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Live/Dead
     

Live/Dead

5.0 2
by Grateful Dead
 

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The Grateful Dead's fourth title was likewise their first extended concert recording. Spread over two LPs, Live/Dead (1969) finally was able to relay the intrinsic sonic magnificence of a Dead show in real time. Additionally, it unleashed several key entries into their repertoire, including the sidelong epic and Deadhead anthem"Dark Star" as well as wailing and

Overview

The Grateful Dead's fourth title was likewise their first extended concert recording. Spread over two LPs, Live/Dead (1969) finally was able to relay the intrinsic sonic magnificence of a Dead show in real time. Additionally, it unleashed several key entries into their repertoire, including the sidelong epic and Deadhead anthem"Dark Star" as well as wailing and otherwise electrified acidic covers of the Rev. Gary Davis blues standard "Death Don't Have No Mercy" and the R&B rave-up "(Turn on Your) Lovelight." Finally, the conundrum of how to bring a lengthy performance experience to the listener has been solved. The album's four sides provided the palette from which to replicate the natural ebb and flow of a typical Dead set circa early 1969. Tomes have been written about the profound impact of "Dark Star" on the Dead and their audience. It also became a cultural touchstone signifying that rock music was becoming increasingly experimental by casting aside the once-accepted demands of the short, self-contained pop song. This version was recorded on February 27, 1969, at the Fillmore West and is presented pretty much the way it went down at the show. The same is true of the seven remaining titles on Live/Dead. The rousing rendition of "St. Stephen" reinvents the Aoxomoxoa (1968) prototype with rip-roaring thunder and an extended ending which slams into an instrumental rhythmic excursion titled "The Eleven" after the jam's tricky time signature. The second LP began with a marathon cover of "(Turn on Your) Lovelight," which had significant success for both Bobby "Blue" Bland and Gene Chandler earlier in the decade. With Ron "Pigpen" McKernan at the throttle, the Dead barrel their way through the work, reproportioning and appointing it with fiery solos from Garcia and lead vocal raps courtesy of McKernan. "Death Don't Have No Mercy" is a languid noir interpretation of Rev. Gary Davis' distinct Piedmont blues. Garcia's fretwork smolders as his solos sear through the melody. Likewise notable is the criminally underrated keyboard work of Tom Constanten, whose airy counterpoint rises like a departing spirit from within the soul of the song. The final pairing of "Feedback" -- which is what is sounds like it might be -- with the "lowering down" funeral dirge "And We Bid You Goodnight" is true to the way that the band concluded a majority of their performances circa 1968-1969. They all join in on an a cappella derivative of Joseph Spence and the Pinder Family's traditional Bahamian distillation. Few recordings have ever represented the essence of an artist in performance as faithfully as Live/Dead. It has become an aural snapshot of this zenith in the Grateful Dead's 30-year evolution and as such is highly recommended for all manner of enthusiasts. The 2001 remastered edition that was included in the Golden Road (1965-1973) (2001) box set tacks on the 45 rpm studio version of "Dark Star" as well as a vintage radio advert for the album.

Product Details

Release Date:
10/25/1990
Label:
Warner Bros Uk
UPC:
0075992718127
catalogNumber:
927181
Rank:
31324

Tracks

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Grateful Dead   Primary Artist
Mickey Hart   Percussion,Drums
Jerry Garcia   Guitar,Vocals
Bob Weir   Guitar,Vocals
Tom Constanten   Keyboards
Merl Saunders   Keyboards
Bill Kreutzmann   Percussion,Drums
Phil Lesh   Bass,Vocals
Ron "Pigpen" McKernan   Keyboards,Vocals,Organ,Conga

Technical Credits

Mickey Hart   Composer
Jerry Garcia   Composer
Grateful Dead   Composer,Producer
Bob Weir   Composer
Robert Hunter   Composer,Contributor
Bill Kreutzmann   Composer
Phil Lesh   Composer
Bob Matthews   Engineer
Ron "Pigpen" McKernan   Composer

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Live/Dead 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Live/Dead is a creation, reflective not only of artistic abilities but of the times at hand. The late 60's is a standout of the cyclical stagnation mankind endures when the rulers believe everything is fine where it is; somewhat of a Monroe Doctrine; nothing in, nothing out. Artistry, specifically music in this case, is one that thrives because of this. There were many groups accordingly that fit this mode and though I'm not a Dead Head, this album is an outstanding reflection, production of the times and the group that created Live/Dead. As is realistic throughout history, the greater the opinion of something, good, bad or indifferent, then there is a reason for it and judgement should not be passed until it is experienced and this is one that should not be missed.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Live/Dead is the most lively Dead music on record. The free-form jamming is innovative by yesterday's standards as well as today's. It is heavily jazz-influenced but blended with blues and rock it becomes what is known as Acid Rock. This music brings out the best in the genre. There is no comparison with this gem of the Sixties San Francisco sound that moved a generation. Those with a short attention span will be amazed at what a little spaced-out, space-age music-tripping can do for them if they give it half a chance.