David Lemieux has given the following background to these tracks:
Walking The Dog studio, early 1966 You See A Broken Heart studio, early 1966 Promised Land studio, early 1966 Good Lovin' studio, early 1966 Standing On The Corner studio, early 1966 Cream Puff War studio, early 1966 Betty And Dupree studio, 2 Mar 1966 Stealin' studio, 2 Mar 1966 Silver Threads And Golden Needles studio, late 1966 Not Fade Away studio, early 1966 Big Railroad Blues live, Feb/Mar 1966 Sick And Tired live, Feb/Mar 1966 Empty Heart live, Feb/Mar 1966 Gangster Of Love live, 3 Jul 1966 Don't Mess Up A Good Thing live, 3 Jul 1966 Hey Little One live, 12 Mar 1966 I'm A King Bee live, 12 Mar 1966 Caution (Do Not Stop On Tracks) live, 12 Mar 1966
While poking around the Grateful Dead's vault in the summer of 2002 with Bear, he pointed to a large, brown, nondescript box amongst his other non-Grateful Dead tapes. Bear simply said, "You ought to check that box out." After he split for Austrailia, I opened the box to find about 15 reel-to-reel tapes, most of which were unlabeled, while some had the most rudimentary identifications, such as "3/2 LA rehearsal," "Trips '66 3rd night," or "February 23 practice."
Playing those six or seven tapes that were at least crudely labelled revealed some true treasures, many of which appear on the CD you are currently holding. However, further major discoveries came on those tapes that were entirely unlabelled. What looked like blank tape based on their markings (or lack of), these eight reels of 1/4" analog tape turned out to be, well, rare cuts and odditites. Imagine my surprise at hearing Jerry sing lead on "Promised Land," Bobby first known attempt at "Walking The Dog," the first known versions, by far in some cases, of "Not Fade Away," "Big Railroad Blues," and "Good Lovin'," the first known Pigpen 2-song medley of "King Bee" into "Caution"(!), and the alternate chorus to "Cream Puff War" (a personal favorite in this collection). Plus loads of other great material, including some very rare Pigpen-sung tunes such as "You See A Broken Heart," "Sick and Tired," "Don't Mess Up A Good Thing," and the heretofore unheard Pigpen/Garcia rendition of the Rolling Stones' "Empty Heart" from their second album (which also featured future Grateful Dead standards "Around and Around" and "It's All Over Now."
We've also included some rare songs the Grateful Dead only performed a few times, including Dorsey Burnette's "Hey Little One" (check out more on this under-appreciated songwriter at www.burnette-rock.com/DorseyBurnette,htm), the traditional ballad (and inspiration for "Dupree's Diamond Blues") "Betty and Dupree," and a polished studio version of "Silver Threads and Golden Needles."