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28 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Treasure From The Past,
This review is from: Fillmore West 1969 (Audio CD)I have loved this band's music since being completely blown away by "Live/Dead" in 1970. This new album is compiled from material from the 1969 Fillmore West recordings that didn't make it into "Live/Dead" and so the obvious test of this new release is to see how it stacks up against the greatest live album ever released: so it has a lot to live up to.
The first two disks in the three disk set were a welcome addition to my Grateful Dead library. The sound quality is excellent, and any lover of the Dead from that period will enjoy hearing more of the band at the height of their experimental phase. I particularly enjoyed "Morning Dew", "Cosmic Charlie" and "Mountains of the Moon" but everyone will have their own preferences. But good as these tracks are, they are supplemental to the seminal "Live/Dead" album that has been at the pinnacle of live rock albums for over thirty years.
Then there is the third disk. It starts with a twenty-three minute "That's it for the Other One" that I think is quite simply stunning. It has now become my number two favourite Dead track of all time after the "Dark Star" on "Live/Dead" (yes, Deadheads, I think it's THAT good!) and even made me wonder for a while whether the band had got it right all those years ago when they selected the tracks for the earlier album. On balance I think they did, so no need for you to hunt out the heretic, but it gives people who know the band some idea of the effect it had on me when I heard it for the first time. The rest of disk 3 doesn't quite reach the heights of the beginning, but no matter: there's lots of strong material to enjoy there, in particular the Jam on track four.
So we have a fascinating historical document, a well-above average Dead live album, with, in at least one reviewer's view, one of the band's truly great offerings. It comes with excellent packaging, artwork and comprehensive well-written notes from Dennis McNally, who is the author of my favourite book on the band.
I would recommend this to all Deadheads without reservation. People new to this music should get "Live/Dead" first: and if you like it, and want more, you will find it in this new album that has allowed these recordings to see the light of day afer thirty seven years.
15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fresh Nostalgia,
This review is from: Fillmore West 1969 (Audio CD)Nearly four decades on this, shamefully, is the first Grateful Dead I've owned and, consciously, listened to. The effects of the last tab have long worn off, the hair's no longer down to the shoulders, and the Summer of Love is a chapter in the social history books, so how's it going to go down?
In general terms, I've heard The Dead come under the West Coast heading, but you know that means nothing. It's just a label. But to some extent it helps prepare you for the music. Long, meandering rivers of guitar-led improvisation are at the fore, as expected: the anticipated comparison with 70s Welsh rockers Man is valid, but it's just a comparison; it's not the same. Other points of reference are Humble Pie (particularly I Walk On Gilded Splinters on the Fillmore East set), the Doors, especially for the organ, and intriguingly some of the jams on the Miles Davis Complete In A Silent Way box set, demonstrating how well Miles and his co-conspirators were plugged into the zeitgeist at the time.
The opening track is an excellent version of Bonnie Dobson's Morning Dew, helping anyone in need of one with a definition of "classic": ageless and affective, mostly because of its simplicity. That is followed by the only other track on the set that was familiar to me, the bluesy Good Morning Little Schoolgirl. Frankly, I'm not sure they'd get away with that one nowadays, but somehow there's an endearing disingenuousness to the song, at once both knowing and innocent, that lets you give it the benefit of the doubt, especially given the likely age of much of The Dead's following at the time.
From then on the tracks tumble together in a stylistic melange extending from Rock to Blues to Country to Jazz to Latin - on one occasion it seems you're transported to San Antonio's Riverwalk, listening to an acid-fuelled electric mariachi band - and points in between. Musically the playing is excellent - none of the vocalists need audition for the opera; but hell, this ain't meant to be opera! - especially when the guitars start mingling.
The verdict, then, is that Grateful Dead have stood the test of time. Where even some of the best music of the time can sound dated, there's a freshness and timelessness about this set. Anybody wanting to get a flavour of the late 60s, either through curiosity or nostalgia, is in for a treat with this package.
