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The Golden Road (1965 - 1973) Box set, Original recording remastered

45 customer reviews

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Audio CD, Box set, Original recording remastered, October 16, 2001
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$100.36 $72.00
Audio, Cassette, October 26, 2001
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$119.99 & FREE Shipping. Details Only 15 left in stock (more on the way). Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.

Frequently Bought Together

The Golden Road (1965 - 1973) + Grateful Dead: Beyond Description (1973-1989) + Grateful Dead: All the Years Combine: The DVD Collection (14-DVD Box Set)
Price for all three: $332.87

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Compiled from over 1,000 hours of tapes, The Golden Road presents remastered and (except for Live Dead ) EXPANDED versions of all their Warner Bros. albums, all with digipak packaging featuring additional 16-page booklets authored by everybody from Lenny Kaye to Owsley, plus a 2-CD set (one live, one studio) presenting unreleased performances from their pre-Warner Bros. days. An 80-page accompanies. The sum total: 8 CDs, over 15*1/2* hours of music, seven hours of unreleased material!


Considering the amount of posthumous product released since Jerry Garcia and the Grateful Dead's demise in 1995, perhaps a better name for the band would be the Living Dead. However, there is no denying the fact that the Dead's music--at various times thrilling, adventurous, simple, futuristic, old-fashioned, ethereal, abominable, ridiculous, and sublime--bears this kind of deep exploration. Rhino's 12-disc bonanza is the definitive look at the Dead's formative years, a fantastically creative nine-year period for Warner Bros. In 1965, they were a bunch of ex-folk and bluegrass musicians who were looking to jump on the rock bandwagon driven by the Beatles. The ensuing decade found them travel a sort of circular path that began with revved-up renditions of their folk and blues favorites. Then they maneuvered through intense, far-reaching, mind-blowing psychedelic experiments, settled into timeless stripped-down Americana, and ended atop a mountain where folk, blues, country, jazz, and psychedelic rock lived in near-perfect harmony.

All of the band's nine official Warner releases (five studio discs, four live) have been superbly remastered and buffed with extra tracks that include unheard studio jams and outtakes, plus contemporaneous live cuts. There's also two discs' worth (one studio, one live) of rare early material that predates their Warner Bros. debut. Each "album" comes in its own package with its own notes, while the box itself offers a 75-page booklet filled with thoughtful essays, personal reflections, and great photos. Clearly, Rhino has thrown down the gauntlet to Deadheads everywhere: they know you have most of this stuff in a variety of forms, but with the bounty of bonus tracks, the superior sound, and the wonderful packaging it's as if they're issuing a challenge not to buy this exquisite collection. --Marc Greilsamer

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (October 16, 2001)
  • Original Release Date: 1965
  • Number of Discs: 12
  • Format: Box set, Original recording remastered
  • Note on Boxed Sets: During shipping, discs in boxed sets occasionally become dislodged without damage. Please examine and play these discs. If you are not completely satisfied, we'll refund or replace your purchase.
  • Label: Rhino
  • ASIN: B00005OWEZ
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (45 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #36,490 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

