The Grateful Dead released their final studio album on Halloween 1989. The title Built to Last was certainly appropriate, as the Dead have indeed done just that over the past decades. But the band continued writing new songs after the album’s release, performing them in concert in the early 1990s. Unfortunately, with the death of Jerry Garcia in 1995, the Dead were unable to complete them in the studio. Today, Rhino announced a new release that may prove to be the closest we’ll ever get to hearing that great “lost” studio album that never was.
Curated by Dead archivist David Lemieux, Ready or Not features nine unreleased live versions of late-period Grateful Dead songs that debuted on concert stages in 1992-1993. The tracks here were taken from concerts held between 1992 and 1995. The album’s track list showcases what might well have been the band’s next official studio album following Built to Last. It arrives on CD, digital formats, and limited edition (10,000 units) 2-LP, 180-grtam vinyl on November 22. Additionally, Dead.net will offer an exclusive colored vinyl version of the 2-LP set with one red LP and one blue LP. This is limited to 2,000 copies. “Lazy River Road” live from Chapel Hill, North Carolina on March 25, 1993 is available now digitally.
Lemieux comments in the press release, “Ready or Not has been a long time coming. It’s an album we’ve been working on for many, many years. This batch of ‘new’ Grateful Dead songs has never been compiled in one place and given its proper due as a huge part of the Dead’s late-era legacy. Many of these songs can easily stand alongside some of the Dead’s oldest, most-loved songs as bona fide classics despite their short tenure in the repertoire. We’ve dug deep into the archive and listened to countless live versions of these songs to find the best, most definitive live performances. When the Grateful Dead were ‘on’ in their later years, their live concerts were as good as any era in their history. The nine songs on Ready or Not exemplify how good the Dead could be in their later years of touring.”
Every song on Ready or Not has been mastered from the original soundboard tapes featuring the final Grateful Dead lineup of Jerry Garcia, Mickey Hart, Bill Kreutzmann, Phil Lesh, Bob Weir, and new keyboardist Vince Welnick.
This one-of-a-kind collection debuts from Grateful Dead Records/Rhino on November 22. You’ll find the track listing and pre-order links below. (Currently Amazon is only listing the digital edition, but we will update as soon as CD/vinyl links go live.)
- “Liberty” – Madison Square Garden, New York, NY (10/14/94)
- “Eternity” – The Pyramid, Memphis, TN (4/2/95)
- “Lazy River Road” – Dean Smith Center, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC (3/25/93)
- “Samba In The Rain” – The Omni, Atlanta, GA (3/30/95)
- “So Many Roads” – Star Lake Amphitheatre, Burgettstown, PA (6/23/92)
- “Way To Go Home” – Deer Creek Music Center, Noblesville, IN (6/28/92)
- “Corrina” – Madison Square Garden, New York, NY (10/14/94)
- “Easy Answers” – Spectrum, Philadelphia, PA (9/13/93)
- “Days Between” – Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum, Oakland, CA (12/11/94)
- “Lazy River Road”
- “Samba In The Rain”
- “So Many Roads”
- “Way To Go Home”
- “Easy Answers”
- “Days Between”