Grateful Dead’s three leaders on Top Rock Albums, which began in 2006, are all from the Dave’s Picks series. Volume 32 (also recorded at The Spectrum, on March 24, 1973) led in November 2019, followed by Volume 34 (recorded at Miami’s Jai-Alai Fronton on June 23, 1974) in May 2020. In between the 34th and 39th editions of Dave’s Picks (named for archivist David Lemieux), each release reached chart’s top five, including a pair of No. 2-peaking titles: Volume 35 (from the Philadelphia Civic Center on April 20, 1984) and Volume 37 (from multiple shows at the College of William & Mary in Williamsburg, Va., in April 1978).
In all, Grateful Dead boasts 72 Top Rock Albums entries, the most of any act in the chart’s history and more than double the count of its closest competitor, Bob Dylan (31). Volume 39 is also the band’s record-extending 40th top 10 (ahead of runner-up Dylan’s 20). Of the group’s 40 top 10s, 30 are from the Dave’s Picks series.
Concurrently, Volume 39 bows at No. 16 on the all-format Billboard 200, the band’s highest rank since In the Dark, which peaked at No. 6 in August 1987. The latter houses the group’s lone Billboard Hot 100 top 10, the No. 9-peaking “Touch of Grey.”