Grateful Dead Live (Skull and Roses /Skull Fuck)

A Compilation of Live Material from Early 1971

Released: 1971


Bertha [5:27]
Mama Tried [2:24]
Big Railroad Blues [3:34]
Playin' In The Band [4:39]
The Other One [18:05]
Me & My Uncle [3:06]
Big Boss Man [5:12]
Me & Bobby McGee [5:43]
Johnny B. Goode [3:42]
Wharf Rat [8:31]
Not Fade Away/Goin' Down The Road Feeling Bad [9:14]


Liner Notes:

"Rolling Thunder," "Mammoth Epiphanies," Symbiosis on the Grand Scale," "A Transcendent Event." With these and other superlatives, critics and fans have tried to describe the unique musical magic that occurs when the Grateful Dead take the stage. The most popular and enduring concert attraction in rock & roll history the Grateful Dead have released six live double-albums over the course of their twenty year recording career. 1971's Grateful Dead is a collection of classic Dead showstoppers that earned the group their first gold album.

Synthesizing the folk and bluegrass background of guitarist Jerry Garcia, the avant-garde musical instincts of bassist Phil Lesh, and the rock, R&B and blues penchants of keyboardist/vocalist Ron (Pigpen) McKernan, guitarist Bob Weir and drummer Bill Kreutzmann, the Grateful Dead formed in 1965 as part of the burgeoning San Francisco music scene. A favorite on the psychedelic dance/concert circuit, the group released their self-titled debut album in 1967. It was followed by two more studio sets, Anthem of the Sun (1968) and Aoxomoxoa (1969).

With constant touring - including historic appearances at the Monterey Pop Festival and Woodstock - the Grateful Dead garnered a fervent national following - a coterie of devoted fans who dubbed themselves Deadheads. Aiming to reproduce the elusive qualities of their galvanic concerts on vinyl, the Dead went on to record their first live album, Live Dead, in 1970, featuring such concert favorites as "Dark Star" and "The Eleven." 1970 also saw the release of two more studio albums, Workingman's Dead and American Beauty, both showcasing the group's impressive songwriting skills.

The following year, the Dead released their second double-album live set. Grateful Dead featured eleven cuts ranging from extended reworkings of Buddy Holly's "Not Fade Away" and Merle Haggard's "Mama Tried," to Kris Kristofferson's "Me & Bobby McGee" and a rave-up rendering of "Johnny B. Goode." The album also highlighted a side-long version of the band's tour de force, "The Other One," and such originals as "Wharf Rat" and "Playing In The Band."

Funneling the awesome power generated by the Dead's 23-ton sound system into microscopic grooves was no easy task. Grateful Dead remains one of the group's most compelling efforts to capture the concert experience and bring it back alive.



Engineered by Bob and Betty
Live recording for Alembic by Bob and Betty

Selections taken from recordings made live at:
Winterland, San Francisco
Manhattan Center, New York City
Bill Graham's Fabled Fillmore East, New York City

Compact Disc Mastering Approved by The Grateful Dead
CD Pre-Mastering by Joe Gastwirt, assisted by Dave Collins

JERRY GARCIA Lead Guitar and Vocals
BOB WEIR Rhythm Guitar and Vocals
PHIL LESH Electric Bass Guitar and Vocals
RON McKERNAN (Pig Pen) Organ, Harmonica and Vocals

MERL SAUNDERS - Organ on "Bertha," "Playing In the Band" and "Wharf Rat"

Art Work: Kelly



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Grateful Dead Live was released in October 1971. It is better known among Deadheads as Skull and Roses or Skull Fuck. Some of the songs were recorded live on 4/5/71 at the Manhattan Center in New York.

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