Cow Palace NYE 1976
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Set Lists

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Notes

Live at the Cow Palace: 
New Years Eve 1976 
 
 
 
 
 
Order: Live at the Cow Palace: New Years Eve 1976 

Live at the Cow Palace: New Years Eve 1976  review - The Grateful Dead

Live at the Cow Palace: New Years Eve 1976

Before getting to the music, the Grateful Dead release Live at Cow Palace: New Year's Eve 1976 is notable for two unique characteristics. First, it is their first release since Grateful Dead Productions transitioned their intellectual property to Rhino Entertainment (press release). During the transition in 2006, there were no Grateful Dead releases. Perhaps not a bad thing as the preceding years had an abundance of releases. This halt gave fans some time to enjoy what they've already collected or for others a chance to pick up a few they missed. Second, the show was streamed before its release. This was linked from the Grateful Dead's website for 48 hours on New Years Eve and New Years Day. While listening to the stream, there were several dozens photos posted to enjoy. I listened to the stream and am posting this review from it. A subsequent listen to the CD reveals excellent sound quality from the 16 track master tape.

Live at Cow Palace: New Year's Eve 1976 includes the evenings complete performance and no filler. Disc one contains the first set, and disc's two and three include the second set and encores. 

The first set is nearly all upbeat material setting the mood for the evenings festivities. The only ballad is "Look Like Rain." The highlight of Jerry's tracks is "Bertha," not exclusively because of him, as Keith and Phil have strong contributions. The one hour set is capped off with a memorable "Playing in the Band." It includes a nice Spanish oriented jam that eventually morphs into melodies reminiscent of "Help on the Way," and eventually back to the closing section of the song.

The Grateful Dead played a New Year's Eve concert nearly every year. They begin their second set as the clock strikes midnight. The most common song to bring in the new year is "Sugar Magnolia," and that is how 1977 begins. The party mode transitions nicely to "Eyes of the World," which has nice introduction. The band is "on" throughout with the little nuances just as intriguing as the more obvious thrilling moments. Following is the slowest track of the set, "Wharf Rat." It has a fairly lengthy instrumental at the end which hints of "The Other One."

Jerry sung two in a row so Bobby does too. He starts out with "Good Lovin'" that includes an interesting twist to the instrumental sections, both within the song and the jam leading out of the song. They could have easily started "St. Stephen," but instead shift gears to a seamless transition into "Sampson." 

Next, Jerry selects "Scarlet Begonias," which includes some really nice jamming in which the band is in no hurry to terminate. This concludes the second disc.

The second Chuck Berry tune of the evening, "Around and Around," begins the third disc. The jam out of "Around and Around" is high powered with Jerry leading the band. They are really tight and in synch. With such a basic rock song, the musical conversations they generate are amazing. Primarily, Phil responds to Jerry's riffs of different moods. However, we also need to credit the rhythm section for their strong delivery. The music doesn't transition into "Help on the Way," but there is no break between the songs, more like a stop and then start. The "Slipknot!" drifts into some exploratory areas, then Phil leads us to a short drum segment. A very powerful "Not Fade Away" has Jerry peeling riffs and receiving endless power exchanges in return, whether through Weir's chords, Lesh's bombs, Godchaux's ivories, while the drummers add their 4 cents. 

Jerry closes the second set with an exceptional "Morning Dew." While they can't all be the best, this one scores high indeed no matter who is keeping score. Disc three concludes with two encores and three songs. One of which, I wouldn't kid about this, is "Uncle John's Band." Its only appearance in 1976, or would this be considered 1977:). 

Live at Cow Palace: New Years Eve 1976 is an excellent concert and perhaps the best of the four 1976 live Grateful Dead releases, so far. Cow Palace is from 16 track source tape, while the other three I believe are all two track sources; all things being equal, would give Cow Palace the overwhelming edge. The set list has several non-standard sequences, and over all a great song selection; "Playing," "Eyes," "Scarlet," "Help," "Uncle John's Band," and a BIG "Morning Dew." This release includes three discs, each around one hour long, and all are worthy on their own merits. You won't be sorry with this release. 

by Barry Small © 
Grade  A

 
Live at the Cow Palace: New Years Eve 1976  review - The Grateful Dead
Track List

