Grateful Dead / Workingman’s Dead

3CD set • Remastered • Unreleased live show • Vinyl pic disc

The Grateful Dead‘s 1970 album Workingman’s Dead will be reissued as a three-CD deluxe edition in July.

The Dead’s fourth studio album left the psychedelia at the door, with Jerry Garcia and Robert Hunter opting for a more classic folk-rock approach.

The album features songs  like ‘Casey Jones’, ‘High Time’ and ‘Uncle John’s Band’ and the reissue features newly remastered sound. The two bonus CDs offer an unreleased concert recorded on 21 February 1971 at the Capitol Theatre in Port Chester, NY. The show features songs from Workingman’s Dead and the follow up album American Beauty which had been released by that point. It was mixed from the 16-track analog master tapes by Jeffrey Norman and mastered by David Glasser.

There are actually two versions of the 3CD reissue. One comes with an ‘O-card’ (which packaging-speak for a slipcase open at both ends) and one is a standard 3CD digipak. The former is more expensive and therefore clearly supposed to be the more ‘deluxe’ of the two. Any further details around packaging differences aren’t available.

A vinyl picture disc edition (limited to 10,000 units) is also being released alongside the triple-CD package.

All formats of Workingman’s Dead will be released on 10 July 2020.

Workingman’s Dead – 3CD deluxe edition

CD 1: Original Album Remastered

            1.         UNCLE JOHN’S BAND (4:40)
2.         HIGH TIME (5:10)
3.         DIRE WOLF (3:12)
4.         NEW SPEEDWAY BOOGIE (4:03)
5.         CUMBERLAND BLUES (3:14)
6.         BLACK PETER (5:40)
7.         EASY WIND (4:56)
8.         CASEY JONES (4:25)

CD 2: Capitol Theatre, Port Chester, NY (2/21/71) [71:45]

Set 1

1.         COLD RAIN AND SNOW          [7:36]
2.         ME AND BOBBY MCGEE         [7:33]
3.         LOSER [6:54]
4.         EASY WIND     [8:49]
5.         PLAYING IN THE BAND           [5:25]
6.         BERTHA          [6:13]
7.         ME AND MY UNCLE    [3:56]
8.         RIPPLE (false start)     [1:09]
8.         RIPPLE [5:24]
9.         NEXT TIME YOU SEE ME         [4:39]
10.       SUGAR MAGNOLIA     [6:08]
12.       JOHNNY B. GOODE     [3:42]

CD 3: Capitol Theatre, Port Chester, NY (2/21/71) [79:57]

Set 2

1.         CHINA CAT SUNFLOWER>      [6:20]
2.         I KNOW YOU RIDER>  [4:29]
3.         BIRD SONG     [6:17]
4.         CUMBERLAND BLUES [4:55]
5.         I’M A KING BEE           [7:32]
6.         BEAT IT ON DOWN THE LINE  [3:17]
7.         WHARF RAT    [9:46]
8.         TRUCKIN’        [8:07]
9.         CASEY JONES  [4:39]
10.       GOOD LOVIN’           [17:00]
11.       UNCLE JOHN’S BAND  [7:27]

Grateful Dead / Workingman's Dead

Workingman’s Dead – vinyl LP picture disc

Side 1

Uncle John’s Band
High Time
Dire Wolf
New Speedway Boogie

Side 2

Cumberland Blues
Black Peter
Easy Wind
Casey Jones

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I picked up the version with the lenticular slipcard yesterday at Barnes & Noble, and I have to say, the lenticular with this one really is pretty nifty. One may have thought that such a rustic original image wouldn’t lend itself to such trickery, but as it is, it’s like looking through a little window onto that San Francisco street corner in 1969 (and here’s some stupendous research into just which street corner that was: http://www.popspotsnyc.com/workingmans_dead/ ), with the members of the band arrayed at different levels throughout the 3D image. As someone said above, it may not be worth it to you, but I’m really delighted with it and glad I sprung for this version. The remaster sounds great, with plenty of space befitting the acoustic arrangements. Haven’t listened to the concert yet.

And to Rog, above: Yes indeed, this album is the ideal place to start a relationship with the Dead’s music.

Graham Bentley

Great place to start, my favourite Dead studio album.

John ob

Workingmans dead along with American Beauty are a great way to start for the Deads Rootsier sound. For the psychedelic stuff Live Dead is great. I also love Wake of The Flood and Terrapin Station is often overlooked. Quite jealous if you are just discovering all this great music for the first time

Rog H

I fear this question may be too big to ask, but if one was entirely unfamiliar with the Dead catalogue, where might one be best to start? Is Workingman’s worth a go?

