The Grateful Dead finished up a tumultuous 1976 with their New Year’s Eve appearance at San Francisco’s Cow Palace. They began the year with a series of “hit and run” shows, their first since 1974. The band split with United Artists and went shopping for a new record label, after their experiment with Grateful Dead Records fell apart.
Plans to release the film of their week-long run of Winterland shows stalled, although they did put out a two-record set of the concerts – “Steal Your Face” – which satisfied their obligations to UA. Most fans consider it the worst Dead album ever.
But as the year ended, they began a transition which would buoy their greatest commercial successes, signing with Clive Davis’s Artista Records and beginning work on “Terrapin Station.” Over the course of their Arista career, they went from being a cult band to an institution, releasing “Shakedown Street,” “Go To Heaven,” and “In The Dark,” their best-selling studio album.
There’s a sense of the greatness to come in this concert recording, due to be released January 23. Every second of the concert is included in the recording; Rhino is streaming Disk 2, which includes the following songs:
1. Sugar Magnolia >
2. Eyes Of The World >
3. Wharf Rat >
4. Good Lovin’ >
5. Samson and Delilah
6. Scarlet Begonias
Fans who advance purchase the set on the Dead’s website get a nice freebie:
All pre-orders of the Grateful Dead’s Cow Palace release will receive a very special bonus CD, Spirit of ‘76, featuring more than an hour of previously unreleased music from 1976, produced especially for this release. Highlights are numerous, including exquisite renditions of “The Music Never Stopped” and “Crazy Fingers” from 6/9/76, “Let It Grow” and “Might As Well” from 10/2/76, and the magnificent “Playing In The Band” >”Supplication” >”Playing In The Band” jam from 9/24/76. This CD is available only through GDStore.com for a limited time when you purchase the Cow Palace release.