Live/Dead [Bonus Tracks]

Live/Dead [Bonus Tracks]

by Grateful DeadGrateful 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 side-long 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 that 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, appointing it with fiery solos from Jerry 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 it 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 its 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) box set -- and is also available separately from the Rhino label -- tacks on the 45-rpm studio version of "Dark Star" as well as a vintage radio advert for the album.]

Product Details

Release Date: 02/25/2003
Label: Rhino
UPC: 0081227439521
catalogNumber: 74395


  1. Dark Star
  2. St. Stephen
  3. The Eleven
  4. Turn on Your Love Light
  5. Death Don't Have No Mercy
  6. Feedback
  7. And We Bid You Goodnight
  8. Dark Star
  9. Radio Advertisement

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Grateful Dead   Primary Artist
Mickey Hart   Percussion
Jerry Garcia   Guitar,Vocals
Bob Weir   Guitar,Vocals
Tom Constanten   Keyboards
Bill Kreutzmann   Percussion
Phil Lesh   Bass,Vocals

Technical Credits

Mickey Hart   Arranger
Jerry Garcia   Arranger,Contributor
Grateful Dead   Composer,Producer
Bob Weir   Arranger
Tom Constanten   Arranger
Robert Hunter   Lyricist
James Austin   Reissue Producer
Bill Kreutzmann   Arranger
Phil Lesh   Arranger,Contributor
Bob Matthews   Producer,Engineer
Ron "Pigpen" McKernan   Arranger
Gary Peterson   Discographical Annotation
Ed Thrasher   Art Direction
Betty Cantor   Producer,Engineer
Lee Conklin   Poster Design
Shawn Amos   Liner Note Coordination
Daniel Goldmark   Editorial Research
Michael Wesley Johnson   Research Coordination
David Lemieux   Reissue Producer

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