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

4.9 out of 5 stars 48 customer reviews

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Audio CD, Box set, Original recording remastered, October 16, 2001
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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!

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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

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. Early Morning Rain
  2. I Know You Rider
  3. Mindbender (Confusion's Prince)
  4. The Only Time Is Now
  5. Caution (Do Not Stop On Tracks)
  6. Can't Come Down
  7. Stealin' (Instrumental)
  8. Stealin' (With Vocals)
  9. Don't Ease Me In (Instrumental)
  10. Don't Ease Me In (With Vocals)
  11. You Don't Have To Ask
  12. Tastebud (Instrumental)
  13. Tastebud (With Vocals)
  14. I Know You Rider
  15. Cold Rain And Snow (Instrumental)
  16. Cold Rain And Snow (With Vocals)
  17. Fire In The City - Jon Hendricks

Disc: 2

  1. Viola Lee Blues
  2. Don't Ease Me In
  3. Pain In My Heart
  4. Sitting On Top Of The World
  5. It's All Over Now, Baby Blue
  6. I'm A King Bee
  7. Big Boss Man
  8. Standing On The Corner
  9. In The Pines
  10. Nobody's Fault But Mine
  11. Next Time You See Me
  12. One Kind Favor
  13. He Was A Friend Of Mine
  14. Keep Rolling By

Disc: 3

  1. The Golden Road (To Unlimited Devotion)
  2. Beat It On Down The Line
  3. Good Morning Little School Girl (Full-Length Version)
  4. Cold Rain And Snow
  5. Sitting On Top Of The World (Full-Length Version)
  6. Cream Puff War (Full-Length Version)
  7. Morning Dew (Full-Length Version)
  8. New, New Minglewood Blues (Full-Length Version)
  9. Viola Lee Blues
  10. Alice D. Millionaire
  11. Overseas Stomp (The Lindy)
  12. Tastebud
  13. Death Don't Have No Mercy
  14. Viola Lee Blues (Edited Version)
  15. Viola Lee Blues (Live)

Disc: 4

  1. That's It For The Other One
  2. New Potato Caboose
  3. Born Cross-Eyed
  4. Alligator
  5. Caution (Do Not Stop On Tracks)
  6. Alligator (Live)
  7. Caution (Do Not Stop On Tracks) (Live)
  8. Feedback (Live)

Disc: 5

  1. St. Stephen
  2. Dupree's Diamond Blues
  3. Rosemary
  4. Doin' That Rag
  5. Mountains Of The Moon
  6. China Cat Sunflower
  7. What's Become Of The Baby
  8. Cosmic Charlie
  9. Clementine Jam
  10. Nobody's Spoonful Jam
  11. The Eleven Jam
  12. Cosmic Charlie (Live)

Disc: 6

  1. Dark Star
  2. St. Stephen
  3. The Eleven
  4. Turn On Your Love Light
  5. Death Don't Have No Mercy
  6. Feedback
  7. And We Bid You Goodnight

Disc: 7

  1. Uncle John's Band
  2. High Time
  3. Dire Wolf
  4. New Speedway Boogie
  5. Cumberland Blues
  6. Black Peter
  7. Easy Wind
  8. Casey Jones
  9. New Speedway Boogie (Alternate Mix)
  10. Dire Wolf (Live)
  11. Black Peter (Live)
  12. Easy Wind (Live)
  13. Cumberland Blues (Live)
  14. Mason's Children (Live)
  15. Uncle John's Band (Live)

Disc: 8

  1. Box Of Rain
  2. Friend Of The Devil
  3. Sugar Magnolia
  4. Operator
  5. Candyman
  6. Ripple
  7. Brokedown Palace
  8. Till The Morning Comes
  9. Attics Of My Life
  10. Truckin'
  11. Truckin' (Single Version)
  12. Friend Of The Devil (Live)
  13. Candyman (Live)
  14. Till The Morning Comes (Live)
  15. Attics Of My Life (Live)
  16. Truckin' (Live)

Disc: 9

  1. Bertha
  2. Mama Tried
  3. Big Railroad Blues
  4. Playing In The Band
  5. The Other One
  6. Me & My Uncle
  7. Big Boss Man
  8. Me & Bobby Mcgee
  9. Johnny B. Goode
  10. Wharf Rat
  11. Not Fade Away/Goin' Down The Road Feeling Bad
  12. Oh, Boy!
  13. I'm A Hog For You

Disc: 10

  1. Cumberland Blues
  2. He's Gone
  3. One More Saturday Night
  4. Jack Straw
  5. You Win Again
  6. China Cat Sunflower
  7. I Know You Rider
  8. Brown-Eyed Woman
  9. Hurts Me Too
  10. Ramble On Rose
  11. Sugar Magnolia
  12. Mr. Charlie
  13. Tennessee Jed
  14. The Stranger (Two Souls In Communion)

Disc: 11

  1. Truckin'
  2. Epilogue
  3. Prelude
  4. Morning Dew
  5. Looks Like Rain
  6. Good Lovin'
  7. Caution (Do Not Stop On Tracks)
  8. Who Do You Love?
  9. Caution (Do Not Stop On Tracks)
  10. Good Lovin'

Disc: 12

  1. Katie Mae
  2. Dark Hollow
  3. I've Been All Around This World
  4. Wake Up Little Susie
  5. Black Peter
  6. Smokestack Lightnin'
  7. Hard To Handle
  8. Good Lovin'
  9. Big Boss Man
  10. Smokestack Lightnin' (Version Two)
  11. Sitting On Top Of The World


Product Details

  • Audio CD (October 16, 2001)
  • Rmst ed. edition
  • 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: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (48 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #69,019 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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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1 Comment 102 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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By A Customer 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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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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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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