To celebrate the 50th anniversary of the band's debut album, the Grateful Dead will launch a special album reissue series in January that will include two-disc deluxe editions and limited edition vinyl picture disc versions of all the group's studio and live albums. Each will be timed for release around the individual album's 50th anniversary. These two-disc deluxe editions will include the original album with newly remastered sound, plus a bonus disc of unreleased recordings. The same remastered audio from the original album will also be released as a 12-inch picture disc produced in a limited edition of 10,000 copies.
The celebration begins with the January 20 release of THE GRATEFUL DEAD: 50th ANNIVERSARY DELUXE EDITION. The set will be available for $19.98 and includes the original album - newly remastered from the original tapes by David Glasser, and restored by Plangent Processes - along with a bonus disc that features the complete unreleased concert from July 29, 1966 and select cuts from July 30, 1966 at the P.N.E. Garden Auditorium in British Columbia, mastered by Jeffrey Norman. On the same day, the newly remastered version of The Grateful Dead will also be available as a 12-inch picture disc, limited to 10,000 copies worldwide, for $21.98.
The band recorded and mixed THE GRATEFUL DEAD in five days before releasing it in March 1967. It captures the group's early sound with a mix of electrified jug band stomps ("Sitting On Top of the World"), Chicago blues ("Good Morning Little School Girl"), crazed modal improv ("Viola Lee Blues"), and Dylan-y put-downs ("Cream Puff War").
In the deluxe edition's liner notes, Jesse Jarnow writes: "The Grateful Dead is the Grateful Dead as they existed, a slice of their fast-changing live repertoire circa 1967. Nothing would ever be the same, but nothing had ever been the same with the Dead from the time of their second show onward."
The deluxe edition's bonus disc unearths unreleased recordings from the band's performances at the Vancouver Trips Festival in 1966. Only a few recordings from the Dead's first two years exist, but each one reveals corners of the band's repertoire not captured anywhere else. That's especially true here, with three songs making their last appearance on any surviving Dead recording: "Standing On The Corner," "You Don't Have To Ask Me," and "Cardboard Cowboy."
The band has also opened subscriptions to the GRATEFUL DEAD 7-INCH SINGLES COLLECTION. To celebrate the 50th anniversary of their first single, the Grateful Dead will launch a special reissue series in 2017 that will bring pressings of the first four of the band's 27 singles on 7-inch colored vinyl, each limited to 10,000 copies and available exclusively at dead.net. The remaining 23 singles will be released over the next few years. Subscriptions will be $44.98, which includes the first four installments in the series, released quarterly across the year.
The first release, arriving March 1, is the band's debut: "Stealin'" b/w "Don't Ease Me In." Scorpio Records released the Grateful Dead's first single during the summer of 1966. When Gene Estribou produced "Stealin'" and its B-side, "Don't Ease Me In" in his San Francisco studio, the songs were already staples of the band's early live shows. When it was released, fewer than 250 copies of the single ever saw the light of day. This limited edition reissue is the single's first pressing in 50 years and features remastered audio, edited by David Glasser to reflect the original single edits.