GRATEFUL DEAD Wake Of The Flood Studio Outtakes (1973)

Wake Of The Flood
Studio Outtakes
Stunning Unreleased Recordings

1973 was a turning point for the Grateful Dead. Only a few months after the death of lead vocalist PigPen McKernan, the Dead began work on their first studio album since 1970’s commercial breakthrough, American Beauty. They’d left Warner Bros., started two record labels (Round & Grateful Dead Records), opened their ranks to outside players (Keith & Donna Godchaux) and began recording what would become the exquisitely wonderful Wake Of The Flood. Three years between studio albums was an eternity in the early 70s and the band’s growth was immediately apparent, displaying a new-found depth in their writing and playing – as evidenced by the ambitious “Weather Report Suite” and the fragile beauty of “Stella Blue.” Having worked some of this material out on the road before recording, it’s no surprise these studio outtakes sound nearly as finished as the finished LP. You’ll hear tapes spooling, count-offs, cut-offs and miscues… and some gorgeous instrumental articulation. These tapes are well known in Dead trading circles, but should be appreciated by anybody interested in the early, creative choices of what many consider the greatest rock band America ever produced.

Here Comes Sunshine (5:10)
Here Comes Sunshine (1:25)
Let Me Sing Your Blues Away (3:33)
Let It Grow (8:13)
Row Jimmy (7:29)
Eyes Of The World (5:46)
Weather Report Suite Prelude (2:14)
Weather Report Suite Prelude (1:49)
Weather Report Suite Part 1 (6:13)
Stella Blue (6:59)
Stella Blue (6:38)
Here Comes Sunshine (5:06)
Here Comes Sunshine (4:54)
Let Me Sing Your Blues Away (3:26)


  • Sven DiMilo
    July 1, 2009 - 23:44 | Permalink

    thanks, man

  • stuckinthe70s
    July 2, 2009 - 11:57 | Permalink

    thanks – steve.

  • Timmy
    July 2, 2009 - 14:09 | Permalink

    Great stuff. Thanx…

  • Anonymous
    July 2, 2009 - 14:56 | Permalink

    "what many still consider the greatest rock band America ever produced"…. and many more consider the most overrated by a delusional cult. I love your taste Willard but in this instance… nah.

    • Michael
      November 7, 2012 - 06:49 | Permalink

      Grateful Dead produced one of the longest lines of followers to ever play professionally. Typically anyone can voice their opinion, however it is but one opinion. When a 6 digit figure of followers voice their opinion, maybe they have a point…
      Followed them since the first listen, the layback and extension of indifference that was extended to everyone who lent a stage was reverent and a true sign of the music. Making peace by making music. Something many bands failed to establish. Unlike opera, I never felt a air of you are not welcome unless you are in a social circle. One would only have to see some of the classic pics of peace and togetherness to know this was real. Thanks for sharing such great music!

  • Capt. Willard
    July 2, 2009 - 16:00 | Permalink

    I don't like Opera. But, when I see the dedication and utter devotion it generates among its followers, I don't brand them as "delusional." I may not understand the music but I'm smart enough to understand that I'M the one who's missing something.

    Many consider The Beach Boys America's greatest band…. many consider the Miles Davis Sextet America's greatest band… many consider the Grateful Dead…

    Before coming to that conclusion, every fanatic has immersed themselves, listened to every offering and felt a part of every creative nuance.

    If you haven't done any of that… then you can't understand, can you?

    You don't have to agree with anyone's opinion of greatness. But you obviously haven't put in the time, beyond some casual listening, to give your opinion any validity whatsoever. So, why are you proudly broadcasting your lack of insight?

    Bottom line is… you simply missed out. Just like I did with Opera. Overrated? Either do your homework or move on. Don't blame your lack of insight on others.

  • Art Ducko
    July 2, 2009 - 16:36 | Permalink

    You go, tiger.

