The Grateful Dead - Grateful Dead (Warner Bros. W 1689)|
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San Francisco's Grateful Dead:
Bob Weir - guitar, vocals
Pigpen (Pigpen McKernan) - keyboards, harmonica, vocals
Bill The Drummer (Kreutzmann) - drums
Jerry ("Captain Trips") Garcia - guitar, vocals
Phil Lesh - bass, vocals
Full album download includes Bonus Material:
Alice D. Millionare (2/2/67 RCA Victor Studio A, Hollywood, CA)
Overseas Stomp (The Lindy) (2/2/67 RCA Victor Studio A, Hollywood, CA)
Tastebud (2/2/67 RCA Victor Studio A, Hollywood, CA)
Death Don't Have No Mercy (2/2/67 RCA Victor Studio A, Hollywood, CA)
Viola Lee Blues (1/67 RCA Victor Studio A, Hollywood, CA)
Viola Lee Blues (9/3/67 Dance Hall, Rio Nido, CA)
Released on March 17, 1967
The album was recorded on four-track tape, mostly live, with some overdubs of vocals. Most of the tracks were recorded in late January and early February, 1967, in a span of five days (Monday night through Friday night, mixed on Saturday afternoon) at RCA Studio A in Hollywood, CA, and produced by Dave Hassinger, a Warner Brothers staff production engineer, with Dick Bogert engineering. The single for the album, "The Golden Road (To Unlimited Devotion)" was recorded later, in February, 1967, at Coast Recorders, at 960 Bush Street in San Francisco. This tune had about 60 takes; the album version includes an overdub of Bill Kreutzmann drumming on the strings of Garcia's guitar while Garcia is fingering the chords. On the album, "The Golden Road" is faded at 2:18, but it is about one minute longer. "The Golden Road" was the working title for this album, but was changed. A number of the songs on this album were shortened to make the whole album fit within the limitations of the vinyl album medium at the time, at approximately 38 minutes total.
The cryptic lettering above the words "Grateful Dead" reads: "In the land of the dark, the ship of the sun is driven by the Grateful Dead".
"Alice D. Millionaire" (about Augustus Stanley Owsley, a.k.a. "Bear") with Pigpen on lead vocals, "Overseas Stomp (Lindy)", and "Tastebud", a blues number featuring Pigpen on vocals, were recorded at this time, but were not released; they are included here as bonus tracks.
"McGannahan Skjellyfetti" was the pseudonym used by the band as the author's name for the group compositions ("The Golden Road (To Unlimited Devotion)" and "Cream Puff War"). "McGannahan Skjellyfetti" was based on a character, "Skujellifeddy McGranehan", the protagonist's 'literary agent', in Kenneth Patchen's "Memoirs Of A Shy Pornographer", published in 1945: "May I call you Skujellifeddy? Mr. McGranehan's sort of awkward."
"Cold Rain And Snow" comes from a fragment that Garcia learned from banjo player Obray Ramsey.
"Viola Lee Blues" is adapted from the Noah Lewis version; the Jim Kweskin Jug Band had released a version that is closer to the Noah Lewis version. "Viola Lee Blues" is an "11 1/2 bar blues" in that the Dead's version, throughout, adds or removes bars from the "standard" 12 bar blues form.
Garcia played a cherry red Guild "Starfire" electric guitar during the recording sessions for this album.
The record release party was on St. Patrick's Day, 1967 at the Fugazi Hall in the North Beach area of San Francisco.
(notes excerpted with permission from "The Compleat Grateful Dead Discography" by Ihor Slabicky)