The Grateful Dead played 2,318 live shows, more than any other band in the history of music.
For 30 years, the band's live performances were constantly morphing and evolving, making every show a unique experience.
Now, in the midst of their 50th anniversary, the Grateful Dead announce their most ambitious release ever: 30 Trips Around the Sun.
Available as an 80-disc boxed set and a custom lightning-bolt USB drive, the collection includes 30 unreleased live shows, one for each year the band was together from 1966 to 1995, along with one track from their earliest recording sessions in 1965.
Packed with more than 73 hours of music, the box set and USB drive will be individually numbered limited editions and are available now for pre-order at dead.net for $699.98. They are set to be released September 18.
The 80-disc box set version comes in an ornate box that is individually numbered and limited to 6,500 copies, a nod to the band's formation in 1965. Along with the CDs, it also includes a gold-colored 7-inch vinyl single that bookends the band's career. The A-side is "Caution (Do Not Stop on Tracks)" from the band's earliest recording session in 1965 with the B-side of the last song the band ever performed together live, "Box of Rain," recorded during their final encore at Soldier Field in Chicago on July 9, 1995.
"When we began discussing audio projects to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Grateful Dead in 2012, we knew we wanted to do something completely unprecedented," says band archivist and producer David Lemieux. "We could think of nothing more exciting or ambitious than a career-spanning overview of the band's live legacy focused on what best tells the story: complete concerts.
"Our first criterion was the very best live music to represent any given year in the band's history. We wanted to make sure that there were not only the tent-pole shows that fans have been demanding for decades but also ones that are slightly more under the radar, but equally excellent. For those who listen to the entire box straight through, chronologically, the narrative of the Grateful Dead's live legacy will be seen as second to none in the pantheon of music history."
The first four shows included in 30 Trips have been announced today and include a 1967 show at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles and a 1987 show at New York's Madison Square Garden. The remaining shows will be revealed in the coming weeks on dead.net. All 30 of the unreleased shows in 30 Trips will not be available for individual purchase on CD at any time in the future.
The box also comes with a 288-page book that features an extensive, career-spanning essay written by Nick Meriwether, who oversees the Dead archives at the University of California, Santa Cruz, along with special remembrances of the band submitted by fans. Also included is a scroll that offers a visual representation of how the band's live repertoire has evolved through the years.
The other limited edition version of 30 Trips Around the Sun comes on a USB drive shaped like a gold lightning bolt with the Grateful Dead 50th anniversary logo engraved on the side. The drive includes all of the music from the collection in FLAC (96/24) and MP3 formats and is an individually numbered limited edition of 1,000 copies.
September 18 also will see the release of a four-CD version of the collection titled 30 Trips Around the Sun: The Definitive Live Story 1965-1995. This set serves as an introductory sampler to the Dead's live canon, including 30 unreleased performances—one from each concert in the boxed set—along with the 1965 recording of "Caution." Also featured is an essay by Dead aficionado Jesse Jarnow dissecting every track in the collection, which will be available at all physical retail outlets for a list price of $44.98. A digital version will also be available.
30 TRIPS AROUND THE SUN
First Four Shows Announced
11/10/67 Shrine Auditorium | Los Angeles, CA
10/27/79 Cape Cod Coliseum | South Yarmouth, MA
9/18/87 Madison Square Garden | New York City, NY
10/1/94 Boston Garden | Boston, MA
Gold 7-inch vinyl single
A-Side: "Caution (Do Not Stop on Tracks)," from first recording session in 1965
B-Side: "Box Of Rain," final song from the band's final show, Soldier Field, Chicago, 7/9/1995
30 TRIPS AROUND THE SUN: THE DEFINITIVE LIVE STORY 1965-1995
1. "Caution (Do Not Stop On Tracks)" - 1965
2. "Cream Puff War" - 1966
3. "Viola Lee Blues" - 1967
4. "Dark Star" - 1968
5. "Doin' That Rag" - 1969
6. "Dancing In The Street" - 1970
7. "The Rub" - 1971
8. "Tomorrow Is Forever" - 1972
9. "Here Comes Sunshine" - 1973
1. "Uncle John's Band" - 1974
2. "Franklin's Tower" - 1975
3. "Scarlet Begonias" - 1976
4. "Estimated Prophet" - 1977
5. "Samson and Delilah" - 1978
6. "Lost Sailor>Saint Of Circumstance" - 1979
7. "Deep Elem Blues" - 1980
1. "Shakedown Street" - 1981
2. "Bird Song" - 1982
3. "My Brother Esau" - 1983
4. "Feel Like A Stranger" - 1984
5. "Let It Grow" - 1985
6. "Comes A Time" - 1986
7. "Morning Dew" - 1987
8. "Not Fade Away" - 1988
1. "Blow Away" - 1989
2. "Ramble On Rose" - 1990
3. "High Time" - 1991
4. "Althea" - 1992
5. "Broken Arrow" - 1993
6. "So Many Roads" - 1994
7. "Visions Of Johanna" - 1995