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60 CD Europe '72 GD Box Announced

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DEAD REACH BACK TO LEGENDARY 1972 TOUR FOR MASSIVE BOX SET

Due in fall, the 60-plus CD release includes every show from European

trek.

On April 1st, 1972, the Grateful Dead arrived in Britain for the

opening dates of their first European tour. The timing was perfect -

"the feast of fools," guitarist Bob Weir says, laughing. "There was a

challenge for us, playing for people not familiar with what we were up

to. But we were ready for fresh ears...we were hot."...

In the fall, the tour will be released by Rhino as a limited-edition

beast: 22 shows on more than 60 CDs. The lavish set, available by pre-

order from the Dead's website, will cost over $400 and is

unprecedented even by their archive-box standards.

"By the time we're finished, we'll have put two years into this," says

producer David Lemieux, who expects mixing and mastering to wrap by

June. "If there was ever a tour that needed a complete release, it was

Europe '72. It's one of the top three tours the Dead ever did, and

there's a pristine 16-track recording of every show..."

"I remember that tour clearly," says bassist Phil Lesh, noting that no

one in the band had been to Europe before. [sIC] "In Hamburg, we

played in the hall where Brahms played. In Paris, I literally felt the

spirits of Chopin and Debussy. I think that made us play better. I

remember being on..."

"Someone would catch fire, and that would spread," Bob Weir says. "I'd

catch a riff everyone coalesced around. Then someone else would come

up with something that took us another way. It was a collective flash

- time to move on."

The Dead were in dramatic transition that spring, emboldened by the

jazzy ambitions of new pianist Keith Godchaux. "It was amazing how

tuned in he was to our music," Lesh says. "In Paris, he played like a

god."

The European tour was also the Dead's last with ailing singer-organist

Ron 'Pigpen' McKernan, who died in 1973. "He didn't have as much

energy as before," Weir says, "but he was trying his best to deal with

it."...

Lemieux says other Dead tours deserve full release, such as the fall

of '73 and spring 1990: "It's such a diverse band. You can do boxes

from '72 and '89 back-to-back, and there's nothing similar about them,

except it's Grateful Dead music."

"It all boils down to, 'Is there a story there?'" says Weir. "If we

can find an era like this, with a story line and development - and I

have a feeling there is - there would be merit in doing this again."

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Me. Most mp3s sound tinny to me (at least on a good stereo system - but of course most people only use their computers these days anyway), and I don't own an iPod. Although I am thinking about converting everything to FLAC and buying a FLAC-supporting amp/receiver when I get home to Canada, just to save on space. Stick the discs in a nice humidity-free storage closet or basement. We'll see.

After two days of technical snafus and general chaos with the Dead.net store server, I have a confirmed reserved copy. Week-long listening party/binge at my place in late 2011!

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Never mind 3000 by 1 April... the whole 7200-copy run just sold out in FOUR DAYS!

Hey now! Due to overwhelming demand, surprising even those of us with huge faith in the Europe '72 project, the entire limited edition run of 7,200 boxed sets has sold out in less than 4 days. We thank you beyond words for your support and belief in this unprecedented and wonderful release.

After lengthy discussions, we've decided we don't want to deprive anyone of this music, some of the finest the Grateful Dead ever performed. Of course, we're keeping to our promise that the boxed set and all of its accouterments will not be made available beyond these 7,200 boxed sets (and wait until you see the case in which the music is housed, the hard-bound coffee-table book, plus all of the other cool surprises we've been unearthing!). But, we're going to offer just the music, all 22 shows, more than 60 CDs, more than 70 hours of music, each show housed in its own packaging, for the same price as the boxed set, $450 including domestic shipping. Although perhaps not as cool as the boxed set, the bottom line is that the most important aspect of Europe '72: The Complete Recordings is going to be made available to all, the music.

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Awesome! I was too late to get in on the first run, but reserved a copy of the Just The Music version ... then, just in time for my bonus at work, they e-mailed me that some people had bailed on their reservations for the full version and I could pre-order it if I got in on time. The Big box will be mine! Anyone else get in on this?

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