Grateful Dead Release 16 Previously Unheard Outtakes, Alternate Versions and Mixes of “Scarlet Begonias,” “Ship Of Fools,” “China Doll” and More

April 17, 2024
Grateful Dead Release 16 Previously Unheard Outtakes, Alternate Versions and Mixes of “Scarlet Begonias,” “Ship Of Fools,” “China Doll” and More

Once again, the Grateful Dead have cracked open the vault and unearthed never-before-heard session recordings. Presented today via Rhino’s surprise release, From The Mars Hotel: The Angel’s Share, the set features 16 alternative versions, outtakes, and mixes of classics such as “Scarlet Begonias,” “Ship Of Fools,” “China Doll,” “U.S. Blues,” “Unbroken Chain,” and more that originated off of the band’s 1974 released set–the latest collection of Dead music to be remastered and expanded, following previous revisited projects Workingman’s Dead, American Beauty, Wake Of The Flood, and others. 

From The Mars Hotel: The Angel’s Share further highlights the evolution of band favorites, practiced and performed in the studio and presented in various formats, ranging from pure instrumentations to lyrical displays that captured their playfulness during this era of studio production. Recognizable riffs and poetic utterances take the listener inside the making of the Dead’s second self-released album from their own Grateful Dead Records. 

While today’s drop, The Angel’s Share, highlights alternative studio moments, the Rhino release’s larger scope centers around the 50th anniversary expanded and remastered edition of From The Mars Hotel. The follow-up to Wake of the Flood, the spring of 1974 product captures the band amidst a fruitful period of creation, birthing two highly-acclaimed albums in a mere nine-month window, exemplifying the prolific spirit of its players. 

The impending June 21 drop delivers a complete remastering of the From The Mars Hotel collection, worked on by Grammy award-winning audio engineer David Glasser using Plangent Processes tape restoration as well as speed correction and produced by Grateful Dead Legacy Manager and Audio Archivist David Lemieux. Moreover, the deluxe edition of the forthcoming deliverable includes the previously shared “Wave That Flag” demo and an excavated live performance from the University of Nevada in Reno, Nev., on May 12, 1974, as a bonus. 

Despite being caught in a windstorm, the band was well matched for the elements on the live set, conjuring the strength of the breeze into massive displays of sister tunes, “China Cat Sunflower” > “I Know You Rider” and fresh cut From The Mars Hotel, “U.S. Blues,” in addition to downright classics, “Brown-Eyed Women,” “Tennessee Jed,” “Mississippi Half Step,” “Sugar Magnolia” and “Truckin,” due impart to the Wall of Sound–the renowned sound system, which required 21 stage hands for assembly.

The forthcoming remastered album is jolted by Jerry Garcia’s expressive and lively lead guitar, which unleashes melody across the original deliverable. It reaches greater heights with guest spots from Ned Lagin, who layers synth atop the prosperous “Unbroken Chain” and John McFee’s country-leaning pedal steel on “Pride of Cucamonga.” Notably, the two previously mentioned numbers also functioned as the final studio cuts to feature vocal contributions from Phil Lesh, further exemplifying the album’s importance and sensical choice as a revisited chapter. 

Pre-order From The Mars Hotel (50th Anniversary Deluxe Edition) on 3CD and digital formats, and stream The Angel’s Share collection.

From The Mars Hotel: The Angel’s Share:

Scarlet Begonias (Takes 1 & 2)

Scarlet Begonias (Alternate Mix)

China Doll (Acoustic Mix)

Money Money (Alternate Version)

Loose Lucy (Alternate Mix)

Ship Of Fools (Take 7)

Ship Of Fools (Alternate Mix)

U.S. Blues (Takes 1 & 2)

U.S. Blues (Take 4)

U.S. Blues (Take 8)

Pride Of Cucamonga (Take 1)

Pride Of Cucamonga (Alternate Mix)

Unbroken Chain (Take 1)

Unbroken Chain (Take 5)

Unbroken Chain (Take 6)

Unbroken Chain (Alternate Mix)