find the best versions of grateful dead songs

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Dead junkie



Sugar Magnolia
Oct. 15, 1984
Civic Center

HOT!!!! A stand-out version of an incessantly-played song.
St. Stephen
Oct. 21, 1971
Auditorium Theatre

An extremely beautiful version. Love Keith's piano on this one. On one of the best Dave's Picks (Vol. 3).
China Cat Sunflower -> I Know You Rider
Dec. 20, 1969
Fillmore Auditorium

The transition jam is so hot it could melt your flesh right off!
Picasso Moon
Sept. 9, 1991

Show opener of the second show of a fantastic MSG run - what could go wrong? Answer: nothing.
Touch of Grey
June 16, 1990
Shoreline Amphitheatre

Can't believe this one isn't on here! I've always considered the View from the Vault III version to be the best.


China Doll
March 19, 1990
Civic Center

I'm typically not a big fan of this song, but this version is masterful.
The Music Never Stopped
Feb. 21, 1995
Delta Center

Vince is absolutely on fire for this entire show as well. I think he was at his best in '94/'95, which usually goes unnoticed by detractors because Jerry was going downhill. Vince was a really talented guy, and the rest of the band kicks it into overdrive throughout this show too. And Jerry makes up for any lapses in greatness with that Visions of Johanna out of Space.
Scarlet Begonias -> Fire On The Mountain
May 13, 1977
Auditorium Theatre

My kind of Scarlet-Fire!!! I like this version more than Cornell, but that's just my personal preference. The transition is weird and sublime in a singular way. It's hard to call Phil playing the Fire melody solo "awkward" since he's right on point with it.
Promised Land
Nov. 10, 1979
Chrisler Arena

I think that's probably part of why they kept playing these shorter songs time and time again. It was probably a way to build some energy or momentum in a show, but I think they were trying to push towards more intense jams in a shorter amount of time for songs like these.
Stella Blue
May 4, 1979
Hampton Coliseum

Well, I am a fan of this song - I think it is the definitive Jerry ballad and the most powerful song he ever wrote - and I also love this version. The jam at the end and transition into Around and Around are remarkable.