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Postcards of the Hanging

Updated: 2017-03-27T18:01Z
Postcards of the Hanging
Grateful Dead - Postcards of the Hanging.jpg
Live album by The Grateful Dead
ReleasedMarch, 2002
RecordedJune 10, 1973 – March 24, 1990
(bonus disc 10:14)
LabelGrateful Dead / Arista / Rhino
The Grateful Dead chronology
Dick's Picks Volume 24
Postcards of the Hanging
Dick's Picks Volume 25
Professional ratings
Review scores
Allmusic4/5 stars[1]
The Music Box4/5 stars[2]

Postcards of the Hanging is a compilation album by the Grateful Dead. It consists entirely of Bob Dylan covers, performed live in concert, along with a rehearsal performance of "Man of Peace" featuring the Grateful Dead backing Dylan himself.[3] Bob Weir sings lead on six tracks, Jerry Garcia on two, and Brent Mydland on two. Another Dylan covers collection, Garcia Plays Dylan, includes performances by the Grateful Dead, but mostly by the Jerry Garcia Band and other Garcia side projects.

The title comes from the opening stanza of Dylan's "Desolation Row":

They're selling postcards of the hanging
They're painting the passports brown


Almost all of the songs on the album originally appeared on the Dylan albums Bringing It All Back Home and Highway 61 Revisited which, aside from being among his most critically revered, date from 1965, coinciding with the Grateful Dead's formative year. The songs remained in the Dead's live rotation throughout their existence. However, conspicuously unrepresented in the compilation is "Knockin' on Heaven's Door", which the Dead performed over 170 times. Conversely, "It Takes a Lot to Laugh, It Takes a Train to Cry" was performed a few times in the early 1990s, and only once in the 1970s – the version included here, accompanied by Dickey Betts and Butch Trucks. Dylan himself leads the band on the final track of the main disc, a rehearsal for a 1987 tour for which the Dead were his backing band.[4]

Track listing

All songs written by Bob Dylan

  1. "When I Paint My Masterpiece" – 6:11
  2. "She Belongs to Me" – 7:20
  3. "Just Like Tom Thumb's Blues" – 4:29
  4. "Maggie's Farm" – 6:13
  5. "Stuck Inside of Mobile with the Memphis Blues Again" – 8:07
  6. "It Takes a Lot to Laugh, It Takes a Train to Cry" – 7:35
  7. "Ballad of a Thin Man" – 6:40
  8. "Desolation Row" – 9:55
  9. "All Along the Watchtower" 5:44
  10. "It's All Over Now, Baby Blue" – 7:23
  11. "Man of Peace" – 5:51

Bonus disc

The first release included a limited edition, 2-track bonus CD. [5]

  1. "Queen Jane Approximately" – 6:12
  2. "Quinn the Eskimo (Mighty Quinn)" – 4:02

Recording dates


Additional personnel


  • John Cutler – engineer
  • Bill Candelario – engineer
  • Jeffrey Norman – mix
  • David Gans – compilation producer
  • David Lemieux – tape archivist
  • Joe Gastwirt – mastering
  • Geoff Gans – art direction
  • Emily Burnham – illustration and design
  • Cassidy Law – album coordination
  • Ken Friedman – photography



2002The Billboard 200120[6]


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