wakes dead


Live/Dead is the first official live album released by the San Francisco-based band Grateful Dead. It was recorded over a series of live concerts in early 1969 and released later in the year on November 10. At the time of its release, Robert Christgau wrote that parts of the album contained "the finest rock improvisation ever recorded." A landmark live album that captured the Grateful Dead's improvisations at their best – Allmusic would write that "Few recordings have ever represented the essence of an artist in performance as faithfully as Live/Dead" – it is also the final album with keyboardist Tom Constanten.


The songs were recorded with a mobile 16-track studio. Owsley "Bear" Stanley also asked Ron Wickersham to invent a mic splitter that fed both into the PA and the record inputs with no loss in quality. "Dark Star" and "St. Stephen" pairing was taken from the February 27, 1969 show at the Fillmore West; "The Eleven" and "Turn On Your Lovelight" were from the January 26, 1969 show at the Avalon Ballroom; "Death Don't Have No Mercy," "Feedback," and "And We Bid You Goodnight" were from the March 2, 1969 show at the Fillmore West.

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. The album was a financial success for the band in the eyes of their label, Warner Bros. Constanten had commented that "Warner Bros. had pointed out that they had sunk $100,000-plus into Aoxomoxoa ... so someone had the idea that if we sent them a double live album, three discs for the price of one wouldn't be such a bad deal."

Track listing

Side one

  1. "Dark Star" (Grateful Dead, Hunter) – 23:18

Side two

  1. "St. Stephen" (Hunter, Garcia, Lesh) – 6:31
  2. "The Eleven" (Hunter, Lesh) – 9:18

Side three

  1. "Turn On Your Love Light" (Scott, Malone) – 15:05

Side four

  1. "Death Don't Have No Mercy" (Davis) – 10:28
  2. "Feedback" (McGannahan Skjellyfetti) – 7:49
  3. "And We Bid You Goodnight" (traditional arrangement) – 3:13

2003 Reissue

  1. "Dark Star"
  2. "St. Stephen"
  3. "The Eleven"
  4. "Turn On Your Lovelight"
  5. "Death Don't Have No Mercy"
  6. "Feedback"
  7. "And We Bid You Goodnight"
  8. "Dark Star"
    • Bonus track, Radio edit/single version.
  9. "Live/Dead Radio promo"
    • Bonus track.

Musical Personnel

Grateful Dead:


  • Robert Hunter - songwriter
  • Bob Matthews - engineer, producer
  • Betty Cantor - producer, engineer
  • R.D. Thomas - cover art


Billboard chart
Year Chart Position
1970 Pop Albums 64
RIAA certification
Certification Date
Gold August 24, 2001


  • The first 1:34 of "Dark Star" can be found on the previous track, "Mountains of the Moon" on The Complete Fillmore West 1969.

See also


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