Talking of which, the packaging is excellent, too, with some great photographs and informative liner notes.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The "Live/Dead" sessions,
This review is from: Fillmore West 1969 (Audio CD)"Live/Dead" was edited down from a run of shows the Dead did at the Fillimore West in February 1969.If you're prepared to spend a fortune,you can get the entire run of shows on a 10 CD release.If you're of more modest means,this is the one for you (and me).
In short,fantastic.Virtually all of "Live/Dead",tho' not the versions on the album,plus "Alligator","Mountains of the Moon","That's It For the Other One",more or less complete shows from when the Dead Mk.1(with Pigpen)were at the height (no pun intended) of their abilities.
A wonderful look back into hippiedom,if you can remember that far back,or one of the most inventive and adventurous slices of acid rock you're ever likely to hear.
Buy,listen and be enchanted.You may even want to ststrt taking LSD again if you're of a certain age!!
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars magnificent,
This review is from: Fillmore West 1969 (Audio CD)i have to agree with the other reviewers, thanks for your comments, they convinced me to buy this and i am extremely glad that i did. i was lucky enough to see the Grateful Dead at the Bickershawe Festival and i have been a fan ever since. I do wonder sometimes how many times you can buy the same songs by a band before you get bored of them, with the Dead and this period of their lives in particular the answer seems to be you can buy them forever and never be bored. this is simply brilliant, particularly CD3.
thank heavens for the Fillmore too. For existing in the first place but also for having the good sense to install what was at the time state of the art recording facilities. i collect fillmore cd's they are nearly always excellent, Santana's 1968 xmas show, The Allman Brothers, Dereck and the Dominoes. All well worth investigating.
Live Dead was my favourite album too, i still love it, but i think that the wonder of the Dead was the fact they could play for three hours or more and so I think to get the full experience you need this too
12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars More Live / Dead,
This review is from: Fillmore West 1969 (Audio CD)If you love Live / Dead then this is a selection of recordings from the same 1969 run at the Fillmore West. Some of Live / Dead was actually recorded the previous month at the Avalon Ballroom, but the majestic version of Dark Star against which all other versions of Dark Star are judged comes from the first night of the 4 night run at the Fillmore.
There is a 10cd (or 11cd with the bonus disk) official version of this which has all of the music from all 4 nights at the Fillmore. This limited edition CD set sold out immediately, but you occasionally see copies from Amazon traders if you click on the link from this page and go to the highest priced versions of Fillmore West.
The 3CD set doesn't duplicate the Live / Dead versions, and it has just one version of each song (whereas the 10 CD version has many songs 4 times, once from each night). Apart from about 15 minutes, this 3CD set comes from two of the four night run - Feb 28 (most of the first two disks, which means you get a Dark Star recorded the night after the definitive one from Live / Dead) and March 2 (all of CD3). They haven't mixed up the four nights too much.
If you don't already have Live / Dead on CD I'd get that first (the cheap `Trilogy' box set adds Workingman's Dead and American Beauty, while the 12 CD Golden Road set has all the early albums including these three). Another one to consider is Two from the Vault from 1968, which has a less well-developed Dark Star, but a great Eleven and The Other One. There are other great Dark Stars on Dick's Picks 2 and 4.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Stuff.,
This review is from: Fillmore West 1969 (MP3 Download)I have been listening to this band ( on and off) for 42 years, saw the Dead twice, sat on the steps of 710 Ashbury ,been there, bought the T shirt. There are some really good reviews here already so I'll keep mine short. This album comes from the same era as "Live/Dead" ( arguably their best ever live album) and it's very well recorded/remastered.
I believe these are "out-takes", which I can well believe, as each of the tracks featured does have its flaws ( mainly in the vocals department! ) some of which are hilarious. But there's a sense of FUN pervading this album, and it captures the spirit of the dead's famous 'jams" very well. There's a track called - somewhat uninspiringly - "Jam" and it is a great monster of a thing, full of innovation and improvisation. And Lesh isn't using the spooky hollow tone we associate with his later work. He's using a real "in your face" , driving tone, so I 'm guessing this is the "modified Guild Starfire" but I could be wrong.
