Vinyl Me, Please Announces ‘The Story Of The Grateful Dead’ Reissue Box Set
Vinyl Me, Please announced the upcoming release of VMP Anthology: The Story of the Grateful Dead reissue box set featuring eight classic Grateful Dead albums. Included are the Dead’s studio albums, Workingman’s Dead, American Beauty, Wake of the Flood and Terrapin Station and the live albums Live Dead, Europe ‘72 Vol. 1, Reckoning and Without a Net. Orders are expected to ship this summer.
The limited-edition (7,500 copies) Jeremy Dean-designed box comes with extensive liner notes written by several musicians, with essays by Margo Price, STS9’s Hunter Brown, My Morning Jacket’s Jim James, Hiss Golden Messenger’s MC Taylor, Animal Collective’s Avey Tare, Dirty Projectors’ Dave Longstreth, The National’s Scott Devendorf, The Mountain Goats’ John Darnielle and The Decemberists’ Jenny Conlee. The booklet also features rare photos and other ephemera from the eras represented on the records.
Margo Price on Wake Of The Flood:
There’s no denying the desolate thoughtfulness on “Stella Blue,” with its heavy stoner tempo and its diminished Beatlesque harmonies, It’s played so slow, it feels like it could fall apart at any moment. But then suddenly everything falls perfectly in place, and the song is laced together with Jerry’s pedal steel playing. Love, LSD and this album go hand in hand … I still remember dropping the needle, dropping acid and letting the lyrics wash over me.
Hunter Brown on Europe ’72:
The hours we spent on the road listening to this music in those early days left an everlasting impression on us. There’s a place we explore in our improvs that is undeniably influenced from this time: the interplay between the guitars and keys, the tension and release, their willingness to take it to the edge and beyond. There’s a spirit of discovery and a surrender to the unknown that is key to letting the music go where it wants to go. Few artists, much less bands, reach the level of cultural significance as the Grateful Dead. “I know this song, it ain’t never gonna end” could describe their place in the American soul. They represent a part of who we are as a society. There’s something about the Dead that feels forever and true. Their music is from the edge of western civilization, where new myths are made about the future.
Jim James on American Beauty:
The possibility of it all … I’ve always been into a wide variety of music, but there was just something about this music I had never felt before. When someone hears the Grateful Dead, in whatever state or form it may hit you in — and there are many — they feel the way they WANT to feel. And in wishing to feel how the music sounds, eventually you DO start to feel that way! Whenever I hear Jerry or Bobby’s voices, or the shifting sounds of the band hit me, the emotion that registers is limitless possibility. This is how I wish I could feel; this is how I want to feel. And, if I listen hard enough, this is how I can feel. And I have listened. And I have felt. And I am forever changed.
As with past VMP anthologies, an accompanying podcast series taking a deep-dive into The Story Of The Grateful Dead was announced. VMP will also present a weekly livestreaming series exclusive to those who purchase the anthology that will feature a live Q&A with Grateful Dead’s official archivist David Lemieux and other yet-to-be-announced guests.
VMP Anthology: The Story of the Grateful Dead was created from new lacquers cut by Chris Bellman at Bernie Grundman Mastering in Hollywood. Each of the albums were sourced from their original analog master tapes — with the exception of original master digital audio used for 1990’s Without A Net — and “AAA” (completely analog) mastered and pressed at QRP on 180g colored vinyl. Watch Bellman discuss the process below: