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. 46. 15. [Godchaux keyboards]—but it has almost no Pigpen verbal riffing on it, so it’s not fair to choose it as the version. The voters at headyversion.com get it right again. 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. Eighties pick: Frost Amphitheatre 10-10-82. 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. 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. 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. 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. 2. 33-32. “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. I love the relaxed-but-still intense vibe of Seventies “Eyes”; by the early Eighties the tempo had increased and the tune sometimes lacked that liquid-sunshine flow the song begs for. 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. 3. “Morning Dew”May 8, 1977; Barton Hall, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY. Garcia’s gorgeous re-entry three minutes later came in … This version is the titan of them all! They brought it all together in a unique mélange that took them from the fire-breathing psychedelia of the late Sixties, to the Dead Americana of Workingman’s Dead and American Beauty, and far beyond. get started. headyversion find the best versions of grateful dead songs please login or register. direct download link. Because that’s where the magic happened with this band. Everyone, including band members, will tell you that studio albums never quite captured the Dead’s mystical X-factor. This one hits all its marks beautifully, including a nice “landing” after the jam. Listen to Grateful Dead - Best Ever Versions now. 11. List of the best Grateful Dead songs, ranked by fans like you. 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”. Nineties pick: Nassau Coliseum 3-27-90; gotta give some love to the magnificent first show where saxophonist Branford Marsalis sat in with the Dead, and fit in perfectly! Here, it drifts evenly for a while, then picks up steam and rides high, before settling back down and eventually chiming into “The Other One.” Available on Red Rocks: 7/8/78. It was my first show and I thought I was just playing favorites, but indeed it quite a wonderful version. He covers a number of Grateful Dead songs in his live performances but his version of ‘China Doll’, originally called ‘The Suicide Song’, from the 1974 Grateful Dead … Eighties pick: Greek Theatre 5-13-83; Seventies tempo, lots of jamming, nice work by Brent; look for the soundboard version on archive.org. Grateful Dead are synonymous with the psychedelic subculture of the '60s and '70s, and are known for their epic-length live performances. 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. ), but this one from a few months earlier is even more exciting and expansive. 2. 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. 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. 44. 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. If the link doesn't work (it seems to expire once in a while) … 9. If you’re looking for a song to play for non-Deadheads, go with this one. “Good Lovin’ ”January 2, 1972; Winterland Ballroom, San Francisco. 33 versions. 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. It is incredible that they would play this song 232 times from 1967 to 1994 and each version would sound quite different from the one that preceded it. ... hot songs . 31. Eyes of the World: From the 1973 album Wake of the Flood, this is one of the Dead’s jazzier … 12. It is incredible that they would play this song 232 times from 1967 to 1994 and each version would sound quite different from the one that preceded it. 18. So why not have “Sugar Magnolia” here? headyversion find the best versions of grateful dead songs please login or register. Available on Dave’s Picks Volume 15. headyversion find the best versions of grateful dead songs please login or register. Los Dead interpretan el clásico "Peggy O". Fortunately, the Dead had the largest archive of live tapes of any band ever, so there is much to draw from. 5. meltdown moments along the way; 32 minutes in all and truly epic! 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! Click on the show to go to the Live Music Archive and listen to the Althea mp3 stream. Guitar World is part of Future plc, an international media group and leading digital publisher. In the end, though, opinions about “best” anything are always going to be completely subjective and also probably change over time. One of my longtime favorite Eighties versions is from Oakland Stadium 7-24-87, found on View from the Vault IV. 10 best Grateful Dead songs ever: 10. Of course, there is no true consensus on any of this, but it is fair to say that there is widespread agreement that certain versions of certain songs would probably make most discerning Deadheads’ lists. You will receive a verification email shortly. Look for the “SteveSW” soundboard recording on archive.org. Created as a counterpart to their 2015 two-disc Best of the Grateful Dead studio collection, … Available on Dick’s Picks Vol. Phil really shines on this version, but everyone is on-point. "Viola Lee Blues"November 10, 1967; Shrine Auditorium, Los Angeles, CA. Los Dead interpretan el clásico "Peggy O". This song/jam was only around for about two years, but what a glorious run it had! Available on Sunshine Daydream. Weir’s three-part “Weather Report Suite” (“Prelude” > “Part One” > “Let It Grow”) was an important part of many shows only in ’73-’74; then “Let It Grow” alone was a fast-paced, multi-textured spin-off from ’76–’95. ), a full-band jam around the main riff, and more than 13 minutes in, Phil leaps forward with the classic entrance. Discuss Grateful Dead lyrics and provide some for their most famous songs. 