Grateful Dead Fillmore West - Flames

BG-162 poster Grateful Dead in Flames by Lee Conklin 1969 poster


The Grateful Dead were in the middle of the long year between Anthem of the Sun and Aoxomoxoa and were at the height of their experimental powers and much of the music from this run at the Fillmore West wound up on 1969’s double album, Live Dead.



Unlike in later years, in early 1969 the contents of the Dead's set lists varied little. They improvised the medley of "Dark Star"/"St. Stephen"/"The Eleven" several times a week, which enabled them to explore widely within the songs' simple frameworks. The "Dark Star > St. Stephen" pairing was taken from the February 27, 1969 show at the Fillmore West advertised in this poster! The Eleven" and "Turn On Your Love Light" were from the January 26, 1969 show at the Avalon Ballroom, advertised by Rick Griffin’s Aoxomoxoa poster. The album’s "Death Don't Have No Mercy," "Feedback," and "And We Bid You Goodnight" were also recorded at this set of shows, on March 2, 1969.



The album was met with very positive reviews, with Village Voice critic Robert Christgau write that it "contains the finest rock improvisation ever recorded" and Rolling Stone magazine's Lenny Kaye saying it foreshadows "where rock is likely to be in about five years". In his ballot for Jazz & Pop magazine's 1970 critics poll, Christgau ranked Live/Dead as the third best popular music album.



Drummer Bill Kreutzmann comments "It was our first live release and it remains one of our best-loved albums. Its appeal was that it took great 'you-had-to-be-there' live versions of songs like 'Dark Star' and 'The Eleven' and put them right in people’s living rooms. And now you can be there, cranking Live Dead while enjoying this poster.

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