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Grateful Dead at Winterland 1973: The Complete Recordings

Posted on 3/18/2008

The monumental space of San Francisco's Winterland Arena hosted countless landmark musical events, including celebrated shows from world-renowned artists such as The Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin, the Ramones and Bruce Springsteen. Winterland provided the stage for The Band's "Last Waltz" as well as the infamous final performance from the original Sex Pistols lineup. But all these legendary performers were only visitors to the arena; Winterland was the home court of the Grateful Dead.

The Dead were, first and foremost, a San Francisco band and their Winterland gigs were not just events, they created an institution. The band played Winterland more than any other artist, including the venue's final show. In this naturally comfortable and relaxed atmosphere, the Dead regularly stretched their musical dynamics and improvisation to spectacular heights.

WINTERLAND 1973: THE COMPLETE RECORDINGS offers a detailed portfolio of the Grateful Dead achieving a triumphant high-water mark on stage while playing in front of the hometown crowd. Like WINTERLAND's phenomenal predecessor, the limited edition box set Fillmore West 1969: The Complete Recordings that sold out almost instantaneously in 2005, this nine-disc collection presents the band's music not in the form of a set or a night, but of an entire concert run -- capturing every mind-bending note recorded at Winterland during its three night residency on November 9, 10, and 11, 1973.

WINTERLAND 1973: THE COMPLETE RECORDINGS is presented in HDCD, mastered from the original two-track board tapes. Undoubtedly, this is likely to be the best-sounding, two-track recording that Dead Heads, new and old, will ever hear due to a cutting-edge audio engineering process never before applied to a standard Dead master tape. Wonderfully packaged in a custom archival box, the set contains 72 previously unreleased tracks as well as a 28-page, full color booklet featuring an extensive essay by Dennis McNally and rare photos. The box will also include two cool surprise goodies from the Winterland era. On sale now exclusively from, WINTERLAND 1973 will be shipped by the end of April. Fans who order the set before then will also receive an exclusive bonus disc featuring a rare compilation of unreleased tunes recorded at Cincinnati Gardens, December 4, 1973.

"The Dead ruled Winterland, it was their kingdom," says longtime Dead Head Hale Milgrim, who was in attendance for all of the 1973 shows. "Friends and family members would line up for hours before the doors even opened. They knew they'd be seeing something incredibly special with this great positive energy that developed and changed every night." Milgrim recalls "watching the shows from the front of the Winterland balcony, overlooking as the teeming masses rushed to the front of the stage of the old, dank building. The sound was just phenomenal, as clean as you could get, and you could distinctively hear every single instrument perfectly. Winterland was truly one of the best places in the world to see the Dead."

WINTERLAND 1973 is not based on a classic live album, but rather a period of exceptional performances - a period that archivist David Lemieux argues is among the finest sustained seasons in Dead history. And importantly, this is the modern Dead. Most of the songs presented here ("China Cat Sunflower" and "Dark Star" are obvious exceptions) date back no more than two or three years before the fall 1973, and they are tunes that the band would return to throughout its history. At the time of the Winterland recordings, the band included Jerry Garcia (lead guitar, vocals), Donna Jean Godchaux (vocals), Keith Godchaux (keyboards), Bill Kreutzmann (drums), Phil Lesh (electric bass, vocals), and Bob Weir (rhythm guitar, vocals).


Disc 1: 11/9/73

1. "Promised Land"
2. "Brown-Eyed Woman"
3. "Me & Bobby McGee"
4. "They Love Each Other"
5. "Black-Throated Wind"
6. "Don't East Me In"
7. "Mexicali Blues"
8. "Row Jimmy"
9. "The Race Is On"
10. "China Cat Sunflower"
11. "I Know You Rider"

Disc 2: 11/9/73
1. "Playing In The Band"
2. "Here Comes Sunshine"
3. "Me & My Uncle"
4. "To Lay Me Down"
5. "Big River"
6. "Mississippi Half-Step Uptown Toodeloo"
7. "Greatest Story Ever Told"
8. "Bertha"

Disc 3: 11/9/73
1. "Weather Report Suite"
a. Prelude
b. Part I
c. Part II (Let It Grow)
2. "Eyes Of The World"
3. "China Doll"
4. "Around And Around"
5. "Goin' Down The Road Feeling Bad"
6. "Johnny B. Goode"

Disc 4: 11/10/73
1. "Bertha"
2. "Jack Straw"
3. "Loser"
4. "Looks Like Rain"
5. "Deal"
6. "Mexicali Blues"
7. "Tennessee Jed"
8. "El Paso"
9. "Brokedown Palace"
10. "Beat It On Down The Line"
11. "Row Jimmy"

Disc 5: 11/10/73
1. "Weather Report Suite"
a. Prelude
b. Part I
c. Part II (Let It Grow)
2. "Playing In The Band"
3. "Uncle John's Band"
4. "Morning Dew"
5. "Uncle John's Band"
6. "Playing In The Band"

Disc 6: 11/10/73
1. "Big River"
2. "Stella Blue"
3. "Truckin'"
4. "Wharf Rat"
5. "Sugar Magnolia"
6. "One More Saturday Night"
7. "Casey Jones"

Disc 7: 11/11/73
1. "Promised Land"
2. "Bertha"
3. "Greatest Story Ever Told"
4. "Sugaree"
5. "Black-Throated Wind"
6. "To Lay Me Down"
7. "El Paso"
8. "Ramble On Rose"
9. "Me & Bobby McGee"

Disc 8: 11/11/73
1. "China Cat Sunflower"
2. "I Know You Rider"
3. "Me & My Uncle"
4. "Loose Lucy"
5. "Weather Report Suite"
a. Prelude
b. Part I
c. Part II (Let It Grow)
6. "Mississippi Half-Step Uptown Toodeloo"
7. "Big River"

Disc 9: 11/11/73
1. "Dark Star"
2. "Eyes Of The World"
3. "China Doll"
4. "Sugar Magnolia"
5. "Uncle John's Band"
6. "Johnny B. Goode"
7. "We Bid You Goodnight"

Bonus Disc 12/4/73 ( pre-order only)
1. "China Cat Sunflower"
2. "I Know You Rider"
3. "Truckin'"
4. "Stella Blue"
5. "Eyes Of The World"
6. "Space"
7. "Sugar Magnolia"
8. "Goin' Down The Road Feeling Bad"
9. "Casey Jones"

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