Kicks off with 50th anniversary edition of their self-titled debut
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.