Introducing Europe '72: Vol. 2

If you've been hoping for a more fiscally or physically manageable taste of the great tour of '72, look no further. Ready for release on September 20 is Europe '72: Vol. 2, a two-CD set featuring 20 newly mixed, never-before-released gems from that epic and historic adventure. As you probably know from all the Europe '72: The Complete Recordings hoopla, engineer Jeffrey Norman spent many months mixing down the 16-track master tapes from every show for the humongo-box, while mastering ace David Glasser put on the final polish and brought the sonics up to HDCD specs. You've probably heard various circulating soundboard tapes from these shows through the years, but trust us, you haven't heard the music sound quite like this before!

Grateful Dead vaultmeister and box producer David Lemieux was tasked with coming up with a two-disc compilation that would work as a worthy successor to the classic original album, a whopping 39 years later. And there was this guiding philosophy: There would be no songs that appeared on the original 3-LP set. Whoa! No "Truckin'"? "Morning Dew"? "China Cat"? Nope! But what's here is magnificent, including a spectacular, nearly hour-long combo of "Dark Star" > "The Other One" from the famous Bickershaw Festival in England (5/7/72); a kickin' version of "Not Fade Away" > "Goin' Down the Road" > "Not Fade Away" from the super-charged first night of the tour in London (4/7); and the always-moving "Sing Me Back Home" from the last night of the tour (5/26). There's also a wonderfully varied selection of other tunes from Copenhagen, Paris, Frankfurt and Luxembourg, including favorites such as "Bertha," "Playing in the Band," "Good Lovin'," "Black-Throated Wind," "Sugaree," "Deal" and many more.

Stanley Mouse who, along with his late partner Alton Kelley, created the memorable "Ice Cream Kid" and "Rainbow Foot" images for the original Europe '72 package, sweetens the deal with soon-to-be classic artwork featuring the return of the Kid! "Trouble comes in many flavors," Mouse cryptically commented recently. "Ice Cream Kid is in hot water. The jury is out. His only defense is love."

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