Exposé Online banner

Grateful Dead — Rare Cuts & Oddities 1966
(Rhino Records DECD282 , 1966/2013, CD)

by Peter Thelen, Published 2013-12-13

 Rare Cuts & Oddities 1966 Cover artThis collection of rare live and studio material that pre-dates the Grateful Dead’s first eponymous album by a year or more was briefly available when it was first released in 2005 on the Dead’s own label, and immediately went out of print, commanding prices of upwards of $150 or more on eBay. Before I was prepared to open my wallet wide and hand over a good portion of a paycheck on this, I wanted to know a little more about what this material was all about; after all, the Golden Road boxed set from 2001 of all the Warner Brothers albums contained the exclusive two-disc bonus Birth of The Dead, that contained early demo and live material of roughly the same vintage. Was Rare Cuts material duplicated on that set? Fast forward to 2013 and suddenly this single-disc compilation is available again, thanks to Rhino, at a price that anyone can afford, and indeed I’m happy to report that all of the material here is exclusive to this set. Those who can appreciate the more basic blues-rock, electrified traditional folk, and pre-psychedelic ‘garage band’ sound prevalent on the Dead’s first album from 1967 – there aren’t that many of us – will find plenty of interest here, which includes various studio demo, rehearsal and live recordings leading up to their signing with WB. The 78+ minutes of material here has also been released as a double LP set, the first LP containing the demo and rehearsals, the second containing all the live material. A mix of covers and originals, the Rolling Stones’ influence is undeniable, as much of their early repertoire is here (“King Bee,” “Empty Heart,” “Not Fade Away,” “Walking the Dog”), but also worthy of note are the early Dead’s interpretations of some folk standards like “Betty and Dupree” and “Silver Threads and Golden Needles.” The originals offer a look at the formative stages of some of their better early cuts like “Caution (Do Not Step on the tracks)” and “Cream Puff War,” and a rare Pigpen original composition “You See a Broken Heart.” For fans of the early Dead sound, Rare Cuts & Oddities is an essential piece of the puzzle, and is now available again at an affordable price.

Filed under: Archives, 2013 releases, 1966 recordings

Related artist(s): Grateful Dead

Latest news

2018-06-05
Koenjihyakkei Seeks Funding for New Album – It's been quite a few years since the last new studio album by the amazing Koenjihyakkei. Now they are preparing Dhormimviskha for worldwide release, and they're asking fans to pre-order via a Kickstarter campaign to help it happen. » Read more

2018-05-14
Glenn Branca RIP – Experimental guitarist and composer Glenn Branca has died at the age of 69. He was known for compositions featuring large ensembles of guitars, and for the use of feedback. He founded his band Theoretical Girls in the mid-70s as an art-punk answer to what he saw as the increasing commercialization of punk music. His compositions were highly influential, with such figures as David Bowie, Thurston Moore, and John Lurie among his fans. » Read more

2018-04-05
OBEY Convention XI Set for May 24-28 in Halifax – As the 2018 festival season rapidly approaches, we’d like you to be aware of a real treasure of diverse and creative music that’s going to take place in Halifax, Nova Scotia, next month. The OBEY Convention is on its 11th outing, and features a wide range of artists from around the world. From avant-industrial noise to experimental takes on Classical Chinese music, from chamber jazz to doom metal, from ambient soundscapes to Canadian First Nations drumming, you’d be hard pressed to find a festival with more variety in sound anywhere in the world. » Read more

2018-04-04
Close to the Rain Festival in Bergen Announces Lineup – Now in its second year, the Close to the Rain Festival of progressive music is scheduled to take place in Bergen, Norway, on June 7 - 9. They've got an amazing slate of bands lined up, including such powerhouses as Anekdoten, Major Parkinson, Arabs in Aspic, Tusmørke, and many more. » Read more

2018-03-01
Seaprog 2018 Artist Announcements Raise Festival's Profile – Seattle's Seaprog festival has been going since 2013, and the 2018 edition features a slate of artists that's sure to bring more attention to the event. Cheer-Accident, Bubblemath, and Free Salamander Exhibit are in the first round announcement of performers. In keeping with their tradition of focusing on regional artists, they will also present a number of artists from Washington and Oregon. [Edit: Just added: Inner Ear Brigade] » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

The Brimstone Solar Radiation Band - Smorgasbord – Apparently this is the third recording by this excellent Norwegian quintet, although they are new to me. Where have I been? Like their countrymen Motorpsycho and The Last James / Haakon Ellingsen,...  (2010) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues