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Thursday
Mar172016

The Grateful Dead Releasing 12-Disc Box Set of Live Recordings from July 1978 in May

Fred Hermansky/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty ImagesThe Grateful Dead once again are dipping into their extensive archives to put together an expansive box set of unreleased live material. On May 13, the band will release a 12-CD collection called July 1978: The Complete Recordings, which features full recordings of the only five concerts that the group played that month while touring the U.S. in support of its then-new album Shakedown Street.

The shows featured in the box set took place on July 1 in Kansas City, Missouri; July 3 in St. Paul, Minnesota; July 5 in Omaha, Nebraska; and July 7 and 8 in Morrison, Colorado. The last two gigs were the Grateful Dead's first-ever performances at Red Rocks Amphitheatre.

July 1978: The Complete Recordings also features the first official release of the band's rare "Betty Boards" master recordings; that is, reel-to-reel tapes recorded by engineer Betty Cantor-Jackson from The Dead's soundboard from 1971 to 1980.

During its July 1978 concerts, The Grateful Dead showcased songs from Shakedown Street, including "Fire on the Mountain" and their rendition of The Rascals' "Good Lovin'," and from the 1977 album, Terrapin Station. The band also played such well-known older tunes as "Friend of the Devil," "Bertha," "Playing in the Band," "Sugar Magnolia" and "Truckin'," as well as covers of Warren Zevon's "Werewolves of London," Buddy Holly's "Not Fade Away," and Chuck Berry's "Around and Around" and "Johnny B. Goode."

"As an archivist and Dead Head, this boxed set is about as exciting as it gets," says Grateful Dead archivist David Lemieux. "Musically, it features five exhilarating, dynamic nights in the summer of 1978. The sound quality is impeccable, as would be expected from Betty Cantor-Jackson's always-pristine recordings."

July 1978: The Complete Recordings comes includes in-depth liner notes penned by Nick Meriwether, who oversees The Grateful Dead's archives at the University of California, Santa Cruz. Lemieux also contributes a producer's note to the package.

The box set will be limited to 15,000 individually numbered copies, and can be pre-ordered now exclusively at Dead.net. In addition to the 12-CD physical version, the collection is available as a high-quality digital download in multiple formats. The full complete July 8, 1978, concert at Red Rocks Amphitheatre also will be released on May 13 separately as a three-CD set and digital download, and will be sold at retail outlets and online music sellers, as well as at Dead.net.

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