What you are hearing here is the massive 1960's amplification of the Grateful Dead on full throttle, in all its glory; the thunderous DIY cabinets rattling and howling with a life of their own. This is the sound system that pre-dated Owsley's "Wall of Sound". As such, it's a sound which will never be heard again so recordings from this era are historical documents I suppose.
If you're particularly interested in Garcia's playing there are quite a few unusual licks on "The Other One" which I have never heard him play before, very "pedal steel" orientated.
What i also notice is how CLEAR Pigpen's organ is, much clearer than it seemed back then , which I take it is due to remastering. You can hear every note, and I have gained a new appreciation of Pig's contribution to the band. Unfortunately my windows are all broken and my love has become a toothless crone (!) But i must say it is very pleasant to walk the dog through the woods at this time of year, listening to this album on my MP3 player and picking the odd mushroom as I go. Very pleasant indeed......
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A worthy companion,
This review is from: Fillmore West 1969 (Audio CD)Live/Dead has long been considered the Dead's greatest LP - if you would excuse the pun. This 3 CD set from the same run of shows was rather overlooked when it came out as most attention was focussed on the complete Fillmore West boxset which was only sold by mail order in a limited edition which all went within months anyway. The version on sale here takes the best of that boxset and spreads it over 3 discs with no repitition of numbers and no use of recordings used in the original Live/Dead LP. As such for all bar the most fanatical of Deadheads this edition is probably a more satisfactory issue compared to the boxset - and a lot cheaper as well. This is a worthy companion to Live/Dead and well worth getting.
5.0 out of 5 stars Delightful Dead,
This review is from: Fillmore West 1969 (MP3 Download)The Dead at their deadliest, resurrecting those divine, inspired times of delight and delirium of the Live Dead decade :).
5.0 out of 5 stars ITS THE DEAD,COOOOOOOOOOOOL,
This review is from: Fillmore West 1969 (Audio CD)what on earth can I say that as not already been said about. the grateful dead. just buy this live show. press play and be a. DANCING BEAR AGAIN OR FOR THE FRIST TIME. join the DEADHEAD`S.
5.0 out of 5 stars Another Live/Dead,
This review is from: Fillmore West 1969 (Audio CD)This triple-CD set is a selection from the limited-release 10-CD complete recordings of the Grateful Dead's four gigs at the Fillmore West on 27-28 February and 1-2 March 1969, from which the band's first live album, Live/Dead, was also taken.
What we have here is Live/Dead, Part Two. The numbers featured on that album are played here as well. I slightly prefer the version of 'Dark Star' on Live Dead, not that the one here is anything but good; conversely, I prefer the 'The Eleven' featured here, if again only by a small degree. I also slightly prefer the Live/Dead version of Gary Davis' mournful blues 'Death Don't Have No Mercy'. That's just me; other listeners will have their own preferences. The 'Lovelight' here stands alone, unlike the Live/Dead one, which charges out of 'The Eleven', and compares well with other renditions from this time that I have heard.
There are plenty of other good numbers that featured in the band's repertoire at this time. The album kicks off with a solid 'Morning Dew', we also get Pigpen singing the blues with 'Good Morning Little Schoolgirl' and 'I'm a King Bee', and some of the band's more recent numbers such as 'Doing That Rag' and 'Mountains of the Moon'.
The third CD starts with a hefty go at 'That's It For The Other One', and if you listen carefully at the very end, you'll just hear the opening of the Live/Dead 'Death Don't Have No Mercy'. Then we get an amazing 55-minute sequence kicking off from 'Alligator', with a lengthy jam and a thundering 'Caution', that has to be heard. Those familiar with Live/Dead will recognise 'Feedback' > 'And We Bid You Goodnight', but here it is in their original context following 'Caution', completing the sequence and indeed the gig.
If you liked Live/Dead, then you'll like this one too. This period of the Grateful Dead's 30-year career was one of this band's most impressive times, and this CD set, along with Live/Dead (and don't forget Dick's Picks Volumes 16 and 26) are evidence of just how good the band could be. There really wasn't anyone quite like the Grateful Dead.
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