  • Anonymous
    July 2, 2009 - 17:14 | Permalink

    Must not forget the inimitable Doug Sahm also played 12-string guitar on one of their songs off this album. Another remarkable musician who died way too soon.

  • Anonymous
    July 3, 2009 - 08:18 | Permalink

    Oh, for Pete's (Jerry's?) sake.

    I'm personally delighted that many, many fine folks find the Dead so, er… *important*. But the fact, is "overrated" pretty much sums things up quite succinctly.

    And, golly, I know it's your site, but need you be so rude and hostile ("don't blame your lack of insight on others")? Some of my dearest friends have loved the Dead and all their various adjunct tidbits for the full run of the band—and I've heard just about everything imaginable from those quarters for the past forty-two years.

    It just isn't very good stuff. Rubbish for stoners, actually. Still, I'm glad fans of the band find it all so swell.

    Just sayin'.

    • Willard
      October 19, 2011 - 10:02 | Permalink

      Seriously… you don’t get it? A band can only be considered overrated to those who don’t care. To those who do care, it’s just the opposite. You should be asking yourself, ‘what am I missing?,’ instead of – since you can’t possibly be wrong – dismissing them as overrated. How sad to see the world only one way. Yours, to boot.

    • Michael
      November 7, 2012 - 06:52 | Permalink

      The mere fact that you post anonymous is but a symptom of your lack of social skill. Was the game or wrestling on when you were “listening”?

  • Art Ducko
    July 3, 2009 - 08:38 | Permalink

    I forgot to thank you for featuring the cool Rick Griffin graphics for the cd cover. He had such a distinctive & masterful graphic style. Griffin was always my favorite of the so-called "underground " cartoonists, just as his greatest legacy will always be his concert posters from the sixties. I've always loved his album art the most. This particular cover is actually adapted from the original record labels. Love that crow.

  • Art Ducko
    July 3, 2009 - 09:38 | Permalink

    Besides, we all know the Doors are the greatest American band ever…

  • Anonymous
    July 3, 2009 - 11:25 | Permalink

    HELLOOOOO PEOPLE. I thought I'd wandered on to the wrong site at first, all this my band is better than yours hoohaa is the sort of thing I read and laff at on other sites. Thought we were above all that here. 'Best band in the world/USA/UK/Universe' sooooo not important. If you don't agree with a personal choice be polite enough not to say so. There are posts on this site I don't like and posts I do. I've always preferred to say thanks for the likes and not diss the bits I don't like. Be polite people, we are so much better than this here.

  • Capt. Willard
    July 3, 2009 - 15:24 | Permalink

    A cooler head has prevailed. Thanks Mal. Though, I'm still up for hearing favorite American bands. Although I couldn't – with good critical conscience – rank them very high in terms of importance, The Doors (thanks pj) might be my personal favorite mentioned so far (except maybe the Beach Boys). But, that's today.

  • Capt. Willard
    July 3, 2009 - 15:25 | Permalink

    … especially with Morrison.

  • Sven DiMilo
    July 4, 2009 - 16:43 | Permalink

    I am a deadhead; saw them many dozens of times, mostly early/mid 80s; own a decent collection. (I listen mostly to jazz.) People who prefer, say, the Doors are prioritizing other aspects of the music-listening experience than I am. That's OK with me–why argue?
    Thanks, Willard, for this and the variety, too.

  • Capt. Willard
    July 4, 2009 - 17:20 | Permalink

    Exactly. It's apples and oranges, which is why "favorite" is the operative word here, not "most talented."

  • Chance
    July 5, 2009 - 04:49 | Permalink

    The key for me in finally appreciating the Dead was when I began to see them not as a "rock band," but more as a roots/traditionalist kind of ensemble. Their audience is obviously the rock crowd, but their approach to music I think is more rooted in the same ancient folk trails that begat Dylan, and not the R&B or blues that inspired your more typical rockers. Even when they're not overtly playing folky stuff, I think the underlying sensibility is there. Gotta agree on "Terrapin," great record.

