The Closing of Winterland: December 31, 1978

The Closing of Winterland: December 31, 1978

by Grateful Dead
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The Closing of Winterland: December 31, 1978

Winterland was one of the focal points of San Francisco's rock scene for ages, and no band was more closely associated with the venue than the Grateful Dead -- making them an appropriate choice to bring the curtain down for the last time. A companion to the DVD set of the same name, this four-disc, four-hour set, recorded on New Year's Eve, 1978, presents the band's concert in its entirety, and it's an aptly winding trek indeed. The band kick things off by harking back to the jug-band stylings of their genesis, via sweetly swinging, bucolic versions of songs like "Sugar Magnolia" and "Scarlet Begonias," before segueing cleverly into the country classic "Big River." The evening's second set finds the Dead stretching out into more improvisatory territory, notably the stellar unison playing of Jerry Garcia and Phil Lesh on "Samson and Delilah" and the hyper-extended medley of "Not Fade Away" and "Around and Around" (which adds John Cipollina to the already potent guitar attack). In keeping with the celebratory nature of the evening, the band took the then-rare step of playing "Dark Star" -- an intense, particularly spacey rendition, with eye-opening sparring between Garcia and Bob Weir. By the night's end, the Dead had given themselves over to pure party mode, trotting out animated versions of "Good Lovin' " and "Johnny B. Goode" before bidding adieu to Winterland and its habitués with a sing-along "We Bid You Goodnight." Talk about going out with a bang.

Product Details

Release Date: 12/16/2003
Label: Grateful Dead / Wea
UPC: 0081227805524
catalogNumber: 78055
Rank: 27367

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Grateful Dead   Primary Artist
Mickey Hart   Drums,Group Member
Jerry Garcia   Guitar,Vocals,Group Member
Bob Weir   Rhythm Guitar,Vocals,Group Member
Lee Oskar   Harmonica,Guest Appearance
John Cipollina   Guitar,Guest Appearance
Dan Aykroyd   Harmonica,Vocals,Voices,Guest Appearance
Greg Errico   Drums,Guest Appearance
Donna Jean Godchaux   Vocals,Group Member
Keith Godchaux   Keyboards,Vocals,Group Member
Bill Graham   Master of Ceremonies,Guest Appearance
Matthew Kelly   Harmonica,Guest Appearance
Bill Kreutzmann   Drums,Group Member
Phil Lesh   Bass,Electric Bass,Vocals,Group Member
Ken Kesey   Guest Appearance

Technical Credits

Johnny Cash   Composer
Mickey Hart   Composer,Producer,Engineer
Chuck Berry   Composer
Jerry Garcia   Composer
Grateful Dead   Arranger
Buddy Holly   Composer
Bob Weir   Arranger,Composer
Bobby Womack   Composer
Robert Hunter   Composer
John Phillips   Composer
Norman Petty   Composer
John Perry Barlow   Composer
John Dawson   Composer
Tom Flye   Producer,Engineer
Donna Jean Godchaux   Composer
Bill Kreutzmann   Composer
Phil Lesh   Composer
Ron "Pigpen" McKernan   Composer
Jeffrey Norman   Producer,Engineer,Stereo Mix Producer
Gary Lambert   Liner Notes
Robert Minkin   Producer,Visual Design
Rudy Clark   Composer
Stanley Mouse   Cover Art
Alton Kelley   Cover Art
Shirley Jean Womack   Composer
Ed Perlstein   Still Pictures
Traditional   Composer
David Lemieux   Producer
Arthur Resnick   Composer
Ken Kesey   Sound Effects

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4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I am a recent devotee' of GD . I saw them in the summer of '03 with Bob Dylan. That show was decent, but the guitarist playing Jerry Garcia's part had NO sense of melody or restraint. After hearing this album, I can see why Jerry was so integral to what made them who they were. Jerry's voice and fluid guitar lines were both catchy, inventive, and never really too much. Granted, when in minute 12 of some songs, you can lose focus, but the album as a whole is very cohesive, and their choice of cover tunes is great! No matter what the fogged faithful may say, there really is no reason EVER to have the drum solos on the album. That is my only complaint. I'm never really impressed by the "look at us, we're BOTH soloing on the drums" platform. I can enjoy subtleties both musical and lyrical, but the drum solo is just a 20 minute waste. This album is great for driving or turning up and just rockin' out. If you like their greatest hits, but aren't sure what to get next, I would recommend this set. Well worth the money. I wish I had been exposed to this stuff long before Jerry died. Fortunately, The GD have scads of live material that varies enough over time to be worth investment.