Ladies and Gentlemen - the Grateful Dead

CD076 - 4 CD

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Ladies and Gentlemen - the Grateful Dead

4 CD set highlighting the epic five night stand at New York's Fillmore East in April of 1971. HDCD.

Jerry Garcia: Lead Guitar, Vocals
Bill Kreutzmann: Drums
Phil Lesh: Electric Bass, Vocals
Ron "Pigpen" McKernan: Organ, Percussion, Harmonica, Vocals
Bob Weir: Rhythm Guitar, Vocals
and special guest: Tom Constanten

CD 1:
1. Truckin' 10:13 Garcia/Lesh/Weir/Hunter
2. Bertha 6:27 Garcia/Hunter
3. Next Time You See Me 4:23 Harvey, Forest
4. Beat It On Down The Line 3:35 Fuller
5. Bird Song 9:18 Garcia/Hunter
6. Dark Hollow 3:31 Browning
7. Second That Emotion 5:22 Robinson, Cleveland
8. Me and My Uncle 3:39 Phillips
9. Cumberland Blues 5:19 Garcia/Lesh/Hunter
10. Good Lovin' 2:28 Resnick, Clark
11. Drums 5:40 Kreutzmann
12. Good Lovin' 15:00 Resnick, Clark

CD 2:
1. Sugar Magnolia 6:30 Weir/Hunter
2. Loser 6:58 Garcia/Hunter
3. Ain't It Crazy (The Rub) 5:36 Hopkins
4. El Paso 5:34 Robbins
5. I'm A King Bee 8:27 Moore, Arr. by Grateful Dead
6. Ripple 5:15 Garcia/Hunter
7. Me And Bobby McGee 6:16 Kristofferson, Foster
8. Uncle John's Band 6:06 Garcia/Hunter
9. Turn On Your Lovelight 22:18 Scott, Malone

CD 3:
1. China Cat Sunflower 4:52 Garcia/Hunter
2. I Know You Rider 6:07 Trad. Arr. by Grateful Dead
3. It Hurts Me Too 6:46 James
4. Sing Me Back Home 10:03 Haggard
5. Hard To Handle 9:24 Redding, Jones, Isbell
6. Dark Star 13:55 Garcia, Kreutzmann, Lesh, McKernan, Weir, Hunter
7. St. Stephen 6:06 Garcia, Lesh, Hunter
8. Not Fade Away 3:31 Petty, Hardin
9. Goin' Down The Road Feeling Bad 6:27 Trad. Arr. by Grateful Dead
10. Not Fade Away 3:30 Petty, Hardin

CD 4:
1. Morning Dew 10:29 Dobson, Rose
2. New Minglewood Blues 4:23 Trad. Arr. by Bob Weir
3. Wharf Rat 9:19 Garcia/Hunter
4. Alligator 4:04 Lesh, McKernan, Hunter
5. Drums 4:11 Kreutzmann
6. Jam 9:32 Grateful Dead
7. Goin' Down The Road Feeling Bad 4:55 Trad. Arr. by Grateful Dead
8. Col Rain and Snow 5:47 Trad. Arr. by Grateful Dead
9. Casey Jones 6:25 Garcia/Hunter
10. In The Midnight Hour 9:49 Pickett, Cropper
11. We Bid You Goodnight 3:55 Trad. Arr. by Grateful Dead

Blair Jackson's review: *****

High quality soundboard tapes of 4/26-29 have been in circulation among traders forever, it seems, but this exquisite package goes a step further, by offering a sort of "greatest hits" of the five-show run beautifully mixed by Jeffrey Norman from the original 16-track masters (previously we all had conventional stereo SBD mixes), and by including tracks from the virtually unheard 4/25 show. These concerts had their ups and downs and a zillion repeats (there was lots of new material that winter/spring, including "Bertha," "Wharf Rat," "Loser," "Bird Song" and others, and they played many of them night after night), but this generous four-CD set culls the cream of the crop and gives us a wonderful glimpse of the band in that transitional time following the departure of Mickey Hart, but before the ascension of Keith Godchaux to the keyboard chair.

With the exception of the notably sluggish "El Paso," everything on here is fairly high-energy and very well-played. Pigpen is heavily represented, with standout versions of "Good Lovin'" (complete with hilarious rap), "Lovelight," "Next Time You See Me," "King Bee," "Ain't It Crazy," "Hard to Handle" (one of the best versions I've heard) and the final "Alligator." That last tune kicks off one of the most famous jams in the Dead's history - and you've never heard it this clean! Disc Three features a "Dark Star > St. Stephen" sequence that reunites the band with former keyboardist Tom Constanten, and a fine version of "Sing Me Back Home," a song previously available only on the pricey So Many Roads box set.

All in all it's a superb document of a justifiably famous series.