History of the Grateful Dead, Volume One (Bear's Choice)

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History of the Grateful Dead,
Volume One (Bear's Choice)
A complex interlaced image of blue, red, and white centered around the Grateful Dead "Steal Your Face" skull logo
Live album by Grateful Dead
Released July 13, 1973 (1973-07-13)
Recorded February 13–14, 1970
Genre Jam, Rock, folk rock
Length 47:28
Label Warner Bros.
Producer Owsley Stanley
Compiler Owsley Stanley
Grateful Dead chronology
Europe '72
(1972)
History of the Grateful Dead, Volume One (Bear's Choice)
(1973)
Wake of the Flood
(1973)
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 4/5 stars [1]
Rolling Stone Mixed[2]

History of the Grateful Dead, Volume One (Bear's Choice) is the ninth album and the fourth live album by the Grateful Dead, released in July 1973 on Warner Bros. Records, catalogue BS 2721. It offers concert highlights from the band's performances of February 13 and 14, 1970 at the Fillmore East in New York City, and peaked at #60 on the Billboard 200.[citation needed]

Content[edit]

The album was compiled as a tribute of sorts to Ron "Pigpen" McKernan, the band's original keyboard player and blues aficionado, who died while it was being prepared. The "Bear" of the title is Owsley Stanley, underground chemist turned Dead sound man. The original album was recorded and produced by Stanley, and fans often simply refer to the album as Bear's Choice.[3] Side one consists of acoustic performances by McKernan, Jerry Garcia, and Bob Weir on country blues material, with one original from Workingman's Dead and a cover of one 1950s rock and roll number by the Everly Brothers. The second side features performances by the entire band backing McKernan on two repertoire items, "Smokestack Lightning" by Howlin' Wolf, and "Hard to Handle" by Otis Redding.

The album was originally intended to be a first in a series, but Volume Two never came to be as this was the band's last album on their record contract with Warner Bros. Records. Dick's Picks Volume 4 from the archive release series also chronicles these performances.

The album was remastered for compact disc in 2001 as part of The Golden Road (1965-1973) box set, and later released separately in 2003. Four bonus tracks were taken from the same shows, as well as shows from a week earlier at the Fillmore West in San Francisco. In keeping with the tribute nature of the original record, three tracks feature lead vocals by McKernan.

Track listing and personnel[edit]

Side one
  1. "Katie Mae" (Lightnin' Hopkins) – 4:44
  2. "Dark Hollow" (Bill Browning) – 3:52
  3. "I've Been All Around This World" (traditional) – 4:18
  4. "Wake Up Little Susie" (Felice and Boudleaux Bryant) – 2:31
  5. "Black Peter" (Jerry Garcia and Robert Hunter) – 7:27
Side two
  1. "Smokestack Lightning" (Howlin' Wolf) – 17:59
  2. "Hard to Handle" (Al Bell, Allen Jones, and Otis Redding) – 6:15
2001 reissue bonus tracks
  1. "Good Lovin'" (Rudy Clark and Arthur Resnick) – 8:56
  2. "Big Boss Man" (Al Smith, Luther Dixon) – 4:53
  3. "Smokestack Lightning" (Howlin' Wolf) – 15:11
  4. "Sitting on Top of the World" (Lonnie Chatmon, Walter Vinson) – 3:20
  • "Katie Mae," "Wake Up Little Susie," "Black Peter," and "Smokestack Lightning" (original version) recorded on February 13, 1970, at the Fillmore East, New York.
  • "Dark Hollow", "I've Been All Around This World" and "Hard to Handle" recorded on February 14, 1970, at the Fillmore East in New York City.
  • "Big Boss Man" (reissue version) recorded on February 5, 1970, at the Fillmore West, San Francisco.
  • "Smokestack Lightning" (reissue version) and "Sitting on Top of the World" recorded on February 8, 1970, at the Fillmore West, San Francisco.
  • "Good Lovin'" (reissue version) recorded on February 13, 1970, at the Fillmore East, New York.

Personnel[edit]

  • Jerry Garcia – acoustic and lead guitar, vocals on "Dark Hollow", "I've Been All Around This World", "Wake Up Little Susie", and "Black Peter"; electric guitar and vocals on "Smokestack Lightning" (both versions), "Hard to Handle", "Good Lovin'", "Big Boss Man", and "Sitting on Top of the World"
  • Mickey Hart – drums and percussion on "Smokestack Lightning" (both versions), "Hard to Handle", "Good Lovin'", "Big Boss Man", and "Sitting on Top of the World"
  • Bill Kreutzmann – drums and percussion on "Smokestack Lightning" (both versions), "Hard to Handle", "Good Lovin'", "Big Boss Man", and "Sitting on Top of the World"
  • Phil Lesh – bass guitar and vocals on "Smokestack Lightning" (both versions), "Hard to Handle", "Good Lovin'", "Big Boss Man", and "Sitting on Top of the World"
  • Ron "Pigpen" McKernan – acoustic guitar and vocals on "Katie Mae"; organ, percussion, harmonica, and vocals on "Smokestack Lightning" (both versions), "Hard to Handle", "Good Lovin'", "Big Boss Man", and "Sitting on Top of the World"
  • Bob Weir – acoustic rhythm guitar and vocals on "Dark Hollow", "I've Been All Around This World", "Wake Up Little Susie", and "Black Peter"; electric guitar and vocals on "Smokestack Lightning" (both versions), "Hard to Handle", "Good Lovin'", "Big Boss Man", and "Sitting on Top of the World"
Technical personnel

Charts[edit]

Album – Billboard

Year Chart Position
1973 Pop Albums 60[citation needed]

References[edit]