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What is your favorite year of Grateful Dead?

May 05, 2015


First Dead show was 1994

By wrongwayfeeling - 05/13/15

Yeh,72….Pigpen was still around,Keith was fresh and Jerry migrated to a Strat…..the evidence is Europe 72…a stellar year !

By bad head 77 - 05/13/15

‘71 had Fillmore East - ‘nuf said

By Lazy Lightning23 - 05/13/15

The premise is like asking what is your favorite flavor of ice cream for a banana split…  It’s all good in its own way.  All a bit unique with pillars to stand tall


By DEADbEAT 90.1 KPFT Houston - 05/13/15

Such a tough choice between 1973 and 1977, but I had to go with 73 as that was the year of my first show

By SSK - 05/13/15


By Big B - 05/13/15

1974….it had some great Winterland shows.  But I loved my first show on 2/9/73 at Stanford.

By RP - 05/13/15

I get it, music is so subjective. However, to vote for any year beyond 1977 tells me that “one” hasn’t spent any time really listening to the dead. I prefer, again, subjective, the balls to the wall sound they produced by 1971. Love 68’ to 73’ period, and 77’. No doubt historic shows can be found in every year, but the true music was pre 1977!!  Before Garcia found the Horse.

By erljay - 05/13/15

I said ‘71 cause it’s pre Donna and they’d already perfected a large portion of the songs that would continue in the repertoire for decades. Then she came around with that caterwalling noise and ruined every OMSN and others til she (too bad about Keith) got booted and the vocals returned to normal.

By Piston Pete - 05/13/15

I still favor the early days - pre-Deadhead days - when it was still about the music, the be-ins, free concerts, etc. and less about the merchandizing of the Dead culture that started in the late 70s and really got out of control in the mid-80s.  You could see them free it seemed like a couple of times each week depending on how far you wanted to travel up/down the Bay Area.
I also love the jokes about the 80s - when other musicians would joke about needing to tune up because they’re not the GD and are just not good enough (as the Dead) to play out of tune yet.

By trappercreek - 05/13/15

Those that weren’t there in force in 69 just can’t understand.

the rest of the years were recovery in a way… smile

By John - 05/13/15

Just picked 1970 for one show May 10 Atlanta Sports Arena. That being said there were a lot of good years

By jkonly1 - 05/13/15

Hard Choice but I had a lot of fun being on tour in 87. They all were/are Great and I am Grateful for every show I was lucky enough to be at!

By Jack Straw - 05/13/15

I’m partial to ‘74 because of Wall’o'Sound and my 1st trip (UCSB 25may)

By Uncle Les - 05/13/15

70 (when the double drums thundered, the band improvised at each other like mad, and Pig still swaggered out to own the place) over ‘71 by a nose when losing Mickey for a while held back an otherwise great year.  ‘72 is actually highly overrated. Try listening to some of the Europe ‘72 Box set sober.  Even at the time the Europe ‘72 lp struck me as their first disappointing album, and as good as he was it did take Keith a while to step out and announce himself.  ‘73-‘74 definitely had great jazzy influences and some great shows but was overtaken too often by self-indulgent noodling. ‘77-‘78 was the other great period, only to be subverted by the growing influence of Persian white and the loss of Keith. Despite what the younger heads want to believe, Brent never could play in Keith’s league. Everything later suffered from Jerry’s ups and dooowwwnnnnns.

By Bruce Scotton - 05/14/15

‘71’ The best by far!

By JC - 05/14/15


By Bill Ferny - 05/14/15

If it was just for “favourite single show” I’d go ‘68 or ‘69. But for “favourite year” I’m going 1973. No Pigpen or Hart, but all the boys at their best and almost all the best songs written, so you could get to a show and expect anything from Dark Star, Other One, Eyes, Stella Blue, Truckin’, Playing, Morning Dew .... you name it.

By whiteskyBlues - 05/14/15

I agree with some other folks’ comments: any year before 1977. You might’ve had to live it to believe it, but everything just started to go downhill after ‘77. But we’ve had enough ‘77 releases, so I say put out every recording from ‘69 , ‘70 or ‘71; preferably 1969, when they changed my life.
I can’t think of any big shows from ‘86 that deserve so many votes…. but don’t remember that year every well. Telluride?

By UncleSam - 05/14/15

I picked 77, but everything leading up to the 74 hiatus is also high on my list. My first show was in 73 and I agree that after Kieth & Donna departed it was all downhill with a few bright spots.

By Tony Mennone - 05/15/15

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