Grateful Dead

~ Group


The Grateful Dead was an American rock band formed in 1965 in Palo Alto, California. Ranging from quintet to septet, the band was known for its unique and eclectic style, which fused elements of country, folk, bluegrass, blues, reggae, rock, improvisational jazz, psychedelia, space rock, for live performances of lengthy instrumental jams, and for their devoted fan base, known as "Deadheads". "Their music," writes Lenny Kaye, "touches on ground that most other groups don't even know exists." These various influences were distilled into a diverse and psychedelic whole that made the Grateful Dead "the pioneering Godfathers of the jam band world". The band was ranked 57th in the issue The Greatest Artists of all Time by Rolling Stone magazine. The band was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1994 and their Barton Hall Concert at Cornell University (May 8, 1977) was added to the Library of Congress's National Recording Registry. The Grateful Dead have sold more than 35 million albums worldwide.

The Grateful Dead was founded in the San Francisco Bay Area amid the rise of counterculture of the 1960s. The founding members were Jerry Garcia (guitar), Bob Weir (guitar, vocals), Ron "Pigpen" McKernan (keyboards, harmonica, vocals), Phil Lesh (bass, vocals), and Bill Kreutzmann (drums). Members of the Grateful Dead had played together in various San Francisco bands, including Mother McCree's Uptown Jug Champions and the Warlocks. Lesh was the last member to join the Warlocks before they became the Grateful Dead; he replaced Dana Morgan Jr., who had played bass for a few gigs. Drummer Mickey Hart and nonperforming lyricist Robert Hunter joined in 1967. With the exception of McKernan, who died in 1973, and Hart, who took time off from 1971 to 1974, the core of the band stayed together for its entire 30-year history. The other official members of the band are Tom Constanten (keyboards 1968–1970), Keith Godchaux (keyboards 1971–1979), Donna Godchaux (vocals 1972–1979), Brent Mydland (keyboards, vocals 1979–1990), and Vince Welnick (keyboards, vocals 1990–1995). Pianist Bruce Hornsby was a touring member from 1990 to 1992, as well as guesting with the band on occasion before and after.

The band and its fans ("Deadheads") are closely associated with the hippie movement and were seen as a form of institution in the culture of America for many years. Former members of the Grateful Dead, along with other musicians, toured as the Dead in 2003, 2004, and 2009 after touring as the Other Ones in 1998, 2000, and 2002. There are many contemporary incarnations of the Dead, with the most prominent touring acts being Furthur, Phil Lesh & Friends, RatDog, and the Rhythm Devils with drummers Mickey Hart and Bill Kreutzmann. The group performed together again for their fiftieth anniversary, with Trey Anastasio of Phish, in what the band announced would be their final concerts.

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Year Title RatingReleases
1967 The Grateful Dead 3
1968 Anthem of the Sun 4 5
1969 Aoxomoxoa 4
1970 Workingman’s Dead 4 6
1970 American Beauty 4 14
1971 Historic Dead 1
1973 Wake of the Flood 6
1974 From the Mars Hotel 5
1975 Blues for Allah 4
1977 Terrapin Station 8
1978 Shakedown Street 4
1980 Go to Heaven 4 4
1987 In the Dark 6
1989 Built to Last 2
2015 Dave's Picks, Volume 16 1
Europe '72: Beat Club, Bremen, West Germany (4/21/1972) 0
Europe '72: City Hall, Newcastle, England (4/11/1972) 0
Europe '72: Concertgebouw, Amsterdam, Holland (5/10/1972) 0
Europe '72: Grote Zaal, De Doelen, Rotterdam, Holland (5/11/1972) 0
Europe '72: Jahrhunderthalle, Frankfurt, West Germany (4/26/1972) 0
Europe '72: Kongressaal, Munich, West Germany (5/18/1972) 0
Europe '72: L'Esplanade de Lille, Lille, France (5/13/1972) 0
Europe '72: L'Olympia, Paris, France (5/3/1972) 0
Europe '72: L'Olympia, Paris, France (5/4/1972) 0
Europe '72: Musikhalle, Hamburg, West Germany (4/29/1972) 0
Europe '72: Rheinhalle, Düsseldorf, West Germany (4/24/1972) 0
Europe '72: Stakladen, Aarhus University, Aarhus, Denmark (4/16/1972) 0
Europe '72: Strand Lyceum, London, England (5/23/1972) 0
Europe '72: Strand Lyceum, London, England (5/24/1972) 0
Europe '72: Strand Lyceum, London, England (5/25/1972) 0
Europe '72: Strand Lyceum, London, England (5/26/1972) 0
Europe '72: Studio du Grand Theatre de la ville de Luxembourg, Luxembourg (5/16/1972) 0
Europe '72: Tivoli Concert Hall, Copenhagen, Denmark (4/14/1972) 0
Europe '72: Tivoli Concert Hall, Copenhagen, Denmark (4/17/1972) 0
Europe '72: Wembley Empire Pool, London, England (4/7/1972) 0
Europe '72: Wembley Empire Pool, London, England (4/8/1972) 0
Europe '72: Wembley Empire Pool, London, England (4/8/1972) 0
Europe '72: Wigan, England (5/7/1972) 0

Album + Compilation

Year Title RatingReleases
1972 Pop History vol. 13 : The Grateful Dead 1
1972 The history of The Grateful Dead 1
1974 Skeletons From the Closet: The Best of the Grateful Dead 3
1977 What a Long Strange Trip It's Been: The Best of the Grateful Dead 2
1996 The Arista Years 1
2001 The Golden Road (1965–1973) 3
2003 Birth of the Dead 1
2003 The Very Best of Grateful Dead 1
2004 Beyond Description (1973–1989) 1
2005 Rare Cuts & Oddities 1966 1
2007 Grateful Dead 1
2011 Flashback With the Grateful Dead 1

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