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Notes

Fillmore West 1969  
Compilation
2/27/69 - 3/2/69
 
 
 
 
Order: Fillmore West 1969

Fillmore West 1969 - Compilation review - The Grateful Dead

Fillmore West 1969 - Compilation

The Grateful Dead's Fillmore West shows from 2/27 - 3/2/69 are classic performances that truly catch the band at the peak of their psychedelic era of their musical genius. This period has been represented with an excellent Dick's Picks release, Volume 26, but Fillmore West 1969 trounces that both musically and sonically. 

Fillmore West 1969 is a compilation and each evening is represented. Even if 2/27 and 3/1 are minimal contributions. All in all, the track selection includes a version of all but two songs performed at the run, and the key one, "New Potato Caboose," is included with the GDM exclusive pre-order bonus disc.

The Grateful Dead's classic, Live Dead, was largely taken from this venue, and their box-set So Many Roads includes "The Other One" from 2/27/69. The selection of tracks for the Fillmore West 1969 - Compilation attempts to avoid duplication. But with the smart decision to include a major section of the March 2, 1969's, second set, "Feedback" and "And We Bid You Goodnight" are repeated, as they are also on Live Dead. Thankfully, as taking disc three's glorious "Jam" through the conclusion of the disc would not be as awesome taken out of context of the whole by eliminating those two songs. You won't hear "Feedback" on the radio, but it certainly flows as part of the musical sequence and statement. 

Except for the addition of "Cosmic Charlie," the first disc is all from 2/28. A good jam is present in "Morning Dew," but the highlights of the set are "Good Morning Little Schoolgirl" and "Turn On Your Lovelight." 

The second disc is built around "Dark Star." And while the Stars of this era are joyous, it is just the beginning of the journey. The landing into the powerful, driving "St. Stephen" is sure to grab the attention of those that may have lost their direction. While more predicable than "Dark Star," "The Eleven" is a key ingredient of this segment of the show. The rhythmic pattern is hypnotizing, with Phil being expectedly aggressive. And when he starts nudging Jerry, Garcia responds with biting, scary, and lightning fast guitar runs.

The third disc is the crown jewel of the release. While not in the complete sequence of the concert, all of the material is from the 3/2 show. Not included is "Death Don't Have No Mercy (released on Live Dead)" and "Morning Dew;" they were performed after "Cryptical Envelopment," and before "Alligator." The track entitled "Jam" is crushing. One of the exciting things with pre 1971 Grateful Dead music is that you can often hear the invention of musical lines that would later become staples. While you can sample the development of the "Feeling Groovy" line on Dick's Picks Vol. 16's "Dark Star," this instrumental segment hints at their infamous "GDTRFB" jam. While it is more liquid and smooth as demonstrated on Ladies and Gentlemen, this rendition is raw and intense. But that is just the start as there is top notch frenzied jamming that continues throughout till the end of "Caution," 35 minutes of bliss.

One certain conclusion is that many fans will be so thrilled with the music within these three discs that there will be kicking themselves for not taking advantage of the sold-out limited addition box-set, Fillmore West Complete. If you missed that, the compilation is more than satisfying. 

by Barry Small  
Grade  A +

Order: Fillmore West 1969

Related releases
Fillmore West 1969 Complete
Live Dead
So Many Roads
(The Other One from 2/27/69)

Fillmore show reviews by Ramble on Joe

 
Fillmore West 1969 - Compilation review - The Grateful Dead
Track List

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Track listing

Disc One
All from 2/28 except "Cosmic Charlie" 2/27.

1 Morning Dew 11:05 (Rose, Dobson)
2 Good Morning Little Schoolgirl 11:00 (Williamson)
3 Doin' That Rag 6:56 (Garcia, Hunter)
4 I'm A King Bee 7:31 (Moore, Arr. By Grateful Dead)
5 Cosmic Charlie 6:02 (Garcia, Hunter)
6 Turn On Your Lovelight 19:09 (Scott, Malone)

Disc Two
From 3/1

1 Dupree's Diamond Blues 4:48 (Garcia, Hunter)
2 Mountains Of The Moon 4:52 (Garcia, Hunter)

From 2/28
3 Dark Star > 19:43 (Garcia, Kreutzmann, Lesh, McKernan, Weir, Hart, Hunter)
4 St. Stephen > 7:51 (Garcia, Lesh, Hunter)
5 The Eleven > 15:13 (Lesh, Hunter)
6 Death Don't Have No Mercy 9:58 (Davis)

Disc Three
All from 3/2

1 That's It For The Other One 23:30
Cryptical Envelopment (Garcia)
The Other One (Kreutzmann, Weir)
Cryptical Envelopment (Garcia)
2 Alligator > 4:00 (McKernan, Hunter)
3 Drums > 6:52 (Hart, Kreutzmann)
4 Jam > 25:31 (Grateful Dead)
5 Caution (Do Not Stop On Tracks) > 9:13 (Grateful Dead)
6 Feedback > 7:54 (Grateful Dead)
7 We Bid You Goodnight 2:01 (Trad. Arr. By Grateful Dead)

Fillmore West 1969 - Compilation review - The Grateful Dead
Musicians:       

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Grateful Dead
Jerry Garcia: Lead Guitar, Vocals
Mickey Hart: Drums
Bill Kreutzmann: Drums
Phil Lesh: Bass, Vocals
Ron "Pigpen" McKernan: Keyboards, Vocals
Bob Weir: Rhythm Guitar, Vocals
Tom Constanten: Keyboards

Fillmore West 1969 - Compilation review - The Grateful Dead
Notes:

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Released - Nov. 1, 2005
Label - Grateful Dead 
Produced by : David Lemieux and Jeffrey Norman 
Executive Producer : Cameron Sears 
16 Track Recording by : Bob Matthews and Betty Cantor 
Mixed and Mastered at : Club Front, Novato, CA 
Archival Research by : Eileen Law/Grateful Dead Archivist 
Package Design and Production by : Robert Minkin / minkindesign.com 
Photography by : Rosie McGee, Herbie Greene, Baron Wolman, Michael Merritt, Peter Simon and Amalie R. Rothchild 
Cover Lettering by : Richard Biffle 
Art Coordinator : Brian Conners 
Liner Notes by : Dennis McNally
Cover Art and Package Design: Robert Minkin

HDCD provides higher resolution when played in an HDCD-equipped CD player, and offers superior sound when played in regular CD players. HDCD CDs can be played in all CD players.

From the GD website.
In an effort to provide the very best of the already-legendary and sold-out Fillmore West 1969 Box Set in a convenient form (with the big box's fine pictures and notes), Rhino and Grateful Dead Productions will issue a 3-CD "best-of" selection. The package will not generally include the material that was later selected for Live/Dead, since that's already available. Instead, the triple CD package will give you the hits, all housed in a hard-cover book, with a 72-page booklet featuring almost 100 rare and unseen photos: a 55-minute "Alligator > Caution" jam that is simply cosmic, the complete "We Bid You Goodnight" from 3/2/69 (the version on Live/Dead was cut!), and Friday night's deservedly famous "Dark Star > St. Stephen > The Eleven >Death Don't Have No Mercy" that could easily have been the album. What a weekend!

And here's the best for you: all pre-orders will receive an exclusive bonus CD containing previously unreleased Grateful Dead performances recorded at the Carousel Ballroom and Fillmore West between 1968-1970, including a just-unearthed 30-minute version of "Caution" from June 1968 and a "He Was A Friend Of Mine>China Cat Sunflower>New Potato Caboose" jam from June 1969, amongst other great material.

Fillmore West 1969 - Compilation review - The Grateful Dead