Grateful Dead on Thursday opened the vaults for a live cut of “Althea”, taken from the band’s March 9th, 1981 show at Madison Square Garden. The show is set to appear on the upcoming archival release In And Out Of The Garden: Madison Square Garden ’81, ’82, ’83, out on September 23rd.

The Dead opened a two-night run at the World’s Most Famous Arena on March 9th with “Feel Like A Stranger“, released last month to herald the new box set. Up next came “Althea”, which the band debuted 53 years ago today, on August 4th, 1979. In the less than two years between its debut and the Dead’s show at MSG, the song proved itself a reliable workhorse and, as time began to wear on Jerry Garcia, the mournful tune became a fitting encapsulation of the excesses that drove the band to the brink of ruin in the 1980s.

Related: NYC’s Empire State Building Goes Tie-Dye For Jerry Garcia’s 80th Birthday [Watch]

The complete In And Out Of The Garden box set features six entire Grateful Dead concerts performed at Madison Square Garden between 1981 and 1983. The 17CD set will be numbered and limited to 12,500 copies, with artwork by Dave Van Patten and liner notes by renowned music journalist David Fricke. Alongside the expansive archival project, a truncated 3CD set will be released containing just the March 9th, 1981 show, also available for digital download.

Listen to the Grateful Dead perform “Althea” at Madison Square Garden in 1981 and click here to pre-order In And Out Of The Garden in a variety of formats.

Grateful Dead – “Althea” – 3/9/81


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