50 Greatest Live Albums of All Time

You wanted the best and you got it!

Load Previous
Grateful Dead, 'Europe '72' (1972)
50
19/50

19. Grateful Dead, 'Europe '72' (1972)

Steppin' Out was the original title of this triple-vinyl distillation of the Dead's first extended European tour. With Bill Kreutzmann masterfully drumming alone following the resignation of Mickey Hart, and augmented the previous fall by Keith Godchaux's elegant piano, the Dead leaned toward the pared-down sound they'd perfected on their previous studio albums, Workingman's Dead and American Beauty. Indeed, Europe '72 arguably completes an acid-Americana trilogy insofar as it features a handful of sepia-toned new tunes: "He's Gone," "Jack Straw," "Brown-Eyed Women," "Ramble on Rose," and "Tennessee Jed." It also eliminates nearly all crowd noise and contains enough post-tour overdubs (mainly in the vocals department) to suggest a live-studio hybrid, with Jerry Garcia's joyously apocalyptic "Morning Dew" as its show-stopping closer. The Dead's best-selling live album also marked the group's final recording with singer-keyboardist Ron "Pigpen" McKernan, who died the following year. Richard Gehr

Back to Top