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December 07, 2012

". . . [they] have more recorded music in circulation than any performing group in history"

The New Yorker has a long but interesting piece on the one and only Grateful Dead

The Grateful Dead occupy a curious spot in the canon. Their music has turned out to be extremely resilient, considering that they were primarily a live act and effectively ceased to exist seventeen years ago, when Garcia died, and that for many of the years prior to that (how many is just about the most debated question in Deadland) they were a weak incarnation of themselves. They made a lot of studio albums, but few memorable ones, and had just one Top Forty hit in thirty years, and not for lack of trying. Yet it’s probably safe to say that the Dead have more recorded music in circulation than any performing group in history. (History, admittedly, is short. If there’d been such a thing as a Nakamichi 700 tape deck in eighteenth-century Leipzig, people might be trading bootlegs of Bach performing his own fugues: “St. Thomas’s Church, 5/8/39, Johann rips on the ‘Little’—epic!”) From their establishment, in 1965, to the death of Garcia, in 1995, they played 2,318 concerts, and more than two thousand of those are available in some form or another.

Comments

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Joe R.

For what it's worth, since 1977 The Riders in the Sky have played 6,198 gigs.
"It may not be the easy way, but it's the cowboy way!"

JorgXMckie

I think I may have a couple of the studio albums, but my favorites are always live recordings [albums and fan tapes].

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