From The Mars Hotel (50th Anniversary Deluxe Edition)

Artist Name
The Grateful Dead
Release Date

The Self-Released Album That Produced Eternal Classics Like “Scarlet Begonias,” “Ship of Fools” & “China Doll,” Newly Remastered & Expanded With Unearthed Material

3CD & Digital Set Out June 21st, Featuring Unreleased Live Show From 5/12/1974; Black Vinyl, Zoetrope Picture Discs & Other Limited Edition Variants

Good Ol' Grateful Deadcast Launches Season 9 Tomorrow, Focusing on From The Mars Hotel & Story Behind The Grateful Dead’s Famed Wall of Sound


50 years ago, the Grateful Dead were cooking with gas. It was spring 1974, the band had successfully emerged from a series of hectic, harrowing times, and would soon follow their transformative Wake Of The Flood with the second acclaimed album release on their very own Grateful Dead Records: From The Mars Hotel. During the mere eight months that had passed between those two beloved LPs, the group also played some of their most exploratory live music and largest venues to date, famously amplified by the homemade, 75-ton Wall of Sound that they debuted on March 23rd, 1974, at their hometown Cow Palace in Daly City, CA. Eternal staples such as “Scarlet Begonias,” “Ship Of Fools” and “U.S. Blues” would first be introduced into setlists along that season’s tour, before the Grateful Dead spent two months recording and honing them in the studio for From The Mars Hotel. Not to mention perennial classics like “China Doll” and “Loose Lucy,” or “Pride of Cucamonga” and “Unbroken Chain” – the final two tracks Phil Lesh would sing on a Grateful Dead studio album. Now, as Grateful Dead members and tributaries continue to celebrate and bring so many of these formative songs to the masses, From The Mars Hotel has been remastered and expanded with newly unearthed material and rarities, in honor of its 50th Anniversary.


Out June 21st via Rhino, six days before the album’s original release on June 27, 1974, From The Mars Hotel (50th Anniversary Deluxe Edition) features remastered audio by GRAMMY® Award-winning engineer David Glaser, with Plangent Processes tape restoration and speed correction. Produced for release by Grateful Dead Legacy Manager and Audio Archivist, David Lemieux, the deluxe edition also includes demos of “China Doll” and “Wave That Flag” – the song that became “U.S. Blues” – as well as a previously unreleased live performance of the Grateful Dead at University of Nevada-Reno on 5/12/1974. As the band filled an outdoor football stadium with epic highs like a huge “China Cat Sunflower” > “I Know You Rider,” Mars Hotel cuts including “U.S. Blues” and classics such as “Brown-Eyed Women,” “Tennessee Jed,” “Mississippi Half-Step,” “Truckin'” and “Sugar Magnolia,” a massive wind storm was no match for the Wall of Sound. Designed to improve the listening and performance experience at what were becoming larger gigs and longer, more dynamic and varied sets, the Wall of Sound required 21 stage hands, and underlined the resounding effect the Grateful Dead were having on American audiences and culture at the time, even as the entire operation remained homespun and humble. 


In addition to the 50th Anniversary Deluxe Edition, From The Mars Hotel (50th Anniversary Remaster) will be released on June 21st as a single 180-gram black vinyl LP, limited edition Neon Pink vinyl, limited edition “Ugly Rumors” custom vinyl exclusive to, and a specially-designed picture disc created in partnership with zoetrope pioneer Drew Tetz. When viewed with a camera or strobe, the zoetrope LP will appear to animate, and can be pre-ordered along with the rest of From The Mars Hotel (50th Anniversary Remaster) variants.


Recorded in San Francisco’s Coast Recorders studio, From The Mars Hotel finds Keith Godchaux particularly shining across a variety of keys, from the “China Doll” harpsichord to the pounding piano on Bob Weir’s “Money Money,” to the churchy organ that elevates “Ship Of Fools.” Lyricist Robert Hunter packs “U.S. Blues” with a barrage of imagery, pop-culture references and sardonic asides – as Canadian author Ray Robertson writes in the 50th Anniversary Edition’s liner notes, it “carries an undeniable whiff of late-capitalism ennui…it’s the most fun you’ll ever have dancing to the end of the American Empire.” Jerry Garcia’s jaunty lead guitar drives bouncing melodies across the LP, while guests include Ned Lagin’s unnerving synth effects on “Unbroken Chain,” Clover member John McFee’s country-rock pedal steel on “Pride Of Cucamonga,” and more. 


From The Mars Hotel peaked at #16 on the Billboard 200 chart in 1974, contributing to the Grateful Dead’s historic achievement last month, when they broke the all-time record for Most Top 40 albums on the Billboard 200


In tandem with today's announcement, the Good Ol' Grateful Deadcast will premiere its ninth season tomorrow, March 28th. Following 5 million downloads and counting, the official Grateful Dead podcast will now unlock the many secrets of From The Mars Hotel. Along with a track-by-track breakdown of the album, this season will tell the story of the game-changing Wall of Sound, with archival audio of its mastermind – legendary LSD chemist Owsley Stanley – and new interviews with those who made the larger-than-life speaker system a reality. 

From The Mars Hotel (50th Anniversary Deluxe Edition) Tracklist

Disc 1

U.S. Blues

China Doll

Unbroken Chain

Loose Lucy

Scarlet Begonias

Pride Of Cucamonga

Money Money

Ship Of Fools

-Bonus Tracks-

China Doll (Demo)

Wave That Flag (Demo)


Disc 2

-Live From The University Of Nevada-Reno, 5/12/74-


Mexicali Blues

Tennessee Jed

Jack Straw

Brown-Eyed Women

Beat It On Down The Line

China Cat Sunflower>

I Know You Rider

El Paso

U.S. Blues

Greatest Story Ever Told

It Must Have Been The Roses

Me And Bobby McGee


Disc 3

-Live From The University Of Nevada-Reno, 5/12/74-


Around And Around

Mississippi Half-Step Uptown Toodeloo


The Other One>

Row Jimmy

Big River

Ship Of Fools

Sugar Magnolia


About the Grateful Dead

The Grateful Dead is a social and musical phenomenon that grew into a genuine American treasure. In 1965, an entire generation was linked together by common ideals, gathering by the hundreds and thousands. This movement created a seamless connection between the band and its fans. As the band toured, Dead Heads would follow. Not because it was a part of popular culture but because it is a true counterculture that exists to this very day-one that earnestly believes in the value of its beliefs. By 1995, the Grateful Dead had attracted the most concertgoers in the history of the music business, and today remains one of the all-time leaders in concert ticket sales. Eventually, the caravan evolved into a community with various artists, craftsmen and entrepreneurs supplying a growing demand for merchandise that connected them to the music. Today, the connection is as strong as ever. The band was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1994 and received a GRAMMY® Lifetime Achievement Award in 2007. Their final tally of 2,318 total concerts remains a world record. The Grateful Dead recently celebrated their 59th Top 40 album on the Billboard chart, a feat no other group has achieved.