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Live / Dead Live


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Audio CD, Live, October 25, 1990
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$11.49 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details Only 4 left in stock. Sold by Fulfillment Express US and Fulfilled by Amazon. Gift-wrap available.

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Editorial Reviews

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Improvisation had been the Grateful Dead's tie-dyed calling card since their beginnings as the house band for novelist Ken Kesey's mythic mid-60s "acid tests." So, after the fair-to-middling artistic results of their initial three studio-recorded albums, the band opted to release their first-ever concert collection--and irrevocably changed the course of their entire career. Propelled by the epic classic, "Dark Star," as well as folk-tinged "Death Don't Have No Mercy,' and the fusion-ish "The Eleven," Live Dead showcased the instinctual, probing interplay between Jerry Garcia, bassist Phil Lesh, and the rest of the band, and finally captured the Dead's special magic for all to hear. --Billy Altman

1. Dark Star
2. Saint Stephen
3. The Eleven
4. Turn On Your Love Light
5. Death Don't Have No Mercy
6. Feedback
7. And We Bid You Goodnight

Product Details

  • Audio CD (October 25, 1990)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Live
  • Label: Warner Bros UK
  • ASIN: B000002KB0
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (59 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #15,964 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

22 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Atomatron on November 13, 2000
Format: Audio CD
Dear God, please put this on Heaven's jukebox.
What is Dark Star? THE qunitessential acid-rock voyage. A band of hippies attempting to transcend reality. From the first few notes off Phil's bass to the monumental peak before the second verse (over twenty mintues later) this version of Dark Star is unmatched. Every member at their best, entwined in ecstasy. NAILING every twist and peak. Jerry Garcia loved this version. So far beyond the countless other versions I've heard. You'd swear there was a higher power at work on that stage.
You don't have to be on drugs to enjoy this disc. Just into improvisation. Followed by Saint Stephen and a rollicking, super-charged The Eleven, the Dead never sounded tighter, more direct. Plugged into your synapses. Toying with you. Ear candy.
Obviously beloved by Deadheads. I recommend this for any fan of live music. It simply cannot be done better.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 11, 1999
Format: Audio CD
You need not buy into the entire Dead hippie bathos in order to enjoy this album. Any fans of improvisition will thoroughly enjoy this album. The Dark Star is arguably the Dead's finest moment. The immediacy of the playing captures the ear. The band seems genuinely excited to play the material unlike later material. The music is engaging on its own without the, uh, chemical adjuncts. Also we are spared of much of the faux-country fodder, that often leads me to press the fast forward button on other Dead releases. Obviously the Dead are best when they are playing live and their more classic pieces. The first three tracks here are beautiful. As odd as it may sound, I think Sonic Youth may have been listening to this album while producing A Thousand Leaves. Listen to the two albums back to back if you don't have exclusionary music tastes. The jamming styles are very alike.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 10, 1998
Format: Audio CD
this is IT! This live performance demonstrates the transcendence of the Dead's improvisations at their best. You'll hear something new with every listen.
Dark Star defines the Dead's music and this is one of the finest examples on CD. Lesh's unique melodic bass playing drives the beast. Garcia and Weirs' guitars taunt each other to great heights. Hart and Kreutzmann's wonderfully open and then powerfully meshed drumming allow the dynamics of Dark Star to range from the beautifully poignant through chaos to the consumately powerful.
The first three songs are a continuous jam for around 40 minutes. After Dark Star, I love listening to the rhythm transition from the St. Stephen (in 4:4 time) to The Eleven (in 11:8 time).
There is magic here --- a spontaneous, synergistic symphony. This is what I listen to the Dead for. This is what I listen to music for.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By BDP on September 23, 2000
Format: Audio CD
I am a huge fan of live music by many different bands and as I close in on age 40, I have yet to hear a better, more perfect, more fluid live recording then the incredible "Live/Dead". It is simply perfection and a CD I have been listening to in one form or another since the late 1970's. The improvisational jamming is unmatched and nothing before or since can garb you, bring you in and hold you like this masterpiece. The band is flawless and mistake free during this show as the opening 4 song, hour plus jam can attest to. Starting with the incredible, powerful and spacey "Dark Star" into the exhuberant and fun "St. Stephen" continuing into the powerful and thumping "The Eleven" and closing out with the tightest version of "Turn On Your Lovelight" you will ever here! Master musicians at the top of their game and bringing it on home! One thing that stands out about this recording is that all the members of the band are obviously having so much fun and enjoying themselves that it comes through loud and clear and helps you enjoy it more too, if that is possible because it is simply the greates, most enjoyable live recording ever made. Grab "Live/Dead" you'll be very happy you did and will find yourself listening to it more then you ever imagined! As a side note, if you want an example of what an extended version of "Live/Dead" might be like then grab "Dick's Picks, Volume 16", recorded at the Fillmore Auditorium on 11/8/69. It showcases an incredible jam that starts on CD #2 and continues to CD #3 consisting of "Dark Star-The Other One-Dark Star-Uncle Johns Band Jam-Dark Star-St. Stephen-The Eleven-Caution-The Main Ten-Caution-Feedback". It's truly memorable and also contains a 25:30 version of "Turn On Your Lovelight". Awesome stuff but still a notch below "Live/Dead".
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Bruce Kendall VINE VOICE on July 13, 2007
Format: Audio CD
When these guys were on they were as good as it got back in the late '60's, early '70s. I saw them numerous times at the old Fillmore/Avalon Ballroom and at Winterland, Keyzar Stadium and numerous other venues. The Keyzar show would have been a complete bust, had Waylon Jennings not been on hand to rescue the show. The Dead had OD'ed and they couldn't combine for a note. Pure drivel.

Yet when they had the right "chemistry" there was no finer band in the land. They could take a collective consciousness and pin it on its ear. In fact I lost part of my hearing in my right ear from sticking my head too close to one of those huge stadium speakers to try to find my way into the "source" of the sound one crazy night at Winterland. At least I lived to tell the tale.

To make a long review short, just take your nearest listening device, attach some headphones, and listen to "Turn on Your Lovelight" on this CD. I was listening while out walking the pooch this morning and ended up boogying for about half a mile or so. My neighbors probably thought I was having a grand mal seizure or was practicing my St Vitus' Dance or both, and they were probably right. If that cut isn't one of the best live recordings ever, I don't know what is, and if it doesn't get your tail to wagging, then Jack, you a Zombie! This CD ranks right up there with the Dead's Live in Europe double album as amongst their best. Buy it or download it and alarm your nighbors, too!

BEK
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