How To Read The Book and Quick Start Guide

Most books are linear in form…you start at the beginning and read to the end. You can certainly do that with this book too, and we do recommend reading the Preface and Introduction first. After that, however, you may prefer to read the various song discussions in any order you’d like; think of it as a reference book and read what you’re attracted too.

Quick Start Guide

Because the Grateful Dead incorporated a wide variety of musical genres they into their own musical style, some readers might like to experience some of this variety before exploring the entire list of 100 essential songs. So here’s a Quick Start Guide to help with that. If you are unfamiliar with the Dead’s musical eclecticism, you can start here, but first do read the lyrics to these songs at All of the links below are to live performances, and all appear later in the book with additional details.

Q.S. #1: Folk — “Peggy-O” (May 7, 1977)

Q.S. #2: Rock and Roll — “One More Saturday Night” (April 8, 1972)

Q.S. #3: Bluegrass — “Cumberland Blues” (March 28, 1973)

Q.S. #4: Country Rock — “Mexicali Blues” (April 2, 1973)

Q.S. #5: Jazz — “Eyes of the World” (March 29, 1990)

Q.S. #6: Classic Dead — “Sugaree” (August 13, 1975)

Q.S. #7: Gospel — “And We Bid You Goodnight” (May 2, 1970)

Q.S. #8: Funk — “Loose Lucy” (March 14, 1990)

Q.S. #9: Blues — “U.S. Blues” (May 7, 1977)

Q.S. #10: Psychedelic — “Dark Star” (April 8, 1972)

Q.S. #11: Love Song — “It Must Have Been The Roses” (April 9, 1989)