My attempt to blog all of the entries from the book 1001 Albums to Hear Before You Die
Brief Background: Live/Dead was recorded over various concerts at the Filmore West during the beginning of 1969 and was released in November of the same year.
What I think: I’ve been eagerly awaiting the first Grateful Dead album to come up in this project and was especially stoked that it was a live album. I really like big long jams and the idea of the Grateful Dead an their multiple ten plus minute journeys seem like they will be great. I was certainly excited that the first track was the twenty three minute long “Dark Star”. Unfortunately, reality hits as soon as the music starts (and I never learn my lesson, randomly throwing on live Dead albums many times over the years). The Dead jams often sound like the band members are warming up on their own, instead of playing the same piece of music (it is appropriately compared to improvisational jazz). and this is the case for much of “Dark Star” and the rest of the album. “Dark Star” does have it’s moments though, minutes two to six have some great soloing between multiple members, but things go downhill from there. And I feel the same about much of the rest of the double album. This is especially true for the eight minute long “Feedback”, which is exactly that. What the hell is up with that? What makes these people think they can put their guitars in front of an amp and knock it around a bit and call that music or art. If I can reproduce what they are doing with my absolute lack of talent, then it is not worthy. There is one really great song on the album here and it is the R&B rave-up “Turn On Your Love Light”, the energy and enthusiasm of this fifteen minute jam is amazing and makes me wish the Dead were an entirely different band altogether.
Do I agree or disagree with the writers as to this being an album you must listen to? In my opinion, these guys needed a much better producer/editor. The guy they had was probably dipping into the stash.
Rating (Out of 5): 1.5
Amazon Review (Out of 5): 4.5
Is this my first time hearing this album? Yes (133/174)
Percentage of Albums that are new to me: 76%