Judging from the exceptional live recordings that have been culled from this period, the Grateful Dead were in peak form during their European tour of 1972. The first document of the tour’s riches showed up on the classic album Europe 72; with Rockin’ the Rhein, we have yet another exceptional multi-disc set to bask in. The European tour found the band at a career high, coming off the great earlier success of Workingman’s Dead and American Beauty. Although reduced to one drummer in the rhythm section, and with vocalist Pigpen in failing health, the Dead remained in top shape. The material on Rhein is familiar: band classics (“Dark Star,” “Wharf Rat,” “Sugar Magnolia”), favored covers (“Me and Bobby McGee,” “El Paso”), and new material that would debut on Europe 72 (“Tennessee Jed,” “Mr. Charlie”). The stinging performances make everything a delight to hear. The band sound energized, and the joy they take in playing is infectious. Whether stretching out on extended jams that exhibit the instrumental inventiveness of these musical pioneers or digging into more compact numbers that display their group unity, the Dead simply dazzle. There can never be too much additional material released from this landmark tour.