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Published: 2012/12/17

"Tuning ’77": A Year of Grateful Dead in Two Tracks

Michael David Murphy has created “Tuning ’77,” one of the more unique Grateful Dead fan projects in recent memory. Murphy culled through every one of the Grateful Dead’s 1977 line shows on and compiled every recording of the band tuning their instruments, live on stage. Then, he chronologically sequenced the recordings to create the two-track “Tuning ’77” recording. In its final form, the remix incorporates every publicly available recording from 1977, “examining the divide between audience expectation and performance anxiety.”

Both 92:50 tracks are now available on They are available download of streaming.


There are 32 comments associated with this post

Befuddled December 17, 2012, 17:59:49

Uhhhhhmmm….A massive compilation of just the pre-song tunings? Is that what this is? Or am I missing something? I love the Dead. Really. I do. And I’m all about 1977, let alone any new re-release project. But can someone, anyone tell me why anyone would WANT this, let alone DO this? Holy cow this seems like a colossal waste of time. What’s next, a compilation of Phil’s “Donor Raps” over the years?

MarZaPhiGar December 17, 2012, 18:30:18

Personally I found the tunings on Spring Tour’81 to be marginally superior.

ditto December 17, 2012, 18:30:33

yeah, not sure about this. I’m either too baked or not enough, because this is absurd

Befuddled December 17, 2012, 18:40:53

It’s gotta be a joke. Gotta be. And shame on me, I like to think I have a sense of humor, but I guess it missed me on this one…I thought this was real!

geoffrey December 17, 2012, 18:48:27

hah! readicculous! whats next? a compilation of all spaces

aaron bell December 17, 2012, 20:04:58

@geoffrey – wasn’t infrared roses an album of dark star ‘space’ jams mixed together for 2 cds? i know i have it somewhere, but haven’t listened in close to 15 years.

Dead head Fred December 17, 2012, 20:17:19

What’s next? An album of Jerry’s cheeseburger farts! Hahahahha

Ultimatelywhogivesafuck December 17, 2012, 21:23:04

2 Cds of Bobby goin “we“ll be right back” would be so good

IZ December 17, 2012, 22:55:44

Donor Rap Mixtape would be EPIC. Or a loop of all Donna “Playin’ in the Band” yelps.

cliff December 18, 2012, 08:41:41

How bout a mix of all of 77’s “Take a Step Back” rants?

Blooby December 18, 2012, 08:51:53

All your comments have put me in a good mood. I hope they keep coming. This comment by MarZaPhiGar cracked me up the most: “Personally I found the tunings on Spring Tour’81 to be marginally superior.”

Marz December 18, 2012, 08:54:52

Why stop there? Take it out to the lot- a double CD of ‘cash for your extra’ and ‘who’s got my yay work?’

Ryan December 18, 2012, 09:52:47

I must be over the top. I have always said I love the band so much I could sit and just listen to them tune up. I like it as background. Ha

C Hopper December 18, 2012, 09:54:41

IZ gets the nod for hilarity. A compilation of donna’s “ whoa, whoa, yeah, yeah. Hah hah. Yelps.

Chucky cheese string December 18, 2012, 10:05:56

Unemployment in America makes people do some crazy things!!! I mean…I have to assume he is unemployed. No one would ever do this in their “free time” from their 9-5 job.

Spree December 18, 2012, 11:00:23

Wait, I swear I heard a tuning tease is there. When was the last time they played tuning?

tour rat December 18, 2012, 11:48:35

I’m waiting for the follow up, “Setbreak ’77” a recording of all the setbreaks in 1977 strung end to end. A 6- CD box set

jazzfester December 18, 2012, 12:08:47

Tunin’...tunin’ in the band. I tried listening. It gets really good around the 87:50 mark in the first compilation.

Befuddled December 18, 2012, 14:48:33

Ahahaha! These comments get better and better…“Is that a tuning tease?” and the set-break compilation idea, both made me laugh out loud. Great stuff gang!

JP76 December 18, 2012, 15:13:43

I actually think Dark Star’s ’77 tunings are better than the originals…

Daver December 18, 2012, 16:22:52

“Ha” all the Ha’s Bobby ever sung from 77-95

Gime December 18, 2012, 16:27:13

I didn’t realize they ever tuned up.

DaveyBoy December 18, 2012, 16:27:43

How about a comiplation of Weir at set break :
‘We’re going to take a short break, and you can too”...

aaron bell December 18, 2012, 19:34:17

if we’re lucky, maybe they’ll release all of the jokes that were told on stage. ‘i say phil, my dog has no nose …’

js December 18, 2012, 21:44:05

“I’d like to take this opportunity to hip y’all to George Washintgon’s false teeth” or any other bobby, set to a remix

JBH December 19, 2012, 15:37:18

If you play all the tunings together at 10 times speed you will find a message. This message details more if you lower the tunings an octave. This is the project of all projects.

Bekemp December 19, 2012, 18:48:08

It ends with someone saying “I’m very small” or “I buried Paul.” I can’t tell which. Hmmmmm.

Missemeveryday December 19, 2012, 18:57:07

Donna Jean’s wo-o-wos yeah-e-yeahs looped w Weir’s “just repeast the last three words” raps. Nonstop for 90 minutes. What a treat!

Ron December 20, 2012, 04:28:37

For whoever did this, kudos on the effort.
It’s a pretty interesting study and surely was a whole lot of work to complete.
Cheers! I feel like this is academic in nature.
Like something I’d study in a statistic or specific bio class.
Very cool.

dk70 December 20, 2012, 14:59:20

You can actually tell the difference between the Schallers and Grovers.

dk70 December 22, 2012, 14:37:33

How about a mix of Mickey Hart isolated drums? You could have a contest to guess which song he is actually playing. “Floor tom on 2 and 4 for 10 minutes must be …..“Hell in a Bucket”. Pointless cowbell triplets for 8 minutes = Scarlet Begonias

August West December 23, 2012, 21:03:44

some great comments! especially ditto’s.

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