On this day in 1995, Grateful Dead bandleader Jerry Garcia passed away. His legacy remains as strong as ever and Dead fans across the globe still hold the band’s work in very high regard. Despite some top quality studio albums, it was always in the live setting when Jerry and the band really became something special.
Like most bands with long careers, of course, the Dead didn’t always get it right. They’d sometimes get it spectacularly wrong (as was the case with a late 80s show with Stephen Stills). With Grateful Dead’s official live releases now numbering several dozen and hundreds of bootlegs still in circulation, the world of Dead live recordings can be a minefield.
In honour of Jerry’s passing and the band’s enduring appeal, Real Gone has put together the ultimate “Dead Live” playlist, spanning from 1969-1992. No two songs are repeated, despite almost every performance being unique. The playing time runs for about three times the length of an average Dead gig, but we’ve still attempted to make it all flow – with the obligatory noodling jams, drum solos and a thirty minute ‘Dark Star’ – right down to the feeling of also having an encore.
Everyone has their favourites, but whether you’re a died in the wool fan or new to the band, hopefully there will be something within this mammoth ten hour jam to inspire further listening. …And don’t worry: like the great double live LPs of the seventies, this has also been put together with handy breaks to make a cup of tea.
Ladies and gentlemen, the Grateful Dead…