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11 Reviews
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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Enjoy the Ride
According to the sleeve notes, it was recorded mainly live. Not that you'd know, apart from a some distant audience noise in a few places. The Dead are in sublime form on this CD, the music is accessible (not too "far out" or experimental) and there's a great selection of covers as well as original material. A good introduction for potential 'deadheads'
Sit back and...
Published on 3 July 2003

versus
6 of 18 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Confusion
What is it that's being sold here. The title and cover art shows the Skull and Bones live album but the review and the tracklisting shows the bands debut album.

Which is which? I'd like to buy a copy of the remastered Skull and Bones but can't be certain that this is what I'd get
Published on 1 Aug 2006 by Allan Heron


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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Enjoy the Ride, 3 July 2003
By A Customer
This review is from: The Grateful Dead (Audio CD)
According to the sleeve notes, it was recorded mainly live. Not that you'd know, apart from a some distant audience noise in a few places. The Dead are in sublime form on this CD, the music is accessible (not too "far out" or experimental) and there's a great selection of covers as well as original material. A good introduction for potential 'deadheads'
Sit back and enjoy some master musicians.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Compilation, 2 July 2007
By 
Steve Keen "therealus" (Herts, UK) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
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This review is from: The Grateful Dead (Audio CD)
My first Dead album was the 1969 Fillmore West triple CD set. I guess that particular collection benefits from having been released only recently, so demonstrates the full capability of more modern sound engineering than this set, released 1971, which sounds much rougher round the edges. The production is also somewhat haphazard, so different tracks are spliced together crudely so that the transition between tracks is a little unsophisticated - the audience burst on us mid-scream at the beginning of one track; suddenly give us the silent treatment at the end of another.

But it's easy to ignore these minor considerations in the light of the music, and the songs. These are an excellent mix of Dead originals and covers.

The originals include excellent versions of Playing In The Band and Wharf Rat, and a paint-blistering version of The Other One, which drives as hard as Ride of the Valkyries, with the same ¾ beat.

The covers are exactly the kinds of references I'd expect from a band like the Dead back in the early 70s, including respectful versions of songs I would at the time have considered "heritage", like Me & Bobby McGee (immortalised for me by Janis Joplin), Johnny B Goode (Chuck Berry was still on the road and rockin' hard, but my young self at the time considered him to be of the previous generation) and Not Fade Away (originally a Buddy Holly staple, the liner notes remind us, but probably more familiar in the Stones' version). The other cover worth mentioning is Merle Haggard's Mama Tried, a song I can guarantee most of my peers at the time would have considered soooo uncool, reflecting as it does the Dead's Country influences, as does the opener, Bertha.

A growing-up further on, this is one of the elements of what makes the set so compelling - its eclecticism; the Dead are not afraid to borrow from anywhere, so in addition to Country there's Blues, Rock'n'Roll and Prog Rock, with a bit of jazz influence thrown in for good measure.

Altogether then an excellent compilation, and deserving of its apparent "classic" status amongst Deadheads.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Yes, this is "Dead Live", 11 July 2006
This review is from: The Grateful Dead (Audio CD)
I had great difficulty finding this, and only got there by recognising the cover. This double album came out, I believe, as "Dead Live", which was a play on their previous live double album of "Live Dead".

This set is better than Live Dead - dare I say less pretentious than the ramblings of Dark Star [though I must confess that I too taped a C-120 cassette so I could hear the first three sides of the album in one go as recorded].

This album I might buy again, if only for "Me and my Uncle". It shows the band at its live best without the distorted myth that has grown around it, or the many band changes that marked their slow decline.

