Grateful Dead- “Truckin’ ” – Live Europe 1972
May 13, 2017 11:55 am 7 Comments
“Europe ’72 is a 1972 live triple album of performances by the Grateful Dead, recorded during their tour of Western Europe in early 1972. It was the first album by the band to contain versions of songs such as “Jack Straw” and “Brown Eyed Women” and the segue pairing of “China Cat Sunflower/I Know You Rider”. One of the band’s most popular releases, it was one of the first triple-record rock albums to be certified Gold and has since been certified Double Platinum. A second volume was released in 2011, in conjunction with the release of the entire 22-date tour (see Europe ’72: The Complete Recordings).
Prior to the Grateful Dead’s 1972 tour of Europe, the band had undergone several changes in personnel: drummer/percussionist Mickey Hart left the group in early 1971, making Bill Kreutzmann the sole drummer. Keyboardist Keith Godchaux was recruited, in September 1971, initially to augment founding member Ron “Pigpen” McKernan, who had been hospitalized and was experiencing increasingly poor health. Additionally, Keith’s wife, Donna Godchaux, had officially joined the band as a backup vocalist, just weeks before the tour commenced.
As the band’s popularity had increased and they were booked into larger venues, the road crew, administrative staff, friends and relatives had likewise increased in number. Known as the “Grateful Dead Family”, nearly the entire entourage were brought to the European continent, with the idea that the trip would be financially offset by the release of a live-album documentation of the tour. To that end, the Dead’s record label, Warner Bros., paid for the band to travel with a professional 16-track recorder.
Europe ’72 was the third live, multi-disk album of the Dead’s past five Warner Bros. releases, showcasing how the group’s reputation increasingly rested on live performance. The album contained mostly new material, in addition to live arrangements of tracks found on previous studio albums. Lead guitarist Jerry Garcia continued his songwriting collaboration with lyricist Robert Hunter, while rhythm guitarist Bob Weir had begun writing material with John Perry Barlow. Pigpen made his second singing-songwriting contribution to a Dead album, writing “Mr. Charlie” with Hunter. The new songs were never officially released in studio form – excepting a studio version of “One More Saturday Night”, which was released as a single to promote the tour and then released on Bob Weir’s solo album, Ace. Consequently, Europe ’72 was treated as a new-material release as much as a live retrospective, and the new songs on the album were largely considered definitive versions.
Archetypal American images abounded on “Jack Straw”, while “Cumberland Blues” and “Tennessee Jed” were firmly rooted with regional imagery and sentiment. “Truckin'”, which had recently become the band’s most recognized song, catalogued its own troubled-but-resilient pathway through American life. The Dead’s segue pairing of “China Cat Sunflower” into “I Know You Rider” likewise linked their psychedelic past into a more traditional context.
Although Europe ’72 is billed as a live album, the songs were subject to studio overdubs (specifically with respect to the lush harmony vocals), as well as varispeed – particularly the songs with Garcia on lead vocals, which were pitched sharp by as much as a half-step. Because recordings of the songs were cut from the live, multitrack tapes and overdubbed directly, unadulterated originals of many of the performances do not exist. However, the two-track soundboard recording of the May 10, 1972 concert, for example, shows that the band had not yet sorted the vocal arrangements for “He’s Gone”, that were later overdubbed in the United States.”
All Text from WIKIPEDIA the Free Encyclopedia
What a story! Boy, would I like to get my hands on those CD’s!