Released today (July 10th) is the 50th anniversary reissue of the Grateful Dead's Workingman's Dead collection. The triple-disc CD set includes the original album with newly remastered sound, plus an unreleased concert recorded on February 21st, 1971 at Port Chester, New York's Capitol Theatre. The show was mixed from the 16-track analog master tapes by Jeffrey Norman at Bob Weir‘s Marin County TRI Studios and mastered by Grammy Award-winning engineer, David Glasser.
Workingman's Dead was deemed an instant classic upon release and featured such Dead standards as “Uncle John's Band,” “Casey Jones,” and “Dire Wolf.” A vinyl picture disc of the album will be released the same day as the CD set and limited to 1,000 copies.
One of the highlights on Workingman's Dead was the Jerry Garcia / Robert Hunter tune, “New Speedway Boogie,” which touched upon the events at the December 6th, 1969 Rolling Stones' free concert at Livermore, California's Altamont Speedway. Although the Dead was slated to play prior to the Stones, due to the violence around the stage exacerbated by the Hells Angels — the band begged off from performing. Later that night, an Angel murdered a concertgoer, who was seen brandishing a gun.
In May 1970, while on tour with the Grateful Dead in Europe, Jerry Garcia took time out to compare and contrast the previous year's era-defining concerts: “With Woodstock and Altamont, the same situations were prevailing. It was free — essentially — and it was also completely without control of any sort. Y'know, there were no police. There's no way you can realistically control that size, really. You can't expect to. The way I saw it, both of those situations were being, like, two sides of the same coin. It's like two ways that that kind of expression can go; y'know, a huge number of people and no rules. And one of the ways, obviously it can go is a terrible bummer — like Altamont, and one of the other ways is into an immensely joyful scene — like Woodstock.”
IN OTHER DEAD NEWS
Newly launched is “The Good Ol’ Grateful Deadcast,” the official Grateful Dead podcast. The podcast’s tagline is “For The Committed And The Curious” as episodes will invite new fans to explore the band’s enormous mythology in digestible chunks and enlighten life-long Dead Heads about corners of the band’s history they never knew existed. No topic will be off limits on “The Good Ol’ Grateful Deadcast.”
The first eight episodes will explore Workingman’s Dead, as a tie-in to the album’s 50th anniversary.
For each episode, the hosts will be joined by special guests from the Grateful Dead universe including Trixie Garcia (Jerry Garcia‘s daughter), David Lemieux (Grateful Dead legacy manager and archivist), Dennis McNally (author and the band’s former publicist), and Bill “Grateful Red” Walton (NBA Champion and famous Dead Head).