The Grateful Dead – Live/Dead -1969

Mozart, Beethoven, Wagner, Bach...and I suppose Pink too.

The Grateful Dead – Live/Dead -1969

Postby Roland Bru » Thu Oct 16, 2008 11:53 am

It’s funny that a band that calls itself the Grateful Dead is best appreciated when they play live. This is their first live album (of about 60 live albums, available as regular cd's or digital download in FLAC (lossless) quality from the band’s web site). It also contains one of their signature songs Dark star, in what some would call the definitive version. At slightly over 23 minutes, it’s certainly one of the best versions around taken from some concerts in February/March 1969 that since have become available in pristine audio quality (I have a 10 cd version, containing 4 complete concerts). It’s not the longest vesion however, there are some 40 minute versions circulating…

But the great thing is is shows in a good way what the Dead was capable of at this point in time, some 4 years into their long strange trip. St Stephen is a folksy tune, with a familiar structure, but it flows into the eleven, as the name indicates an intricate piece, played (but hardly composed) in 11/4. Turn on your lovelight is a cover that Pig pen, the singer, completely makes his own in just over 15 minutes, with some raps avant la lettre. Death don’t have no mercy is a straight blues (a Gary Davis tune, this blues song was later more or less replaced by the likewise bluesy Morning dew). Feedback is aptly named, and is a little too long at almost 8 minutes, but hey, you had to be there, dude!
Roland Bru
 
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