http://assets-s3.rollingstone.com/assets/images/album_review/7efd0752a8ae6765e1dc88458bf53404a7e04d0c.jpg Winterland 1973: The Complete Recordings

The Grateful Dead

Winterland 1973: The Complete Recordings

Rolling Stone: star rating
Community: star rating
5 4 0
April 17, 2008

Late 1973 was a high time for the Grateful Dead. In October, they issued the first album on their own label, Wake of the Flood, a Top Twenty hit. The Dead had also beat the devilry of arena acoustics with amonstrous, traveling PA that was worth the bills just for the ice-knifeslice of Jerry Garcia's guitar solos. A running joy across this nine-CD box, recorded November 9th-11th in the Dead's Seventies Bay Area playpen, is the clarity and agility of Garcia's outbursts in the roamingspells of "Eyes of the World" and "Weather Report Suite." Oiled and armed from a good year on tour (including the Watkins Glen festival in July), the entire band is in buoyant form, juggling dynamics — country, psychedelic strut and spaced exploration (a gorgeous free-fall "DarkStar") — with a connected poise that peaks on the 10th in awinding-river ride in and out of "Playing in the Band," "Uncle John's Band" and "Morning Dew." These shows were a return to balance for the Dead. In March 1973, organist Ron "Pigpen" McKernan died, and the losslooms big in the slow, deep breaths of "Row Jimmy," "Wharf Rat" and the11th's closing hymn, "And We Bid You Goodnight." As the Dead would cometo know, over and over, the road goes on forever. But the warriors donot.

Album Review Main Next


Community Guidelines »
loading comments

loading comments...


Sort by:
    Read More
    Around the Web
    Powered By ZergNet
    Daily Newsletter

    Get the latest RS news in your inbox.

    Sign up to receive the Rolling Stone newsletter and special offers from RS and its
    marketing partners.


    We may use your e-mail address to send you the newsletter and offers that may interest you, on behalf of Rolling Stone and its partners. For more information please read our Privacy Policy.

    Song Stories

    “San Francisco Mabel Joy”

    Mickey Newbury | 1969

    A country-folk song of epic proportions, "San Francisco Mabel Joy" tells the tale of a poor Georgia farmboy who wound up in prison after a move to the Bay Area found love turning into tragedy. First released by Mickey Newbury in 1969, it might be more familiar through covers by Waylon Jennings, Joan Baez and Kenny Rogers. "It was a five-minute song written in a two-minute world," Newbury said. "I was told it would never be cut by any artist ... I was told you could not use the term 'redneck' in a song and get it recorded."

    More Song Stories entries »