* Live *


January 26 – March 2, 1969


November 10, 1969


4.331 (average of 13 ratings)


psychedelic rock/ jam band


“Few recordings have ever represented the essence of an artist in performance as faithfully as Live/Dead.” – Lindsay Planer, All Music Guide

Album Tracks:

  1. Dark Star
  2. St. Stephen
  3. The Eleven
  4. Turn on Your Love Light
  5. Death Don’t Have No Mercy
  6. Feedback
  7. And We Bid You Goodnight

Total Running Time:


Sales (in millions):




Singles/Hit Songs:

  • Dark Star


“The 2001 remastered edition that was included in the Golden Road (1965-1973) (2001) box set tacks on the 45 rpm studio version of Dark Star as well as a vintage radio advert for the album.” LP



Grateful Dead


Live/Dead was the fourth release from the Grateful Dead and their first official live album. “It was recorded over a series of live concerts in early 1969 and released later in the year.” WK “Spread over two LPs, Live/Dead…relay[ed] the intrinsic sonic magnificence of a Dead show in real time.” LP The album’s four sides provided the palette from which to replicate the natural ebb and flow of a typical Dead set circa early 1969.” LP

“Unlike in later years, in early 1969 the contents of the Dead’s set lists varied little. They improvised the medley of ‘Dark Star’/‘St. Stephen’/‘The Eleven’ several times a week, which enabled them to explore widely within the songs’ simple frameworks.” WK “Robert Christgau wrote that side two of the double album ‘contains the finest rock improvisation ever recorded.’” WK

“Additionally, it unleashed several key entries into their repertoire, including the sidelong epic and Deadhead anthem Dark Star.” LP “Tomes have been written about the profound impact of ‘Dark Star’ on the Dead and their audience. It also became a cultural touchstone signifying that rock music was becoming increasingly experimental by casting aside the once-accepted demands of the short, self-contained pop song. This version was recorded on February 27, 1969, at the Fillmore West and is presented pretty much the way it went down at the show.” LP

“The same is true of the…remaining titles on Live/Dead. The rousing rendition of St. Stephen,” LP also taken from the 2/27/69 show, WK “reinvents the Aoxomoxoa (1968) prototype with rip-roaring thunder and an extended ending which slams into an instrumental rhythmic excursion titled The Eleven after the jam’s tricky time signature.” LP

“The second LP began with a marathon cover” LP “of the R&B rave-up (Turn on Your) Lovelight.” LP Both it and ‘The Eleven’ were from the Avalon Ballroom show on January 26, 1969. WK “Lovelight’ “had significant success for both Bobby ‘Blue’ Bland and Gene Chandler earlier in the decade. With Ron ‘Pigpen’ McKernan at the throttle, the Dead barrel their way through the work, reproportioning and appointing it with fiery solos from Garcia and lead vocal raps courtesy of McKernan.” LP

That song and Death Don’t Have No Mercy are both “wailing and otherwise electrified acidic covers.” LP The latter “is a languid noir interpretation of Rev. Gary Davis’ distinct Piedmont blues. Garcia’s fretwork smolders as his solos sear through the melody. Likewise notable is the criminally underrated keyboard work of Tom Constanten, whose airy counterpoint rises like a departing spirit from within the soul of the song.” LP

“The final pairing of Feedback – which is what is sounds like it might be – with the ‘lowering down’ funeral dirge And We Bid You Goodnight is true to the way that the band concluded a majority of their performances circa 1968-1969. They all join in on an a cappella derivative of Joseph Spence and the Pinder Family’s traditional Bahamian distillation.” LP These last three cuts are all taken from the Fillmore West show on March 2, 1969. WK

“Few recordings have ever represented the essence of an artist in performance as faithfully as Live/Dead. It has become an aural snapshot of this zenith in the Grateful Dead's 30-year evolution and as such is highly recommended for all manner of enthusiasts.” LP

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Related DMDB Link(s):

Dark Star (live video, 1990)

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Last updated August 1, 2011.