 Top of Page

Disc One
1. Promised Land
2. Bertha
3. Mama Tried
4. They Love Each Other
5. Looks Like Rain
6. Deal
7. Playing in the Band

Disc Two (set 2)
1. Sugar Magnolia >
2. Eyes Of The World >
3. Wharf Rat >
4. Good Lovin' >
5. Samson and Delilah
6. Scarlet Begonias

Disc Three
1. Around and Around
2. Help On The Way >
3. Slipknot! >
4. Drums >
5. Not Fade Away >
6. Morning Dew

Encore
7. One More Saturday Night
8. Uncle John's Band >
9. We Bid You Goodnight

Live at the Cow Palace: New Years Eve 1976  review - The Grateful Dead
Musicians:       

Top of Page

Grateful Dead
Jerry Garcia - Lead guitar, vocals
Donna Jean Godchaux - Vocals
Keith Godchaux - Piano
Mickey Hart - Drums
Bill Kreutzmann - Drums
Phil Lesh - Electric bass, vocals
Bob Weir - Rhythm guitar, vocals

Live at the Cow Palace: New Years Eve 1976  review - The Grateful Dead
Notes:

Top of Page

Release date - Jan. 23, 2007
Rhino
Grateful Dead Productions Inc.
Produced by David Lemieux and James Austin
Liner notes by Gary Lambert, and an introductory review by David Lemieux

The show was streamed pre-release on 
http://www.dead.net/cpstream
"As a special treat for Dead Heads around the world, Live At The Cow Palace, New Years Eve, 1976 will be streamed in its entirety at dead.net for all of New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day beginning at 12:01 AM PST on December 31 and ending on January 1 at 11:59 PM PST. Ring in 2007 with the Grateful Dead!"

All pre-orders of the Grateful Dead's Cow Palace release will receive a very special bonus CD, Spirit of '76, featuring more than an hour of previously unreleased music from 1976, produced especially for this release. This CD is available only through GDStore.com for a limited time when you purchase the Cow Palace release.

Spirit of ‘76
1. The Music Never Stopped 6/9/76 Boston
2. Crazy Fingers 6/9/76 Boston
3. Let It Grow > 10/2/76 Cincinnati
4. Might As Well 10/2/76 Cincinnati
5. Playing In The Band > 9/24/76 Williamsburg, VA
6. Supplication > 9/24/76 Williamsburg, VA
7. Playing In The Band 9/24/76 Williamsburg, VA
8. Scarlet Begonias 9/30/76 Columbus, OH

From the Grateful Dead website

Mixed from the original 16-track analog master tapes and mastered in stellar HDCD sound, Grateful Dead: Live at the Cow Palace, a 3-CD set from the band's historic New Year's Eve 1976-1977 show is the latest of our official multi-track vault releases. 

On the Crest of a Wave

One of the many great pleasures of listening to so much Grateful Dead material is the variety of styles of music heard. Every year, and in fact every tour, found the band challenging itself to find new creative destinations for their music. At any given show, one can identify touches of the many styles of Grateful Dead music played throughout their history-but rarely does any one show clearly display the essence of several distinct periods of their sound. New Year's Eve 1976-1977 is one of those shows that contains the best elements of three or four clearly defined eras, and the sum of the parts adds up to one of the most interesting, and inspired, concerts of the band's 30-year performing career.

Opening with the rather frequent 1976 show opener "Promised Land" followed by "Bertha," the show begins as a quintessential 1976 performance: mostly confident, deliberate, and slightly tentative. As the set gets rolling, the band begins to take more chances, heading toward the typically powerful 1976 second-set material. However, as the first set nears its close, we are treated to a version of "Playing In The Band" that is as large, long, and exploratory as any version from late 1974. A satisfying 1976 first set is elevated to the realm of 1974 flashback by this masterful performance.

The midnight festivities get off to a rousing start with the appropriate "Sugar Magnolia" opener. What comes next is a sustained 40-minute run of music that ranks up there as one of the best-played jams of 1976. Starting out with the new, faster, more powerful version of "Eyes Of The World," the jam then slips into a beautiful "Wharf Rat." Next up is only the third performance of "Good Lovin'" sung by Bobby Weir. As if this wasn't enough, Weir then drives the band through a reggae-tinged beat that magically morphs into one of the smoothest, funkiest versions of "Samson And Delilah" ever performed. This was a song that was played at all but two of the 41 shows performed in 1976, and despite the possibility of staleness due to overplaying, this version stands out as unique compared to the other 38 versions. Disc 2's finale, the mid-point of set two, again recalls 1974 with a long, rollicking, and peak-laden "Scarlet Begonias." Amazingly, the best was yet to come.

