Grateful Dead

~ Group


The Grateful Dead were 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, vocals), 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 1971-1974, 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.

Further solidifying their fame, a couple of the Grateful Dead were admitted into the highly exclusive gentlemen's Bohemian Club - unusual for musicians. Only on occasion were musicians allowed among the many world leaders and businessmen of the secretive Bohemian Grove; the only known other being Steve Miller.

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Year Title Artist RatingReleases
1972 Revelations: A Musical Anthology for Glastonbury Fayre Various Artists 5 2
2002 Road Rock Various Artists 1
2015 Greatest Ever! Classic Rock Various Artists 1

Album + Compilation

Year Title Artist RatingReleases
1970 Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies Various Artists 1
1985 Arista's Perfect 10 Rides Again Various Artists 1
1987 Classic Rock Various Artists 1
1987 Highs of the Seventies Various Artists 2
1988 Stereoplay Highlights CD 34 Various Artists 1
1989 Greenpeace: Rainbow Warriors Various Artists 4 4
1989 Sounds of the Seventies: 1970 Various Artists 1
1989 Sounds of the Seventies: 1971 Various Artists 1
1991 Arista: A 15 Year History of Rock Various Artists 1
1992 Sounds of the Seventies: FM Rock Various Artists 1
1992 Sounds of the Seventies: FM Rock II Various Artists 1
1993 The Rolling Stone Collection: 25 Years of Essential Rock Various Artists 2
1994 Guitar Rock: 1970-1971 Various Artists 1
1994 Guitar Rock: The Early '70s Various Artists 1
1994 Let There Be Drums! Volume 3: The '70s Various Artists 1
1994 Warriors KFOG Jam Various Artists 1
1995 10 Great Artists - 10 Great Songs Various Artists 1
1995 18 Free and Easy Hits From the 70's Various Artists 1
1996 Television's Greatest Hits, Volume 6: Remote Control Various Artists 1
1997 Mellow Rock Hits of the 70's: Ventura Highway Various Artists 1
1997 More Sun Splashin' Various Artists 1
1997 The Power of Rock Various Artists 1
1997 50 Hits of the Sixties and of Woodstock Generation Various Artists 1
1997 Ocean of Sound 4: Guitars on Mars Various Artists 1
1997 The Ultimate Rock Collection: Gold and Platinum Various Artists 1
1998 The Number One's: Classic Rock Various Artists 4 1
1998 Classic Rock: 1970-1974 Various Artists 1
1999 CQC 40 Clásicos Originales Del Rock Various Artists 1
1999 Hard Rock Cafe: Rockin' Down the Highway Various Artists 1
1999 Poplife Various Artists 1
1999 Saturday Night Live: 25 Years of Musical Performances, Volume 1 Various Artists 2
1999 The Very Best of Blues Various Artists 1
2000 Entertainment Weekly: The Greatest Hits 1987 Various Artists 1
2000 Singers and Songwriters: 1970-1971 Various Artists 1
2001 NASCAR: Full Throttle Various Artists 1
2001 75 Hits History of Pop Various Artists 1
2001 Singers and Songwriters: 1969-1972 Various Artists 1
2001 Singers and Songwriters: 1970-1974 Various Artists 1
2001 Singers and Songwriters: Mid-'70s Various Artists 1
2002 Songs 2: Best of Westcoast Various Artists 1
2002 Best Of Hardrock Vol. 2 Various Artists 1
2003 Hypnotized: The Ultimate FM Collection 1967–76 Various Artists 1
2003 Legends: Ultimate Rock Collection: Crank It Up Various Artists 5 1
2003 Legends: Ultimate Rock Collection: Get It On Various Artists 3
2004 Weir Here: The Best of Bob Weir Bob Weir 1
2004 Billboard #1s: The ’80s Various Artists 1
2004 Peace & Love: The Woodstock Generation Various Artists 1

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