New Grateful Dead 11 CD box set detailed

The Grateful Dead played more than 2,000 concerts, but none continues to spark interest and provoke discussion quite like the band’s performance at Cornell University’s Barton Hall on May 8, 1977. It is one of the most collected, traded, and debated concerts by any band ever, has topped numerous fan polls through the years, and was a favorite of the group’s longtime archivist Dick Latvala, who stated: “Enough can’t be said about this superb show.” Even Uncle Sam got into the act in 2011 when the recording was “deemed so important to the history and culture of the United States” that a copy was added to the Library of Congress’ National Recording Registry.

To celebrate the 40th anniversary of that magical show, will release May 1977: Get Shown The Light, a new 11-disc boxed set that features the commercial debut of the Cornell University show (5/8/77) along with three other previously unreleased concerts: Veterans’ Memorial Coliseum, New Haven, CT (5/5/77), Boston Garden, Boston, MA (5/7/77), and Buffalo Memorial Auditorium, Buffalo, NY (5/9/77). As if that weren’t enough, the source for these recordings is the legendary Betty Boards, which Jeffrey Norman has mastered in HDCD for unrivaled sound quality. The transfers from the master tapes were produced by Plangent Processes, further ensuring that this is the best, most authentic that Cornell (and the other three shows) has ever sounded.

“These four concerts have been the holy grail of wish-list releases both externally and internally for a long, long time,” says David Lemieux, Grateful Dead archivist and the set’s producer. “ During the 18+ years I’ve worked with the Grateful Dead, no concert has garnered as much attention and as many requests for release as Cornell, with the New Haven, Boston, and Buffalo shows following very closely behind. For those who didn’t know the history of these master tapes and about their absence from the band’s vault, and for those who have, like us, lamented this hole in the collection, we join with you in celebrating what might be, minute-for-minute, song-for-song, the most high quality Grateful Dead release ever produced.”

The set is available now for pre-order and will be shipped to arrive on May 5th, the anniversary of the first show in the collection. Production of the set is limited to 15,000 individually numbered copies and available exclusively from for $139.98. The set will also be available as a digital download in Apple Lossless ($99.98) and FLAC 192/24 ($124.98) exclusively at beginning on May 5th.

On the same day, Rhino will release the Barton Hall concert separately in multiple formats. Cornell 5/8/77 will be available as a three CD set, a limited edition five LP set (limited to 7,700 copies), as well as digital download and streaming.

May 1977: Get Shown The Light comes in an ornate box crafted by Grammy-winning graphic artist Masaki Koike. The set includes an in-depth essay by noted Dead scholar Nicholas G. Meriwether, who explores the memories and mysteries that surround this run of shows. The set also comes with Cornell ‘77: The Music, The Myth And The Magnificence Of The Grateful Dead’s Concert At Barton Hall (Cornell Press), a new book by Peter Conners dedicated to the Cornell show. The book will also be available for purchase separately.

Jerry Garcia, Donna Jean Godchaux, Keith Godchaux, Mickey Hart, Bill Kreutzmann, Phil Lesh and Bob Weir had just completed Terrapin Station, the band’s ninth studio album, when they hit the road for a spring tour leading up to the album’s release in late July. This new set serves as a prequel of sorts to the May 1977 boxed set from 2013, which featured the next five shows from that magical tour. It adds further sonic evidence that the 1977 tour was truly a high-water mark in the Dead’s history.

The set lists played at the four shows included in this set – especially Barton Hall – offer up sweeping retrospectives of the band’s career, touching on the early psychedelic days (“Morning Dew” and “St. Stephen”), and the rootsy early-Seventies (“Uncle John’s Band” and “Tennessee Jed”) up to and including previewing songs from the group’s then-unreleased album Terrapin Station (“Estimated Prophet” and “Samson and Delilah.”)

Elevating this already extraordinary release is the fact that the recordings are sourced from the fabled Betty Boards, which are soundboard tapes made by Betty Cantor-Jackson, who was the Dead’s live recording engineer for many years. Since some of her tapes began circulating in the 1980s, her live recordings of the band have become the gold standard by which others are measured. After decades in limbo, more than 350 reels of her recordings are now part of the Grateful Dead’s musical vault. The July 1978 set released last year represented the first official release of the Bettys, with even more to come after May 1977: Get Shown The Light.

