Europe '72

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Europe '72
A painting of the Earth with a foot stepping over it, both of which are underneath a rainbow that stretches between two golden pots
Live album by Grateful Dead
Released November 5, 1972 (1972-11-05)
Recorded April–May 1972
Genre Rock
Length 109:35
Label Warner Bros.
3WX 2668
Grateful Dead chronology
Grateful Dead
(1971)
Europe '72
(1972)
History of the Grateful Dead, Volume One (Bear's Choice)
(1973)
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 4.5/5 stars[1]
Robert Christgau B+[2]
Rolling Stone (favorable)[3]

Europe '72 is a 1972 live triple album of performances by the Grateful Dead, recorded during their tour of Western Europe in early 1972. A second volume was released in 2011.

History[edit]

This was the third live double or triple album in the Dead's past five releases, revealing how the group's reputation rested on their live performances. Indeed, the liner notes simply stated: "There is nothing like a Grateful Dead concert." The album contained considerable new material in addition to versions of tracks found on previous studio albums.

Despite the band being out of the country, Europe '72 showcased the Dead's mixture of American bluegrass, folk, and country influences, and provided the culmination to the band's early 1970s sound. Archetypal American images abounded on "Jack Straw", while "Cumberland Blues" and "Tennessee Jed" were firmly rooted in their regional feeling. "Truckin'", which had recently become the band's first hit song, catalogued its own troubled-but-resilient pathway through American life. The Dead's start-stop-restart segue of "China Cat Sunflower" into "I Know You Rider" also linked their psychedelic past into a more traditional context. Reviews specially praised the track "(Walk Me Out in the) Morning Dew", a ten-minute rendition of the melancholy folk standard that features guitar crescendoes from Jerry Garcia.

The tour represented by this album was Ron "Pigpen" McKernan's last with the Dead before he died in 1973, and the last album he would feature on as an active member. It was the first album to feature Keith Godchaux and his wife Donna Jean Godchaux.

Originally a triple album on vinyl, Europe '72 was later reissued as a two-disc CD in 1990 and again in 2001 with bonus tracks as part of the band's box set, The Golden Road (1965–1973).

Europe '72 has been the Dead's best-selling live album, and one of their best-selling albums overall, achieving double platinum status in the U.S.

Although Europe '72 is billed as a live album, the songs featured on the release were subject to significant overdubs after the fact, specifically with respect to the lush harmony vocals.[4] Unadulterated multitrack recordings of the performances used for the album are no longer available (because they were simply snipped from the multitrack concert tapes whereupon the band overdubbed directly onto them, destroying the originals) but, for example, the available two-track soundboard recording of the May 10, 1972 show indicates the band had not yet figured out the vocal arrangements for "He's Gone" that would later be overdubbed in the United States.

Europe '72: The Complete Recordings[edit]

These "lost" original multitrack recordings have been recovered. Early in 2011, dead.net has announced a release of the complete Europe '72 shows, every note played on all 22 shows for the tour, under the name Europe '72: The Complete Recordings. Initially, this was to have been around 60 CDs but this was later revised, coincidentally it was claimed, to be 72 CDs. Once the final box set was completed, there were 73 CDs.

Per dead.net, as a hedge against the costs of the nearly two-month trip, the Dead’s label, Warner Bros., paid for the band to lug around a 16-track recorder to capture the entire tour. Demand from fans was higher than expected, and the limited numbered box set of 7,200 copies sold out as a pre-order in less than four days. The first three thousand copies ordered were also given a custom personalization option. A music only version without the limited box set accoutrements has been made available, though this may be limited in release as well. The box set shipped in September 2011.[4] Those who purchased the box set had mixed opinions of its sound quality. Some were delighted by the new mixes, but many participants in the online discussion at deadnetcentral.com argued that although the sound improves upon that of previously circulating recordings in some respects, it is quite disappointing in others. An especially common complaint was that in many cases Keith Godchaux's piano, a crucial element of the band's sound during this period, is buried so deep in the mix that it is nearly inaudible.

Cover art and packaging[edit]

Europe '72's packaging was designed by Alton Kelly and Stanley Mouse under their Kelly/Mouse Studios name (they also did other Dead albums) and set against mostly white, empty foldouts. The front cover shows a large Truckin' boot crossing the Atlantic, while the back cover depicts the corresponding Truckin' fool smashing an ice cream cone against his forehead. (Some of the ice cream flying through the air spells out the word "LIVE".)

