On October 1st the Grateful Dead will release Listen To The River: St. Louis ’71 ’72 ’73 — a massive 20-CD limited edition box set featuring seven previously unreleased concerts recorded in the city over a three-year-span. The band will also be issuing their December 10th, 1971 Fox Theatre show as a stand-alone triple-CD set and a limited-edition five-LP set on 180-gram vinyl.
The 20-disc set includes previously unreleased concerts recorded on: December 9th and 10, 1971 at the Fox Theatre; October 17th, 18th, 19th, 1972 at the Fox Theatre; and October 29th and 30th, 1973 at Kiel Auditorium. Each show was restored, and speed corrected using Plangent Processes with mastering by Jeffrey Norman.
A previously unreleased performance of “Sugaree” from the December 10th, 1971 Fox Theatre show is available now on all digital download and streaming services.
David Lemieux, Grateful Dead archivist and the set’s producer explained in the official announcement:
There are a only few truly great eras in the Grateful Dead’s performing history that span more than a year and one of the very best is the transitional period that covers December 1971 through Fall of 1973. This was a period during which the Dead solidified their touring format (several distinct, somewhat short, geographically defined tours every year), where every night the Dead would wow their fans with a mix of over six years of music that clearly demonstrated their many transitions and transmutations.
The seven shows in this boxed set perfectly summarize 22 months of Grateful Dead music, performances, and growth. . . And what better city to focus these show selections on than St. Louis, which always brought out the very best in the Grateful Dead.
Dead co-founder Bill Kreutzmann told us he believes that although revered by the Dead’s audience, one of the primary reasons why the band is so beloved is because they were never larger than life, just happy and proud, working musicians: “We’re people, we weren’t gods or anything. I know we’re held in incredibly high esteem — our Deadhead fans, thank you very, very much — but we are just people and we all learned to play an instrument and we got together at the right time. It was synchronicity at its best, I would say.”