Grateful Dead album by album thread

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by jacksondownunda, May 8, 2009.

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  1. jacksondownunda

    jacksondownunda Forum Resident Thread Starter

    "Vintage Dead" & Historic Dead"

    These long out-of-print MGM Sunflower live albums were a common sight in record and department stores around the Workingman’s/Beauty era. They’ve been called bootlegs, but they’re more “pre-existing contractual loophole” thingies like Van Morrison’s Bang Sessions. Jerry said the lp’s were frowned on because The Dead didn’t feel the music was indicative of where The Dead “were at” in 1970-71 (the same reason given, BTW, why the overdubs were stripped off the re-mix of Aoxomoxoa). The fine print liner notes on “Vintage” did say 1966, but the large 70’s Dead back photos and bottle of Gallo “Ripple” wine WAS a bit misleading. I seem to remember Hank Harrison or somebody mentioned that some animosity may also have been because Mike Curb (of Mike Curb Congregation) was in the media spotlight decrying “drug lyrics” in popular music, yet was somehow connected to the release of these lp’s through this MGM subsidiary.

    All notoriety aside, what we ARE left with are 4 sides of pre-Warner’s, commercially released live Grateful Dead really streeeeeetching out several numbers as a psychedelic ballroom dance band. The Pig’s doing his nasty “Schoolgirl” (which gets a similar workout on 3/18/67 on SMR) & “Same Thing”, there’s already a “Dylan” slot (“..forget the Dead you’ve left..”), and “Rider” hasn’t yet found “Chinacat”. Though the Vox organ sounds quaint, the band is surprisingly tight. Weir’s playing his trademark quiet rhythm guitar, Jerry’s playing a formidable lead, and warbled vocals seem to indicate a band on an acid high. Anybody remember or care to comment on these lp’s??

    (BTW, Sorry for the last couple obscurities, but I want to leave no left turn unstoned. Next up in a couple days is Warner Brothers “Grateful Dead” 1967. ..I’m sure somebody remembers THAT one?)


    Vintage Dead
    Initial release : 1970
    Sunflower SUN-5001

    Side 1
    • I Know You Rider (Traditional arr. Grateful Dead)
    • It Hurts Me Too (James)
    • It's All Over Now, Baby Blue (Dylan)
    • Dancin' In The Streets (Stevenson/Gaye/Hunter)

    Side 2
    • In The Midnight Hour (Cropper/Pickett)

    • Producer - Robert Cohen
    • Thought to have been recorded on September 16 and 17, 1966 at the Avalon Ballroom, San Francisco


    Historic Dead
    Initial release : 1971
    Sunflower SNF-5004

    Side 1
    • Good Morning Little Schoolgirl (Williamson)
    • Lindy (Traditional arr. Grateful Dead)

    Side 2
    • Stealin' (Cannon/Traditional)
    • The Same Thing (Dixon)

    • Producer - Robert Cohen (Side 1), Peter Abram (Side 2)
    • Thought to have been recorded (S1) in September 1966 at the Avalon Ballroom, San Francisco and (S2)November 1966 at The Matrix, San Francisco

    Attached Files:

  2. reb

    reb Money Beats Soul

    Long Island
    Here is the back cover:
  3. ceddy10165

    ceddy10165 My life was saved by rock n roll

    Avon, CT
    i'm surprised to say it, but I've never heard either of these records.
  4. Vintage Historic Dead goin' on ... Jerry and Phil were cookin' ... love the solo on the Elmore James cover ... :cool:

    For anyone that may not have this set it can be streamed from below, complete with some enjoyable comments and analysis in the Reviews section.

    The jugband approach revisited on "Lindy", rockin' jams on "... Schoolgirl" and the second set starting with a groovy 18 minute version of "Midnight Hour" with PP once again struttin' his stuff
    and the steamin' slowed down blues scorcher "The Same Thing" with Jerry and Phil totally workin' it for all they can deliver in the moment.

    Great stuff IMO, listen in and if you feel inclined provide us with some more feedback here ... :righton:
  5. Olompali

    Olompali Forum Resident

    Always loved Historic and Vintage (99 cents ea. :righton:)
    Psychedelic garage Dylan surfin' blues
  6. jacksondownunda

    jacksondownunda Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Is there anything else anybody doesn't want to say about 65-66 Grateful Dead "pre-history" before we move onto the "1st album" and 1967? (probably tomorrow)
  7. mrbillswildride

    mrbillswildride Internet Asylum Escapee 2010, 2012, 2014


    I don't want to say that I had my mind blown today when I was in a local record store and a guy comes in wearing a Mother McGees Jug Band Shirt which I had never even seen in my life nor knew about until this past week hearin... pretty cosmic charlie... :righton:

