Is the Grateful Dead’s new 80-disc box set the ultimate musical endurance test?

1979, Marin City, California, USA --- Members of the rock group Grateful Dead are Bill Kreutzman (striped shirt), Jerry Garcia (black shirt and jacket), Mickey Hart ("God is Sound" T-shirt), Phil Lesh (white T-shirt), Bob Weir (Duke sweatshirt), and Brent Mydland. --- Image by © Roger Ressmeyer/CORBIS

Surely nobody can sit through a four-day, 24-hour psychedelic jam session? Then again, there are worse things out there to listen to. Here are other trainspotter-ish recordings to test your musical mettle

1979, Marin City, California, USA --- Members of the rock group Grateful Dead are Bill Kreutzman (striped shirt), Jerry Garcia (black shirt and jacket), Mickey Hart ("God is Sound" T-shirt), Phil Lesh (white T-shirt), Bob Weir (Duke sweatshirt), and Brent Mydland. --- Image by © Roger Ressmeyer/CORBIS
1979, Marin City, California, USA — Members of the rock group Grateful Dead are Bill Kreutzman (striped shirt), Jerry Garcia (black shirt and jacket), Mickey Hart (“God is Sound” T-shirt), Phil Lesh (white T-shirt), Bob Weir (Duke sweatshirt), and Brent Mydland. — Image by © Roger Ressmeyer/CORBIS

Well at least it answers the question: “Just what on earth am I going to buy Auntie Edna for Christmas?”

The Grateful Dead, no doubt fresh from an intensive session in an editing studio, are due to release an 80-disc box set.

Thirty Trips Around the Sun – a snip at just $699.95 – will feature 30 complete, previously unissued shows, one from each year of the band’s touring life, including their legendary 1979 shows at the Cape Cod Coliseum, in Massachusetts.

“They are on fire,” the group’s archivist David Lemieux told Rolling Stone. “There was always something about the Dead in New England – they were pretty darn spectacular. But some of the jams in this one are incredible.”

Not to do down the alluring pull of those New England jam sessions, but you have to wonder who – other than Auntie Edna – is going to want this? Most Grateful Dead albums feel like they last four days as it is; this one actually will.

Yet a little digging around reveals that there are far more trainspotter-ish recordings out there are more endurance tests than music. Here’s how to put yourself through sonic hell while saving yourself $699.95.

Read more at the Guardian

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