find the best versions of grateful dead songs

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U.S. Blues (Wave That Flag)
Dec. 30, 1977
Winterland Arena

Ship of Fools
Dec. 30, 1977
Winterland Arena

Franklin's Tower
May 4, 1980
Baltimore Civic Center

Different types of solos at each turn: straightaway, Listen-to-the-music-play, spacey, bluegrassy
Brown Eyed Women
May 4, 1980
Baltimore Civic Center

This one is fiery, especially the solo, in the vein of 8/24/80, including a hint of a Delilah Jones growl.
May 12, 1980
Boston Garden

This is a pretty intense early 80s-style Caution jam. I was surprised to find this just now.


The Other One
June 8, 1977
Winterland Arena

This one gets a vote for the outro which is so sweetly played into wharf rat. If you like the way Eyes goes into WR on 5/22/77, you'll find something similarly beautiful here. The Other One itself is solid (what on this box isn't?), but the outro is what brought me here.
Bird Song
March 9, 1981
Madison Square Garden

Jerry tears out of the gate on this solo. There are some weird choices and an emphatically psychedelic jazz aesthetic - it belongs up on the list. I saw some names I knew up here talking about this version a couple of days ago and made a mental note. These guys usually know what they're talking about.
To Lay Me Down
Dec. 31, 1980
Oakland Auditorium

Great call - there's a YT video and the playing and the harmonies say that this is peak dead. It's early on NYE and everyone's clear and on. A fantastic opener.
Samson and Delilah
Dec. 31, 1976
Cow Palace

This intro stands out. All other versions are so similar, it's hard not to wish that they'd played it like this at least occasionally. I'd have to put this close to the best ever, if not actually #1.
Nov. 24, 1978
Capitol Theatre

There is a color video of this on youtube (sets 1 & 2 have been switched in labeling) and there is an FM simulcast - from the capitol theater in passaic, nj which appears to have been good for this kind of thing - there are two videos with FM sound from april '77 on youtube as well. Jerry's voice is weak - it was late '78 - there's a cancelation or two around this time. The second solo is where this one cooks, but the video and sound quality make this one a historical document.