Peter Stanton

Hi Rog
That is indeed a huge question, with no definitive answer. Workingman’s Dead is a brilliant place to start, if you like this era of the Dead. I got into them at an earlier stage, and would recommend having a listen to Live Dead. However, I don’t think that you can go far wrong with this.

PS Just made myself laugh as I mis-typed Workingman’s Dead as Wokingman’s Dead. I can’t imagine Captain Trips in Woking.

Graham Bentley

Great place to start, my favourite Dead studio album.

Stevie Combs

I tried to order the cd version from Amazon.co.uk and I got this message- “Sorry, this item can’t be sent to your selected address.” I am in the USA and I have ordered from them before. Anybody have any tips?

Steve Jones

You can order from Amazon.com in the US – same price as on dead.net but presumably prime members get post free on Amazon.

Kenneth Anselmi

A fantastic surround mix was made of this album and American Beauty approximately 20 years ago. They should have included that mix here along with some album outtakes. A missed opportunity.

David Bly

But will the back covers be correctly upside-down>

Many may not know this, but the original US pressings of the LP (with the green WB label) had the back cover intentionally upside-down. So it’s very easy to spot a re-release by just looking at the back cover.
Later pressings were accidentally turned right-side up, as someone at Warner did not know about the original configuration.


Regarding the complaints about the live tracks being something that Deadheads already have, well, not all Dead fans are Deadheads., and I suspect that many die-hards are not interested in actually spending money on these re-releases anyway.

I have always been a fan but was never interested going to a concert by the time I could because frankly I never have enjoyed the type of crowds that would populate Dead shows.
I have never been interested in going to shows where drugs are essentially forced on me (i.e., all the people smoking pot all around) as I go to show for the MUSIC, not for some alleged communal experience bullshit. I want to keep a clear head so I can actually hear and understand the musical abilities of the musicians.

Having said this, I ultimately missed out on two nearby Dead shows I probably should’ve gone to (and ones that friends went to) – the famous 1977 show at Cornell Univ in Ithaca, NY, and also the Summer Jam show in 1973 at the Watkins Glen International Racetrack in the Village of that name.
Missing the latter one is extremely sad, as besides the Dead, The Band and the Allamn Brothers Band (both in their original forms) also played. I didn’t go cause I didn’t wan’t to hang out in the middle of a motor racing track, but as a result, i never saw any of the three bands live at all.

Paul MacLennan

“Tracks deadheads already have” could be said about almost every show! I’m a deadhead, drooling at the fact that this Port Chester, NY show (almost in my backyard), is being chosen and restored with the care of Norman/Glasser. These old Dead shows have amazing sound quality, when all is said and done, far exceeding any expectations I ever had. For me…more , more, more Dave’s Picks and anniversary editions! The first two [anniversary editions] were stellar. I love live Dead! Bring it on!!

Jarmo Keranen

The Allman Brothers Band wasn’t in their original form. Duane Allman and Berry Oakley were both dead!


2/21/71 in one word…. boring!

I have almost all of the dead‘s live & studio releases, but I think I will skip this one.

Brian Tennis

A vinyl picture disc edition (limited to 10,000 units) is also being released alongside the triple-CD package.

“Limited” LoL!


CD collectors must be enjoying these Dead reissues, but those of us who buy vinyl feel really neglected. The only option is a picutre-disc, and we never get the bonus concert! Really don’t see the point.


There’s also a brown/clear vinyl version via Deadnet.com

David Bly


That version is already sold out, and by the way, the site is not Deadnet.com, but rather
dead.net, from back in the olden times where early website adopters used .net instead of always using .com


Thanks for the tip, but sadly sold out already.

The Golden Age Of The Phonograph

£7 for a piece of cardboard I normally throw away what a load of #’$!?{+cks.

That`s The Tax Dodgers (FYI Amazon) for you.


The last three Dead releases have had a nice lenticular version of the artwork on the slipcase. So there’s a little bit of value-add. Whether there’s £7 of value-add is up to you.

Dave H

The Grateful Dead must have more live recordings floating around than any other artist I know.

If the record company wanted to add value for money, why didn’t they add the surround mix of the album and put it on a blu-ray as a fourth disc.

Andrew Greenwood

I spotted this earlier today and had a look on Amazon as it is probably time I started catching up with the deluxe Dead reissues (as I missed the massive box a few years ago). The first thing I spotted when looking at the first Dead album was that the top reviewer thought that the remastering was very tinny compared to the 2003 remaster (with bonus tracks). We also appear to lose the bonus tracks on all of these 50th anniversary remasters and receive a bonus live disc(s) instead. Is this a genuine difference and do the next few 50th remasters suffer the same?
I thought this might be a good place top get some more opinions on these as presumably they will keep coming out for a while or maybe I should go for the Golden Road box set despite the price


That’s exactly it Andrew. Basically, those 2003 remasters added studio outtakes and/or live cuts. This new series of 50th anniversaries focuses on more or less complete concerts to accompany the album, but without outtakes included.