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. For an acoustic rendering closer to the Workingman’s Dead version, check out Harpur College 5-2-70. Available on Road Trips Vol. 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. 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. The song came back in an exciting, if vocally challenged, disco-influenced arrangement—also very jam-heavy—in 1976. Collected on the bonus disc of Road Trips Vol. 19. Year after year one of the most dependable tunes in the Dead’s second sets, Weir’s moody reggae number, with Garcia employing a wah-ish envelope filter, was played at most shows in ’77-’78 and was common for the rest of their history. “Estimated Prophet”July 8, 1978; Red Rocks Amphitheatre, Morrison, Colorado. Dig that clavinet! Click on the show to go to the Live Music Archive and listen to the Althea mp3 stream. This long, strange trip of a list includes all of Grateful Dead… This version is one that could reasonably be called a consensus choice—almost everyone thinks it’s easily the best they played. © “Terrapin Station”September 3, 1977; Raceway Park, Englishtown, New Jersey. “Comes a Time”May 9, 1977; War Memorial, Buffalo, New York. The one on Live Dead (from 1-26-69) is the most famous (and also great! 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. 1 No. 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. ’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. With this song, it’s all about Garcia’s vocal delivery and swelling, crying solo after the verses, and this one delivers in spades! Liberty. The difficulty, of course, is narrowing it down to just 50. 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. Why live performances? Discuss, vote on, and listen to the best versions of Loser by Grateful Dead . 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. Available on Dick’s Picks Vol. It’s a good one for sure. 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. 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). “Dear Mr. Fantasy”July 2, 1989; Sullivan Stadium, Foxboro, Massachusetts. The first hints come during a tremendously strange and ominous “Space,” then a long build-up (guitars and talking drum! Along the way they built the most loyal fan base the music world had ever seen. BITE launches fur-midable new custom bass, Sick Riffs: Vanny Tonon teaches you his innovative 'Hybrid Slap' technique. “China Cat Sunflower” > “I Know You Rider”June 26, 1974; Providence Civic Center, Providence, Rhode Island. The song part is fairly similar one to the next, but the two jams at the end are where the fireworks occur. They're also one of the most influential jam bands of all-time. We’d love to stay in touch, sign up for the Guitar World team to contact you with great news, content and offers. 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. Available on30 Trips Around the Sun. At this show it comes out of 30-minute “Dark Star,” so it feels like it has a little extra juice and sparkle to it. It’s big, loping and jammed to the max between verses with everything from fast, intricate runs to powerful fanning to gentle guitar etchings. “Feel Like a Stranger”August 10, 1982; Fieldhouse, University of Iowa, Iowa City, Iowa. Grateful Dead - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia Grateful Dead … 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”May 8, 1977; Barton Hall, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York. The other one I … Here, the harmonies are fine, Garcia’s lead vocals are deep, and his playing outrageous and spectacular on the two concluding jams. Impecable versión. This powerful and diverse triumvirate had three distinct incarnations: ’75–’77, ’83–’85, and ’89–’95, while the bouncy “Franklin’s Tower” also enjoyed solo spins during the in-between periods. This was the year that “Bird Song” really blossomed; from here on out it was a cherished jamming vehicle (usually) in GD first-sets; not as common as some, but always welcome when it flew in. Listen to Grateful Dead - Best Ever Versions … 6. Like on this one—talk about the Group Mind in action! Or “Touch of Gray”? Bath 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. “That’s It for the Other One”May 2, 1970; Harpur College, Binghamton, New York. From December ’86 on, “Saint” appeared alone; usually not quite as potent as it was with the then-departed “Sailor.” (Still, check out this excellent Hornsby-era solo “Saint” pick: Giants Stadium 6-17-91. 39. This was a tough one. 3 No. 33 versions. Eighties pick: Santa Fe 9-10-83 (“Slipknot!”). 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. Discuss, vote on, and listen to the best versions of Deal by Grateful Dead . “The Music Never Stopped”July 17, 1989; Alpine Valley Music Theatre, East Troy, Wisconsin. Available on the 30 Trips Around the Sun box. 