  8. I didn't know these existed. 1966 San Fransisco live material, is this similar to disc 2 of Birth of the Dead?
  9. jacksondownunda

    jacksondownunda Forum Resident Thread Starter

    For the most part, the live cuts on BOTD disc 2 and RCAO1966 are from the beginning of the 1966 and are relatively conventional short songs. VD & HD are from the end of 1966 and there are some VERY long cuts like "Schoolgirl", "The Same Thing" and "Midnight Hour" that take up most or all of the vinyl side. (Only the "So Many Roads" box features a "Rider" from 66, and a long "Schoolgirl" from 3/67 that's similar.) The Dead had made a transition to Psychedelic Ballroom Dance Band; you have an energetic stoned crowd and you don't wanna lose their or your momentum, so instead of playing 40 2min songs, you start playing really looooooooonnnng songs. Remarkably, there is a shimmering slickness to the playing on these sets; the band were young and well practiced. Due to contractual ownership I doubt these particular out-of-print sides will ever be re-released, but I would hope that GDM releases a similar set as it's currently a "hole" in their current massive officially released live history.
  10. on7green

    on7green Bionic Man

    NY & TN
    If we want to consider live releases pre-1967 there is Vol 1 So Many Roads. I was listening to this last night. A little sketchy and some warbling vocals. But IKYR was nicely done.

    "Can't Come Down" - Studio Recording "Autumn Sessions" 1965-11-03
    "Caution (Do Not Stop On Tracks)" - Studio Recording "Autumn Sessions" 1965-11-03
    "You Don't Have To Ask" - Fillmore Auditorium, San Francisco, CA 1966-07-16
    "On The Road Again" - 1966
    "Cream Puff War" - Fillmore Auditorium, San Francisco, CA 1966-07-16
    "I Know You Rider" - 1966 (originally released on "Vintage Dead")
    "The Same Thing" - Winterland Arena, San Francisco, CA 1967-03-18
  11. ron p

    ron p Active Member

    I'm really enjoying this thread and looking forward to reading it to it's conclusion. I can't see how this thread is not going to be of epic 'War and Peace' like length. I'm sure it could be split up any number of ways. Doing it by decade might work (60's, 70's,80's&90's). Just a thought.

    I find every era of the Dead's music fascinating. I might not play this early stuff as much as the earlier years. It is fascinating listening though to understand how it all came together.
  12. jeendicott

    jeendicott Forum Resident

    I have a 3-CD download comp of Acid Test recordings. Fun stuff from a historical/anthropological perspective, but not something I listen to regularly. Maybe if I still partook, it would make a good tripping soundtrack...

    Vintage Dead, aka "History of..." was some of the first Dead I ever heard, and it brings back fond memories. I remember some review of a comp from this era (Rare Cuts & Oddities?), which said in so many words that if they had broken up at this point and never made it huge, they would have ended up on a Nuggets comp and Joey Ramone would have worshipped them to the skies.
  13. Pappas3278

    Pappas3278 Forum Peasant

    New York City
    I have copy of "Vintage Dead" but haven't been in the mood to give it a proper cleaning and listen yet. Is this a good sounding LP; from a recording and pressing standpoint?

  14. ceddy10165

    ceddy10165 My life was saved by rock n roll

    Avon, CT
    the thing i could never tell from reading about it, is is a audience or soundboard recording? i always got the impression it was not from the desk.:confused:
  15. mrbillswildride

    mrbillswildride Internet Asylum Escapee 2010, 2012, 2014

    In The Shoppe...

    Same here, except Historic Dead... and my turntable is dead... :shake:

  16. Olompali

    Olompali Forum Resident

    Hallmark of the Grateful Dead Trip
  17. davmar77

    davmar77 I'd rather be drummin'...

    clifton park,ny
    they are sb recordings but on the primitive side. i bought these when they were released although they are long gone now. they were worn out anyway. there's other stuff around from that era with much better sound some of which were used on those earlier mentioned collections.
  18. mrbillswildride

    mrbillswildride Internet Asylum Escapee 2010, 2012, 2014

    I thought The Dead were not keen on The Police??? :confused: :winkgrin:
  19. davmar77

    davmar77 I'd rather be drummin'...

    clifton park,ny
    in more ways than one!
  20. mrbillswildride

    mrbillswildride Internet Asylum Escapee 2010, 2012, 2014

    Other times I can barely see....

    "Truckin" back to the early years... :angel:

    Keep up the amazing work/info.insights JDU (and all)!!! :righton:

  21. MikeP5877

    MikeP5877 Non-essential

    Sting opened a few dates for them in 1993. Jerry spoke highly of him, calling him a "musician of impeccable taste".

    Now back to our thread....
  22. O Don Piano

    O Don Piano Forum Resident

    OT, but interesting!

