find the best versions of grateful dead songs

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The Music Never Stopped
Dec. 21, 1978
The Summit

A speedy rendition on a single extant AUD from what is IMO the golden age of TMNS. Good for 77-Feb79, but compares favorably to any MNS thereafter.
Cumberland Blues
Sept. 11, 1981
Greek Theater

This one cooks. It’s the third one since 74, but it’s all so fluid.
Mind Left Body Jam
Sept. 6, 1979
Madison Square Garden

The transition between NFA and Stella is about a minute of MLB. Not the best, but a unique transition and tease for 1979.
Friend of the Devil
Dec. 31, 1977
Winterland Arena

Better Jerry solo than the other '77s, but same aesthetic otherwise.
Eyes Of The World
Sept. 2, 1983
Boise Pavilion - Boise State University

Not too speedy, well jammed and ends with a one of kind improv between Bobby, Brent and the drummers.


Franklin's Tower
Dec. 4, 1979
Uptown Theater

I come to this website for comments like Scarlet_Fire’s above. This Franklin’s>Jam was the first thing I listened to when the new discs arrived and the jam is better than I hoped. And it’s great to know now where to look to find similar stuff in Fall 79. Still, this jam has so many turns. The first half I think is really best described as a Franklins jam, if that makes sense, and they try out three or four themes in the second half, all of which I enjoyed.
Lost Sailor -> Saint of Circumstance
Dec. 11, 1979
Soldiers & Sailors Memorial Hall

Yes, the prelude to this Saint is unique and the jam that follows it is fantastic in parts. Don't get me wrong, because I love Sailor>Saint, but a lot of the versions on the ladder aren't all that dissimilar. This Saint has both a one-off beginning and an anomalous jam, reminiscent, at times, of Estimated Prophet, to follow.
The Music Never Stopped
Dec. 3, 1979
Uptown Theatre

Not top 10 or anything, but still from the period where Jerry tears this song up.
Terrapin Station
Dec. 3, 1979
Uptown Theatre

Crystal clear recording and tremendous Terrapin
May 9, 1979
Broome County Arena

The third solo is intense, and ends with a flurry. The whole version is good - a nice, expansive opener of a Sugaree. Some others of this era that are above on this list open their shows as well - 10/17/83, 6/21/80 and 12/28/79