Even the Grateful Dead's most ardent supporters admit that making albums wasn't one the band's strengths. For the most part, they didn't even like to do it, and viewed the whole process more of a necessary inconvenience than anything else.

That's why the Dead were best known for their live shows, and why they allowed their fans to tape and share their concerts. Tons of those recordings have been officially released over the years, spanning the early period to the historic European shows in 1972 to latter-day concerts, which became events that spawned entire Deadhead communities.

So take the below list of Grateful Dead Albums Ranked Worst to Best with the caveat that most often the Dead's best music wasn't recorded in the studio but on the stage, where even songs that sounded flat on record picked up fresh dynamics. We've included a handful of concert albums here, but they have more than a dozen studio records to their story, too.

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