The Grateful Dead – Live/Dead (2LP/MFSL)
Label: Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab – MFSL 2-365
Series: GAIN 2™ Ultra Analog LP 180g Series, Original Master Recording
Format: 2 × Vinyl, LP, Album, Limited Edition, Numbered, Reissue, 180g, Gatefold
Released: 14 Dec 2011
Barcode: 8 21797 23651 5
A Dark Star 23:15
B1 St. Stephen 6:45
B2 The Eleven 9:39
C Turn On Your Lovelight 15:30
D1 Death Don’t Have No Mercy 10:30
D2 Feedback 8:52
D3 And We Bid You Goodnight 0:36
Mixed At – Muggles Gramophone, San Francisco
Mastered At – Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab
Lacquer Cut At – Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab
Pressed By – Record Technology Incorporated
Manufactured By – Rhino Entertainment Company
Marketed By – Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab, Inc.
Distributed By – Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab, Inc.
Bass Guitar, Vocals – Phil Lesh
Guitar, Vocals – Bob Weir, Jerry Garcia
Keyboards – Tom Constanten (T.C.)
Lyrics By – Robert Hunter
Organ – Pigpen (tracks: D1)
Percussion – Bill Kreutzmann, Mickey Hart
Vocals, Congas – Pigpen
Live recording by Alembic Recording Studios, Novato, California / Mixed at Muggles Gramophone, San Francisco
Mastered at Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab, Sebastopol, CA on the Gain 2 Ultra Analog System™
• Half-Speed Production and Mastering by Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab
• Specially Plated and Pressed on 180 grams of High Definition Vinyl
• Special Static Free – Dust Free Inner Sleeve
• Heavy Duty Protective Packaging
• Mastered from the Original Master Tapes
Numbered, Special Limited Edition
℗ 1969. This Reissue ℗ 2011
Vinyl and Cover in perfect condition. Limited, numbered edition. With original inner sleeves and company inserts. See photo’s for details.
+++++++ This double live set was released around new year ’69/70, showcasing their various talents and drawing on the tremendous rapport the band had established with the Californian audiences by their free open-air performances. It summed up all the DeaD had achieved during the 60’s and preceeded a sharp change to approach in the recording of studio albums. DARK STAR is the DeaD at the height of their improvisational powers and this track in particular put the DeaD firmly on the map. Its title spawned a magazine, a film and at least one attempt to contact UFO’s… THE ELEVEN, named by Phil Lesh for it’s unusual 11/4 time signature and inspired by Mickey Hart who studied at an indian music school in Marin, is an psychedelic “blitzkrieg”. LOVELIGHT is Pigpen at his best and was the DeaD’s showstopper in their concerts. DEATH DON’T HAVE NO MERCY was an old Reverend Gary Davis blues tune and WE BID YOU GOODNIGHT was their closing song of concerts in the late sixties. After this album Constanten left the group.The sleeve design is a simply play on the punning title of the record set, a luxuriantly tressed young woman arising from the coffin holding a loft an orb and sceptre, together symbols of victory over death. When reading the “DEAD” letters on the back cover upside down, they show “ACID”. Inside Jerry grins in front of a Dead End sign +++++++
nr. 1 An unmitigated triumph. One continuous expanse of music, totally integrated, as the group execute masterful rhythm changes with disdainful ease. No patchy, aimless passages while the core of their sound, Garcia’s highly personalized lead and Lesh’s fluid melodic bass lines, is gripping through out. ROCK PRIMER, JOHN COLLIS, PENGUIN UK
nr. 2 The DeaD at it’s improvisational peak. Despite the eventual deification of the acid-drenched Garcia favourites, LOVELIGHT was the in-concert no-holds-barred showstopper. GOLDMINE, JULY 1987
nr. 3 It isn’t much less interminable than any other DeaD concert piece, but it has a freshness that feints toward vitality. *** R.S. REC. GUIDE
nr. 4 The DeaD epitomised acid madness, something hard to contain or fake in the studio, but live… THE PERFECT COLLECTION, TOM HIBBERT, PROTEUS ’82
nr. 5 If you’de like to visit a place where rock is likely to be in about 5 years, you might think of giving LIVE/DEAD a listen or two. ROLLING STONE
nr. 6 My favourite album. It presents the DeaD at their absolute peak in the late sixties, in total command of their ability to switch rhythms and change times. Side one’s 21-minute version of DARK STAR remains their finest voyage into outer space, ST STEPHEN and THE ELEVEN make side two a bubbling, non-stop rockin’ delight, and side three’s workout on LOVELIGHT is Pigpen’s best recorded performance. Side four is a little dark, but DEATH DON’T HAVE NO MERCY is atmospheric blues playing at its finest. * * * * * BLAIR JACKSON, THE MUSIC NEVER STOPPED, PLEXUS UK 1983
