June 1977: The Complete Recordings
June 7, 1977
June 8, 1977
June 9, 1977
Headline from Dead.net:
"all taken from the master analog tapes, restored using the Plangent
Processes, and mastered in HDCD by that inimitable sonic
Winterland June 1977: The Complete Recordings review
The third week of April, the
Grateful Dead launched what many fans consider their best tour in
their storied history, certainly among their best. It was a 26 concert
affair. Many of those shows have been released through Dick's
Picks and other archival series'. Afterwards, they played one concert in Inglewood, CA
at The Forum on 6/4/77. Then this mid-week trio of shows
at the Winterland, June 7 - 9, all of which is included in this
box-set. The show that followed that was the
much loved, Englishtown N.J. performance available on Dick's
Picks Vol. 15.
Winterland shows are spread over nine discs delivered in pristine sound quality.
The glory of 1977
Grateful Dead! You have great versions of nearly all of the key songs of
the Grateful Dead's 1977 repertoire. Certainly some songs have more definitive
renditions, but this is one awesome package.
All right, so there's this package of 10 discs including the bonus
disc. Where do I start? Should I find my favorite songs, the show with the most
exciting song selection, the first evening? While tempting to start with the last evenings "Half-Step" I opted for the first evening.
June 7, 1977
The first show starts in exciting fashion with "Bertha" > "Jack Straw." Talk about an energy surge, that should be able to light the city of San Francisco for a week!
Yet, the set closer of "The Music Never Stopped" is even
more powerful. In between, are a handful of songs between to enjoy,
Phil has a great bass line throughout "Peggy-O" doesn't
The second set starts with "Scarlet Begonias" > "Fire on the Mountain"; it has a minor technical difficulty to begin but they quickly get things going. A tremendous "Fire" delivered in 1977
style would be an understatement. The transition into "Good Lovin'" is
tight. A solid well sung "Candyman." A superb pairing of
"Estimated Prophet" > "He's Gone." For those counting that's
four Jerry songs, versus two for Bobby.
The third disc continues the second set with a brilliant "Samson and
Delilah." The rest of the disc is the Jerry show starting with
a duo of Jerry tunes; "Terrapin Station" > "Morning Dew." A mighty fine year for
"Morning Dew" and the combination of sound quality and the
performance make this one a top tier version for sure. The opening soft part of the song you can hear a pin drop with Bobby and Keith coming at the far ends of the head sets with Jerry and Phil coming up in the center, and the drummers playing at a whisper. You know this one is going to be good. The
concluding instrumental section is long and builds so nicely, and has the killer explosive finish we all crave.
Two encores to enjoy. The twelve minute version of "Uncle John's Band" was quite remarkable and would have been enough. Though, who's
going to say no to a Jerry singing us one more, "U.S. Blues"?
The first evening is a Jerry lovers delight. Cumulative, eight
Jerry songs, four of Bobby's.
Some set one highlights include the opening sequence of "New
Minglewood Blues" then "Sugaree." The latter is a 16
minute monster. Another really spectacular song is the cover
"It's All Over Now." Jerry gives the song great texture
with his chordal melodic approach. Following it,
"Jack-A-Roe" is a pleasure, and the delivery of "Lazy
Lightning" > "Supplication" closes the set with a
second starts with a common pairing in 1977 and 1978 of
"Bertha" > " "Good Lovin'." Both songs
were played the evening before, but in different sequences. One of
the joys of 1977 Grateful Dead is "Estimated Prophet" >
"Eyes of the World" and these are strong versions. The
third disc has a solid "Other One." The "GDTRFB"
delivers some delicious riffs. The encore of "Brokedown
Palace" is certainly what the doctor ordered after a frenzied
pace that closed the second set.
The first set has similarities to the first evening with a sandwich of powerful songs to open and close the set. Jerry replaces "Bertha" with a superb "Mississippi Half-Step Uptown Toodeloo." This version is in the mold of
what is probably my favorite "Half-Step" from Englishtown,
Dick's Picks Volume 15.
The way Jerry builds the final solo into a blissful peak after the vocal "Across the Grande Rio" coda. I recently played
the Englishtown version and the sound quality is not nearly as good quality as this one. Bobby
follows with "Jack Straw," and also closes with a fury with "The Music Never Stopped."
The rest of the set is pretty good too, "Loser" has been
in their concert rotation seemingly forever, but the 1977 versions
always seem to shine brightly. A comment about Donna's
contributions are worth noting. She comes through quite nicely in
the mix throughout the box, primarily with background vocals. One
example of many is "Looks Like Rain." She takes the lead
vocal on "Sunrise" too.
second disc is the first part of the set two, with the highlight
being a marvelous "Help On The Way" >
"Slipknot" > "Franklin's Tower." The third
disc offers a just as impressive musical statement. Flawless
execution throughout of a journey of:
1. Estimated Prophet>
2. Saint Stephen>
3. Not Fade Away>
5. Saint Stephen>
6. Terrapin Station>
7. Sugar Magnolia
dull moment. This version of "Not Fade Away" is around
half as short as the previous evenings and much more to my liking.
