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Grateful Dead

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iTunes Review

The Grateful Dead's debut album includes most, but not all, of the components that made the San Francisco band an American musical institution. There's a stronger garage-rock sound here than there would be later—though few, if any, garage bands could handle the guitar work of young Jerry Garcia and Bob Weir, as heard on the brutal workout of Jesse Fuller's "Beat It on Down the Line." As with many young bands, the Dead's writing wasn't yet what it would be. The band is credited with "The Golden Road (To Unlimited Devotion)" and Garcia with "Cream Puff War"; many other tunes are classic blues, and "Morning Dew"—a future Dead concert favorite—is from the pen of Canadian folk singer Bonnie Dobson. Bill Kreutzmann is the band's sole drummer here, and Ron "Pigpen" McKernan's keyboards and harmonica work help define the group's sound in crucial spots. Elements of blues, country, folk, jazz, and rock 'n' roll are shuffled together in a way that suggests enthusiasm if not yet expertise. Welcome to 1967 from the West Coast of America. 

Customer Reviews

Oh man!

So I haven't really focused much on the Dead (other than a compilation I own) and figured, why not start with this one? Oh man! It was worth the download! High recommendation!

Great Album!

This was my first Dead album i purchesed recently and i absolutly love it! every song on it is great, all have a great beat and feel to them:) Deffiantly recommended!

A vastly underrated debut

I bought this album upon its release many years ago and instantly thought it was fantastic - I've been a fan ever since. A 10 plus minute tune back in 1967 was pretty rare. My only criticism, and it is minimal, is that the tempos are all a bit rushed. Morning Dew really took on a new feel by slowing it down. I read somewhere (it may have been in Rock Scully's book) that it was the result of the band's use of Ritalin at the time of the recording sessions. I believe the entire album was completed in four days. But it really is a great record and unfortunately like most of the Dead's studio output, unfairly maligned.


Formed: 1965 in San Francisco, CA

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s

Rock's longest, strangest trip, the Grateful Dead were the psychedelic era's most beloved musical ambassadors as well as its most enduring survivors, spreading their message of peace, love, and mind expansion across the globe throughout the better part of three decades. The object of adoration for popular music's most fervent and celebrated fan following -- the Deadheads, their numbers and devotion legendary in their own right -- they were the ultimate cult band, creating a self-styled universe all...
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