Dark Starlets: A Europe ’72 Single-Song Mega-Mix

This mix is comprised of 21 musical segments drawn from all the “Dark Stars” performed during the Europe ’72 tour. They are arranged into two 64-minute sequences, each of which begins with the song’s intro, and each of which contains a verse. It’s all “forward moving” improvisation, whether on the “Dark Star” theme or farther afield. There’s no “space,” though the segments wind up and wind down from spacey zones, such that The Dead’s development of each musical angle here is respected, and the result feels more or less like a single performance, with ebbs and flows. If you’ve ever imagined a one-hour or two-hour “Dark Star” that never completely spaces out and keeps finding new melodic avenues, this is for you.

192kbps mp3s sourced from the official Europe '72 box (and reloaded to fix a defect)



Shortlist: Radical Edit of 11/14/73 - San Diego

This is a radical edit to highlight an extraordinary stretch of playing in this show. 

  • Truckin’ (intro and jam) > (8:52)
  • The Other One > Space > Big River Tease > The Other One > (24:18)
  • Eyes of the World (instrumental) > (7:46)
  • The Other One. (4:23)

It’s really all about “The Other One” in this night's second set, and it’s a doozy. It emerges slowly and organically from a strong “Truckin’” jam, then explores a lot of territory up to the first verse – after which it dismantles itself elegantly into a spare, expressive “Space.” “Big River” provides a dramatic running start back into some more sublime “The Other One” exploration, which eventually finds a reasonable path to “Eyes of the World.” But the second verse of “The Other One” is still hanging, so “Eyes” detours around its usual synchronized jam sequence and instead finds its way back to “The Other One,” which has its grand finale. 

The purpose of this “radical edit” was to keep this whole sequence intact, but to eliminate the actual songs, “Truckin’,” “Big River,” and “Eyes of the World,” none of which are outstanding in performance or soundboard mix.

Five pieces were sliced out, and the breaches healed, so that it sounds approximately like The Dead played it this way:

  • “Truckin’” and “Big River”: One cut each, eliminating everything from the first sung word to the last sung word. 
  • “Eyes of the World”: All three verse/chorus segments removed, but the instrumental passages between them preserved and segued together into a single big instrumental “Eyes.”

It sounds crazy, but the result is a quite wonderful 45 minutes of high-end Grateful Dead instrumental, improvisational adventure through the riffs and changes of several songs, without singing any of them except "The Other One." 

Save Your Face: Garcia Songs Live 1972-1974

This mix features a giant slice of the Jerry Garcia/Robert Hunter songbook, played and sung superbly by the late-1972 through 1974 live band. 

The intent, when I compiled and posted it three years ago was to find officially-released performances of these songs that stood up in every respect – singing, playing, and sound mix. I wanted versions you could use to prove that the songs were great, and that the live Dead were great. 1972-1974 is my favorite version of the band, despite the fact that the vocals were often a mess, in performance or in the mix. 

I limited my scope to approximately a dozen releases that I could rip straight from an official disc. I couldn’t find every song that belongs here. For instance, there wasn’t a properly-sung and powerfully-played “Uncle John’s Band” in the stack of shows I used. 

320kbps zipped mp3 download (dates and source releases are included in song tags)

SET 1 (73 minutes)

  • Bertha
  • Loser
  • Friend of the Devil
  • To Lay Me Down
  • Here Comes Sunshine
  • Deal
  • Sugaree
  • Tennessee Jed
  • He’s Gone
  • Don’t Ease Me In

SET 2 (62 minutes)

  • U.S. Blues
  • They Love Each Other
  • Loose Lucy
  • Scarlet Begonias
  • Row Jimmy
  • Eyes of the World
  • Mississippi Half-Step > We Bid You Goodnight

SET 3 (74 minutes)

  • Comes a Time
  • Stella Blue
  • Black Peter
  • Morning Dew
  • China Doll
  • Bird Song
  • Wharf Rat
  • Ship of Fools
  • Brokedown Palace

If you enjoy this experiment with an all-Garcia setlist, you might also enjoy this one.

Revised notes, September 2019