    Best American band? I can't let the discussion continue without wavin' my Velvet Underground banner. Alas, no strangers to the "overrated" charge themselves.

  • Capt. Willard
    July 5, 2009 - 05:29 | Permalink

    We're sticking with favorites (over best) and will mark you down for VU. Thanks.

  • Art Ducko
    July 5, 2009 - 07:28 | Permalink

    Just to stir things up again, may I offer another choice for favorite American band: the Band (which really stirs the pot since 4/5th's of the group were Canadian.) Why is it the best-sounding examples of our own home-grown sound are imports? The Beatles & Stones are prime examples of this. Anyway, these guys did more to start the Americana/roots revival than any other band, (& managed to keep their own playing with Dylan in that there basement.)

    • Sven DIMilo
      October 21, 2011 - 15:01 | Permalink

      managed to keep their own playing with Dylan in that there basement.

      Except for, you know, those tours.

      • Willard
        October 21, 2011 - 15:09 | Permalink

        I saw the 74 return tour, myself. A grand time and one of the great American bands… despite how much I’d like to kick Robertson’s balls up through his teeth.

  • Chance
    July 5, 2009 - 14:37 | Permalink

    Sure, we sometimes forget America is a continent, not a country, so why not The Band? They personify "Americana." LOVE the Basement Tapes. Robertson is one of my favorite guitarists.

  • illlich
    July 6, 2009 - 02:52 | Permalink

    I've never been a Deadhead, and in fact I was a virulent ANTI-Deadhead for a period in my teens (to the constant annoyance of my Deadhead friends), but even I came around. They may not be the Greatest American Rock Band Ever, but they were great songwriters (something you can't say for ANY of the modern "jam bands"), and plenty experimental in their own unique way too (what other stadium-filling band could could subject its fans to a half hour of free-form "space" noodling nearly every show?)

  • taro nombei
    July 8, 2009 - 08:14 | Permalink

    These outtakes are all great and new to me — and I consider myself a lapsed (but still 'brainwashed') deadhead. Some lovely moments in there.
    You didn't have to have seen them live to 'get' the Dead, but it's true to say it certainly helped if you had some herb to help you.
    As for the 'best' band of all time… my vote (today) would be Little Feat – Sailing Shoes era of course.
    thanks as always Willard.

  • Capt. Willard
    November 9, 2009 - 02:39 | Permalink

    Search HERE

  • grooVemonzter
    March 14, 2010 - 13:38 | Permalink

    One of my all time favorite albums. Wake of the Flood. I never knew there was an outtake boot floating around. This will be a rare treat. Thank you very much. And thank you Jerry where ever you are. Cheers from Miami

