Grateful Dead Break Billboard Record Almost 30 Years After Disbanding

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The Grateful Dead have made Billboard chart history despite not being a band for nearly 30 years, with the greatest number of top 40 albums to ever make the Billboard 200.

According to Billboard, the release of Dave’s Picks, Volume 49: Frost Amphitheatre, Stanford U., Palo Alto, CA (4/27/85 & 4/28/85) debuted at number 25 on the charts making the total number of top 40 releases in the Dead’s repertoire at 59, surpassing both Frank Sinatra and Elvis Presley who were previously tied for the record at 58.

“Dave’s Picks” is a series of live recordings of old Grateful Dead shows put together by archivist David Lemiex, who will celebrate his 25’th year of working with the band this year. These albums are responsible for 41 of the 59 top 40 debuts and have all been released well after the 1995 death of Grateful Dead frontman Jerry Garcia in 1995. The latest release in this series sold 21,000 of the 25,000 printed album units which were all exclusively sold through Official Grateful Dead channels.

“This could be the most unlikely and unexpected record in music history, and is a testament to a few things,” Lemieux said in a press release. “First and foremost is the exceptional and consistent quality of the Grateful Dead’s more than 2,000 live shows. On the heels of this is the loyalty and passion of the many Dead Heads who have made this record possible. And to top it off, the Grateful Dead have a partnership with Rhino that ensures these many album releases are produced with care, love, and respect for both the band’s music and legacy, and the Dead Heads themselves.”

Even decades after disbanding the Grateful Dead has maintained a powerful presence among their fan base which seems to grow larger every day. Dead-themed merchandise and products stretch into every sector of the economy, especially among …

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Author: Patrick Maravelias / High Times

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