Live/Dead is the first official live album released by the American rock band, Grateful Dead. It was recorded between January and March 1969 and was released in November 1969.
This is the last albums featuring Tom Constanten on the organ.
Grateful Dead Live/Dead
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Dark Star – 23:18
St. Stephen – 6:31 (originally on the Aoxomoxoa studio album)
The Eleven – 9:18
Turn On Your Love Light – 15:05
Death Don’t Have No Mercy – 10:28
Feedback – 7:49
And We Bid You Goodnight – 0:37
Dark Star – 2:41 (single of the song added as bonus)
WB Commercial for Live/Dead – 1:00 (added as bonus)
Only St Stephen featured on a studio album. Turn On Your Love Light was originally recorded by Bobby Bland, Death Have No Mercy is a blues song by the Reverend Gary Davis while And We Bid You Goodnight is a traditional folk song.
Dark Star is probably the most famous Grateful Dead song and this version has an extremely long guitar solo from Jerry Garcia. It’s funny to think that it started as a 2 minute single. Sadly it’s not a song I like and starting with it has made the album difficult for me to appreciate.
Playing on the album are:
Ron “Pigpen” McKernan – vocals, congas
Jerry Garcia – guitar, vocals
Bob Weir – guitar, vocals
Tom Constanten – organ
Phil Lesh – electric bass, vocals
Mickey Hart – drums, percussion
Bill Kreutzmann – drums, percussion
I bought this live album but I can’t see what all the fuss is about.
This is the Grateful Dead that most people think about – the psychedelic long instrumental work-outs rather than the country and folk songs that appear on the studio albums Workingman’s Dead and American Beauty.
Here is St Stephen to give you a taste. This is also from 1969 but not the version on Live/Dead.
If you buy the CD, be warned. I can’t rip it so I can’t load the music on my iPod. This doesn’t help me get to know and appreciate Live Dead. If you want a digital version, I recommend you play safe and get the mp3 from Amazon or you download it from iTunes.
I eventually bought this as an mp3 download because I decided that I can’t keep ignoring the most famous live album from one of the most famous live jam bands.
Unfortunately I don’t get it and for a long time it warned me off the band. I’m not sure why I have a problem but my experiences don’t match the expectations of hearing a great live album. Part of the problem might be starting with Dark Star. I’ve read that this is a great version but it lacks both melody and direction for me.
What Other People Say About Live Dead
Grateful Dead have released many live albums. Only two – Live Dead and Europe 72 – appear in the lists of best live albums.
These recommended Live Dead:
If you’re new to the band you could decide to follow popular opinion and focus on Live Dead and Europe 72 as the two albums to start with. This lets you find your Grateful Dead compass and whether you prefer their songs or the improvisations.
Once you know this, you can look at the other Grateful Dead live albums and use the lengths of the songs and the recording date as an indication of what’s in store.
The reviewers at Amazon approve of Live/Dead.
Buying Grateful Dead Live/Dead
These links will help you get to the albums quickly and easily but I recommend that you still search for the best deal.
What Do You Think About Live/Dead
Do you think this is the best Grateful Dead live album or is there another that you think is even better?
What Are The Best Live Albums Ever?
While the Grateful Dead are hard to fit into a one music genre or another, they have live albums in the psychedelic / San Francisco poll, in the jam band poll and the country rock poll. While the dedicated poll is the best guide for fans, a high ranking in a genre poll will help attract more fans to the Dead’s music so please vote.
You can see the complete list of readers polls at Live Album Polls.