Grateful Dead announces 14 CD May 1977 live boxed set

If you’re a Dead Head, chances are you’ve spent many hours expounding upon the distinction of May 8, 1977, Cornell University, Barton Hall. Well, at the risk of preaching to the choir, the Grateful Dead would like to reintroduce fans to a series of shows that matches said greatness from that same gloriously fertile season. May 1977 is set to change all of that with a boxed set that zeroes in on this high-water mark in the Grateful Dead’s long strange trip.

For a band resurrecting itself after a 20-month hiatus, there was a great frenzy of expectancy that surrounded the Spring of 1977.  The band anticipates a grand re-occurrence of this fervor with the release of May 1977, a 14-disc boxed set featuring five complete shows from consecutive stops on that magical tour.

Mastered in HDCD by Jeffrey Norman at Mockingbird Mastering, the “psychoacoustic phenomena” of St. Paul Civic Center Arena, St. Paul, MN (5/11) Auditorium Theatre, Chicago, IL (5/12, 5/13), St. Louis Arena, St. Louis MO (5/15) and Coliseum at the University Of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, AL (5/17) can now finally be appreciated. Each of these shows finds the Dead delivering punchier, more focused sets, tightening up the framework; each night turning out first-ever renditions (“Passenger,””Iko Iko,””Jack-A-Roe”), unloading potent new pairings (“Scarlet Begonias”>”Fire On The Mountain”, “Estimated Prophet”>”Eyes Of The World”), classic covers (“Dancing In The Street”) and soon-to-be staples (“Estimated Prophet,” “Samson and Delilah”), and ultimately rising up to paradise.

Due June 11th, May 1977 is limited to 15,000 individually numbered copies. Presented in a psychedelic box that boasts an intricate die-cut design created by Grammy-winning graphic artist Masaki Koike, the set also includes a book filled with stories about each show, as well as an in-depth essay by Dead historian Steve Silberman, who delves deep into the history behind the tour and the band’s return from its extended hiatus.

Once these 15,000 boxes are gone, “May 1977” and its shows will never be available again on CD. However, the 111 tracks will be made available on release date as FLAC and Apple lossless full-set-only downloads.

The set is expected to sell out quickly, so pre-ordering is suggested.  The price is $139.98, not bad for a set of this magnitude.

David Lemieaux speaks about what’s inside the box.

Show #1: St. Paul Civic Center Arena, St. Paul, MN (5/11/77)

CD 1:

1. Promised Land
2. They Love Each Other
3. Big River
4. Loser
5. Looks Like Rain
6. Ramble On Rose
7. Jack Straw
8. Peggy-O
9. El Paso
10. Deal

CD 2:

1. Lazy Lightning
2. Supplication
3. Sugaree
4. Samson and Delilah
5. Brown-Eyed Women
6. Estimated Prophet

CD 3:

1. Scarlet Begonias
2. Fire On The Mountain
3. Good Lovin’
4. Uncle John’s Band
5. Space
6. Wharf Rat
7. Around and Around
8. Brokedown Palace

Show #2: Auditorium Theatre, Chicago, IL (5/12/77)

CD 4:

1. Bertha
2. Me and My Uncle
3. Tennessee Jed
4. Cassidy
5. Peggy-O
6. Jack Straw
7. They Love Each Other
8. New Minglewood Blues

CD 5:

1. Mississippi Half-Step Uptown Toodeloo
2. Dancing In The Street
3. Samson and Delilah
4. Brown-Eyed Women
5. Estimated Prophet
6. Sunrise

CD 6:

1. Terrapin Station
2. Playing In The Band
3. Drums
4. Not Fade Away
5. Comes A Time
6. Playing In The Band
7. Johnny B. Goode

Show #3: Auditorium Theatre, Chicago, IL (5/13/77)

CD 7:

1. The Music Never Stopped
2. Ramble On Rose
3. Cassidy
4. Brown-Eyed Women
5. New Minglewood Blues
6. Friend Of The Devil
7. El Paso
8. Jack-A-Roe
9. Looks Like Rain
10. Scarlet Begonias
11. Fire On The Mountain

CD: 8:

1. Samson and Delilah
2. Bertha
3. Estimated Prophet
4. Drums
5. The Other One
6. Stella Blue
7. Goin’ Down The Road Feeling Bad
8. One More Saturday Night
9. U.S. Blues

Show #4: St. Louis Arena, St. Louis MO (5/15/77)

CD 9:

1. Bertha
2. Good Lovin’
3. Row Jimmy
4. New Minglewood Blues
5. Tennessee Jed
6. Lazy Lightning
7. Supplication
8. Jack-A-Roe
9. Passenger
10. Brown-Eyed Women

CD 10:

1. Dancing In The Street
2. Estimated Prophet
3. Eyes Of The World
4. Drums
5. Samson and Delilah
6. Ship Of Fools

CD 11:

1. St. Stephen
2. Iko Iko
3. Not Fade Away
4. Sugar Magnolia
5. Uncle John’s Band

Show #5: Coliseum, University Of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, AL (5/17/77)

CD 12:

1. New Minglewood Blues
2. Mississippi Half-Step Uptown Toodeloo
3. El Paso
4. They Love Each Other
5. Jack Straw
6. Jack-A-Roe
7. Looks Like Rain
8. Tennessee Jed
9. Passenger
10. High Time
11. Big River

CD 13:

1. Sunrise
2. Scarlet Begonias
3. Fire On The Mountain
4. Samson and Delilah
5. Bertha
6. Good Lovin’
7. Brown-Eyed Women

CD 14:

1. Estimated Prophet
2. Terrapin Station
3. Playing In The Band
4. Drums
5. Wharf Rat
6. Playing In The Band
7. Sugar Magnolia

Author: Buddy Iahn

Buddy Iahn founded The Music Universe when he decided to juxtapose his love of web design and music. As a lifelong drummer, he decided to take a hiatus from playing music to report it. The website began as a fun project in 2013 to one of the top independent news sites.

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