99 of 100 people found the following review helpful By "rockrollmusicislife" on February 4, 2002
Format: Audio CD
This is a perfect box set, doing what all good box sets should. It is comprehensive (Over 100 pages worth of essay and liner notes. It has excellent sound (recieving the digital remastering treatment). And it has plenty of unreleased material. (Over 7 hours, stretching each disc to 80 minutes in length) You can't go wrong with a 12 cd box set covering the golden era in Dead history.
Birth of the Dead: The Studio Sides- A disc of the Dead's earliest sessions in their entirety. This captures the Dead as a very loose garage band. Shows much influence from the music of early electric Bob Dylan and other folk rock acts of the day. 5 Stars
Birth of the Dead: The Live Sides- Some early material. Relatively typical of an early Dead concert as they explore folk, blues, and rock and spice it up with their own charisma. Though not as engaging as more legendary Dead performances still good. 4 stars.
The Grateful Dead- The first official album. Could have been good, but the Dead seemed to be rushing it and unlike Birth of the Dead couldn't loosen up to the studio. Does contain classic versions of Cream Puff War, Sitting on Top of the World, Morning Dew, and Viola Lee Blues. On live performances the Dead let loose, and are raw and rocking. Album: 4 stars Bonus Tracks: 5 stars
Anthem of the Sun- The second album, containing studio and live tracks merged together to make for a very experimental and interesting album. The Dead are looser and more psychadelic, most notably on their always essential That's It For the Other One jam and the bluesy Caution. Excellent live medley of alligator and caution in the bonus set. Some of the Dead's most psychadelically experimental rock. Album: 5 stars Bonus: 5 stars
Aoxomoxoa- Step backward. Less experimental and a more pop sound.
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64 of 65 people found the following review helpful By "ampar" on May 30, 2002
Format: Audio CD
This was a big investment for me. One of those things I buy without telling my wife because I feel slightly guilty (I should have spent the money fixing the water pump ...). That's the first thing you'll consider before buying this, of course, the price tag. In the end I took the plunge. I have all the Dead stuff on vinyl, but hadn't listened to them in a long while. I never considered myself a Deadhead. I'm suspicious of all the Deadhead marketing push, the merchandising, and I didn't revere Jerry Garcia. His decline left me cold. Something about accepting responsibility for your own choices. But anyway. This box.
First off, the packaging is just gorgeous. And that matters. Nothing skimpy here, no compromises. A heavyweight foil-stamped box with a lithographed metal panel. Beautiful. Individual albums in stiff card digipacks with proper booklets. A substantial book packed with great pictures and written without the eulogising that earmarks the dyed-in-the-hemp Deadhead. Nice dry humor. There's even ribbons glued into the box to help you lift out the heavy stacks of CDs. All this stuff matters. If you buy a box set, you're paying for the packaging - the CDs themselves cost about as much as postage stamps to produce.
Then there's the music. Yahey. What a surprise I got. The sound is stunning. To think all this sonic information was always there, but hidden by the medium. All the criticism of the Dead as being [poor] in the studio is revealed as a myth. Not only could these guys play, they could write too. The singing ... I was always the first to admit they're not a vocal band. Their lack of a great vocalist was extraordinary. Maybe they thought it was too showbizzy or something to draft in somebody who could carry a tune. Bob Weir's blue-eyed soul grunts.
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35 of 38 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 25, 2001
Format: Audio CD
Being keeper of "The Vaults" must be one of the greatest and yet one of the most difficult jobs I can imagine. After the wealth of releases under "Dick's Picks" (#23 has just been released) you can't imagine that there could be anything good left. Surprise! Not only do the Warner Brothers albums sound incredible, but the additonal unreleased tracks that fill each disk are simply amazing.
For example, listen to the clarity of That's It For The Other One on Anthem of the Sun. The LP sounded rather garbled and mushy, on this you can hear 12-string guitar that I had never heard before. The clap track on New Speedway Boogie. The crystalline harmonies on American Beauty and Workingman's Dead. Listen to the previosly unreleased two minutes added on to the beginning of Dark Star on Live/Dead. Beautiful interplay between Jerry, Bob and Phil.
Listening to all of the WB disks is like rediscovering the music all over again. Listen with headphones.
There are two disks of unreleased material (one live and one studio) of the Warlocks days. The studio material is interesting, but the live material is at times breathtaking, considering it was recorded in 1966.
Each gatefold CD has an essay by former associates of the Dead and by various journalists. A lot of insight into the recording process Bear and a detailed track listing with info. on dates, etc.
All in all this is an excellent package. One that I will treasure and pass down to my kids.
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30 of 32 people found the following review helpful By Aaron P. Beck on July 25, 2002
Format: Audio CD
Okay, if you are into the Dead, you know that the music on these CDs is up to par. Well, it's better than you thought. You will most likely hear things on the remastered studio tracks that you never heard off of CD or vinyl before. The bonus material is of equal quality with the previously released studio/live music. And it is both massive and broad. If you are not into the Dead, but you have even a slight interest, this is the thing to get.
The presentation is where this box set excels. Each digipak has the original front and back album artwork (varying between 100% to 85% size so that it fits nicely). Eveything down to the Mouse Studios logo on American Beauty and Workingman's Dead is included. The liner notes are extensive and sometimes enlightening. But overall the set just has a nice, classy, almost literary look and feel to it.
As far as value, this is the nicest box set I have seen. A heavy dose of original art (including many concert poster images) and writing along with twelve 70+ minute, superbly remastered CDs priced at less than [$$$] each makes this a rare value in today's music merchandising. If you are a Deadhead this set is a must-have--even if you already own most of these albums. If you are thinking about buying a pre-1974 Grateful Dead CD, save some more money and get this instead. Its value stretches far beyond the price.
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The Golden Road (1965 - 1973)
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