- Number of Discs: 12
- Released: October 26, 2004
- Originally Released: 2004
- Label: Grateful Dead / WEA
Description by OLDIES.com:
Bringing together the albums released on Grateful Dead Records and later Arista, this monumental 12-disc box represents the second leg of the Dead's long, strange trip. Each title is expanded with rare and previously unreleased material from the vaults -- 65 bonus tracks in all.
The box contains the albums Wake Of The Flood (1973), From The Mars Hotel (1974), Blues For Allah (1975), Terrapin Station (1977), Shakedown Street (1978), Go To Heaven (1980), Reckoning (1981), Dead Set (1981), In The Dark (1987), and Built To Last (1989). Two 100-page books include a discography, rare photos, and essays by Dennis McNally, David Fricke, David Gans, Blair Jackson, David Lemieux, and many others.
Uncut - p.1385 stars out of 5
- "This box proves again that the Dead's career remains one of the most engrossing journeys in rock'n'roll."
Dirty Linen - pp.48-49
"[T]here is a lot of great material here..."
Mojo (Publisher) - p.1164 stars out of 5
- "BEYOND DESCRIPTION presents the entire post-Warners run, and like its predecessor, is stacked with outtakes, rehearsals, live versions and demos..."
BEYOND DESCRIPTION contains: WAKE OF THE FLOOD (1973)/ GRATEFUL DEAD FROM THE MARS HOTEL (1974)/BLUES FOR ALLAH (1975)/TERRAPIN STATION (1977)/SHAKEDOWN STREET (1978)/GO TO HEAVEN (1980)/RECKONING (1981)/DEAD SET (1981)/IN THE DARK (1987)/BUILT TO LAST (1989) as well as extensive bonus material associated with each original release.
Lyricists: John Perry Barlow; Robert Hunter.
Grateful Dead: Phil Lesh (bass guitar); Donna Jean Godchaux, Jerry Garcia, Keith Godchaux, Mickey Hart, Bill Kreutzmann, Bob Weir, Brent Mydland.
Personnel: Jerry Garcia, Bob Weir (vocals, guitar, acoustic guitar); Hamza el Din (vocals, oud, hand claps); Keith Godchaux, Brent Mydland (vocals, keyboards); Phil Lesh (vocals, electric bass); Nubian Youth Choir (vocals, hand claps); Donna Jean Godchaux, Lowell George, Sarah Fulcher (vocals); Doug Sahm (12-string guitar); Matthew Kelly (harp, harmonica); Vassar Clements (violin); Steven Schuster (flute, reeds, horns); Tom Scott (saxophone, lyricon); Martin Fierro (alto saxophone, tenor saxophone); Frank Morin (tenor saxophone); Joe Ellis , Bill Atwood (trumpet); Pat O'Hara (trombone); Ned Lagin (synthesizer); Mickey Hart, Bill Kreutzmann (drums, percussion); Benny Velarde (timbales); Jordan Amarantha (percussion); Bob Bralove (programming).
Additional personnel: John McFee (pedal steel guitar); Hamza el Din (tar); Doug Sahm, Joe Ellis , Jordan Amarantha, Lowell George, Martin Fierro, Matthew Kelly , Ned Lagin, Paul Buckmaster, Steven Schuster, Tom Scott, Benny Velarde, Bill Atwood, Sarah Fulcher, Frank Morin, Pat O'Hara, The Nubian Youth Choir, The English Choral, Martin Ford Orchestra, Vassar Clements.
Audio Mixers: Grateful Dead; Don Healy; Tom Flye.
Liner Note Authors: David Lemieux; Andrew Clarke; David Gans; Ihor Slabicky; Andrew Clark ; Rip Rense; Dennis McNally; Joel Selvin; Peter Coyote; Tom Anderson ; David Fricke; Gary Lambert; Steve Silberman; Blair Jackson.
