Listen: Grateful Dead to Release ‘Wake Of The Flood (50th Anniversary Deluxe Edition),’ Share Stripped-Down “Eyes Of The World (Demo)”

Listen: Grateful Dead to Release ‘Wake Of The Flood (50th Anniversary Deluxe Edition),’ Share Stripped-Down “Eyes Of The World (Demo)”

Photo Credit: Charles B. Senton Jr.

The Grateful Dead have announced the impending release of Wake Of The Flood (50th Anniversary Deluxe Edition), due out on Sept. 29 via Rhino. As a preview of what’s to come, they have shared a stripped-down version of the fan favorite, “Eyes Of The World (Demo).” The forthcoming package is comprised of a two-CD and digital set featuring the LP’s seven original numbers and a pair of previously unheard demos. There will also be various vinyl options for fans and collectors of said format. 

The set, ripped in 1973, captures a momentous moment in Grateful Dead history, following the loss of original member Ron “Pigpen” McKernan on March 8 and the temporary departure of drummer Mickey Hart. The collection of music was the band’s first on their self-titled label, Grateful Dead Records, and marks a period of adaption and growth with the addition of new members to the lineup: husband and wife duo Keith and Donna Godchaux, on keys and vocals, respectively. 

Wake Of The Flood (50th Anniversary Deluxe Edition) resulted in the delivery of many staple songs, from the dynamic soul-stinger “Stella Blue” to a fluttering key-heavy display on the bouncing summertime anthem “Here Comes Sunshine” and humdinger “Mississippi Half Step Uptown Toodeloo,” along with other classic pieces like “Row Jimmy,” “Weather Report Suite” and “Let Me Sing Your Blues Away,” which collectively represent some of the band’s finest studio work.  

In addition, the deluxe edition will include a bonus disc of live material from the final night of their brief tour in support of Wake Of The Flood at Northwestern University’s McGaw Memorial Hall on Nov. 1, 1973. The show closed with “Weather Report Suite” and “Mississippi Half-Step,” but not before supreme jams of “Morning Dew” > “Playing In The Band” > “Uncle John’s Band” > “Playing In The Band.” 

David Lemieux commented on the first time he heard Wake Of The Flood via press release. “I was enthralled with the beautiful arrangements of some of the Dead’s greatest songs, everything so clear and present. The songs and vocal treatments all sounded so mature, like these were guys who knew things and they wanted to share what they’d learned in the eight years since forming the Grateful Dead. And what REALLY caught my ear were the many additional sounds that were striking at first, but I can’t imagine these songs, on this record, without these many additional contributors.”

In the 50th Anniversary Deluxe Edition’s accompanying liner notes, former UC Santa Cruz Grateful Dead archivist Nicholas G. Meriwether writes that with Wake Of The Flood, the Grateful Dead were “not only building a musical microcosm, a unified narrative that described the state of the Dead’s project, but also providing an example of what that project could accomplish, what it was designed to do: to create a viable alternative, an artistic vision of the beauty that could be created within and despite the sad, messy strife of the world… And they let that message speak for itself. In an album rife with religious imagery and overtones, they never preached; they just revealed.”

To mark the occasion, the Good Ol’ Grateful Deadcast will premiere its eighth season, focusing on the 1973 LP. The first installment of the 10-episode series will include never-before-heard interviews with the late Grateful Dead and Rolling Stones manager Sam Cutler, who passed away on July 11, 2023. On the podcast, they will look back at the group’s famed Watkins Glen performance and music history from the festival-heavy era. Listen here

Pre-order Wake Of The Flood (50th Anniversary Deluxe Edition) now. Listen to “Eyes Of The World (Demo)” below.

Scroll down to view the complete setlist.

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Wake Of The Flood (50th Anniversary Deluxe Edition):


Mississippi Half-Step Uptown Toodeloo

Let Me Sing Your Blues Away

Row Jimmy

Stella Blue

Here Comes Sunshine

Eyes Of The World

Weather Report Suite

Eyes Of The World (Demo)*

Here Comes Sunshine (Demo)*



Weather Report Suite

Morning Dew

Playing In The Band

Uncle John’s Band

Playing In The Band

Mississippi Half-Step Uptown Toodeloo

*Previously Unreleased

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