Grateful Dead Forum



4-CD 1971 Set due in October

from the GD's last stand at the Fillmore East in 1971

As of this date, I'm told the boys in the studio have not finalized the track listing yet, so that news will have to wait. The bottom line here is that a 4-CD set will be released on Arista, and will be available in stores everywhere on October 10th. We will of course have it here at the GDF Store, and will keep you updated as more details become available. The list price will be $31.98.

What follows here is the official GDP Press release:

"Ladies and Gentlemen… THE GRATEFUL DEAD" (GDCD 4075)

This long-awaited four-CD set is a stunning collection of highlights from the Grateful Dead's epic five-night stand at New York's Fillmore East in April of 1971 – the band's final engagement at the fabled Lower East Side rock shrine.

During Fillmore East's brief but brilliant history (March 1968 to June 1971), the Grateful Dead played at the old movie palace more often than any other band (a total of 42 shows). Among these were performances that many Deadheads and historians number among the most memorable of the band's career – none more so than the five shows with which the band bade the Fillmore farewell in April '71. Perhaps because the venue's proprietor, legendary impresario Bill Graham, had posted the hall's closing notice, both the Dead and their famously enthusiastic East Coast audience seemed to approach these gigs with an extra sense of urgency. Whatever the reason, the band left nothing in the dressing room, playing five shows of marathon duration and extraordinary intensity, the essence of which is captured on the 40 tracks that comprise Ladies and Gentlemen… THE GRATEFUL DEAD.

Among the highlights are: tour de force performances by the Dead's resident soul man, the late Ron "Pigpen" McKernan, including the band's final live version of "Alligator," one of the great renditions of the Young Rascals classic "Good Lovin'" and definitive Pigpen workouts on Bobby Blue Bland's "Turn On Your Lovelight" and Wilson Pickett and Steve Cropper's "In The Midnight Hour"; some sweet samplings from the Dead's repertoire of country-flavored tunes, including Kris Kristofferson's "Me and Bobby McGee," Merle Haggard's "Sing Me Back Home" and the band's own "Cumberland Blues"; and the deep-space centerpiece of the set – a stellar suite of "Dark Star" and "St. Stephen" (featuring a cameo appearance by Dead alumnus Tom Constanten on organ), followed by a earth-shaking "Not Fade Away" (with "Goin’ Down The Road Feeling Bad" sandwiched in).

Recordings of these shows have been coveted by Grateful Dead tape collectors for nearly three decades, but no one (except the lucky souls who were at the shows) has ever heard them sound quite the way they do on these four discs – mixed and digitally mastered, for the first time ever, from the original 2 -inch multi-track tapes. The package also includes a 16-page booklet featuring rare photographs and an essay by longtime Grateful Dead scholar and journalist Blair Jackson (author of Garcia: An American Life and a co-producer of the acclaimed Grateful Dead boxed set, So Many Roads (1965-1995).

"Ladies and Gentlemen… THE GRATEFUL DEAD" will be available October 10, 2000 at record stores everywhere, on Grateful Dead Records (distributed by Arista) at $31.98 retail, or from Grateful Dead Merchandising at 1-800-225-3323.


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