- Number of Discs: 12
- Released: October 16, 2001
- Originally Released: 2001
- Label: Rhino
Description by OLDIES.com:
Rhino's The Golden Road is the ultimate path through this crucial period in the history of the Grateful Dead. With 12 CDs collecting the band's entire Warner Brothers output - and then some - this is much more than just a trip. Included are all nine of the Dead's albums for Warner Brothers - each remastered and expanded with bonus tracks and liner notes - plus a brand new two-disc collection, Birth Of The Dead, featuring unreleased recordings from the band's pre-Warner days. An 80-page book chronicles the early history of the Grateful Dead and includes rare photos and full-color reproductions of vintage memorabilia.
Entertainment Weekly - 11/16/01, p.129
"...A long, strange, and beautiful trip all its own..." - Rating: A
Down Beat - 1/02, p.744 stars out of 5
- "...A perfect primer of the Dead's jamming exploits..."
Mojo (Publisher) - 1/02, p.70Ranked #10
in Mojo's "Best  Box Sets & Compilations of 2001".
Mojo (Publisher) - 1/02, p.88
"...150--plus tracks go beyond nostalgia to offer a definitive history of a heavily subscribed social experiment....sounded like LSD....represented their core catalogue with...respect...make it clear that the whole thing was about transformation..."
The 12-CD box THE GOLDEN ROAD contains the Grateful Dead's Warner Brothers releases including THE GRATEFUL DEAD (1967)/ANTHEM OF THE SUN (1968)/AOXOMOXOA (1969)/ LIVE DEAD (1969)/WORKINGMAN'S DEAD (1970)/ AMERICAN BEAUTY (1970)/GRATEFUL DEAD (1971)/EUROPE '72 (1972)/HISTORY OF THE GRATEFUL DEAD VOL. 1 (BEAR'S CHOICE) (1973) as well as live and previously unreleased material plus the specially compiled 2-CD THE BIRTH OF THE DEAD featuring rare early recordings. Also includes a 76-page booklet featuring rare photos and poster reproductions, an essay by Dennis McNally, and a complete Grateful Dead discography by Ihor Slablicky.
The Grateful Dead: Jerry Garcia (vocals, acoustic, electric & pedal steel guitars, kazoo, piano, vibraslap); Bob Weir (vocals, acoustic & eelectric guitars, 12-string guitar, kazoo); Ron "Pigpen" McKernan (vocals, acoustic guitar, harmonica, celesta, organ, keyboards, congas, clave, percussion); Phil Lesh (vocals, guitar, kazoo, trumpet, piano, harpsichord, bass, timpani, guiro); Donna Godchaux (vocals); Tom Constanten (piano, prepared piano, keyboards, tape); Keith Godchaux (piano); Bill Kreutzmann, Mickey Hart (drums, percussion); Robert Hunter (songwriter).
Additional personnel: Jon Hendricks (vocals).
Compilation producers: James Austin, David Lemiieux.
BIRTH OF THE DEAD compilation producers: Dennis McNally, Lou Tambakos.
Recorded between 1965 and 1973. Includes liner notes by Dennis McNally, James Austin, David Lemieux and Connie Bonner Mosley.
Digitally remastered using HDCD technology by Joe Gastwirt (Oceanview Digital, Los Angeles, California).
THE GOLDEN ROAD was nominated for the 2003 Grammy Awards For Best Album Notes.
The awe-inspiring 12-disc box set THE GOLDEN ROAD is a truly comprehensive document of the Grateful Dead's vintage period (late '60s through mid '70s). The format, which appends a generous number of bonus tracks to gloriously remastered versions of each of the band's albums from their Warner Brothers years, makes THE GOLDEN ROAD ideal for hardcore deadheads looking to upgrade their collection as well as those who've only dabbled in the oeuvre of these American countercultural icons.
A double-disc of pre-debut demos and live cuts from the band's earliest days reveals their roots in both jug-band music and garage rock, while the late-'60s tracks find the Dead at the vanguard of mind-bending improvisation, pushing the frontiers of rock into strikingly original, often avant-garde realms. Early '70s recordings see the eventuation of the group into a pared-down meld of rock, country, and folk that both paid homage to their influences and helped set the stage for the country-rock that loomed so large later in the decade. Along with a bevy of rare photos and an insightful, informative booklet, the bounty of previously unreleased tracks offer new perspectives on the band's transformation from gritty blues-rockers into expansive, improvisatory envelope-pushers, with stops along the path at various points on the Americana highway.