Fillmore East: April 1971

( 4 )

Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - David Sprague
By the dawn of the '70s, the Grateful Dead had stretched their musical tendrils around the world, but few places provided the band as fertile a patch of creative territory as the Big Apple. Some of the most fondly remembered and most bootlegged Dead shows of that era took place in New York, at Bill Graham's Fillmore East, and that's the genesis of this amply sized four-disc collection, culled from the band's April 1971 stint. Although it's punctuated with widely aired classics -- from a jovial, set-opening "Truckin' " through a loose-limbed "Me and My Uncle" and a dizzy "Good Lovin' " cleaved by one of Hart and Kreutzman's more visceral "Drums" workouts -- the set is ...
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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - David Sprague
By the dawn of the '70s, the Grateful Dead had stretched their musical tendrils around the world, but few places provided the band as fertile a patch of creative territory as the Big Apple. Some of the most fondly remembered and most bootlegged Dead shows of that era took place in New York, at Bill Graham's Fillmore East, and that's the genesis of this amply sized four-disc collection, culled from the band's April 1971 stint. Although it's punctuated with widely aired classics -- from a jovial, set-opening "Truckin' " through a loose-limbed "Me and My Uncle" and a dizzy "Good Lovin' " cleaved by one of Hart and Kreutzman's more visceral "Drums" workouts -- the set is just as rich in unusual performances. A slinky version of Smokey Robinson's "I Second That Emotion" resounds with yearning, while the climactic closing punch of "In the Midnight Hour" and "We Bid You Goodnight" capture the intense bond between the band and their audience. There are plenty of other emotional moments as well: The rendition of "Me and Bobby McGee," coming just months after the death of Janis Joplin, is strikingly melancholic, a mood that lasts into the next track, "Uncle John's Band." The presence of Tom Constanten adds palpable heft to "St. Stephen" and "Dark Star," both of which sound even more ominous than usual. As you'd expect from the Dead, each of the 40 songs has its own unique presence, but despite the radical mood shifts, they hold together remarkably well, making for a long, exhilarating trip indeed.
All Music Guide - Ronnie D. Lankford
1971 was a good year to catch a live Grateful Dead show, and the Fillmore East was a good venue to catch them at. Ladies and Gentlemen...The Grateful Dead presents some four and a half hours of Grateful Dead garnered from their final five-day run at the Fillmore East in 1971 before it closed down for good. Compared to larger arenas, the 2400 seat venue had an intimate feel, but Bill Graham had decided to shut it down due to the high cost of bringing bands to the theater. While adjusting to the absence of their second percussionist Mickey Hart, the Grateful Dead are in good form for these performances. There are a number of great songs/jams on these four discs, starting with a gentle, nine-minute "Bird Song," which inspires a delicate vocal from Garcia. Lesh's bass work perfectly underpins his lead guitar lines. There's an excellent "Dark Star" that flows into "St. Stephen" and "Not Fade Away." Both "Bird Song" and "Dark Star" generate mellow, relaxed jams that fade calmly in and out of one's consciousness. A ten-minute "Morning Dew" is similarly peaceful, flowing and building to its climax, and one shouldn't miss Garcia's take on Merle Haggard's "Sing Me Back Home." Bob Weir is also in fine form, singing a superior version of "Dark Hollow" backed by some fancy, bluesy, fingerpicking by Garcia. Weir also shines on "Me and My Uncle," and a nice, five-minute version of "El Paso." The same relaxed confidence serves "Me and Bobby McGee," a perfect example of the Grateful Dead's ability to put their own stamp on someone else's song and make it work. There would be moments during the late '70s when Weir would speed up the vocals on songs like these, as though he were in a hurry to finish them. On these discs, though, he approaches the songs with an assured calm and turns in some of his best vocal work. Pigpen sings a number of songs on the album, and while he is in good form, his blues style seems increasingly at odds with the band the Grateful Dead was becoming. The band had always played funky blues workouts like "Mr. Charlie" and "Hard to Handle" well. But much of the blues material here seems to be a holdover, with cuts like the six-minute "It Hurts Me Too" going on forever. Even worse, is the shouting and sexual innuendoes throughout "Turn on Your Lovelight" and "Good Lovin'." Pigpen fans will undoubtedly find these observations unkind, and point out that these were some of his better performances during what Blair Jackson calls, "his last truly healthy tour." Still, the band was in the process of change, adding lots of new material, and this growth moved them away from their earlier, more bluesy, more Pigpen centered incarnation. Ladies and Gentlemen...The Grateful Dead may not present the perfect performance, but it does provide a nice document of the band during their early-'70s glory days. This was an exciting time for the band, and these four discs capture that feeling. It is perhaps somewhat ironic that releases like this one and the Dick's Picks series have revealed the depth and ability of the band much better than any of their studio releases from the same period. One no longer needs to be an avid tape collector to hear the Grateful Dead at their best.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 8/31/2004
  • Label: Grateful Dead / Wea
  • UPC: 081227894221
  • Catalog Number: 78942
  • Sales rank: 26,062

