find the best versions of grateful dead songs

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Touch of Grey
Sept. 15, 1982
Capital Centre

The debut, as an encore - raw, lyrics askew, fun times
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.


Pretty Peggy O
April 12, 1978
Cameron Indoor Stadium

You have to watch the video to watch Jerry quiet everyone down for the last verse of the solo. That’s what makes this version. As bzfgt says, 4 days before #1.
Lazy Lightnin' -> Supplication
April 12, 1978
Cameron Indoor Stadium

The black and white video takes an already great version to another level. I prefer the videos in which you can see them play to those with geometric shapes and general trippiness and this one is just a video a great band
May 1, 1981
Hampton Coliseum

I second that emotion, Ben.
Row Jimmy
April 12, 1978
Cameron Indoor Stadium

Spectacular. I was watching the show on YouTube and the second break hit and I came here to see what kind of love this version had gotten. I’m glad to see that it is already well received; it deserves it. Some nice double time at the end too.
Terrapin Station
Nov. 6, 1979
The Spectrum

Fall 79 is my favorite time for Terrapin too. This one, 11/30 and the new release, 12/3, are some of my favorites, but I haven't heard one from this period that I didn't like. These versions really do float just like everyone here is saying. There's a little break at the end of Lady with a Fan that isn't there in the early ones where the ethereal aesthetic is explored most fully. I didn't come to prefer this period for Terrapin until about 10 years ago, but when I did, it was because I felt like this aesthetic fits the song best. It's a nostalgic dream of a Terrapin.