Music News from ABC

Grateful Dead releasing expansive CD box set featuring early ’80s Madison Square Garden concerts

Dead.net/Rhino

A limited-edition 17-CD Grateful Dead box set featuring six full previously unreleased concert performances that the band played at New York's famed Madison Square Garden during the early 1980s will be issued on September 23.

In and Out of the Garden: Madison Square Garden '81, '82, '83 features audio of shows that took place March 9 and 10, 1981; September 20 and 21, 1982; and October 11 and 12, 1983.

The collection features a custom box and includes liner notes by acclaimed music journalist David Fricke, who writes about The Grateful Dead's deep connection to and history with New York City.

In addition to versions of classics like "Uncle John's Band," "Fire on the Mountain" and "Truckin'," the shows featured The Dead performing several songs that would eventually appear on their 1987 album In the Dark, including the hit "Touch of Grey."

"These performances … are six of the best the Dead played at the Garden, any of which could have been released on their own," Grateful Dead archivist David Lemieux says. "We're thrilled, though, to allow these six complementary shows to be housed together, each one its own story, its own event."

Only 12,500 copies of the 17-CD box set, each individually numbered, will be available. You can preorder copies now exclusively from Dead.net. High-res digital versions also are being sold at the website.

In advance of In and Out of the Garden, a performance of "Feel Like a Stranger" from the March 9, 1981, show has been made available digitally and an animated companion video has debuted on The Dead's official YouTube channel.

Also on September 23, the March 9, 1981, concert will be released individually as a three-CD set, digitally at Dead.net and via traditional retail outlets.

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