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Grateful Dead To Release Box Set of 1977 Tour

Grateful Dead
Sara D. Davis, Getty Images

For fans of the Grateful Dead, their May 8, 1977 concert at Cornell University remains a touchstone moment, perhaps the most cherished set in a tapestry of legendary shows. Now, the band wants to expand that legend with a new ultra-rare 14-disc box set focusing on five complete shows from that ’77 tour.

‘MAY 1977,’ which is due June 11, features concerts from St. Paul on May 11, 1977, Chicago on May 12 and 13, St. Louis on May 15 and Tuscaloosa, Ala. on May 17, with mastering in HDCD by Jeffrey Norman — who has overseen similar projects with John Fogerty, Huey Lewis and the News, and others.

The concerts feature tunes from across the Dead’s storied career, including classics like ‘Brown-Eyed Women’ and ‘Uncle John’s Band’ (both were played at all five shows) as well as then-new songs from the group’s forthcoming ninth studio effort ‘Terrapin Station’ like ‘Estimated Prophet,’ ‘Samson and Delilah’ and the title track — all of which would soon become concert staples. Several other tracks also debuted during this amazing string of dates, among them ‘Jack-A-Roe’ and ‘Passenger.’

Only 15,000 individually numbered editions of ‘MAY 1977′ will be produced, with psychedelic-style packaging courtesy of Grammy-winning graphic artist Masaki Koike (Black Sabbath, Cream and Joni Mitchell, among others). The set will also be available as a digital download, using Apple Lossless and FLAC technology, beginning on June 11. Price for the CD collection is $139.98; the digital edition is available for $99.98. You can pre-order the box set at their website.

‘MAY 1977′ follows a pair of previous Dead.net projects in 2011′s ‘Europe ’72: The Complete Recordings’ and 2012′s ‘Spring 1990,’ both of which sold out in the pre-ordering period.

Next: Top 10 Grateful Dead Albums

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