After a solid run of "Around And Around," "Help On The Way," and "Slipknot!" (minus the third part of the triumvirate, "Franklin's Tower"), the band proceeds into a note-perfect "Not Fade Away," ending this massive second set with one of the longest and most emotionally draining versions of "Morning Dew" ever performed. This rendition is at the top of many Dead Heads' favorite "Dew" lists, up there with Cornell and 10/18/74. A three-song encore ends the night, capping one of the most intriguing evenings of Grateful Dead music, one that bridges the gap between the exploratory jazz of 1973-1974 and the orchestrated perfection of 1977. New Year's 1976-1977 is a timeless night of music that reminds us all that there really is no easy way to categorize the Grateful Dead, and there certainly is nothing like a Grateful Dead concert. —David Lemieux

All pre-orders of the Grateful Dead's Cow Palace release will receive a very special bonus CD, Spirit of '76, featuring more than an hour of previously unreleased music from 1976, produced especially for this release. This CD is available only through GDStore.com for a limited time when you purchase the Cow Palace release.

 

Press Release

THE DEAD PLAY TILL THE COWS COME HOME

The Grateful Dead and Rhino Revisit Historic New Year's Eve 1976 Show With Live At The Cow Palace, A Three-Disc Set Featuring One of the Band's Most Inspired Concerts in Its Entirety Remastered in HDCD


Habitual listeners of the Grateful Dead's live recordings are known for their ability to identify the year of a performance by listening to just a few notes. But for even the most "dead"icated listener, the band's 1976 New Year's Eve concert presents a genuine challenge. Rarely does any Dead show display the essence of several distinct periods of their sound, but this release contains the best elements of three or four clearly defined eras, and the sum of the parts adds up to one of the most interesting and inspired concerts of the band's 30-year performing career. The Grateful Dead and Rhino Records ring in 2007 by turning back the clock 30 years to uncover the musical riches of this special performance with LIVE AT THE COW PALACE, NEW YEAR'S EVE, 1976.

The three-disc set includes more than 180 minutes of music capturing the Grateful Dead playing in their Bay Area backyard at the peak of the group's live prowess and just a few months before the release of the band's ninth studio album, Terrapin Station.

Mixed from original 16-track master tapes, LIVE AT THE COW PALACE contains all 22 songs played December 31, 1976, in pristine HDCD. The band's line-up at the time featured Jerry Garcia on guitar and vocals, Mickey Hart and Bill Kreutzmann on drums, Phil Lesh on bass, Bob Weir on guitar and vocals, Keith Godchaux on keyboards and backup vocalist Donna Godchaux.

The concert takes flight in the first set with covers of Chuck Berry's "Promised Land" and Merle Haggard's "Mama Tried" coupled with Dead classics "Bertha," "Deal" and "Playing In The Band." After the countdown to midnight, the band kicked off the second set and two more hours of sublime music with "Sugar Magnolia" followed by a sustained 40-minute run of music that ranks up there as one of the best-played jams of 1976. Starting out with the new, faster, more powerful version of "Eyes Of The World," the jam then slips into a beautiful "Wharf Rat." Next up is only the third performance of "Good Lovin'" sung by Weir. As if this wasn't enough, Weir then drives the band through a reggae-tinged beat that magically morphs into a remarkably smooth and funky version of "Samson & Delilah."

After a note-perfect "Not Fade Away," the band ends the massive second set with one of the longest and most emotionally draining versions of "Morning Dew" ever performed. This rendition is at the very top of many Dead Heads' favorite "Dew" lists. A three-song encore ends the night, capping one of the most intriguing evenings of Grateful Dead music recorded, one that bridges the gap between the exploratory jazz of 1973-1974 and the orchestrated perfection of 1977.

The deluxe packaging features rare photos and extensive liner notes from Glenn Lambert, one of the DJs covering the show's original live broadcast on KSAN.

 

Live at the Cow Palace: New Years Eve 1976  review - The Grateful Dead