Postcards of the Hanging

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Postcards of the Hanging
Grateful Dead - Postcards of the Hanging.jpg
Live album by The Grateful Dead
Released March, 2002
Recorded June 10, 1973 – March 24, 1990
Genre Rock
Length 75:39
(bonus disc 10:14)
Label Grateful Dead / Arista
The Grateful Dead chronology
Dick's Picks Volume 24
Postcards of the Hanging
Dick's Picks Volume 25
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 4/5 stars[1]
The Music Box 4/5 stars[2]

Postcards of the Hanging is a compilation album by the Grateful Dead. It consists entirely of Bob Dylan covers, performed live in concert, along with a rehearsal performance of "Man of Peace" featuring the Grateful Dead backing Dylan himself.[3] Bob Weir sings lead on six tracks, Jerry Garcia on two, and Brent Mydland on two. Another Dylan covers collection, Garcia Plays Dylan, includes performances by the Grateful Dead, but mostly by the Jerry Garcia Band and other Garcia side projects.

The title comes from the opening stanza of Dylan's "Desolation Row":

They're selling postcards of the hanging
They're painting the passports brown


Almost all of the songs on the album originally appeared on the Dylan albums Bringing It All Back Home and Highway 61 Revisited which, aside from being among his most critically revered, date from 1965, coinciding with the Grateful Dead's formative year. The songs remained in the Dead's live rotation throughout their existence. However, conspicuously unrepresented in the compilation is "Knockin' on Heaven's Door", which the Dead performed over 170 times. Conversely, "It Takes a Lot to Laugh, It Takes a Train to Cry" was performed a few times in the early 1990s, and only once in the 1970s – the version included here, accompanied by Dickey Betts and Butch Trucks. Dylan himself leads the band on the final track of the main disc, a rehearsal for a 1987 tour for which the Dead were his backing band.[4]

Track listing[edit]

All songs written by Bob Dylan

  1. "When I Paint My Masterpiece" – 6:11
  2. "She Belongs to Me" – 7:20
  3. "Just Like Tom Thumb's Blues" – 4:29
  4. "Maggie's Farm" – 6:13
  5. "Stuck Inside of Mobile with the Memphis Blues Again" – 8:07
  6. "It Takes a Lot to Laugh, It Takes a Train to Cry" – 7:35
  7. "Ballad of a Thin Man" – 6:40
  8. "Desolation Row" – 9:55
  9. "All Along the Watchtower" 5:44
  10. "It's All Over Now, Baby Blue" – 7:23
  11. "Man of Peace" – 5:51

Bonus disc[edit]

The first release included a limited edition, 2-track bonus CD.

  1. "Queen Jane Approximately" – 6:12
  2. "Quinn the Eskimo (The Mighty Quinn)" – 4:02

Recording dates[edit]

  • "When I Paint My Masterpiece" – October 11, 1989 at Meadowlands Arena in East Rutherford, NJ
  • "She Belongs To Me" – Devore Field, Southwestern University, September 15, 1985 in Chula Vista, CA
  • "Just Like Tom Thumb's Blues" – July 12, 1989 at RFK Stadium in Washington, DC
  • "Maggie's Farm" – October 3, 1987 at Shoreline Amphitheater in Mountain View, CA (see also View from the Vault, Volume Three for more from this concert)
  • "Stuck Inside of Mobile With The Memphis Blues Again" – July 16, 1988 at The Greek Theatre, Berkeley, CA
  • "It Takes A Lot To Laugh, It Takes A Train To Cry" – June 10, 1973 at RFK Stadium in Washington, DC
  • "Ballad of a Thin Man" – April 1, 1988 at Meadowlands Arena in East Rutherford, NJ (later released with complete concert on Road Trips Volume 4 Number 2)
  • "Desolation Row" – March 24, 1990 at The Knickerbocker Arena in Albany, NY (see also Dozin' at the Knick, Spring 1990 and Without a Net for the rest of this concert)
  • "All Along The Watchtower" – July 4, 1989 at Rich Stadium, Orchard Park, NY (later also released on Truckin' Up to Buffalo in remixed form)
  • "It's All Over Now, Baby Blue" – December 3, 1981 at Dane County Coliseum in Madison,WI
  • "Man Of Peace" – June 9, 1987 (Rehearsal for Dylan & The Dead summer tour) in San Rafael
  • "Queen Jane Approximately" – December 29, 1988 at The Oakland Coliseum, CA
  • "The Mighty Quinn (Quinn The Eskimo)" – December 30, 1985 at The Oakland Coliseum, CA


Additional personnel[edit]


  • John Cutler – engineer
  • Bill Candelario – engineer
  • Jeffrey Norman – mix
  • David Gans – compilation producer
  • David Lemieux – tape archivist
  • Joe Gastwirt – mastering
  • Geoff Gans – art direction
  • Emily Burnham – illustration and design
  • Cassidy Law – album coordination
  • Ken Friedman – photography



Year Chart Position
2002 The Billboard 200 120[5]


  1. ^ Jarnow, Jesse. Postcards of the Hanging at Allmusic
  2. ^ Metzger, John. Postcards of the Hanging, The Music Box, May 2002
  3. ^ Postcards of the Hanging at the Grateful Dead Family Discography
  4. ^ Knockin' on Heaven's Door at the Grateful Dead Family Discography
  5. ^ "Billboard album chart history-Grateful Dead". Retrieved March 1, 2009.