find the best versions of grateful dead songs

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Books and Music



June 12, 1980
Memorial Coliseum

Just a great, grooving, bluesy Althea. Everyone right in the pocket. Find the exceptional Miller SBD & enjoy.
Bird Song
July 21, 1972
Paramount Northwest Theater

Download Series Vol. 10. This version is sparkling. Everything you expect out of a great '72 w/cool OR. vibe. Beautiful midsong drum break & much more
Aiko Aiko
Feb. 23, 1993
Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum

Hey Now! Played on Mardi Gras day with 10 minute drum percussion lead-in to start the 2nd set! You'll like what the Big Chief say.
March 16, 1990
Capital Centre

Not Space, but since there's no category for "jam" this beautiful calypso improv out of WomenRsmarter will have to do (also has an "Eyes" tease)
Greatest Story Ever Told
Oct. 9, 1982
Frost Amphitheatre

From the show always overshadowed by the next night, which is a shame. Fantastic Jerry/Brent conversation mid-jam. Give a listen!


Tennessee Jed
April 22, 1978
Nashville Municipal Auditorium

I think I like this one even a bit more than the December TN performance. The jam is just so picture perfect and lovely while still being intense and Ga4cia is so way into the vox, delivering the goods without even one lost lyric.
Turn On Your Love Light
April 26, 1972

This is how I like it. No offense to Pig, but the versions where he raps to the audience & tries to get people to hook up are just too cheesy for me. It's a shtick and he basically repeated himself with slight variations whenever he did it. But in this case the band isn't in a ballroom like the Avalon or wherever and he can't address people on the floor cuz they're all in seats in an old school concert hall so instead he does his thing but without the hook-up rap and it gives the band such a better opportunity to shine and boy do they ever. There are some stretches where it's all Garcia but many more where Bob's rhythm really moves things along and the real star is Billy, who's just in an unbelievable zone here.Far and away my favorite Lovelight, even though I think the tune had a nice revival in the early 90's especially w/Branford chipping in on sax. This is the one, though.
China Cat Sunflower -> I Know You Rider
Dec. 29, 1977
Winterland Arena

^^^^ Sounds better than ever! Thanks for the heads up, Darkstar67.
Not Fade Away
June 19, 1976
Capitol Theatre

Encore version from a grossly overlooked '76 masterpiece of a show. Phil and the drummers take no prisoners.
Scarlet Begonias
Sept. 18, 1974
Parc des Expositions

Time I upvoted this & could go through most of the show doing so, one of my top 3 faves of 1974. Just a real crisp standalone here, not ultra-expanded but with a great burst of energy from Garcia in the heart of the jam.