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Steppin' Out With the Grateful Dead - England '72

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Customer Reviews

Come hear Uncle John's Band

I count myself lucky to have seen the Grateful Dead's 5-hour set at the Bickershaw Festival in 1972. Although only a minority of that gig's tracks are on it, this album is the nearest - the only - way to relive that awesome experience. But this is for more than Dead-heads. It represents the band's greatest live period, with Pigpen (sadly approaching the end of his life) augmented by the newly-arrived Godcheaux's, a new discipline to their playing, and a broader repertoire. The Dead were maturing from their 60s acid-folk-jazz-blues workouts typified so brilliantly on "Live/Dead", to incorporate much more country, R&B, and rock'n'roll in their extended sets. The Grateful Dead weren't merely a band, and to see them live was much more than "going to a gig". It was indeed a complete experience, and unlike "ordinary" rock shows (where the order of the day was headbanging and stomping along for an hour, then demanding at least 3 encores whatever the quality of the playing), the Dead would play on and play on, improvising and extending both themselves and their audience. A real trip. The tracks from Bickershaw here have the most energy while those from Newcastle have the least (a poor audience on the night?). However, there isn't really a 'dud' track on it. If you want an introduction to the Grateful Dead then one of their many live albums is perhaps the best - the only - place to start (with the exception of American Beauty and possibly Workingman's Dead). They were - are - quintessentially a live band, and they don't get much better than this. As for value, £9.99 for five hours and 39 tracks can't really be beaten. I have deducted one star for the album's compiler : the segues from one track to the next are sometimes several seconds out. This doesn't matter one bit if you're listening from start to finish (recommended) but it does mean that pulling off individual tracks into playlists is not going to be possible without some wincing.

the dead at their peak

in my humble opinion the grateful dead's european tour of 1972 is the greatest run of shows by any rock band ever. shows lasted four hours or more and produced the most staggering sonic explorations they ever produced as well as introducing new classics to the repertoire, of the 22 performances 8 took place in england bookending the tour with bickershaw half way through, if you don't want all the music (around $450) then spend a tenner on this superb offering. highly recommended it dovetails nicely with the other europe '72 releases


Formed: 1965 in San Francisco, CA

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s

Rock's longest, strangest trip, the Grateful Dead were the psychedelic era's most beloved musical ambassadors as well as its most enduring survivors, spreading their message of peace, love, and mind expansion across the globe throughout the better part of three decades. The object of adoration for popular music's most fervent and celebrated fan following -- the Deadheads, their numbers and devotion legendary in their own right -- they were the ultimate cult band, creating a self-styled universe all...
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