  • Anonymous
    February 19, 2011 - 11:32 | Permalink

    This thing about the Greatest American Band, though we are all supposed to have grown out of this High Fidelty list making obsession, I would like to make an observation or two. As a generalisation I would North America produces great singer songwriters and Britain great bands. I write as a Brit who has had a serious thing about the Dead since about the release of Garcia's first solo album, which kinda makes up the trilogy of Workingman's and American Beauty. The Dead arrived at the right time for me, carrying on the flame of the sixties after the Beatles breaking up and all. Why they are for me the only American band, is that acted as a catalyst causing me to explore all sorts of Americana from jazz to bluegrass. For me the Velevet Underground is just Lou Reed after the two Europeans left. In fact Lou seems another great American singersong writer in the tradition of Bob Dylan, Paul Simon, Randy Newman or Leonard Cohen. The Doors, I'm afraid seem rather a joke over the pond, all leather trousers and teenage angst (tho' Patti Smith seems to think otherwise). The Dead I see as part of a scene which, dare I say it, was triggered by the Brit invasion. In the final analysis, the Beatles, the Who, the Kinks, the Stones, the Soft machine, the Pink Floyd, Fleetwood Mac, Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath, Deep Purple, the Clash, the Sex Pistols, the Smiths, Oasis, Blur, Radiohead, Supergrass, Jethro Tull, Hawkwind, the Pink Fairies, Fairport Convention, U2 etc etc seem to and to more than American Bands. So when it comes to classics I would say the US for singer songwriters the Britsh Isles for bands. The fact that I listen and love classic West Coast bands maybe is just my perversity or perhaps because San Francisco is the most European of American cities. I do love American garage, surf and boogie bands (Canned Heat, the Allman Bros), which we can't do but that seems I kind of roots thing. Of course rock and roll is an American invention but I think Robinson of the Black Crowes is wrong when he says we should stick to football. Even the the blues seems to have taken a route from the South to Chicago to Sussex in England. I think I am talking about a past era, as these days the music scene is so splintered. I can't really think of a British singer songwriter to compare to Dylan; Donovan!? John Martyn?! It is, of course, a tangled web, and worth remembering that the great Jimi Hendrix Experience was made up of an American and two Brits; perhaps the greatest example of our so called special relationship. So I remain devoted to the Dead but from a very British perspective. In the Uk we felt their communual freewheeling experience was a more postive trip than the Floyd's frigid universe

  • Anonymous
    February 19, 2011 - 12:14 | Permalink

    P.S. Sorry about the grammar errors in the previous but you get my drift
    P.P.S. Thanks for an astonishingly great site

  • W
    February 19, 2011 - 14:11 | Permalink

    A Brit abandoning the Floyd for the Dead? I gotta believe you're an outcast in the neighborhood. Thanks for the thoughts.

  • Visions
    October 19, 2011 - 13:59 | Permalink

    My American favorite is the Beach Boys. Unless I am listening to VU. And vice-versa. I thought we all agreed that the Beatles are the best band! If I can only listen to two songs in the universe, they are: “I Saw Her Standing There” and the Sex Pistols’ “Did You No Wrong,” the latter of which I have played roughly 47 million times. And then “Sister Ray” — one of the 30-minute versions. There is soooo much good music; there’s something for everyone.

    • Willard
      October 19, 2011 - 16:23 | Permalink

      WE agreed that The Beatles were the best, but not everybody’s on board with that thought. Which is why they kept inventing more bands after 1963.

  • Anonymous
    October 22, 2011 - 21:44 | Permalink

    I wonder if they can patent the bands THEY invent…..and the grateful dead not only are the best at what they do – they are the ONLY ones that do what they do…or did… and we have numerous sources to prove it…love your site man THANKS – oh and the aoxomoxoa original mix is over at grateful breed…peace.

  • eggman
    December 26, 2012 - 05:12 | Permalink

    After more than an oblivious decade, I’m currently passing through a GD obsession period, so thanks a lot. As to whether they were/are the best American band, it depends on the mood: The Band ranks higher sometimes, as VU does. And Wilco…

  • March 8, 2015 - 04:56 | Permalink

    For the Dead, I am Grateful.
    As Mr. Garcia said, “We’re not the best at what we do, but we’re not the worst either.”
    They were not at all bad by any standard, whether you like their stuff is not the point, they did their best and I think they have been a great band and a good influence on music and also the people who really listened to their music. Robert Hunter is up with Robert Zimmerman for me, an incredible storyteller and lyricist.

    Thank you very much for this music, it’s on next here!!

  • June 8, 2015 - 10:24 | Permalink

    Wake Of the Flood was the first Grateful Dead LP I purchased at the time of its release. Hearing outtakes collections always gives a new perspective as to why some tracks were not, despite their obvious merits, released on the final LP. However it is also interesting to note that with outtakes collections where alternative harmonies, instrumental parts, etc may have been just as good as what appeared on the final recording and what a challenge it would have been for the editors to select “the best” takes for the final recording.

    I really dug listening to this, though. Thanks for posting it!

  • Tony
    November 7, 2015 - 08:48 | Permalink

    Thanks alot for that.

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