Birth of the Dead
Home ] G. Dead Live ] G. Dead Studio ] G. Dead Books ] G. Dead Links ] G.  Dead Videos ] G. Dead Misc. ]

Golden Road Reviews
Birth of the Dead
The Grateful Dead
Anthem of the Sun
Workingman's Dead
American Beauty
Wake of the Flood
Mars Hotel
Blues For Allah
Terrapin Station
Shakedown Street
Go to Heaven
In the Dark
Built to Last


Set Lists



Birth of the Dead Birth of the Dead

1965 - '66 (2001)



Order:  Amazon
Birth of the Dead Review - Grateful Dead

Birth of the Dead review

The Grateful Dead's cd Birth of the Dead was released in the 12 cd Warner Brother reissue The Golden Road. It consists of two discs, one studio and one live. These studio tracks were recorded before they used the name The Grateful Dead. Then, they called themselves The Warlocks, Emergency Crew, etc. The CD  consists of the tracks from their Autumn, Scorpio,  and Hendricks sessions; all previously unreleased.  

The studio sessions are a great historical introduction to the band. My favorite song on the Studio Side is the blues based "Tastebud";  there are two versions of it, one with vocals and one without.   The song features PigPen playing some nice piano, and is quite a contrast to the organ tones he showers on the song "Stealin'." The Autumn sessions include an early brief version of "Caution." 

The second disc of Birth of the Dead features live performances from various dates recorded mostly in July 1966 from various venues.  The selected tracks provide a snapshot of the Grateful Dead at this early stage of their career. 

Birth of the Dead The Live Side features a pretty good version of "Viola Lee Blues,"  a song that was an early jamming vehicle for the band. An early version of Bob Dylan's "Baby Blue" is included. I much prefer the slowed down renditions that would be adopted in later years.  The 1966 style has nowhere near the emotion or dynamics that make Jerry's interpretation of Dylan's songs special. 

Certainly 1965 and 1966 are not my favorite years of Grateful Dead music. And I would not  have become a fan if they didn't transition their sound as they did.  Still, this two disc release is superbly done capturing the early studio sessions and providing a superb overview of the band live in 1966.  Except for the most die hard fans, Birth of the Dead is a comprehensive  representation of the period.  I do not plan to sell my copy at the local used music shop.  At the same time, I do not expect to play it frequently. Birth of the Dead is nice to own for historical purposes, but is not an essential CD. 
by Barry Small  
Grade - B - 
Birth of the Dead is available in the box set The Golden Road.

Birth of the Dead Tracks - Grateful Dead

Top of Page

Birth of the Dead -  The Studio Sessions

The Autumn Sessions 
 1. Early Morning Rain  (Lightfoot) - 3:22
 2. I Know You Rider (Traditional) - 2:41
 3. Mindbender (Confusion's Prince)  (Garcia / Lesh) - 2:41
 4. The Only Time Is Now  
     (Garcia / Kreutzmann / Lesh / McKernan / Weir) - 2:24
 5. Caution (Do Not Stop on the Tracks) 
     (Garcia / Kreutzmann / Lesh / McKernan / Weir) - 3:17
 6. Can't Come Down (Garcia / Kreutzmann/ Lesh / McKernan / Weir) - 3:04

The Scorpio Sessions (1966)
 7. Stealin' [instrumental] (Cannon) - 2:40
 8. Stealin' [With Vocals] (Cannon) - 2:36
 9. Don't Ease Me In [instrumental] (Traditional) - 2:01
10. Don't Ease Me In [With Vocals] (Traditional) - 2:02
11. You Don't Have to Ask  
     (Garcia/Kreutzmann/Lesh/McKernan/Weir) - 3:35
12. Tastebud [instrumental] (McKernan) - 7:04
13. Tastebud  (McKernan) - 4:35
14. I Know You Rider  (Traditional) - 2:36
15. Cold Rain and Snow  (Traditional) - 3:15
16. Cold Rain and Snow [With Vocals] (Traditional) - 3:17

The Hendricks Sessions (3/67)
17. Fire in the City (Krug) - 3:19

Disc 2

Top of Page

Birth of the Dead - The Live Side

The tracks were recorded in July 1966. 

1. Viola Lee Blues  (Lewis) - 9:39
 2. Don't Ease Me In  (Traditional) - 2:43
 3. Pain in My Heart  (Neville) - 4:24
 4. Sitting on Top of the World  (Carter / Jacobs) - 3:51
 5. It's All Over Now, Baby Blue  (Dylan) - 5:12
 6. I'm a King Bee  (Moore) - 8:52
 7. Big Boss Man (Dixon / Smith) - 5:11
 8. Standing on the Corner  
      (Garcia / Kreutzmann / Lesh / McKernan / Weir) - 3:46
 9. In the Pines  (Bryant / McMichen) - 4:55
10. Nobody's Fault But Mine  (Traditional) - 4:15
11. Next Time You See Me (Forest / Harvey) - 2:47
12. One Kind Favor  (Hopkins/Taub) - 3:44
13. He Was a Friend of Mine  (Traditional) - 4:45
14. Keep Rolling By  (Traditional) - 7:57

Birth of the Dead musician List - Grateful Dead

Top of Page

Jerry Garcia - lead guitar, vocals
Bob Weir - guitar, vocals
Phil Lesh - bass, vocals
Ron "Pig Pen" McKernan - keyboards, vocals
Bill Kreutzmann - drums

Birth of the Dead notes - Grateful Dead

Top of Page

Released - 2001
Recorded 1965 and 1966  
Tape Archivist - Davis Lemieux
Article - A great interview with David Lemieux where he discusses The Golden Road

Buy Birth of the Dead - By the Grateful Dead



Comments or suggestions - webmaster (at)