Grateful Dead Live / Dead (2-LP)

Grateful Dead — Live / Dead (2-LP)

Regular price $39.95

Double Black Vinyl LP

Recorded live at The Fillmore West and the Avalon Ballroom in San Francisco, California, in 1969, and originally released on November 10, 1969, Live/Dead was the first 16-track on-location recording. Among the finest of rock’s live documents, Live/Dead is a snapshot of the Grateful Dead circa 1969, applying the free-jazz lessons of John Coltrane to their finely-tuned, manic and flowing boogie. It was the first released piece of evidence that the Grateful Dead were a wholly different, multi-headed animal live than the one in the studio. Live/Dead was also the culmination of the group’s evolution into what’s now considered the vintage San Francisco sound — having perfected it, the Grateful Dead would soon leave it for fresher musical pastures.

While each of the Live/Dead selections calls to mind a specific trick from up the band’s sleeve, the opening four songs (later dubbed “the holy quartet” by Deadheads) best indicates the Dead’s burning trajectory. “Dark Star” lays out a wide-open musical terrain, allowing the band to leap anywhere from its minimalist-riff launching pad and its two verses of T.S. Eliot-inspired psychedelic prose. “St. Stephen” explodes like a shiny metallic cloud-burst, Bob Weir’s fervent vocals carrying it like a holy torch. “The Eleven,” a thunderous fury of a composition based on “The Twelve Days Of Christmas” and played in 11/4 time, continues the rumbling. By the time Pigpen ends the continuous sermon with a raucous sci-fi-R&B take on Bobby “Blue” Bland’s “Turn On Your Lovelight,” the Dead have seemingly sailed every corner of their musical universe and crash-landed with aplomb.

Released: 3/18/08

Label: Warner

Variant: Black

Format: 2-LP Reissue

  1. Dark Star (23:15)
  2. Saint Stephen (6:45)
  3. The Eleven (9:39)
  4. Turn On Your Love Light (15:30)
  5. Death Don’t Have No Mercy (10:30)
  6. Feedback (8:52)
  7. We Bid You Goodnight (0:36)