In the set’s liner notes, Meriwether captures how the Cornell show pulls together many of the disparate strands of the Grateful Dead phenomenon and the Deadhead experience, from the music and experience of the show to its recording and dissemination. “The story of Cornell ’77 is more than just a tale of another great Dead show, another enduring example of what [Dick] Latvala called ‘primal Dead’: It is the stuff of history and legend, myth and mystery, and how those all played out to finally produce this long-awaited, much anticipated release, forty years after the last notes of ‘One More Saturday Night’ rang out in the drafty, cavernous confines of Barton Hall that night.”

Veterans’ Memorial Coliseum

New Haven, CT (5/5/77)

[one_half]CD 1:

  1. “Promised Land”
  2. “Sugaree”
  3. “Mama Tried”
  4. “El Paso”
  5. “Tennessee Jed”
  6. “Looks Like Rain”
  7. “Deal”
  8. “Lazy Lightning>”
  9. “Supplication”
  10. “Peggy-O”
  11. “The Music Never Stopped”[/one_half]

[one_half_last]CD 2:

  1. “Bertha”
  2. “Estimated Prophet”
  3. “Scarlet Begonias>”
  4. “Fire On The Mountain>”
  5. “Good Lovin’”
  6. “St. Stephen>”
  7. “Sugar Magnolia”
  8. “Johnny B. Goode”
  9. Boston Garden[/one_half_last]

Boston, MA (5/7/77)

[one_third]CD 3:

  1. “Bertha”
  2. “Cassidy”
  3. “Deal”
  4. “Jack Straw”
  5. “Peggy-O”
  6. “New Minglewood Blues”
  7. “Mississippi Half-Step Uptown Toodeloo>”
  8. “Big River”
  9. “Tennessee Jed”
  10. “The Music Never Stopped”[/one_third]

[one_third]CD 4:

  1. “Terrapin Station”
  2. “Samson and Delilah”
  3. “Friend Of The Devil”
  4. “Estimated Prophet”[/one_third]

[one_third_last]CD 5:

  1. “Eyes Of The World>”
  2. Drums>
  3. “The Wheel>”
  4. “Wharf Rat>”
  5. “Around and Around”
  6. “U.S. Blues”[/one_third_last]

Barton Hall (Cornell University)

Ithaca, NY (5/8/77)

[one_half]CD 6:

  1. “New Minglewood Blues”
  2. “Loser”
  3. “El Paso”
  4. “They Love Each Other”
  5. “Jack Straw”
  6. “Deal”
  7. “Lazy Lightning>”
  8. “Supplication”
  9. “Brown-Eyed Women”
  10. “Mama Tried”
  11. “Row Jimmy”[/one_half]

[one_half_last]CD 7:

  1. “Dancing In The Street”
  2. “Scarlet Begonias>”
  3. “Fire On The Mountain”
  4. “Estimated Prophet”
  5. Disc Eight
  6. “St. Stephen>”
  7. “Not Fade Away>”
  8. “St. Stephen>”
  9. “Morning Dew”
  10. “One More Saturday Night”[/one_half_last]

Buffalo Memorial Auditorium

Buffalo, NY (5/9/77)

[one_third]CD 9:

  1. “Help On The Way>”
  2. “Slipknot>”
  3. “Franklin’s Tower”
  4. “Cassidy”
  5. “Brown-Eyed Women”
  6. “Mexicali Blues”
  7. “Tennessee Jed”
  8. “Big River”
  9. “Peggy-O”
  10. “Sunrise”
  11. “The Music Never Stopped”[/one_third]

[one_third]CD 10:

  1. “Bertha>”
  2. “Good Lovin’”
  3. “Ship Of Fools”[/one_third]

[one_third_last]CD 11:

  1. “Estimated Prophet>”
  2. “The Other One>”
  3. Drums>
  4. “Not Fade Away>”
  5. “Comes A Time>”
  6. “Sugar Magnolia”
  7. “Uncle Johns Band”[/one_third_last]

Buddy Iahn
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. Email: