Owsley’s Picks: Grateful Dead Preps ‘Bear’s Choice’ 50th Anniversary Reissue
History Of The Grateful Dead, Volume 1 (Bear’s Choice 50th Anniversary Edition) showcases the late Ron “Pigpen” McKernan.
By Scott Bernstein Mar 8, 2023 • 12:56 pm PST
The Grateful Dead’s 1973 live album History Of The Grateful Dead, Volume 1 (Bear’s Choice) has been newly remastered to celebrate the seven-track collection’s 50th anniversary. History Of The Grateful Dead, Volume 1 (Bear’s Choice 50th Anniversary Edition) is due out on vinyl and via digital streaming platforms on May 5.
Bear’s Choice showcases Dead co-founder and original frontman Ron “Pigpen” McKernan, who tragically died 50 years ago today at age 27. The album collects highlights from the band’s February 13 and 14, 1970 performances at New York City’s Fillmore East. Grateful Dead benefactor and original sound engineer Owsley “Bear” Stanley recorded and produced the set featuring three songs helmed by Pigpen. David Glasser remastered the LP from Bear’s original analog 2-track tapes using Plangent Processes.
The Grateful Dead lineup at the time Bear’s Choice was recorded saw multi-instrumentalist Pigpen joined by guitarists Jerry Garcia and Bob Weir, bassist Phil Lesh and drummers Mickey Hart and Bill Kreutzmann. Stanley was tapped following Pigpen’s death to curate the album in partnership with the band to honor McKernan. History Of The Grateful Dead, Volume 1 (Bear’s Choice 50th Anniversary Edition) is available for pre-order now.
Official Grateful Dead podcast The Good Ol’ Grateful Deadcast launched its seventh season today. The first two episodes focus on Pigpen and are based in part of an array of newly unearthed documents and recordings from the McKernan family archive. Co-hosts Jesse Jarnow and Rich Mahan enlisted a number of guests to contribute interviews including former Dead keyboardist Tom Constanten, GD legacy manager David Lemieux, McKernan archivist Jim Sullivan, Merry Prankster Denise Kaufman of Ace of Cups and more.
Listen to the first episode of The Good Ol’ Grateful Deadcast’s new season below:
History Of The Grateful Dead, Volume 1 (Bear’s Choice 50th Anniversary Edition) Tracklist
- Katie Mae
- Dark Hollow
- I’ve Been All Around This World
- Wake Up Little Suzie
- Black Peter
- Smokestack Lightnin’
- Hard To Handle
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