Recording information: Ace's, Mill Valley, CA (03/28/1973-10/20/1989); Air London, London, England (03/28/1973-10/20/1989); Alpine Valley, East Troy, WI (03/28/1973-10/20/1989); Automated Sound Studios, New York, NY (03/28/1973-10/20/1989); Capitol Theater, Passaic, NJ (03/28/1973-10/20/1989); CBS Studios, San Francisco, CA (03/28/1973-10/20/1989); Club Le Front, San Rafael, CA (03/28/1973-10/20/1989); Cornell University, Ithaca, NY (03/28/1973-10/20/1989); EMI Abbey Road Studios, London, England (03/28/1973-10/20/1989); Fantasy Studios, Berkeley, CA (03/28/1973-10/20/1989); Gizah Sound & Light Theater, Cairo, Egypt (03/28/1973-10/20/1989); Jai-Alai Fronton, Miami, FL (03/28/1973-10/20/1989); JFK Stadium, Philadelphia, PA (03/28/1973-10/20/1989); Marin Veterans Auditorium, San Rafael, CA (03/28/1973-10/20/1989); Meta Tantay, Carlin, NV (03/28/1973-10/20/1989); Nassau Coliseum, Uniondale, NY (03/28/1973-10/20/1989); Philadelphia Spectrum, Philadelphia, PA (03/28/1973-10/20/1989); PNE Coliseum, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada (03/28/1973-10/20/1989); Radio City Music Hall, New York, NY (03/28/1973-10/20/1989); Rambler Room, Loyola University, Chicago, IL (03/28/1973-10/20/1989); Record Plant, Sausalito, CA (03/28/1973-10/20/1989); Schaefer Stadium, Foxboro, MA (03/28/1973-10/20/1989); Skywalker Ranch, San Rafael, CA (03/28/1973-10/20/1989); Sound City Studios, Van Nuys, CA (03/28/1973-10/20/1989); Springfield Civic Center Arena, Springfield, MA (03/28/1973-10/20/1989); Studio X, Petaluma, CA (03/28/1973-10/20/1989); Trident, London, England (03/28/1973-10/20/1989); Warfield Theatre, San Francisco, CA (03/28/1973-10/20/1989); Winterland, San Francisco, CA (03/28/1973-10/20/1989).
All tracks have been digitally mastered using HDCD technology.
Illustrator: Stanley Mouse.
Photographers: Jim Marshall ; Richard Pechner; Ron Rakow; Ed Perlstein; Adrian Boot; Michael Putland; Susana Millman; Jay Blakesberg; Bob Seidemann; Janie Belson; John Werner ; Hugh Brown ; Bruce Polonsky; Richard McCaffrey; Larry Hulst; Mary Ann Mayer; Herbie Green; Robert Minkin; Kurt Mahoney; Peter Simon; Cornelius "Snookey" Flowers; Ken Friedman.
Unknown Contributor Role: Margaret Fabrizio.
Arrangers: Grateful Dead; Bob Weir.
In the first seven years of its existence, as chronicled on the GOLDEN ROAD box set, the Grateful Dead went from a garage R&B band to LSD-fueled experimentalists to acoustic country rockers. The stylistic expanses traversed during the subsequent phases of the group's lifetime were just as great. THE GOLDEN ROAD's companion piece, the dozen-disc box BEYOND DESCRIPTION, contains all of the Dead's post-Americana-period releases up to their final studio album, 1989's BUILT TO LAST. Each is buttressed with numerous outtakes, demos, live versions, etc. Most impressively, in the case of the back-to-basics acoustic live album RECKONING, there's an entire disc of bonus material.
Over the course of BEYOND DESCRIPTION, we witness changes on several levels; following organist/singer Pigpen's death, the arrival of keyboardist Keith Godchaux and his vocalist wife, Donna, helped edge the band beyond its blues/country roots toward such jazz-rock excursions as "Eyes of the World," while Bob Weir expanded his horizons as well with the ambitious contemporaneous piece "Weather Report Suite." By the mid-'70s, bold conceptual works were the group's stock in trade, from the prog-rock shadings of "Blues for Allah" to the side-long epic "Terrapin Station." After Keith's death, new arrival Brent Mydland at the turn of the decade helped revitalize the band with his more soulful approach, and the Dead moved back to the rich, rootsy sound it had embraced 10 years earlier. This approach eventually earned the band a whole new generation of fans via the 1987 hit "Touch of Grey." The whole journey is laid out here, and spiced with so many extras that even hardcore Deadheads will find themselves waylaid in wonderment.