November 5: Grateful Dead released “Europe ’72” in 1972

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With Bill Kreutzmann masterfully drumming alone following the resignation of Mickey Hart, and augmented the previous fall by Keith Godchaux’s elegant piano, the Dead leaned toward the pared-down sound they’d perfected on their previous studio albums, Workingman’s Dead and American Beauty. Indeed, Europe ’72 arguably completes an acid-Americana trilogy insofar as it features a handful of sepia-toned new tunes: “He’s Gone,” “Jack Straw,” “Brown-Eyed Women,” “Ramble on Rose,” and “Tennessee Jed.” It also eliminates nearly all crowd noise and contains enough post-tour overdubs (mainly in the vocals department) to suggest a live-studio hybrid, with Jerry Garcia’s joyously apocalyptic “Morning Dew” as its show-stopping closer. The Dead’s best-selling live album also marked the group’s final recording with singer-keyboardist Ron “Pigpen” McKernan, who died the following year.
~Richard Gehr (

Cumberland Blues:



Released November 5, 1972
Recorded April–May 1972
Genre Rock
Length 109:35
Label Warner Bros.
3WX 2668

Europe ’72 is a 1972 live triple album of performances by the Grateful Dead, recorded during their tour of Western Europe in early 1972. A second volume was released in 2011.

This was the third live double or triple album in the Dead’s past five releases, revealing how the group’s reputation rested on their live performances. Indeed, the liner notes simply stated: “There is nothing like a Grateful Dead concert.” The album contained considerable new material in addition to versions of tracks found on previous studio albums.

The tour represented by this album was Ron “Pigpen” McKernan‘s last with the Dead before he died in 1973, and the last album he would feature on as an active member. It was the first album to feature Keith Godchaux and his wife Donna Jean Godchaux.

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Originally a triple album on vinyl, Europe ’72 was later reissued as a two-disc CD in 1990 and again in 2001 with bonus tracks as part of the band’s box set, The Golden Road (1965–1973).

The album was well received critically. Reviews specially praised the track “(Walk Me Out in the) Morning Dew“, a ten-minute rendition of the melancholy folk standard that features guitar crescendoes from Jerry Garcia. A contemporary review in by Tom Dupree in Rolling Stone praised the sound fidelity and musicianship, especially Garcia’s lead guitar playing. In 2015, the journal listed the album as number 19 in their top 50 live albums of all time.

Morning Dew:

Although Europe ’72 is billed as a live album, the songs featured on the release were subject to significant overdubs after the fact, specifically with respect to the lush harmony vocals. Unadulterated multitrack recordings of the performances used for the album are no longer available (because they were simply snipped from the multitrack concert tapes whereupon the band overdubbed directly onto them, destroying the originals) but, for example, the available two-track soundboard recording of the May 10, 1972 show indicates the band had not yet figured out the vocal arrangements for “He’s Gone” that would later be overdubbed in the United States.

He’s Gone:

grateful dead - Europe72_Cover

Track listing

Side one
No. Title Length
1. “Cumberland Blues” (Jerry Garcia, Robert Hunter, and Phil Lesh) 5:47
2. “He’s Gone” (Garcia and Hunter) 7:12
3. “One More Saturday Night” (Bob Weir) 4:45
Side two
No. Title Length
4. “Jack Straw” (Hunter and Weir) 4:46
5. “You Win Again” (Hank Williams) 3:54
6. “China Cat Sunflower” (Garcia and Hunter) 5:33
7. “I Know You Rider” (trad., arr. The Grateful Dead) 4:55
Side three
No. Title Length
8. “Brown-Eyed Woman” (Garcia and Hunter) 4:55
9. “Hurts Me Too” (Elmore James) 7:18
10. “Ramble On Rose” (Garcia and Hunter) 6:09
Side four
No. Title Length
11. “Sugar Magnolia” (Hunter and Weir) 7:04
12. “Mr. Charlie” (Hunter and Ron “Pigpen” McKernan) 3:40
13. “Tennessee Jed” (Garcia and Hunter) 7:13
Side five
No. Title Length
14. “Truckin'” (Garcia, Hunter, Lesh, and Weir) 13:08
15. “Epilogue” (Garcia, Donna Jean Godchaux, Keith Godchaux, Bill Kreutzmann, Lesh, McKernan, and Weir) 4:33
Side six
No. Title Length
16. “Prelude” (Garcia, Donna Jean Godchaux, Keith Godchaux, Kreutzmann, Lesh, McKernan, and Weir) 8:08
17. “Morning Dew” (Bonnie Dobson and Tim Rose)

Recording dates

The actual dates for most of the tracks have been determined as follows:

  • “Cumberland Blues”, “Looks Like Rain”, and “The Yellow Dog Story” – April 8, 1972 at Wembley Empire Pool, Wembley
  • “Brown-Eyed Women” and tracks 6–10 on disc 2 – April 14, 1972 at Tivolis Koncertsal, Copenhagen
  • “The Stranger (Two Souls in Communion)” – April 26, 1972 at Jahrhundert Halle, Frankfurt
  • “Jack Straw”, “China Cat Sunflower”, “I Know You Rider” and “Tennessee Jed” – May 3, 1972 at Olympia Theatre, Paris
  • “Sugar Magnolia” – May 4, 1972 at Olympia Theatre, Paris
  • “He’s Gone” – May 10, 1972 at Concertgebouw, Amsterdam
  • “Mr. Charlie” – May 23, 1972 at Lyceum Theatre, London
  • “You Win Again” and “Hurts Me Too” – May 24, 1972 at Lyceum Theatre, London
  • “Truckin'”, “Epilogue”, “Prelude”, “Morning Dew”, “One More Saturday Night”, “Ramble on Rose” – May 26, 1972 at Lyceum Theatre, London


The Grateful Dead
  • Jerry Garcia – lead guitar, vocals
  • Donna Jean Godchaux – backing vocals
  • Keith Godchaux – piano
  • Bill Kreutzmann – drums
  • Phil Lesh – bass guitar, vocals
  • Ron “Pigpen” McKernan – organ, harmonica, vocals
  • Bob Weir – rhythm guitar, vocals

Other reviews

The Grateful Dead commemorated their first extended European tour with an extravagant triple-LP set appropriately enough titled Europe ’72. This collection is fashioned in much the same way as their previous release — which had also been a live multi-disc affair. The band mixes a bevy of new material — such as “Ramble on Rose,” “Jack Straw,” “Tennessee Jed,” “Brown-Eyed Woman,” and “He’s Gone” — with revisitations of back-catalog favorites. Among them are “China Cat Sunflower” — which was now indelibly linked to the longtime Dead cover “I Know You Rider” — as well as “Cumberland Blues,” “Truckin’,” “Sugar Magnolia,” and “Morning Dew.” With the additional album the band was able to again incorporate some of their exceedingly stretched-out instrumental improvisations — titled “Epilogue” and “Prelude” here. Since their last outing, the group had expanded to include the husband-and-wife team of Keith Godchaux (keyboards) and Donna Jean Godchaux (vocals). Sadly, this European jaunt would be the last of its kind to include the formidable talents and soul of founding member Ron “Pigpen” McKernan (organ/mouth harp/vocals), who was in increasingly fragile health. Although few in number, his contributions to Europe ’72 are among the most commanding not only of this release, but of his career.
~Lindsay Planer (

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