During the mid-1970s, the Grateful Dead saga was unfolding like a Greek classic. The Sisyphean Wall Of Sound had nearly broken the band. From it spawned a Medusa head of countless side projects, all deliciously fruitful but woefully not the same as the whole. The chorus lay in wait, pondering the reemergence of their heroes, and wondering if "THE LAST ONE" had really been it...
But in early 1976, Apollonian light and healing would shine upon our intrepid wanderers once again. No more epic battles for the people with cops and lines and tightness, the Dead would return triumphant in smallness, playing intimate theaters and renting equipment along the way. No more ticket scams and greedy promoters, they'd give back with the first ever mail-order ticket program, one that had a few kinks to work out but eventually served the fans well.
Musically, June 1976 signaled a Golden Age of harmony and prosperity for the Dead. It marked an Odysseusian-like return for Mickey Hart. Donna Jean was in lock-step with the sirens' call. Jerry and Bob delivered orphic delight with solo musings like "Mission In The Rain" (the only tour they ever played it on), "The Wheel," and "Cassidy," emboldened by group effort. There was fresh repertoire from Blues For Allah, breathing new life to the Dead's continually morphing sound - as Weir once said of the '76 tour, they wanted to play "a little bit of all of it." Old favorites were re-envisioned with cascading tempos and unique sequencing, making the crowd question if they'd ever heard these songs before. And there was comfort and joy in the familiarity of watching the band make it up as they went along. By all means, it was clear that the bacchanalia of live Dead would reign on.
And now the revelry from this epoch, evidenced by the near-studio quality sound captured on two-track live recordings by Betty Cantor-Jackson, lives on, bolstered by Jeffrey Norman's HDCD mastering. It's housed for posterity in a handsome box featuring original art work by Justin Helton. It’s documented in liners by Jesse Jarnow and photos by Grant Gouldon. And it’s ready for a spot on your shelf.
As part of our pre-order for this Dead.net exclusive boxed set, we'll be delivering downloads of each listening party - one for each show included in JUNE 1976 - to purchasers from now until the March 20th release. Order at any time before release and you'll receive all the listening parties to date.