“China Cat Sunflower” > “I Know You Rider”June 26, 1974; Providence Civic Center, Providence, Rhode Island. Created as a counterpart to their 2015 two-disc Best of the Grateful Dead studio collection, … 9. Always a winner pre-hiatus (i.e. Nineties pick: Hamilton 4-22-90 (tight, great MIDI Jerry). If you’re looking for a song to play for non-Deadheads, go with this one. It contains songs that were recorded live in concert and previously released on other Grateful Dead albums. Available on Road Trips Vol. From the Eighties, it’s hard to top Augusta, Maine 10-12-84. Grateful Dead - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia Grateful Dead … If spacey/strange is more your thing, look no further than this Seventies pick: Egypt 9-16-78 (no third verse or vocal coda, but jamming galore). 2. 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. Available on Sunshine Daydream. Available on Road Trips Vol. 16. 31. 25. BA1 1UA. 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. 2 No. 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. “Cassidy”March 28, 1985; Nassau Coliseum, Uniondale, New York. Headyversion has 10/21/78 as the best version of “Stella Blue”. “Playing in the Band”August 27, 1972; Old Renaissance Faire Grounds, Veneta, Oregon. 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. 30 versions. Or “Touch of Gray”? Recommend favorite versions of each song from different shows. This was a tough one. The Best of the Grateful Dead Live is a compilation album by the rock band the Grateful Dead. 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. Available on Anthem of the Sun expanded edition. 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”. 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. They're also one of the most influential jam bands of all-time. As the saying goes in the Dead universe: “All killer, no filler!”, 30. Major dissonance/weirdness ensues at around 30 minutes and hits some frightening (but cool!) 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. 2. 4 No. 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! Guitar World is part of Future plc, an international media group and leading digital publisher. headyversion find the best versions of grateful dead songs please login or register. 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 Garcia’s gorgeous re-entry three minutes later came in … 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. Write about official releases of live Grateful Dead music, … ), but this one from a few months earlier is even more exciting and expansive. “Jack Straw”January 11, 1979; Nassau Coliseum, Uniondale, New York. 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 … 3. 7. Dark Star. All rights reserved. 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. “Dancing in the Street”May 2, 1970; Harpur College, Binghamton, New York. headyversion find the best versions of grateful dead songs please login or register. 29. 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. Eighties pick: Frost Amphitheatre 10-10-82. If the link doesn't work (it seems to expire once in a while) … Sitting on Top of the World. Listen to Grateful Dead - Best Ever Versions now. 5. 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. 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. This long, strange trip of a list includes all of Grateful Dead… 1 No. There are longer and spacier versions, but this has everything it needs. This rightly revered version is, alas, cut near the end on the soundboard recording, but when it was officially released on Road Trips Vol. “New Speedway Boogie”May 14, 1970; Meramec Community College, Kirkwood, Missouri, The Dead played this only in late 1969–70, and then again from ’91 (at the outset of the first Gulf War) until ’95. 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. This one, clocking in at 19 minutes, is just about flawless in every respect. 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. 50. Grateful Dead - Deal Below you'll find a user-submitted list of the best Grateful Dead Deal. 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. 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. 4, a patch from an audience-made recording was added, and it’s still the best there is. Yes, the Beatles-ish harmonies were a challenge, but the jams were varied and often tremendous. Phil really shines on this version, but everyone is on-point. It’s a good one for sure. 1 No. 3 No. It … 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 … This playlist compiles every known last time played performance of The Grateful Dead's original songs in chronological order. 37. In the Eighties, the trio of Jerry, Bobby and Brent always did a nice job on that vocal coda. Click on the show to go to the Live Music Archive and listen to the Althea mp3 stream. 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. 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. My favorites are from ’76-’77, with Donna on sweet harmony vocals and Keith adding little piano touches to the spare arrangement. For an acoustic rendering closer to the Workingman’s Dead version, check out Harpur College 5-2-70. “Cumberland Blues”September 27, 1972; Stanley Theatre, Jersey City, New Jersey. 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. “Shakedown Street”June 30, 1985; Merriweather Post Pavilion, Columbia, Maryland. Look for the “SteveSW” soundboard recording on archive.org. 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. Are you picking up a trend here? 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. Written by: Grateful Dead and Robert Hunter The band’s definitive psychedelic jam epic, with wondrous versions in nearly every era it appeared. Example: 4/29/1971 - … 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. Eighties pick: Madison Square Garden, New York; 3-9-81. “Lost Sailor” is drifty and floaty, with a slightly odd structure (that works! The Best of the Grateful Dead Live is a compilation album by the rock band the Grateful Dead. 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. 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. Such are the cruel realities of list-making. This song was always much more rockin’ and intense in a live setting than you might expect, and many versions in the early Seventies stretched out nicely under that fast, shuffling beat. “The Wheel”December 14, 1980; Long Beach Arena, California. It’s big, loping and jammed to the max between verses with everything from fast, intricate runs to powerful fanning to gentle guitar etchings. 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. 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. 11. A couple of final notes: The songs are listed in chronological order by performance date. 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. This is another winner from the dynamite Englishtown show. 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. 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 Dick’s Picks Vol. And this is easily Garcia’s best-ever vocal on the song. 6. Future Publishing Limited Quay House, The Ambury, 10 best Grateful Dead songs ever: 10. 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. Why live performances? The first hints come during a tremendously strange and ominous “Space,” then a long build-up (guitars and talking drum! With this song, it’s all about Garcia’s vocal delivery and swelling, crying solo after the verses, and this one delivers in spades! They're also one of the most influential jam bands of all-time. 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. 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. This version is one that could reasonably be called a consensus choice—almost everyone thinks it’s easily the best they played. 27. I really love all the peppy [keyboardist] Brent Mydland–era “China-Riders,” too. 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. ), but consistently fine for more than 20 minutes. 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. “Scarlet” alone pick: Fresno 7-19-74. 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. 46. For the main picks, we’ve listed where they can be found on Grateful Dead–sanctioned releases (where applicable), most of which can be accessed through Apple Music and Spotify. Elvis Costello: Loser (live in SF a few years ago) Graham Parker: Sugaree (live video on Youtube) Jane's Addiction: Ripple Sex Mob: Ripple The voters at headyversion.com get it right again. 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). 5. So why not have “Sugar Magnolia” here? This Motown nugget [originally released by Martha and the Vandellas] was still relatively new when the Dead started covering it in 1966. 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. Available on Dick’s Picks Vol. Acclaimed reggae-rock group Roots of Creation is proud to release their acoustic version of the Grateful Dead’s “Standing on the Moon,” marking the song’s 30th anniversary.The accompanying music video features live liquid light artist Brain Davidson, giving the stripped down song a nod to its psychedelic roots. 41. We’ve dug deep into the archive and listened to countless live versions of these songs to find the best, most definitive live performances. 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. 5. 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. Or “Deal”? 10. Stephen” teases in it. Nineties pick: Greensboro (North Carolina) Coliseum, 4-1-91. Where possible, I used the best sounding sources for each song. 5. “Terrapin Station”September 3, 1977; Raceway Park, Englishtown, New Jersey. 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. 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. `` Viola Lee Blues '' November 10, 1982 ; Fieldhouse, University of Iowa, Iowa,., filled with excellent interplay Palladium, California guitars and talking drum one to the best Grateful Dead of... Of each that fit those categories: Greensboro ( North Carolina ) Coliseum,,... Consistently fine for more than 20 minutes longer and spacier versions, but what a glorious run it had House! 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