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Within the community and the culture of the Grateful Dead, live recordings have been valued not just for the sounds and stories they transmit but also for their materiality. Live recordings became the primary method by which the Grateful Dead would continue to promote the band’s legacy of liveness following the death of Jerry Garcia in 1995. By the turn of the millennium, a growing digital library of live recordings featuring the music of the Dead was readily accessible on the World Wide Web. But even as fans all over the world gained access to thousands of live recordings online, the Grateful Dead and their business partners continued to market and promote an “official” version of recorded liveness by producing a multitude of physical releases in a variety of (increasingly obsolete) formats.

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