For studio, try "American Beauty" or "Workingman's Dead" first. Or even Bobby Weir's "Ace".
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another great live album, 4 Jan 2009
I'm so surprised there are no reviews for this album yet, while there are 11 for Live/Dead, that I'll write one myself. I remember years ago at a party a woman obviously new to the Grateful Dead sitting between the speakers with a carried-away expression on her face - "what IS this music?". Well it was the final part of this album, Not Fade Away => Goin' down the Road Feelin' Bad. The album is less of a piece than Live/Dead because it contains a number of shorter songs along with the extended workouts, but these are mostly excellent. The only one I would do without is Johnny B Goode although the playing is fine. The high points for me are Playing in the Band (shorter than most later versions as it was quite new and didn't yet have the extended jam middle section), Wharf Rat (for the soulful singing of Jerry Garcia), Me & Bobby McGee (for the wonderful guitar solo by Jerry) and The Other One. Oh, and Not Fade Away/Goin' Down the Road - a fantastic piece of music. The Other One is an extended improvisation which gravitates around the two verses of the song and its accompanying distinctive 12/8 riff. This allows the band to wander far away from "home" and somehow, almost miraculously it seems, find their way back gloriously at the end. This is inspirational music and an excellent complement to the Dark Star of Live/Dead. There!
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5.0 out of 5 stars The bestest of them all, 17 Mar 2013
By 
Davey (Dorset, United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Grateful Dead (Audio CD)
This is the best compromise between the light 'n' loose live band that was the Dead and the tight 'n' tasty songsters that were the Dead. Freeform jams may have been great if you were there, but have never gone down so well on record. Here, we get a bit of both, but with the emphasis on the songs: great compositions, especially "Wharf Rat", and great covers such as the medley of "Not Fade Away" and "Goin' Down the Road..." and, of course, "Me and My Uncle", allegedly the song they played most in their entire career.

A great album for both Heads and casual fans.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Mmmmmmmmmmmmm Things go better, 27 May 2012
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This review is from: The Grateful Dead (Audio CD)
The Dead in get up and go mode.
Post acid, pre smack with added Pigpen.
Definately one to keep to partner live dead.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars versatile Dead, 17 Aug 2009
This review is from: The Grateful Dead (Audio CD)
this excellent live album, released in 1971 highlights the range of styles that the group mastered. My favourite song (at the moment) is Big Boss Man - a sublime slow blues featuring the vocals and harmonica of Pigpen - who, according to the Amazon reviewer was 'conspicuous in his absence'..very strange..
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars fantastic cover, good record, 6 April 2010
By 
J. R. P. Wigman "Hans Wigman" (Netherlands) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Grateful Dead (Audio CD)
When the Grateful Dead released this record after the glorious Live/Dead, Workingman's Dead and American Beauty and having to let go of Mickey Hart (who was upset by the fact that his own father had embezzled the Dead's money), it was a different Dead that hit the stage - both in personnel and in choice of songs. From now on the Dead would rely as much on "conventional" songs as on the psychedelic jams that made them famous - but then, those days were over anyway, weren't they?
This change of course, more fitting to the likes of Bob Weir, made me rue - although the years that followed still had their share of great jams.

In retrospect this album isn't bad but not really fantastic either - there are contemporary recordings that appeal to me a lot more (for an example of better and more fiery perfomances check out "Road Trips Vol 1 No 3"). The songs that are lined up range from excellent (like "Playing in the band" and "Wharf Rat") to nice but mediocre (like "Mama tried" and "The other one" that never reaches the heights of earlier versions).

When it was released back in 1971 it sold moderately well and it's easy to see why. A versatile record, and quite accessible, especially for the Deadheads that got on board the bus by listening to "Workingman's Dead" and "American Beauty". But measured artistically against that earlier live album "Live/Dead" it is certainly a step back.
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Welcome Reissue of a Classic, 2 Oct 2010
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For those familiar with the classic "Skull and Roses" (the more polite of it's contemporary tags), this album needs no description. For those unfamiliar with it, it is an absolute classic sample of the Dead playing live - buy it and enjoy. The thing that I like best about this edition is that it isn't padded out with second rate bonus tracks as so many CD re-releases are. It does have two extra tracks tagged on the end, but they are quality numbers that fit seemlessly with the original playlist and add to the album, so no need to strip them out when you play it.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Good to have it back again, 8 Oct 2014
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I'd been missing this album from my collection. Good to have it back again.
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