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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars If you thought you knew the Dead...
Who else could serve up Howling Wolf, the Everley Brothers and Otis Redding on the same disc? The CD opens with a slow, poignant, reading of Lightnin Hopkins' 'Katie Mae' - Garcia sounds as though he's pulling both the words and the melody out of the air as he goes along. 'Dark hollow' and 'Been all around this world' show that the Dead were no bandwagon-jumpers when it...
Published on 1 July 2001

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting, but doesn't really ignite.
The title is literal, it was the first issuing of Dead archive material and is a set of tracks chosen by Bear (aka Owsley Stanley - read "The Electric Kool Aid Acid Test" or "What a Long Strange Trip It's Been" to find out more). Bear particularly tried to feature the recently departed Pigpen in the selection, particularly Pigpen's solo (yes, *guitar* and vocals)...
Published on 22 Jan 2003 by Mr. Clifton Jones


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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting, but doesn't really ignite., 22 Jan 2003
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Mr. Clifton Jones (Matlock, Derbyshire United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: History Of Vol.1 (Audio CD)
The title is literal, it was the first issuing of Dead archive material and is a set of tracks chosen by Bear (aka Owsley Stanley - read "The Electric Kool Aid Acid Test" or "What a Long Strange Trip It's Been" to find out more). Bear particularly tried to feature the recently departed Pigpen in the selection, particularly Pigpen's solo (yes, *guitar* and vocals) rendering of 'Katie Mae' and his version of Otis Redding's 'Hard to Handle' and these are possibly the highlights, although I particularly like the version of the Everley Brother's 'Wake Up, Little Susie' which plays into 'Black Peter' (the only Grateful Dead composition on the album).
As a band, the Dead changed on going from the sixties into the seventies, and in 1970 they experimented with acoustic sets as well as electric (they did again in 1980 - years before MTV's 'Unplugged'). This album features mainly covers that the band were playing in this period (and which had not been otherwise released by them) and is drawn half from acoustic sets and half from electric sets.
So far, so good, the problem is that the band don't particularly ignite on most of the tracks. For a band as skilled in extending songs as the Dead, the long version of Howling Wolf's 'Smokestack Lightening' goes curiously to few places of interest.
Certainly if you want live acoustic Dead then 'Reckoning' is a better bet, and there are now so many other 'official' live electric CDs that you are spoiled for choice. But if you want a solo Pigpen blues (or Smokestack Lightening for that matter) then I can't think of anywhere else (official) where you can go.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars If you thought you knew the Dead..., 1 July 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: History Of Vol.1 (Audio CD)
Who else could serve up Howling Wolf, the Everley Brothers and Otis Redding on the same disc? The CD opens with a slow, poignant, reading of Lightnin Hopkins' 'Katie Mae' - Garcia sounds as though he's pulling both the words and the melody out of the air as he goes along. 'Dark hollow' and 'Been all around this world' show that the Dead were no bandwagon-jumpers when it came to country music. 'Smokestack lightnin' is a showcase for the band's ability to extend a song as far as they could and them some, while 'Hard to handle' is one of the best Pigpen vehicles I've ever heard. While this is far shorter than most of the later live Dead albums, it gives an unparalleled sense of their range, and their ability to take songs from almost anywhere and make them thir own.
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History Of Vol.1
History Of Vol.1 by Grateful Dead (Audio CD - 2000)
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