Golden Road (1965-1973)
Part Five: Live/Dead
The Music Box's #1 specialty package for 2001
First Appeared in The Music Box, March 2002, Volume 9, #3
Written by John Metzger
Live/Dead has long been called the quintessential Grateful Dead album. And rightly so, though the myriad of concert recordings released over the better part of the last decade have made it slightly less significant. Nevertheless, Live/Dead remains a vital effort. After all, it not only captures the band in all its late í60s glory, but it also is the album that launched the jam band genre and gave the Grateful Deadís career a well-deserved push, while also passing time as the group prepared to shift direction.
Most notable is a classic rendition of Dark Star, the Grateful Deadís trademark tune, which opened Live/Dead in superlative fashion. Rather than bursting out of the starting gate, the band gently eased into the song from some other space in time ó actually, it was Mountains of the Moon that preceded the tune at the concert from which this rendition was taken ó allowing the instruments to gradually coalesce into the now familiar musical theme. Itís a slow, deliberate progression that oozes and drips over its delicate psychedelic soundscape, offering the first recorded indication as to what the band had to offer its concert-going fans.
Yet, this was merely the beginning as the Grateful Dead wound its way through a raucous St. Stephen, the ferocious rhythmic thrashing of The Eleven, Pigpenís rousing blues rant Turn on Your Lovelight, and the solemn strains of Death Donít Have No Mercy. Indeed, Live/Dead fully captured the bandís live sound with startling precision, opening the doors of perception to the uninitiated and welcoming them inside with open arms.
This is the fifth installment of a nine part series, which
will examine The Golden Road (1965-1973) album by album. The
entire set is rated:
The Golden Road (1965-1973)
Live / Dead is available from Barnes & Noble.
To order, Click Here!
Live / Dead is also part of the box set Golden Road (1965-1973),
which is available from Barnes & Noble.
To order, Click Here!
1 Star: Pitiful
2 Stars: Listenable
3 Stars: Respectable
4 Stars: Excellent
5 Stars: Can't Live Without It!!
Copyright © 2002 The Music Box