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The 10 Longest Grateful Dead Live Songs

There are a lot of Grateful Dead live recordings that are well over ten minutes in length, but that’s nothing compared to some of the behemoths they performed throughout their career. They were known for jamming and experimenting with songs, and every now and then they would take one as far as it could possibly go.

For this post, I’ve gathered up the ten longest Grateful Dead songs and placed them in ascending order. Which means the last song on this list is the longest single song Grateful Dead live recording available, as far as my research.

These tracks are long, but I won’t be. If you want to hear more from me, check out some of my other Grateful Dead articles. I love picking apart Robert Hunter’s songwriting.

Let’s jump right into their longest songs. As you might guess, it’s a lot of “Dark Star”.

10. “Dark Star” (5/25/72) 34:36

The only video I could find for this one also includes the “Dark Star” from Veneta Oregon 8/27/72, which is fine.

9. “Dark Star” (11/11/73) 35:47

8. “Turn On Your Lovelight” (Woodstock 8/16/69) 36:07

Footage from the Grateful Dead’s notoriously flubbed Woodstock performance.

7. “The Other One” (4/26/72) 36:29

Labeled as “The Other One” on the Europe 72 disc and “Cryptical Envelopment” on the Hundred Year Hall disc. Both contain the same recording under two different names.

6. “Dark Star” (9/21/72) 37:09

5. “The Other One” (9/17/72) 39:08

4. “Dark Star” (12/6/73) 43:31

The above video also includes “Eyes of the World”, a real treat. But the “Dark Star” runs for the first 43 minutes, 31 seconds.

3. “Playing in the Band” (5/21/74) – 46:27

2. “Turn On Your Lovelight” (6/6/69) 47:00

Earliest version on this list. Features Pigpen rippin’ on the organ.

1. “Dark Star” (5/11/72) – 48:09

Are there any that I missed? I’m down to expand this list to 20 songs at some point, or even make a separate list that doesn’t count “Dark Stars”, for some variety. So please do comment some of the longest jams you know!