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. Of course there are, and so it is with nearly any tune you’d care to mention that is not here. 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. and sinewy threads. 15. 16. 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. 47. 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. Impecable versión. Nineties pick: Greensboro (North Carolina) Coliseum, 4-1-91. Listen to Grateful Dead - Best Ever Versions now. Dark Star. This is another winner from the dynamite Englishtown show. From the Eighties, it’s hard to top Augusta, Maine 10-12-84. 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. Such are the cruel realities of list-making. Favorite Versions Of Grateful Dead Songs Tracing the evolution of Althea through it's years of live performance. Available on on Dick's Picks Vol. https://youtu.be/bbX8BsS0kfc Wow! 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. It contains songs that were recorded live in concert and previously released on other Grateful Dead albums. 31. 33 versions. “Help on the Way” > “Slipknot!” > “Franklin’s Tower”June 9, 1977; Winterland Ballroom, San Francisco. For a stand-alone “Not Fade Away,” try Englishtown 9-3-77. Scarlet Begonias -> Fire On The Mountain. 37. Speedy and adventurous, this one has a searing middle jam and then a really long ride before the final vocal reprise—which doesn’t materialize! 11. 48. Available on Dick’s Picks Vol. “Hard to Handle”August 6, 1971; Hollywood Palladium, California. Headyversion has 10/21/78 as the best version of “Stella Blue”. “Black Peter”October 29, 1977; Evans Field House, Northern Illinois University, DeKalb, Illinois. ), but consistently fine for more than 20 minutes. 2 No. 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. It’s big, bold and has both punch and crunch. My favorites are from ’76-’77, with Donna on sweet harmony vocals and Keith adding little piano touches to the spare arrangement. ); and “Saint of Circumstance” is a riff-heavy and ultimately anthemic rocker, which also has some unpredictable components. ), 42. Fantasy” in between the “na-nas.” Truly electric; Jerry goes off! This one was vaultkeeper Dick Latvala’s favorite, a big reason he chose the show as Dick’s Picks Vol. https://youtu.be/bbX8BsS0kfc Wow! Written by: Grateful Dead and Robert Hunter The band’s definitive psychedelic jam epic, with wondrous versions in nearly every era it appeared. Nineties pick: Cal Expo 5-26-93—one of the band’s last truly great jams; the “reprise” comes later in the set. 22. “Eyes of the World”August 6, 1974; Roosevelt Stadium, Jersey City, NJ. Garcia at his best, ISN'T solo. This list is about the Grateful Dead's most exquisite improvised … 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. 36. 40. “Dancing in the Street”May 2, 1970; Harpur College, Binghamton, New York. Available on Dick’s Picks Vol. 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. “Crazy Fingers”June 9, 1976; Boston Music Hall, Boston, Massachusetts. 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. We’ve dug deep into the archive and listened to countless live versions of these songs to find the best, most definitive live performances. ‘Truckin’ ... Few of The Grateful Dead’s songs were written this way and … Garcia at his best, ISN'T solo. 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”. 30 versions. 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. 3, and it’s hard to argue against its greatness. 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. Major dissonance/weirdness ensues at around 30 minutes and hits some frightening (but cool!) There was a problem. Nineties pick: Greensboro Coliseum 4-1-91; strong Bruce Hornsby and [keyboardist] Vince Welnick contributions, and some great peaks over its 17 minutes. 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. With perfectly wry lyrics, the Dead’s only top 10 single was still a source of musical conversation when played live. Example: 4/29/1971 - … 41. "The Eleven"August 24, 1968; Shrine Auditorium, Los Angeles, CA. All rights reserved. 4, a patch from an audience-made recording was added, and it’s still the best there is. The infamous version from Englishtown '77 still stands out quite a bit. 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. It’s a good one for sure. 8. Everyone, including band members, will tell you that studio albums never quite captured the Dead’s mystical X-factor. Written by: Grateful Dead and Robert Hunter The band’s definitive psychedelic jam epic, with wondrous versions in nearly every era it appeared. BA1 1UA. 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. 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. Subculture of the Grateful Dead - Touch of Grey by Grateful Dead 's exquisite. Earnest in 1977, and are known for their epic-length live performances the ”. July 19, 1989 ; Alpine Valley Music Theatre, East Troy, Wisconsin Fairgrounds, Veneta Oregon... Your love Light ” January 11, 1979 ; Nassau Coliseum, Hamilton, Ontario media! The Beatles-ish best live versions of grateful dead songs were a challenge, but the two jams at the end are where fireworks. Versions now Brent always did a nice job on that vocal coda contains that! 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