The inside cover credits are in a reserved type font, but do not forget to list "Family", including Mountain Girl. The included color booklet contains photos of European sites and the concerts, a quote from Revelation, and a long account of how the tour split into two factions, the Bozos and the Bolos, with references to St. Dilbert and the Feast of Fools.

On the cover of the 2003 CD re-release, the former back cover now becomes the front cover, and likewise the former front cover becomes the back.

Track listing[edit]

Side one
No. Title Length
1. "Cumberland Blues" (Jerry Garcia, Robert Hunter, and Phil Lesh) 5:47
2. "He's Gone" (Garcia and Hunter) 7:12
3. "One More Saturday Night" (Bob Weir) 4:45
Side two
No. Title Length
4. "Jack Straw" (Hunter and Weir) 4:46
5. "You Win Again" (Hank Williams) 3:54
6. "China Cat Sunflower" (Garcia and Hunter) 5:33
7. "I Know You Rider" (trad., arr. The Grateful Dead) 4:55
Side three
No. Title Length
8. "Brown-Eyed Woman" (Garcia and Hunter) 4:55
9. "Hurts Me Too" (Elmore James) 7:18
10. "Ramble On Rose" (Garcia and Hunter) 6:09
Side four
No. Title Length
11. "Sugar Magnolia" (Hunter and Weir) 7:04
12. "Mr. Charlie" (Hunter and Ron "Pigpen" McKernan) 3:40
13. "Tennessee Jed" (Garcia and Hunter) 7:13
Side five
No. Title Length
14. "Truckin'" (Garcia, Hunter, Lesh, and Weir) 13:08
15. "Epilogue" (Garcia, Donna Jean Godchaux, Keith Godchaux, Bill Kreutzmann, Lesh, McKernan, and Weir) 4:33
Side six
No. Title Length
16. "Prelude" (Garcia, Donna Jean Godchaux, Keith Godchaux, Kreutzmann, Lesh, McKernan, and Weir) 8:08
17. "Morning Dew" (Bonnie Dobson and Tim Rose) 10:35
Further information: The Golden Road (1965–1973)

Recording dates[edit]

The actual dates for most of the tracks have been determined as follows:[5]

  • "Cumberland Blues", "Looks Like Rain", and "The Yellow Dog Story" – April 8, 1972 at Wembley Empire Pool, Wembley
  • "Brown-Eyed Women" and tracks 6–10 on disc 11 – April 14, 1972 at Tivolis Koncertsal, Copenhagen
  • "The Stranger (Two Souls in Communion)" – April 26, 1972 at Jahrhundert Halle, Frankfurt
  • "Jack Straw", "China Cat Sunflower", "I Know You Rider" and "Tennessee Jed" – May 3, 1972 at Olympia Theatre, Paris
  • "Sugar Magnolia" – May 4, 1972 at Olympia Theatre, Paris
  • "He's Gone" – May 10, 1972 at Concertgebouw, Amsterdam
  • "Mr. Charlie" – May 23, 1972 at Lyceum Theatre, London
  • "You Win Again" and "Hurts Me Too" – May 24, 1972 at Lyceum Theatre, London
  • "Truckin'", "Epilogue", "Prelude", "Morning Dew", "One More Saturday Night", "Ramble on Rose" – May 26, 1972 at Lyceum Theatre, London

Personnel[edit]

The Grateful Dead

Charts[edit]

Album – Billboard

Year Chart Position
1973 Pop Albums 12[citation needed]

Singles – Billboard

Year Single Chart Position
1973 "Sugar Magnolia" Pop Singles 91[citation needed]

Certifications[edit]

The Recording Industry Association of America sales certifications for Europe '72 are:[6]

Certification Date
Gold December 14, 1972
Platinum August 24, 2001
Double Platinum August 24, 2001

References[edit]

  1. ^ Europe '72 review at AllMusic. Retrieved February 13, 2011.
  2. ^ Grateful Dead albums at RobertChristgau.com. Retrieved February 13, 2011.
  3. ^ Dupree, Tom. (January 4, 1973) Europe '72 review, Rolling Stone. Retrieved February 13, 2011.
  4. ^ a b Fricke, David. (January 19, 2011) "Grateful Dead Reach Back to Legendary 1972 Tour for Massive Box Set", Rolling Stone Retrieved February 13, 2011.
  5. ^ Europe '72 at the Grateful Dead Family Discography. Retrieved February 13, 2011.
  6. ^ "RIAA Gold & Platinum database – Europe '72". Retrieved February 13, 2011.