The separation of "St Stephen" into sections doesn't miss
a beat, Jerry's delivery of "Terrapin Station" is scrumptious,
and so is Bobby set closer of "Sugar Magnolia." A two song
fast paced encore of "U.S. Blues" and "One More Saturday Night."
This disc reminds me of the June
1974 wall of Sound release disc 2 portion from "Weather
Report" all the way through "Stella Blue" or the
second disc of Dick's Picks
16 from 11/8/1969, because these segments taken together are
Winterland June 1977: The Complete Recordings
delivers three full concerts. All three shows are performed
exquisitely. Within the liner notes Grateful Dead archivist David Lemieux describes the Winterland run
as follows: “A lot of Dead Heads say ’77 is their favorite year. And of these shows, the first night is a Top 15, the second is a Top 10, and the third is a Top 3.”
I came away with the feeling of depending on which songs you liked
best would dictate one's favorite show as the delivery is impressive
throughout, almost. In terms of second set, the first evening's song
selection is right up my
alley, while the final shows execution is stunning. I'd say 6/9 is
the better played set, but 6/7 will get more playing time. Of
first set, top honors goes to the last night for me, because of the
"Half-Step," but that "Sugaree" and "It's
All Over Now" make the June 8 just as impressive.
to believe, but three nights in a row without a version of
"Playing in the Band." It is a key component of the bonus
disc, for early orders. The bonus disc also captures two other
1977 classics, "Comes a Time" and "Dancing in the
Street." Other than that,
most great 1977 songs are contained within this box-set. No "Truckin'" but that
actually wasn't played much in 1977, and not until September, and
the lone "China Cat Sunflower" > "I Know You
Rider" is from December 29, pick up Dick's Picks Volume 10
for that. A few others, "The Wheel, sorely missed" and "Stella
wondering should I drop the $100, no question. The sound has great clarity
as it was given the Plangent Process. You can get less expensive
releases, but this is the quality over quantity option.
by Barry Small ©
you catch the recent release; the 9th
edition of Pure Jerry? More Bay Area sounds?
Chicago Auditorium Theater, May 12, 1977 (while supplies last)
Full show set list
bonus disc is a really nice package. The closing of the first set
with "Mississippi Half-Step Uptown Toodeloo" > "Dancing In The Street,"
sweet. This version of "Half-Step" doesn't have the same
finish as the 6/9 version, but does have great interact between the
band, particularly interesting is the way Keith follows Jerry down
every path. The remainder of the disc is the last portion of the
3. Terrapin Station>
4. Playing In The Band>
6. Not Fade Away>
7. Comes A Time>
8. Playing In The Band
I said, sweet!
Other box sets:
Winterland Box follows last years Winterland 1973 release. My guess is 2010 edition
will either be from 1972 or a Brent era selection.
1973 The Complete Recordings - Our favorite. Three shows,
West 1969: The Complete Concerts - The theme of the same
venue and complete recordings that are released in one box would seemingly
make this the most like the Winterland 1973: The Complete
Recordings. However, Fillmore 1969 was a limited edition
and is no longer available. Ten discs.
Also, a three
disc compilation was released and is still available, no
compilation for Winterland 1973 was released. I'm not sure
how well a compilation of Winterland would work though. It
would have to be six discs so why bother? Perhaps releasing one of
the shows individually for those that can't afford the box or casual
listeners. The problem with that is if you heard one show you want
the other two, and then you'd have to buy the box too. Winterland
1973 is just perfect as is.
The Fillmore 1969 releases are multi-tracks recordings as
opposed to two track recordings for the Winterland run, but with the
extra restoration processes they used for Winterland they really
So Many Roads - Live career
overview, but with too much of an emphasis on early and late
Golden Road - Remastered with bonus tracks. 12 CD's. Birth
of the Dead through Europe 1972. - With 15 1/2 hours of
music, including 7 hours of previously unreleased material. Includes
the Dead's nine Warner Bros. albums, digitally remastered in HDCD
for superior quality.
Description - Remastered with bonus tracks - 12 CD's. Wake
of the Flood through Built to Last.
Good Things - Garcia's studio releases. Includes exclusive
bonus disc of unreleased material and loads of bonus tracks.
Dick's Picks Volume 29 -
Full concerts, but not the same venue. Two track recordings. Six
discs. Probably not technically a box. May 1977.