THE GRATEFUL DEAD have tied the record for most Billboard Top 40 albums by any act in history. Having previously broken the record as the group with the most Top 40 albums, the band has just earned their 58th album in the Top 40, with the debut of “Dave’s Picks Vol. 48” at No. 33 on this week’s Billboard 200. THE GRATEFUL DEAD are now tied with both Frank Sinatra and Elvis Presley, and are just one release away from breaking the all-time record.
Produced and curated by GRATEFUL DEAD legacy manager and audio archivist David Lemieux, “Dave’s Picks Vol. 48” is the 40th installment in the beloved series to enter the Top 40. Each edition delivers complete, top-grade GRATEFUL DEAD shows that sound better than ever, beautifully packaged and released four times a year. “Dave’s Picks Vol. 48” is also THE GRATEFUL DEAD‘s 44th Top 40 title released by Rhino Entertainment, and as Lemieux says, “‘Dave’s Picks’ is a testament to Rhino never veering off the path of its vision to treat Dead Heads with respect and caring.”
“Working with THE GRATEFUL DEAD is such a unique experience because they really are one of one,” adds Mark Pinkus, president of Rhino. “With over 2300 amazing shows in their illustrious 30-year career, Rhino has the wonderful responsibility to present those shows to new and old fans alike in a meaningful and magical way. Their continued chart success simply proves what we already know, there are still a lot of Dead Heads in the world and they dig what we do.”
“This is a testament to the enduring connection between THE GRATEFUL DEAD and their audience — a bond that is as strong today as it ever was and now spans multiple generations with huge numbers of new followers discovering them every day,” said Bernie Cahill, founding partner, Activist Artists Management and manager of THE GRATEFUL DEAD.
This latest achievement caps another milestone year for THE GRATEFUL DEAD and Dead Heads everywhere. As detailed in last week’s 31st edition of the annual Grateful Dead Almanac, 2023 proved that the band’s ecosystem is as vibrant and voluminous as ever. From the release of the “Here Comes Sunshine” box set to the 50th anniversary of “Wake Of The Flood”, new installments of “The Angel’s Share” outtakes and “Playing In The Band”‘s interactive mixing board, and so much more, THE DEAD remains committed to serving their ever-expanding community and time-honored traditions, with a pioneering devotion to complete accessibility.
Rhino and the band continue to open their archives in unprecedented ways, and on today’s episode of the “Good Ol’ Grateful Deadcast”, the podcast uncovers an extraordinary lost session by Robert Hunter and THE GRATEFUL DEAD — the only known time the band’s legendary lyricist led the group in an extended studio session. Captured during the mixing session for the “Eyes Of The World” single in November 1973 and channeling the band’s most experimental side, “Prelude” (a.k.a. “Tuesday Night Jam”) is a 35-minute studio improvisation by THE DEAD (minus Jerry Garcia, working with OLD & IN THE WAY that night) with Hunter writing lyrics, overdubbing vocals with the group, and mixing the tape down over the course of a single evening, Tuesday, November 6, 1973. According to musician Donna Jean Godchaux-MacKay, the intent was to play the tape over the PA before GRATEFUL DEAD concerts, which they did several days later at Winterland in San Francisco. Along with a handful of never-heard Hunter/DEAD originals and improvisation on instruments not usually heard in THE DEAD‘s music, “Prelude” contains a rare duet of Keith and Donna Godchaux singing “Sweet Inspiration” the 1968 hit the couple sang together before joining THE DEAD.
Announced last week, “Dave’s Picks Vol. 49” is due out in the first quarter of 2024 via Rhino, and will feature a four-CD mega set of two complete GRATEFUL DEAD shows at Stanford University’s Frost Amphitheater on April 27 and 28, 1985. Before then, Rhino will also begin to reissue all eight albums from THE GRATEFUL DEAD‘s Arista years, 1977-1990. Dropping in pairs between now and July 2024, the series begins this Friday, November 10, with the band’s final studio album, “Built To Last”, and the three-LP collection of historic live performances from the late-Brent Mydland era, “Without A Net”. Available to worldwide retail on limited edition black vinyl and Barnes & Noble exclusive red vinyl, each title has been newly remastered by Grammy Award-winning engineer David Glasser, and produced for release by David Lemieux.
THE GRATEFUL DEAD is a social and musical phenomenon that grew into a genuine American treasure. In 1965, an entire generation was linked together by common ideals, gathering by the hundreds and thousands. This movement created a seamless connection between the band and its fans. As the band toured, Dead Heads would follow. Not because it was a part of popular culture but because it is a true counterculture that exists to this very day-one that earnestly believes in the value of its beliefs. By 1995, THE GRATEFUL DEAD had attracted the most concertgoers in the history of the music business, and today remains one of the all-time leaders in concert ticket sales. Eventually, the caravan evolved into a community with various artists, craftsmen and entrepreneurs supplying a growing demand for merchandise that connected them to the music. Today, the connection is as strong as ever. The band was inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame in 1994 and received a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 2007. Their final tally of 2,318 total concerts remains a world record.