Grateful Dead - should I bother?

As far as I am aware I have never heard anything by The Grateful Dead and it seems like it should be a big hole in a reasonable record collection.

Is it, and if it is, where should I start ?


I don’t really know an awful lot about them, most say they were primarily a live band and that their studio albums don’t get close. American Beauty is most people’s entry point, or Working Man’s Dead. I can’t see you liking either really, country Rock doesn’t seem to be your thang…

Thanks for the input Ritchie, you could be right, I didn’t even really know what genre they are.

Dull, tedious and shit.

1 Like

OK, beginning to pick up a certain vibe now.

Forget I asked :smiley:

I have quite a few albums and play them regularly,
From the Mars Hotel is a fave as is Aoxomoxoa
Blues for Allah has one of my favorite album covers, should have been nicked by a metal band
Live/Dead if you like 20 minute tracks (Dark Star) but St Stephen is a classic.

But if you don’t like American Beauty it is probably not worth going any further.

They had a cult following mainly for their live performances, they had a reputation for not having a set list and playing what people shouted for or whatever they fancied, this did mean that a lot of performances turned into jamming sessions.

From a cultural perspective Haight Ashbury is still a Mecca for some.
Mick Fleetwood recalled that when Fleetwood Mac first went to California they went to stay with the Dead at Haight Ashbury and lost a week…Grateful Dead reflect the hippy movement at the time and are inexorably connected to the drugs


Cheers, American Beauty on Spotify it is then.

Live dead is where i started, still love it now

Trouble is their catalogue is long …there are some real beauties, but you have to like their style,. At times exquisite and others achingly dull…

1 Like

I think I’ll start with American Beauty and on to Live Dead and see what I think from there.


  1. Have you taken acid? If yes proceed to Greatful Dead. If No, you will in no way become a Dead Head.

Dark Star on Live/Dead is indeed great.

Dylan and the Dead is excellent too. I’ve got loads of live stuff but rarely listen to anything from the studio other than the LPs @Kevin mentioned.

1 Like

Sometimes getting behind the band can enhance getting the band. No sure if this is still on Netflix but it was interesting


1 Like

Prompted by this thread I’ve been enjoying this this morning:

Can’t say I’ve ever managed to sit through one of the ‘Deads studio albums but I do quite like ‘Dark Star’ which I rate as the best of their many many live LPs

The most played Grateful Dead item I own is this:

It is a 4CD set covering the various sets the Dead played on 31 Dec 1978 and 1 Jan 1979 (finishing well after breakfast time) and takes about 4.5 hours to get through.

Second on the list is Fillmore West 1969: The Complete Recordings

This is a 10 CD set of four concerts recorded on 27 and 28 of February and 1 and 2 March 1969. I tend to listen to a single gig in a sitting. The entire box set is a bit much to contemplate.

Thanks chaps. Seems like they could be worth looking into then.

I just had a look at the full album list on Spotify.

I had no idea :flushed:
A completest collectors life would be rather busy.

LOL, I know someone who also collects all their live bootleg recordings. He never listens to any of it, needless to say.


The number of bootlegs is hilarious.[]=grateful+dead&sin=

21,394 results

1 Like