By Jeff Cornell
The Grateful Dead have a rich concert history and fans will be happy to hear the latest effort to emerge from their massive vaults is a 12-CD box set featuring previously unreleased concerts recorded in July 1978. The collection contains five complete concerts, including the band’s historic debut at the famed Red Rocks Amphitheater in Morrison, Colorado.
July 1978: The Complete Recordings will be released on May 13 and is available for pre-order now at Dead.net. The set is limited to 15,000 individual numbered copies and includes five complete shows: Arrowhead Stadium, Kansas City, Missouri (July 1), St. Paul Civic Center, St. Paul, Minnesota (July 3), Omaha Civic Auditorium, Omaha, Nebraska (July 5), and Red Rocks Amphitheater, Morrison, Colorado (July 7 & 8).
The band will also release a stand alone three-disc set of their complete July 8, 1978 show at Red Rocks, which will be available on May 13 as well. The show is widely considered one of the greatest concerts in Grateful Dead history.
1978 was a banner year for the San Francisco band who performed over 80 shows, including three historic concerts at the Gizah pyramids in Egypt. That year the band also released their tenth studio album Shakedown Street, which features the iconic title track as well as classics like “I Need a Miracle,” “Fire on the Mountain” and a cover of The Young Rascals’ “Good Lovin’.”
Dead archivist and box set producer David Lemieux said the set “features five exhilarating, dynamic nights in the summer of 1978.” He added, “The sound quality is impeccable… the rarity of the first three nights, and the hall-of-fame pedigree of the last two, makes this one of the most astonishing Grateful Dead releases ever.”
The recordings, which are newly mixed and remastered, features the band on a roll playing songs that define the late-70s Dead including “Eyes Of The World,” “Friend Of The Devil,” “Wharf Rat,” “Playing In The Band” and “Franklin’s Tower.” The set also shines a light on the band’s previous studio album Terrapin Station with an incredible version of the title track as well as renditions of “Estimated Prophet,” “Sampson And Delilah” and “Passenger.”