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 Truckin' (9:57)
  2. 2 Bertha (6:23)
  3. 3 Next Time You See Me (4:11)
  4. 4 Beat It on Down the Line (3:49)
  5. 5 Bird Song (9:22)
  6. 6 Dark Hollow (3:30)
  7. 7 Second That Emotion (5:33)
  8. 8 Me & My Uncle (3:40)
  9. 9 Cumberland Blues (5:03)
  10. 10 Good Lovin' (2:30)
  11. 11 Drums (5:37)
  12. 12 Good Lovin' (14:47)
Disc 2
  1. 1 Sugar Magnolia (6:32)
  2. 2 Loser (7:03)
  3. 3 Ain't It Crazy (The Rub) (6:26)
  4. 4 El Paso (6:36)
  5. 5 I'm a King Bee (8:24)
  6. 6 Ripple (5:34)
  7. 7 Me and Bobbie McGee (6:12)
  8. 8 Uncle John's Band (6:07)
  9. 9 Turn on Your Love Light (22:23)
Disc 3
  1. 1 China Cat Sunflower (4:51)
  2. 2 I Know You Rider (6:14)
  3. 3 It Hurts Me Too (6:53)
  4. 4 Sing Me Back Home (9:51)
  5. 5 Hard to Handle (9:58)
  6. 6 Dark Star - Tom Constanten (13:55)
  7. 7 St. Stephen - Tom Constanten (6:08)
  8. 8 Not Fade Away - Tom Constanten (3:30)
  9. 9 Goin' Down the Road Feeling Bad - Tom Constanten (6:28)
  10. 10 Not Fade Away - Tom Constanten (3:23)
Disc 4
  1. 1 Morning Dew (10:41)
  2. 2 New Minglewood Blues (4:28)
  3. 3 Wharf Rat (9:28)
  4. 4 Alligator (3:57)
  5. 5 Drums (3:53)
  6. 6 Jam (9:39)
  7. 7 Goin' Down the Road Feeling Bad (4:53)
  8. 8 Cold Rain and Snow (5:49)
  9. 9 Casey Jones (9:13)
  10. 10 In the Midnight Hour (9:50)
  11. 11 We Bid You Goodnight (3:46)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Grateful Dead Primary Artist
Jerry Garcia Guitar, Vocals
Bob Weir Guitar, Rhythm Guitar, Vocals
Tom Constanten Guest Appearance
Bill Kreutzmann Drums
Phil Lesh Bass, Electric Bass, Vocals
Ron "Pigpen" McKernan Organ, Harmonica, Percussion, Vocals
Technical Credits
John Lee Hooker Composer
Merle Haggard Composer
Kris Kristofferson Composer
Mickey Hart Composer
Steve Cropper Composer
Jerry Garcia Composer
Grateful Dead Arranger, Composer
Buddy Holly Composer
Wilson Pickett Composer
Otis Redding Composer
Bob Weir Arranger, Composer
Julie Kelly Staff
Robert Hunter Composer
John Phillips Composer
Tim Rose Composer
Norman Petty Composer
Bonnie Dobson Composer
Betty Cantor-Jackson Engineer
Earl Forest Composer
Fred Foster Composer
David Gross Staff
Bill Harvey Composer
Lightnin' Hopkins Composer
Elmore James Composer
Bill Kreutzmann Composer
Phil Lesh Composer
Bob Matthews Engineer
Ron "Pigpen" McKernan Composer
James Moore Composer
Michael Peri Staff
Marshall Sehorn Composer
Ronald Knudsen Staff
Dick Latvala Tape Archivist
Rudy Clark Composer
Randy Tuten Cover Design
Bill Browning Composer
Janette L. Simmons Staff
Blair Jackson Liner Notes, Program Notes
Traditional Composer
Alvertis Isbell Composer
Jim Preston Art Direction
Juan Bautista Sánchez García Staff
David Lemieux Tape Archivist
Arthur Resnick Composer
Peter Mcquaid Staff
Naomi Alson Staff
Elena Chieffo Staff
Brian Connors Staff
Connie Furtado Staff
Lesley Hunter Staff
Deborah Kamradt Staff
Mary Knudsen Staff
Russ Knudsen Staff
Nancy Mallonee Staff
Dennis McNally Staff
Maruska Nelson Staff
Basia Raizene Staff
Forrest Schofield Staff
Maggie Sichel Staff
Fred L. Foster Composer
J. Moore Composer
Allen Jones Composer
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 4 )
Rating Distribution

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(3)

4 Star

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Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews
  • Posted October 1, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    The Grateful Dead's best live CDs

    As a non-Deadhead I was looking for the best live performance box of the Grateful Dead and found it with these 4 CDs. If your only going to have one live Dead performance, this is the one to get. Performance plus price makes this fantastic!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    The Greatest Live Recordings EVER!

    I absolutley love this box set! It paints the perfect picture of what the Grateful Dead is all about! A must have for any classic rock collection. If I had to be on a desert island with only 5 CDs, 4 of them would be this Box Set! The other one would be Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young: Deja Vu.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Incredible

    I don't care what any one says. This is and absoloutely incredible set. I'm only fifteen and this is what got me on the bus. I listened to it for a good two months strait, gettin off at somethin new everytime. This is an awesome buy for any deadhead.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 7, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews