The Magic of the Grateful Dead Takes Over the Airwaves at Starbucks

The music of the Grateful Dead defined a generation and influenced countless musicians who followed. More than 50 years later, their iconic songs are still relevant.

With a more than 20-year tradition of introducing new artists and music to customers in its stores, Starbucks will depart from daily curated and eclectic song mixes and pay tribute to this influential, legendary band through classic originals and inspired new renditions by today’s leading musical talent.

The Starbucks Entertainment team has programmed a celebratory playlist that includes 60 songs representing nearly five hours of music. The team was inspired by the newly released "Day of the Dead" compilation, which features Grateful Dead songs reinterpreted by current artists.

The Day of the Dead compilation was curated by Aaron and Bryce Dessner of the National, who brought together some of their favorite musicians to reinterpret highlights from the Dead. The anthology includes music and vocals from more than 60 artists, including Mumford & Sons, Anohni and Courtney Barnett.

“The Grateful Dead are one of those rare artists who transcend time, generations and genres,” said Gina Woods, vice president of Starbucks Entertainment. “We’ve been fans of the Grateful Dead for years and couldn’t miss this chance to reintroduce our customers to their music through this specially curated playlist. Playing it overhead in our stores gives customers a chance to hear familiar music in a new way.”

This isn’t the first time Starbucks is making Grateful Dead music available to its customers. In 1997, the company worked with the group to compile a two-CD set, Eternally Grateful, which was divided into studio and live discs and served as an introduction (or reintroduction) to a new audience.

This takeover is just the latest example of expert curation and programming by the Starbucks Entertainment team, including Starbucks Guest DJs, Exclusive Album Previews and the Starbucks Discovery Series.

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