Fillmore West 1969

Fillmore West 1969

5.0 3
by Grateful Dead
     
 

Released in 1969, Live/Dead was the Grateful Dead’s first live recording and cemented their growing national reputation as one of the most inspired and adventurous rock bands. Featuring long jams on such classic Dead material as “St. Stephen,” The Eleven,” “Dark Star,“ and the blues classics “Death Don’t Have No Mercy” and “Turn On Your Love Light,” it captured…  See more details below

Overview

Released in 1969, Live/Dead was the Grateful Dead’s first live recording and cemented their growing national reputation as one of the most inspired and adventurous rock bands. Featuring long jams on such classic Dead material as “St. Stephen,” The Eleven,” “Dark Star,“ and the blues classics “Death Don’t Have No Mercy” and “Turn On Your Love Light,” it captured the San Francisco septet in peak form, highlighting the gloriously creative interplay between Jerry Garcia’s lead guitar and the thick, swirling textures of the rest of the band. With two drummers, vocalist Pig Pen, and keyboardist Tom Constanten onboard, the Dead were a mighty performing unit that breathed as one. Fillmore West 1969: The Complete Recordings is a three-CD set that adds three more hours of recorded material from the weekend run that originally produced Live/Dead. The new tracks are thrilling additions, particularly the extended versions of "That's It for the Other One," "Cryptical Envelopment," "The Other One," and "Alligator," all of which find the band driving the songs as far as their forms will allow -- and then pushing beyond that. The blues-based material (“I’m a King Bee”) and folk material (“Mountains of the Moon”) add dimension to the original album, giving a clearer representation of the full scope of the group at the time. The Grateful Dead went on to greater fame and fortune soon after Live/Dead made its appearance, but Fillmore West 1969: The Complete Recordings suggests that this may have been the apex of the band’s creativity.

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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Lindsay Planer
This is a triple-disc distillation of the limited-edition ten-CD Fillmore West 1969: The Complete Recordings box set. The material was taken from the Grateful Dead's run of eight shows over four nights (February 27 through March 2, 1969) at the Fillmore West in San Francisco. These were the same concerts that yielded most of the definitive Live/Dead (1969). By the spring of 1969, the ever-evolving personnel had grown to include Mickey Hart (percussion) -- whose contributions began in September of 1967 -- and six months later, Tom Constanten (keyboards). They joined co-founders Jerry Garcia (guitar/vocals), Ron "Pigpen" McKernan (vocals/organ/harmonica), Bill Kreutzmann (percussion), Phil Lesh (bass/vocals), and Bob Weir (guitar/vocals). Collectively they created an incendiary ensemble embracing R&B with the same passion and sense of intrepid experimentation as they did their own unique imprint of sonic psychedelia. And nowhere is that seemingly odd amalgam as evident as it is here. According to Dennis McNally's liner essay, Live/Dead was "the first live 16-track album ever made." Three and a half decades later those tapes were revisited and revitalized by longtime Grateful Dead producer Jeffrey Norman. He has done a yeoman's effort, drawing out the warmth and subtle interplay occurring deep within not only the lengthy acidic "That's It for the Other One" suite, but the exhaustively jammed covers of "Good Morning Little School Girl," "Turn on Your Lovelight," and "Morning Dew" as well. Somewhat darker yet no less intense is the edgy update of blues staple "King Bee" and the sanctified "Death Don't Have No Mercy." The latter was one of several Rev. Gary Davis compositions that the Dead worked into their repertoire over the years. Although it hadn't even been released at the time, Aoxomoxoa (1969) produced a sizable number of selections here. Notable among them are "Doin' That Rag," "Cosmic Charlie," "Saint Stephen," and "Dupree's Diamond Blues" -- a tune twisted out of the traditional ballad "Betty & Dupree." Another title that surfaced on Aoxomoxoa was the stylish, acoustic-based "Mountains of the Moon." The combo took full advantage of the song's meditative ending to segue into the lysergic-influenced exploratory anthem "Dark Star." As alluded to above, the audio remastering is virtually perfect. One major caveat can be heard during the nearly half-hour instrumental "Jam" on disc three. According to Norman, the master tape ran out and "the only thing we had as a patch was a cassette...mix from the show. So when I edit in the cassette piece...the end result is like a big ol' audio band-aid." While that isn't the sole place that similar problems had to be addressed, it is the most noticeable. That said, the drastic change in sound quality is a small price to pay in order to hear the performance in its entirety.

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Product Details

Release Date:
11/01/2005
Label:
Grateful Dead / Wea
UPC:
0081227319328
catalogNumber:
73193
Rank:
13527

Tracks

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Album Credits

Performance Credits

Grateful Dead   Primary Artist
Mickey Hart   Drums
Jerry Garcia   Guitar,Vocals
Bob Weir   Guitar,Rhythm Guitar,Vocals
Tom Constanten   Organ
Bill Kreutzmann   Drums
Phil Lesh   Electric Bass,Bass Guitar,Vocals
Ron "Pigpen" McKernan   Organ,Harmonica,Percussion,Vocals

Technical Credits

Grateful Dead   Arranger,Composer
Deadric Malone   Composer
Bob Matthews   Engineer
James Moore   Composer
Jeffrey Norman   Producer,Mastering,Audio Production
Sonny Boy Williamson   Composer
Betty Cantor   Engineer
Joseph Scott   Composer
Traditional   Composer
Cameron Sears   Executive Producer
David Lemieux   Producer,Audio Production
Dennis McNally   Liner Notes

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Fillmore West 1969 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
To Paul_Hochman this isn't the Complete Fillmore West 1969 Recordings. That was actually released as a limited edition ten cd box set by the Grateful Dead in November of 2005. This is a 3cd set of the highlights from that 10cd box set that is no longer available. Still an amazing 3cd set. 
Guest More than 1 year ago
This isn't for everyone, but if your a Deadhead, you must get this. It has terrific versions of 'Lovelight' and 'The Other One' and so much more. This is might be all the early live dead you'll need.
Paul_Hochman More than 1 year ago
The band were at the height of their powers in 1969 and the great Pigpen was still with us. This legendary run, captured complete here, comes close to explaining the unexplainable force that was the Grateful Dead.