    Here's another one:
    Last week I played in San Francisco with Sticky Fingers, a Stones "tribute band", pretending to be Mick Taylor. So, the era we covered was 69-75 mostly. Live With Me, Honky Tonk, Gimme Shelter, etc. I stayed up there to catch The Dead on Sunday, and what was their set closer? GIMME SHELTER! In the strangest of places indeed!
  23. :laugh: ... good one!
  24. davmar77

    davmar77 I'd rather be drummin'...

    clifton park,ny
    garcia sat in with him at some of those shows too.
  25. jacksondownunda

    jacksondownunda Forum Resident Thread Starter

    "Grateful Dead" ("1st" Album) 1967

    If Paul Revere And The Raiders had written and opened their first album with
    “The Golden Road (To Unlimited Devotion)”,
    do you suppose their fans would still be unlimitedly devoted 40 years later?

    Grateful Dead

    Initial release : March 1967
    Warner Bros. WS-1689
    The first Grateful Dead album

    • The Golden Road (To Unlimited Devotion) (McGannahan Skjellyfetti)
    • Beat It On Down The Line (Jesse Fuller)
    • Good Morning, Little School Girl (H.G. Demarais)
    • Cold Rain And Snow (McGannahan Skjellyfetti)
    • Sittin' On Top Of The World (Jacobs/Carter)
    • Cream Puff War (Jerry Garcia)
    • Morning Dew (Dobson/Rose)
    • New, New Minglewood Blues (McGannahan Skjellyfetti)
    • Viola Lee Blues (Noah Lewis)

    Bonus tracks on 2003 expanded CD release;
    • Alice D. Millionaire (Garcia/Kreutzmann/Lesh/McKernan/Weir)
    • Overseas Stomp (Lindbergh Hop or The Lindy Hop) (Jones/Shade)
    • Tastebud (McKernan)
    • Death Don't Have No Mercy (Edited studio take) (Davis)
    • Viola Lee Blues (Edited version) (Noah Lewis)
    • Viola Lee Blues (Live) (Noah Lewis)

    • Jerry Garcia - guitar, vocals
    • Bill Kreutzmann - drums
    • Phil Lesh - bass
    • Pigpen (Ron McKernan) - keyboards, harmonica, vocals
    • Bob Weir - guitar

    The liner notes describe them as;
    San Francisco's Grateful Dead:
    Bob Weir, Pigpen, Bill The Drummer
    Jerry ("Captain Trips") Garcia, and Phil Lesh
    • Producer - Dave Hassinger
    • Arranger - The Grateful Dead
    • Engineer - Dick Bogert
    • Cover design - Mouse Studios
    • Collage - Kelly
    • Photography - Herb Greene, Gene Anthony
    • Recorded mainly at RCA Studio A in Hollywood

    Recorded in roughly three days in January 1967 in Los Angeles. The Dead supposedly selected Dave Hassinger, a Warner Brothers staff producer, because he had worked as engineer on two Rolling Stones records that they liked.
    Golden Road was recorded separately at Coast Recorders in San Francisco.

    In an early interview Garcia described the album;
    I think our album is honest. It sounds just like us. It even has mistakes on it. But it also has a certain amount of excitement on it. It sounds like we felt good when we were making it. We made it in a short period, four days, and it's the material we've been doing onstage for quite a long time. It sounds like one of our good sets.
    In an interview for Rolling Stone Garcia provided one explanation for the fast tempos of the songs on the album;
    ... So we went down there and what was it we had, Dexamyl? Some sort of dietwatcher's speed, and pot and stuff like that. So in three nights we played some hyperactive music.

    The album was not a commercial success and failed to get into the Billboard top 100 album chart.

    Cryptic or ambiguous lettering has been a feature of a number of Grateful Dead LP sleeves. The lettering at the top of this cover reads;
    In the land of the dark the ship of the sun is driven by the
    which is followed by the easily readable;
    Grateful Dead
    The original design included lettering that was more easily readable but the band asked for it to be changed. Garcia explained their reasoning in an interview with Ralph Gleason in 1969;
    We didn't like it because we thought it was a tad pretentious. So we talked to Stanley [Mouse] and said could you do something that almost says something but doesn't quite. The result of that has been that all the places we've been where people have had the album, we've been able to hear their translations.

    McGannahan Skjellyfetti was a pseudonym used by the Dead for the three group compositions on the album. The name derives originally from a character in Kenneth Patchen's "Memoirs Of A Shy Pornographer", although the name was possibly used by the Dead because one of the band members had a cat of that name.

    Note that Cold Rain and Snow and New, New Minglewood Blues though credited as band compositions are adaptations of existing songs.
    Initially released with a gold Warner Brothers label and then reissued in 1968 by Warner Brothers (as WS 1689) with a green label.

    Attached Files:

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