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Grateful Dead

86 customer reviews

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Audio CD, February 25, 2003
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Editorial Reviews

Six bonus tracks including an unbelievable live Viola Lee Blues !

1. The Golden Road (To Unlimited Devotion)
2. Beat It On Down The Line
3. Good Morning Little School Girl (Full Length Version)
4. Cold Rain And Snow
5. Sitting On Top Of The World (Full Length Version)
6. Cream Puff War (Full Length Version)
7. Morning Dew (Full Length Version)
8. New, New Minglewood Blues (Full Length Version)
9. Viola Lee Blues
10. Alice D. Millionaire
11. Overseas Stomp (The Lindy)
12. Tastebud
13. Death Don't Have No Mercy
14. Viola Lee Blues (Edited Version)
15. Viola Lee Blues (Live)

Product Details

  • Audio CD (February 25, 2003)
  • Original Release Date: 1967
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Rhino
  • ASIN: B00007LTIG
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (86 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,150 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

59 of 62 people found the following review helpful By Kindle Customer on March 11, 2003
Format: Audio CD
Everyone knows the Dead were a live experience, and that their studio albums are generally thought to be a pale reflection of their concert glory. Well, I never saw the Dead live, but this first album struck a chord with me when I heard it back in 1967, and it's remained one of the most enduring albums to come out of San Francisco during that heady psychedelic era.
Until this reissue was available, the only CD I'd heard was a pale-sounding 1989 release. While adequate, it certainly wasn't up to modern standards, and was way overdue to be remastered.
The new disc sounds incredibly good, particularly when you remember how long it's been since these recordings were made. Not only do the original tracks sound fuller and richer, more alive, but there's some additional material that's actually worth the purchase price. A lot of CD reissues have extra tracks that are mere filler, but these newly issued songs sound good enough to have merited inclusion on the original record. I have some mixed feelings about the long live version of "Viola Lee Blues," which runs more than 22 minutes and is obviously an attempt to capture the famed Live Dead experience. To me, it sounds like you really had to be there. Either there are mistakes by the band, or it's poor editing, but it doesn't add up to a great jam. (Compare it to Fleetwood Mac's live renditions of "Rattlesnake Shake" on the Boston Live discs and you'll see what I mean by a great jam.)
Four of the tracks are extended; instead of fading out as in the original edits. After listening to this record for the past 36 years it's a bit jarring, but the extra minute on "Goodbye Little School Girl" is worth listening to, as is the pyrotechnic close to "Cream Puff War."
It's great to have one of my all-time favorite records brought up to date, sounding fresher and more powerful than ever. Too bad I never caught one of their shows...
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27 of 27 people found the following review helpful By kingcrimson1973 on October 5, 2005
Format: Audio CD
Grateful Dead (1967). The Grateful Dead's debut LP.

By 1967 the Grateful Dead had emerged from the bluegrass scene around San Francisco in the early 1960s, and decided to go electric after hearing bands such as the Rolling Stones. They had been around for about two years and had been under previous names such as the Warlocks and the Emergency Crew. They were signed to Warner Brothers Records in 1966 after Joe Smith, Warner Bros. president, saw them in San Francisco. The band at this time consisted of Jerry Garcia (vocals/lead guitar), Bob Weir (vocals/rhythm guitar) Bill Kreutzmann (drums), Ron "Pigpen" McKernan (vocals/harp/organ) and Phil Lesh (vocals/bass). This album was released in March 1967, recorded in a marathon time of about 70 hours. The album was very rough and tumble, and only one song hinted torwards the epic jams in their live shows - Viola Lee Blues.

To sum it up, this album is a classic. Since it was relesed right before the Summer of Love, it has important historical value as well as what could be the definition of San Fran psych rock. It is the perfect listen for people studying on the San Fran - Haight Ashbury scene of the mid-late 60s. Some of the tracks are drawn from their old jug-band repertoire, and others are just blues covers. But they do a top job on each cover, and come up with some great early band originals. Pigpen, the infamous ruddy blues singer/harp player, knocks the track Good Morning Little School Girl out of the ballpark. Some of the more poppish tracks establish the Dead's reputation for subpar singing- they certainly weren't on the par with other well-known singers of the time. They also cover Morning Dew, a faster version that isn't as great as their later live versions when they slowed the tempo way down.
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful By JG on January 6, 2006
Format: Audio CD
The fast spontaneous furious speed of this 1st album from the seminal improvisational band is nothing less than a spectacular experience far ahead of it's time.
The Dead were fine musicians, always respected and paid homage to their influences by developing a unique hybrid of traditional blues and country,folk,jug and rock and roll within in a jazz setting.
Creating a new form emulated by so many of their contemporaries within rock may not have been their intention, but that is a defining element of their historical importance.
The sense of immediacy and existential NOW is keenly felt here.
Even the few tracks clocked in at 5 minutes or higher have a primal energy to it and is danceable..The beauty of this album is that it totally debunks the notion that the Dead were a jam band only and were not capable of laying down great songs in time spans under 3 minutes.They knew how to have a good time..

This CD features so many in concert staples later stretched out into what became Dead Head music listening to it again with the extra tracks and hdcd is very refreshing.
The homage paid to their wide musical roots and upping it by creating dynamic interesting music interplaying in 1967 double guitars and later a dual drum attack into some unique synthesis
that is both old and new was and is a rare accomplishment.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Eliphas Levi on May 17, 2000
Format: Audio CD
I came to the Grateful Dead because--well, because of who they are, long before . . . very long before I actually was sober and straight-headed enough to contemplate their music. By and large I'm a Jerry fan and his signature guitar-work transporting (lazy hazy summer days in a lawn chair with a beer under a tree listening the Grateful Dead . . . camping . . . it's all good!). This album is grossly underrated because it really does underscore their popular genius despite their youthful musical limitations. The songs on this album capture the organ-tinged psychedelia of the Height-Ashbury scene, but do not totter into overly-indulgent "jams" that turn many listeners off (only one song does, and its a pretty good listen anyhow). Here, too, we get a strong sense of the Dead's blues roots, and why they let Weir sing. Early on, at least, Weir's youthful voice can actually carry a tune! The album is a good, head-nodding groove and rivals most of the studio albums that have been released to date. While the production and engineering is not top notch for its day, it really does highlight their talents. A must for any serious music collecter for its historical AND musical signficance. Ultimately, however, the reason why this album deserves high praise is because it manages to capture a sense of "fun." One of the best recordings of "fun" this century.
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