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The Grateful Dead make Billboard chart history despite disbanding in 1995

A day after Taylor Swift made music history at the Grammy Awards, a band formed long before she was born made their own history

Mark Kennedy
Monday 05 February 2024 22:10 GMT

A day after Taylor Swift made music history at the Grammy Awards, a band formed long before she was born made their own history: The Grateful Dead have broken the record for the most Top 40 albums to chart on the Billboard 200.

The Grateful Dead pulled out ahead of Elvis Presley and Frank Sinatra with 59 total Top 40 entries on the chart Monday following the No. 25 debut of their archival release “Dave’s Picks, Volume 49: Frost Amphitheatre, Stanford U., Palo Alto, CA (4/27/85 & 4/28/85).” Elvis and Sinatra are stuck at 58 albums apiece.

It's a remarkable run, made even more special since the group disbanded following the death of Jerry Garcia in 1995. Forty-one of the band's 59 entries in the Top 40 have happened since 2012, thanks to the popularity of the series of archival albums compiled by David Lemieux.

Lemieux in a statement credited the Dead for recording so many live shows and “the loyalty and passion of the many Dead Heads who have made this record possible.” He said it “could be the most unlikely and unexpected record in music history.”

The record could be further solidified: Another volume in the Dave’s Picks series will be released in April, capturing the band’s May 1977 shows at the Palladium in New York City.

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