The Grateful Dead have announced an extensive reissue series of the band’s studio and live albums. The releases are timed to coincide with the Dead’s individual 50th anniversaries, according to a press release, and will begin Jan. 20 with a deluxe edition of the rock band’s self-titled debut.
The Grateful Dead was recorded in January 1967 and released two months later. The covers of traditional numbers including “Beat It On Down the Line,” “Cold Rain & Snow,” and “Morning Dew” that the Dead included became staples of their fabled live shows during their decades-long touring career. The 50th anniversary edition will include a disc featuring some of their earliest live recordings, from back-to-back shows at Vancouver’s P.N.E. Garden Auditorium on July 29 and 30, 1966. The studio album itself will also see release as a 12-inch picture disc, limited to 10,000 copies worldwide.
The Grateful Dead was last reissued in 2003 and contained a half-dozen studio outtakes and live recordings.
Formed in 1965, the Grateful Dead remain influential. Last year, the band reformed — with Phish’s Trey Anastasio handling the guitar parts of late frontman Jerry Garcia — for a series of buzzy “Fare Thee Well” shows in Santa Clara, California, and Chicago. They released an 80-disc boxed set containing 30 unreleased concerts and also have a biographical television series in the works.
Singer and guitarist Bob Weir has stayed particularly active. He formed Dead & Company with John Mayer and Dead drummers Bill Kreutzmann and Mickey Hart, and the band toured the States in fall 2015 and summer 2016. After members of the National spearheaded a 59-track tribute album to the Grateful Dead, Weir teamed with them to release his first solo album in more than a decade, Blue Mountain, in September.