Stream 36 Recordings of Legendary Grateful Dead Concerts Free Online (aka Dick’s Picks)

Image via Wiki­me­dia Com­mons

There’s no short­age of Grate­ful Dead con­certs freely avail­able on the web. Indeed, head over to and you’ll find hun­dreds of Dead shows, some going as far back as the 1960s. But when you start rum­mag­ing around, you’ll dis­cov­er that some nights were mag­ic, while many oth­ers fell far short. That’s why we can be thank­ful that Dick­’s Picks came along. Named after the band’s tape archivist Dick Lat­vala, Dick­’s Picks (released between 1993 and 2005) fea­tured 36 volumes/albums of Grate­ful Dead con­certs, all sourced from sound­board record­ings cap­tured on two-track mas­ter tapes. The record­ings, as Tony Sclafani notes in The Grate­ful Dead FAQ, gave every­one a chance to “expe­ri­ence what going to a clas­sic Dead show was like” — “to eas­i­ly access record­ings of leg­endary shows.”

Caught up in some Grate­ful Dead nos­tal­gia myself, I quick­ly real­ized that all 36 vol­umes of Dick­’s Picks are avail­able on Spo­ti­fy — at no cost. As much for my own musi­cal edi­fi­ca­tion as for yours, I’ve cre­at­ed a list below. (Some of you might have a beef with Spo­ti­fy, or want to own your own copies, so I’ve includ­ed Ama­zon links too.) You can reg­is­ter for Spo­ti­fy and down­load the free soft­ware here.

Dead fans will sure­ly argue over which Dick­’s Picks are the best. But, from what I’ve seen, Vol. 4 (above), Vol. 8, Vol. 10, and Vol. 12. offer great places to begin.

And although it does­n’t appear in the Dick­’s Picks series, you can find on what’s often con­sid­ered one of the Dead­’s finest live record­ings — their May 8, 1977 con­cert in Bar­ton Hall, at Cor­nell Uni­ver­si­ty.

Also, if you’re look­ing for a good intro­duc­tion to the Dead­’s musi­cal career, lis­ten to this recent episode of the Sound Opin­ions pod­cast, com­ing out of WBEZ in Chica­go.


Relat­ed Con­tent:

The Grate­ful Dead’s “Rip­ple” Played by Musi­cians Around the World

Bob Dylan and The Grate­ful Dead Rehearse Togeth­er in Sum­mer 1987. Lis­ten to 74 Tracks.

The Grate­ful Dead Play at the Egypt­ian Pyra­mids, in the Shad­ow of the Sphinx (1978)

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