-factor. 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. Los Dead interpretan el clásico "Peggy O". “Mississippi Half-Step Uptown Toodleoo”September 3, 1977; Raceway Park, Englishtown, New Jersey. It’s a good one for sure. Future Publishing Limited Quay House, The Ambury, Here, the harmonies are fine, Garcia’s lead vocals are deep, and his playing outrageous and spectacular on the two concluding jams. In the Eighties, the trio of Jerry, Bobby and Brent always did a nice job on that vocal coda. Dark Star. Nineties pick: Hamilton 4-22-90 (tight, great MIDI Jerry). 4 No. 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. “The Music Never Stopped”July 17, 1989; Alpine Valley Music Theatre, East Troy, Wisconsin. 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. 49. We’ve dug deep into the archive and listened to countless live versions of these songs to find the best, most definitive live performances. 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. Sequenced chronologically over the course of two discs, the 19-track set opens with a version of "St. Stephen" taken from their first live LP, 1969's Live/Dead, and proceeds through subsequent concert releases like Skull & Roses, Europe '72, and One from the Vault. wallpaperman, Jan … 5. The Best of the Grateful Dead Live is a compilation album by the rock band the Grateful Dead. A great live version of Ripple is on the album Reckoning, which is taken from these concerts. 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! This was a tough one. The Big Kahuna of the entire Dead repertoire, utterly different from era to era, “Dark Star” evolved into the band’s most open and exploratory jamming tune, living up to its name night after night. 2 No. 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. The individual musicians in the Grateful Dead were never poll winners in music magazines, yet you would be hard-pressed to find a rock group with a core so adept at playing so many different styles—and always in an improvisational context. 15. For me, and YMMV, 8/27/72 is the greatest version of Bird Song, along with being some of the best 10 minutes or so of GD history. Introduced in March ’77, this multi-layered Hunter-Garcia epic was always solid during its first year, with this version—played as the encore of what to this point was their biggest show as a headliner—notable for both its precision and power; just about perfect. 8. There are longer and spacier versions, but this has everything it needs. 15. The song part is fairly similar one to the next, but the two jams at the end are where the fireworks occur. 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. 31. Wharf Rat was a regular part of Ryan's set for a while with the Cardinals, it's on a lot of the live shows that I have bootlegs of. So I go back to Live Dead again and pluck this one, which has all the cornerstones I love—the crazy double-drumming, Pig at his most confident, band members chiming in on backups, and a crowd going appropriately nuts throughout. 48. From their first album in '67, to their final live songs performed at their final show in '95, it incorporates ~30 years of the band's live … Or “Deal”? 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”!) Eighties pick: Frost Amphitheatre 10-10-82. Always a winner pre-hiatus (i.e. Liberty. Why live performances? Available on Dave’s Picks Volume 15. “Black Peter”October 29, 1977; Evans Field House, Northern Illinois University, DeKalb, Illinois. It just won’t quit—until it drops down into a devastating “Death Don’t Have No Mercy.” Available on Two from the Vault. ... hot songs . Available on Anthem of the Sun expanded edition. “Bird Song”August 27, 1972; Old Renaissance Faire Grounds, Veneta, Oregon. After the Grateful Dead's retirement, "Eyes of the World" remained in their line-up, but they eliminated the ending, which is a significant part of the song. I used to listen to David Gan's Grateful Dead Hour religiously, in the late 80s it being one of the only or most accessible sources of high quality live material. https://youtu.be/bbX8BsS0kfc Wow! Torrent download: The highest rated live versions of the 50 most often rated Grateful Dead songs at headyversion.com. After the Grateful Dead's retirement, "Eyes of the World" remained in their line-up, but they eliminated the ending, which is a significant part of the song. Available on Dicks Pick’s Vol. 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”February 27, 1969; Fillmore West (San Francisco). “Cumberland Blues”September 27, 1972; Stanley Theatre, Jersey City, New Jersey. 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. 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. Because that’s where the magic happened with this band. From its introduction in the summer of 1984 until Brent’s demise in summer 1990, this relatively rare Traffic cover was a real crowd favorite. Choose a hot song below to get started on your heady journey. headyversion find the best versions of grateful dead songs please login or register. For a Nineties pick, let’s go with Giants Stadium 6-17-91, which really shows what pianist Bruce Hornsby brought to the mix in that era. Discuss, vote on, and listen to the best versions of Loser by Grateful Dead . It’s big, loping and jammed to the max between verses with everything from fast, intricate runs to powerful fanning to gentle guitar etchings. The ongoing success of the many Phil Lesh & Friends lineups and, more recently, Dead and Company, featuring newish Dead convert John Mayer (playing with Bob Weir and Grateful Dead drummers Bill Kreutzmann and Mickey Hart), show that the Dead’s legacy is very much intact and that the music is continuing to evolve. “China Cat Sunflower” > “I Know You Rider”June 26, 1974; Providence Civic Center, Providence, Rhode Island. “Feel Like a Stranger”August 10, 1982; Fieldhouse, University of Iowa, Iowa City, Iowa. Similarly there is general agreement on the Dead’s peak performance periods: 1968–1974, 1977, 1981–'82, 1988–'90; you’ll find a heavy concentration of Seventies performances here. Los Dead interpretan el clásico "Peggy O". “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. Elvis Costello: Loser (live in SF a few years ago) Graham Parker: Sugaree (live video on Youtube) Jane's Addiction: Ripple Sex Mob: Ripple Bird Song - Live in Veneta, Oregon 8/27/72 Grateful Dead • Veneta, OR 8/27/72: ... Looks Like Rain - Live In London 1972 Version Grateful Dead • Europe '72 [Live] [Expanded] 7:37 0:30. 10 best Grateful Dead songs ever: 10. 41. Again, we lean early: ’72–’74, when Keith was in the band, Phil was at his most prominent musically, and the jams following the song typically opened up the widest and wildest. 5. "Viola Lee Blues"November 10, 1967; Shrine Auditorium, Los Angeles, CA. Pretty faithful to the Dead version, in my opinion. My favorites are from ’76-’77, with Donna on sweet harmony vocals and Keith adding little piano touches to the spare arrangement. This one comes out of a fantastic “Estimated Prophet” and quickly rolls up to cruising speed and becomes very powerful; and the post-song jam is a thing of beauty, with Weir on tasteful background slide for some of it, before it eases into “Drums” (featuring Brazilian jazzers Flora Purim and Airto). Morning Dew: This Bonnie Dobson song about the last man and woman alive after a nuclear holocaust became one of the Dead’s most powerful live songs. 14-13. Look for the “SteveSW” soundboard recording on archive.org. They're also one of the most influential jam bands of all-time. 3 No. 39. “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. 26. The song came back in an exciting, if vocally challenged, disco-influenced arrangement—also very jam-heavy—in 1976. 43. England and Wales company registration number 2008885. Available on Road Trips Vol. 15. 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. 35. Thank you for signing up to Guitar World. 12. We’re going with this 1970 version because of Jerry’s emotional vocal delivery and the snaky, all-too-rare, slide solo that leans heavily on the old country blues lament “Nobody’s Fault But Mine.”. My favorite version in that style is the long, ultra-funky one from Cape Cod Coliseum, 10-27-79, just the second time Brent played it live. Fortunately, the Dead had the largest archive of live tapes of any band ever, so there is much to draw from. ’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. 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. Along the way they built the most loyal fan base the music world had ever seen. When “Stephen” came back after a five-year break at this show, it was slower, more delicate and had its “Ladyfinger dipped in moonlight…” bridge turned into a waltz, but it also opened up in ways it never had before. Eighties pick: Greek Theatre 5-13-83; Seventies tempo, lots of jamming, nice work by Brent; look for the soundboard version on archive.org. “Alligator” > “Caution (Do Not Stop on Tracks)”August 23, 1968; Shrine Auditorium, Los Angeles, CA, With these two Pigpen numbers, it was less about the songs than the jams they spurred. 2. After about 11 minutes of floaty, drifty goodness leading up to the first verse, the jam gradually accelerates and starts to go more “out,” as Phil signals a shift to a mid-tempo cruising altitude, then does it again a few minutes later for a long spacey stretch. Later saying, “I gave them instructions on how to properly edit it and they garbled it so completely.” With that, below there is the live version of the song instead. Available on Road Trips Vol. BA1 1UA. And this is easily Garcia’s best-ever vocal on the song. “Shakedown Street”June 30, 1985; Merriweather Post Pavilion, Columbia, Maryland. I used to listen to David Gan's Grateful Dead Hour religiously, in the late 80s it being one of the only or most accessible sources of high quality live material. 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. The voters at headyversion.com get it right again. “Scarlet” alone pick: Fresno 7-19-74. With its churning rhythms, slashing guitar, crunching bass and high-octane build-up during the jam, it’s a gripping rock/R&B tour de force. ), 42. 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. The Dead started playing it in 1967, and recorded it on their first album, The Grateful Dead, as well as featuring it on the live Europe 72. This is another winner from the dynamite Englishtown show. 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. "Good Morning Little Schoolgirl"February 14, 1968; Carousel Ballroom, San Francisco, CA. This rightly revered version is, alas, cut near the end on the soundboard recording, but when it was officially released on Road Trips Vol. Played for the first time in two-and-a-half years, this is more in the vein of ’69 versions (even dropping in a couple of actual riffs from that era) and surprisingly self-assured—more to my taste than the best late-Eighties or early-Nineties versions, which relied so heavily on MIDI textures. It contains songs that were recorded live in concert and previously released on other Grateful Dead albums. 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. get started. This perky little number took the Dead’s Americana thrust in a slightly new direction, with its nod to old-time jazz, as well as country flavors. Though I generally prefer the harmony vocals on the bridge in the Brent-era, the late Seventies versions have a distinctive haunting quality and some crushingly powerful jams. “Turn on Your Love Light”January 26, 1969; Avalon Ballroom, San Francisco. This song/jam was only around for about two years, but what a glorious run it had! 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. Pigpen and the band really kicked out the jams on this Otis Redding tune, an explosive element in so many Dead sets in 1969 and ’70. Chosen by Phil for his Fallout from the Phil Zone compilation. Fire On The Mountain. So, live recordings it is. And the fact is, this does go beyond 50: As you’ll see, for a number of tunes, there are second and third picks based on eras—songs such as “Dark Star,” “Playing in the Band,” “The Other One” and a few others changed radically from one period to the next (influenced by the change in keyboardists and other factors), so versions from each epoch get a nod. This one, clocking in at 19 minutes, is just about flawless in every respect. 33-32. It contains songs that were recorded live in concert and previously released on other Grateful Dead albums. headyversion ... we're on the search for the dankest versions of dead songs. 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. 25. 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