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Grateful Dead (Skull & Roses)
Grateful Dead
Grateful Dead (Skull & Roses)
Genres: Pop, Rock, Classic Rock
  •  Track Listings (14) - Disc #1

Expanded & remastered (in glorious HDCD) version of 1971 album includes two ultra rare bonus tracks, 'I'm A Hog For You' & 'Oh, Boy!'. Includes expanded booklet as well, with rare photos, packaged in Digipak format. War...  more »


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CD Details

All Artists: Grateful Dead
Title: Grateful Dead (Skull & Roses)
Members Wishing: 7
Total Copies: 0
Label: Rhino / Wea
Original Release Date: 1/1/1971
Re-Release Date: 3/25/2003
Album Type: Live, Original recording reissued, Original recording remastered
Genres: Pop, Rock, Classic Rock
Styles: Jam Bands, Rock Jam Bands, Psychedelic Rock
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaCD Credits: 1
UPC: 081227439828


Album Description
Expanded & remastered (in glorious HDCD) version of 1971 album includes two ultra rare bonus tracks, 'I'm A Hog For You' & 'Oh, Boy!'. Includes expanded booklet as well, with rare photos, packaged in Digipak format. Warner/Elektra. 2003.

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CD Reviews

Gettin' On In Years
Miguel Gonzalez | OAK PARK, IL United States | 11/28/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)

"At a mere 40, I was just a pup when I first saw the Grateful Dead in 1979 -- merely 8 years after this seminal recording. And it astounds me how little down-to-earth information about the band and its vibe has trickled down through the years. So let's shoot for some accurate accounting here in context with the time itself and, hopefully, a bit of the feeling of the band in its place. First of all, the Dead was at the high point of its American Music phase in which its members were reaching deep into the country, folk and bluegrass sources that influenced them. They were touring in support of their breakthrough albums Workingman's Dead and American Beauty, which brought the band its first taste of Big Time success. Song selection is the clue here. Merle Haggard's "Mama Tried," John "Mama's & the Papa's" Phillips's "Me and My Uncle," and Kris Kristofferson's "Me and Bobby McGee" (Janis Joplin's radio hit was also a cover; Hee Haw's Roy Clark recorded it in 1969 by the way) were all country chart toppers within the past five years or so from the original 2-LP release of this album (which Deadheads used to call Skullf**k back in the day). Unlike cover songs like Chuck Berry's "Johnny B. Goode" and Buddy Holly's "Not Fade Away" and the extra-special bonus track "Oh Boy" plus the old-time standards "Goin Down The Road", which was a Woody Guthrie favorite and a staple of the Harry Smith Anthology of American Folk Music (a collection that served as the Rosetta Stone of American Roots music for Bob Dylan and many others), and the blues standard "Big Boss Man", the band members chose *contemporary* tunes from Nashville's hitmakers in homage to the musicians they admired most. This album is, in its own way, the Dead's "Will the Circle Be Unbroken." Ironically, as a bunch of motley hippies making anti-establishment, anti-war, counter-cultural revolutionary mind-warping rock and roll, the GD were REVILED by the very country artists they were covering so lovingly at the time."
SKULL & ROSES -- one of the Dead's absolute best
R. Hutchinson | a world ruled by fossil fuels and fossil minds | 06/25/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Many years have come and gone, and many records have come along by the Dead, especially with the Dick's Picks series of "official bootlegs." Some of those are fantastic (see my reviews of DP22 from 1968, DP16 from 1969, DP4 & DP8 from 1970, DP23 from 1972, and DP10 from 1977). But SKULL & ROSES still stands among the absolute best of all Dead live recordings! Every time I play it I think to myself "why have I been listening to anything else?" It has lost nothing to time, not to my ears. There is a lot of "first set" material here, the sort of songs the band would basically warm up with before launching off into cosmic jams, but they're all of high quality. On the original vinyl it was easy to deal with -- Sides 1 and 3 were the "first set" songs, and Sides 2 ("The Other One") and 4 ("Wharf Rat" and "Not Fade Away/Goin' Down the Road") were the jams. I played Side 3 less often than the others, but listening now, it sounds great. This makes great driving music, and nowadays that's how I'm most likely to hear it.

The highlights are the amazing jams -- "The Other One," the end of "Wharf Rat," and "Not Fade Away/Goin' Down the Road Feeling Bad," with one of those patented instrumental transitions from one to the other. Garcia's guitar throughout is just PERFECT, from his solos on "Bertha" right on through -- SKULL & ROSES definitely captures some of his best playing. The band sounds tight -- Mickey Hart had left, but Kreutzmann is right on it, you don't miss him at all. There are purists who want only entire shows (which is what many of the Dick's Picks are), and this patches together shows from Winterland, the Fillmore East and the Manhattan Center (no dates provided, though I know the Fillmore material overlaps with LADIES AND GENTLEMEN...). The solution is -- don't be a purist if you don't want to miss out!

See my complete lists of Dead recordings on this site for 1968/9 (PRANKSTERS & OTHER ONES), 1970-1972 (COSMIC COWBOYS), 1973/4 (EYES OF THE WORLD), and 1975-1977 (ESTIMATED PROPHETS)."
Live album with no audience noise
kireviewer | Sunnyvale, Ca United States | 09/24/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)

"This is a live album with almost no annoying background noise from the audience. That alone would make it worth 5 stars. I don't know why there is a need to add in cheering on live albums. It doesn't have to be there. When a group is recorded live, there are specially arranged microphones to pick up the audience cheers. I don't need to hear an audience cheer to know what is good. It is like adding a laugh track to a TV show. I know what is funny.

Listening to this album, it is hard to believe it was recorded live, especially by the Grateful Dead. The sound quality is very good (but not perfect).

What is really amazing is the live performance of the Dead. It is crisp, tight and controlled. It is like they are playing in the studio, with retakes and overdubs. Even the 18 minute Other One sounds like it is under control. I love the long winded, rambling jams of the Dead, but this change of pace is also great.

The song selection and interpretation of the songs is great. There are a number of country songs from contemporary song writers of the time, like Merle Haggard. They are played in new and interesting ways (for that time). Then there are the longer songs, like Buddy Holly's Not Fade Away and the Other One. You can tell that the Other One was pulled out of a longer jam. It would be interesting to hear the entire piece.

Rhino records has done a wonderful job of remastering all of the original Warner Brothers Dead LP's. The original CD release was not bad, but here the sound is enchanced even more with HDCD. Each remastered CD contains extensive liner notes and bonus tracks, filling all 80 minutes of the CD length. Since the original album was 74 minutes long, there is not too much room for extras here. You get two short songs, one that sounds like it should have been included in the first place and one that doesn't. After a 55 minute blank spot, there is the original radio commercial for this album.

If you like American Beauty, and especially Workingman's Dead, you will like this one also. I think it is even better than those 2."