nr. 7 LIVE/DEAD proved that whatever complexities the band got up in the studio, they were still able to crank it up and kick ass on stage. The songs on the album, recorded in the Fillmore West in February 1969, are presented on disc as they were in concert, without overdubs and almost un- edited. DARK STAR is twenty minutes of the DeaD at their improvisational best and LOVELIGHT is the irresistible R’n’B classic crowd pleaser of the late 60’s Grateful Dead shows. JAMIE JENSEN, BUILT TO LAST, FANTAIL ’90
nr. 8 An all-time classic. As time goes on, this music proves it can stand the test of time. Unfortunately one of the first albums i’ve bought, it’s still the best in my collection. All the albums I did get after LIVE/DEAD were less, even though The Allman Brothers with LIVE AT FILLMORE EAST came nearby. One can hear through the music that these people understand each other, are prepared to take risks, and really can make music with heart and guts. A free copy of this album should be handed out to every person who wants to learn to play bass guitar ERIK SCHOTHANS
nr. 9 The set is over one and a quarter hours, starting with the monumental DARK STAR – a sprawling instrumental based around a few lines of sci-fi fantasy with a theme supposedly originated by the black jazz composer John Coltrane, but more than but transferred to the guitar by Garcia himself. ST. STEPHEN and THE ELEVEN are two straight (for the DeaD) rocking numbers which features exemplary rhythmic bass from Phil Lesh and through which the band’s enthousiasm is clear and infectious. Pigpen replaces Tom Constanten on organ for a song called (fittingly) DEATH DON’T HAVE NO MERCY. The album closes with a curious soundwash of feedback, which eventually degenerates into the sound of assorted cattle being herded along – or it seems – finally returning to some sort of normality for a close harmony finale called AND WE BID YOU GOODNIGHT. IAN FREER, FIRST HEARING, no. 8
nr. 10 A rock lp of subtlety, power and sheer beauty. Everything is so superbly integrated and smooth that it’s downright annoying when side one ends, the momentum of the music is broken, and you have to get up and turn the record over. Side three is Pigpen’s Tour De Force…15+ minutes of gutsy, soulful vocals and the climax of 55 minutes of truly amazing rock music. The last side is generally considered to be an anti climax in comparison, and although it is by no means as exciting or engaging as the other tracks it deserves a hearing. I won’t say anymore about the record except to quote from Lenny Kaye who wrote: “Live/Dead explains why the Dead are one of the best performing bands in America, why their music touches on ground that most other groups don’t even know exists… if you’d like to visit a place where rock is likely to be in about 5 years, you might think of giving Live/Dead a listen or two”. ANDY CHILDS, Zig Zag, Sept. 1973
nr. 11 This quintessential album still epitomizes the band at its best. The seven-song set leads off with a 23-minute version of DARK STAR, a jazzy midtempo epic that continually knots up and then unravels like a musical quest for answers that never come. The band’s signature song for a quarter century, this loping tune is a continual source of inspiration for the band. By the end of the album, you’ve heard nearly all the Dead’s musical styles, beginning with rock and jazz and finishing up with nearly nine minutes of manipulated electric feedback -pure sound as music- and an a cappella song. There’s nothing on this album that could crack a radio format then or now; conversely, there’s nothing dated about this music. Two decades later, it still sounds fresh. MALCOLM JONES, NEWSWEEK, aug. 21, 1995
nr. 12... Disc time: 73:05 Performance: 9 Sound: 9
A re-release on CD of the classic early live Grateful Dead album. This is yet another case where a double album was short enough to put on one CD; and here we have another instance, like *Eat a Peach*, where an original live performance was initially cut into pieces to fit on sequential sides of vinyl; now the piece is restored to its original whole (thanks to the wonderful technological design smarts of CDs being “one-sided” *and* having plenty of room for longer sections of music). However, this CD bypasses *Eat a Peach* on the “Whoa!” Meter in that in this case the first *three* sides of the original version of *Live/Dead* were actually three different sections of *one* section of music, and on the CD they have all been spliced back together without *any* noticeable gap. The album opens with the classic “Dark Star,” It runs over 20 minutes–but that’s only the beginning of the medley. After a few measures of feedback, the band goes into “St. Stephen,” another Dead classic. This segues directly into “The Eleven”–in fact, it is absolutely impossible to pinpoint the exact moment of transition between these two pieces–which is, of course, a jam in the time signature of 11/4; and “The Eleven” segues directly into “Turn On Your Love Light.” We’re talking almost an hour of solid music here, and it sounds a helluva lot better on a CD than it did on the 120-minute cassette version I painstakingly put together many years ago (with audible blips between the sides).
After the end of this incredible medley, there are actually three more songs: the somewhat disturbing “Death Don’t Have No Mercy” (has any other voice ever sung so compellingly about death? . . .); a nearly ten-minute piece entitled “Feedback” which is *just that* (hey, can *you* sit through this and *listen* to it without getting up for a cup of coffee?); and the finale, a beautiful a cappella lullaby entitled “We Bid You Goodnight” which is only about a minute long, a perfect closing.
All in all, this is an outstanding compendium of early Dead live work for a number of reasons. First and foremost because it captures the very early, drug-oriented sound of the band. *Live/Dead* is certainly *the* artifact of their “psychedelic phase,” so to speak (and the music in places is as spacey as the music of other San Francisco bands of that time period like Jefferson Airplane and Quicksilver Messenger Service, following the tradition of what “acid rock” was *really* meant to be: music to listen to while on acid). Also, “Dark Star” and “St. Stephen” were hallmarks of early Dead shows, and the versions on *Live/Dead* are pretty much the definitive recorded versions, although many others exist on bootlegs (these two songs were largely based on improvisation and thus were radically different every time they were played). The beauty of this CD release is that an extraordinary amount of attention and care went into the CD mastering, and the transfer is one of the best I’ve ever heard (particularly because this is such an old recording). The bass, in particular (played by Phil Lesh), has more presence and tone than Steely Dan albums recorded ten years later. And Garcia’s early guitar tone (achieved by wiring a number of Fender Twin Reverb amplifiers together to create a sort of wall-of-sound effect, but with *Fender* amps instead of Marshalls–the net result being more like a *corncob of sound*, as husky and American as any good country lead player comes) is quite well-represented here. (Taken from the net, writer’s name unknown)
nr. 13 Live/Dead – GD (Warner Bro. 2WS 1830) the original release had a four page song book enclosed. “Dark Star” and “St. Stephen” are from February 27, 1969 at the Fillmore West; “The Eleven”, “Turn On Your Lovelight”, “Feedback”, and “We Bid You Goodnight” are from March 2, 1969 at the Fillmore West; “Death Don’t Have No Mercy” is from either January 24, 25, or 26, 1969 at the Avalon. Released on November 10, 1969. This album was recorded on a sixteen track recorder during a four night run. The “Eight sided whispering…” vocals are the last eight lines from the original version of Hunter’s “China Cat Sunflower”. Mickey Hart plays guiro, scrapers, and gongs, among other percussion instruments, on “Dark Star”. (According to Bob Matthews, “Dark Star” is one take from the Avalon Ballroom; the album was recorded and mixed to simulate the sound presence of the Avalon Ballroom. I. W. Slabicky, 1993)
nr. 14 LIVE/DEAD (1969)
Live albums rarely come better than this, a seamless, 73-minute statement of West Coast rock, circa ’69, in all its manifold forms. Stili, it was the multi-coloured liquid light that burned brightest, particularly over the band’s definitive reading of “Dark Star”, a 23-minute cosmic rock epic. The showstopper was the Pig-sung version of Bobby Bland’s “Turn On Your Lovelight”, but for sheer muso listening pleasure, the “St. Stephen”/”The Eleven” medley was unbeatable. And Garcia rarely bettered his extraordinarily powerful vocal and stinging guitar break on “Death Don’t Have No Mercy”. One of the Greatest 100 Rock Albums of All Time? One of the Top Ten, more like.
“Let’s do something simple,” is how Garcia characterised the mood of the Dead as the swinging decade melted away. Tom Constanten quit during 1970, and gentier country-rock and CSN&Y-inspired harmonies firmly rooted the band back on Earth once more.
Dead concerts now began with acoustic sets, and though there was stili plenty of time for improvisaton, a tendency to cover country and rock’n’roll standards, plus Bob Weir’s emergence as a major player, helped deliver the band to a wider audience – which was reflected in increased record sales and a move into stadium-sized venues. The demise of many of their San Franciscan contemporaries also meant that the Dead were the last genuine link with the counter-culture, and by the middle of the decade, the network of Deadheads – nurtured by the band – had begun to sprout.
The Dead’s spirit of independence was furthered by taking greater control over their recorded output. Many of their albums were self-produced, and after the deal with Warners had expired in 1973, they formed their own Grateful Dead Records.
Amidst all this, an ailing Pigpen finally met the Grim Reaper in 1973, by which time Ns replacement Keith Godchaux was flrmly in place. espite Godchaux’s dexterity, there was an air of predictability about the Grateful Dead by the mid-70s, although a lengthy lay-off from live work (not to mention a whole raft of solo projects) enabled thern to bounce back with the hugely satisfdng “Blues For Allah”. However, the financial burden of running their own label and studio proved too much, and the group ended this period in search of a new major deal.
from Record Collector