The Grateful Dead: Live Dead

Album review
The Grateful Dead: Live Dead

The Grateful Dead

Live Dead

Label: Mobile Fidelity
Media: LP
Genre: Rock/pop

Deadheads rejoice! The band’s seemingly bottomless archival treasure chest keeps on giving. Last summer, the band’s Web site quickly sold out of Europe ’72: The Complete Recordings, a 72-CD, $450 behemoth devoted to what many consider to be the Dead’s finest tour ever. I reviewed an earlier and excellent 180- gram LP box containing the band’s first five studio albums (Issue 209), and now Mobile Fidelity has released Skull and Roses, Wake of the Flood, Mars Hotel, In the Dark, and Live Dead. Always fastidious, the MoFi mastering team lavished their attention on this set—four lacquers were cut before they were satisfied—and it shows. From the opening of “Dark Star” the sound is clearly superior to my original Warner pressing. The stage is larger, airier, deeper, and better focused. Phil Lesh’s bass lines seem to plumb another octave, with greater detail and richness of tone. The music’s dynamic ebb and flow are more clearly and naturally rendered. Garcia’s voice sounds more present yet farther back, and with a greater nimbus of hazy air surrounding it. His guitar lines are tighter and more precise, and the drums come through with a new sense of wallop and weight. Great stuff. 

More Info

  • primary artist, The Grateful Dead
  • LP

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