Kevin Wollenweber

Judging from previous anniversary editions, these new remasterings are of the original mix of each album as they first appeared, so I would imagine that these next two studio albums will be must-haves. On the previous three albums, you got the original mix, followed by the previous remixed albums. I, personally, don’t understand why we need the remixes when the true collectors’ item can be found in the original mixes, perhaps with bonuses that were issued on those remixes, but I don’t want to sound too picky. So that’s all I know at this time.


The additional remixes on Anthem… & Aoxomoxoa are from ’68 & ’69 respectively. They have never been released on CD before, so there is rarity value.

I’m a semi-Dead obsessive – only a couple of hundred albums;) I bought the last 3 50th Anniversary releases & will buy this one (but I’m not spending £7 on the lenticular sleeve). In my opinion, the Golden Road discs (which you can now pick up individually for less than the price of the box) are the best versions of these recordings.

Jarmo Keranen

I already own The Golden road 1965-73 (12cd’s), Beyond Description 1973-89 (12cd’s), Europe ’72 (22 complete shows, 73cd’s) and 30 Trips Around The Sun (30 complete concerts from 1966-95, 80cd’s). Total sum what i have paid them must be around £1500. My favourites are Workingman’s Dead, American Beauty and Terrapin Station. I’m not shure why i bought all these boxes. I have never been Dead Head and considering total amount of cd’s it’s total overkill. Maybe i had too much money. I think i’ll pass this latest release!


I managed to nab both Golden Road and Beyond Description for £75.00 each a few years ago. Whadda find!! Along with those my brother gave me his spare copy of Winterland June 1977 Complete Recordings (it’s a long story), plus I also got the complete 30 Days Of The Dead (nov 2011) downloads (all burnt to CD, with full artwork) and the Grateful Dead Movie on Blu Ray. Oh yes, also a vinyl copy of the excellent American Beauty LP which is where my interest in the Dead began. That’s quite enough to be going on with!

Stuart Munro

Really? A “deluxe” version, and this is what you get? No added tracks, just an additional two discs of two shows that most deadheads probably already have? This is completely, embarrassingly lame.


Indeed, there are literally thousands of Dead shows available for free, many in good soundboard quality. And yet, “deadheads” crave to get officially released shows sourced from the multi-tracks, just to have a further step up in sound quality. And it’s primarily the live shows that this band is known for and loved, rather than its studio albums. So, to get another show from the famous Capitol Port Chester run they did in Feb 1971 (the other one was released as Three from the Vault), makes this a very attractive release. If there’s one bit of not-so-great news coming with this release, is it means they likely will no longer put out a box of the complete Port Chester run, with two of the six shows having already been released. Anyway, this 50th anniversary release is similar to the previous ones in the series, with quite a lot of bonus live material (and yes, with some remixes in the case of Anthem of the Sun and Aoxomoxoa), beside the album proper. 1970-71 is such an important period for the Dead, as they introduced a new Americana vibe into the melting pot of sounds they made. Very much looking forward to this and the upcoming American Beauty 50th anniversary release!


I consider myself a deadhead and I can’t wait for this release! They are my favorite band by far. I have +200 officially released Grateful Dead live shows on CD and I will definitely be adding the Workingman’s Dead 50th to my collection because I do not own (and have never heard) the show from 2/21/71.

Thank you Paul for the announcement! With all of the goodies that have been released by the good ol’ GD as of late, it sure is a wonderful time to be a deadhead!


I’d love to know how many GD concerts were multi-tracked. Judging by the amount of released live shows, they must have the most number of professionally (not just soundboard 2 track stereo recordings) multi-tracks of any band, ever?

Paul H.

They do say Jerry Garcia is the most recorded guitarist in history. I’d agree with that. The Garcia Live series is up to Volume 13, and major GD releases seem to happen every quarter.


I meant to add within the midst of all that, they recorded everything on really good kit because they knew these recordings would be a valuable asset for the future – hence the array of often stunningly brilliant shows available, some of which are in the Smithsonian Institute national Music archive. But the point of my previous response was to indicate that this was an offshoot of a whole philosophy not just a cash generator.


Not as many as one might think:

The great thing is that so many of their two-tracks were mixed specifically for the tape.


err… Frank Zappa?
(there is a new 4cd bos set from 1970 due in June)
Possibly for the same reason – both artists used live recordings as the basis for tracks on “studio” album releases – in Zappa’s case editing multiple live takes together – some sections lasting just a few seconds).