Dylan & the Dead

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Dylan & the Dead
A drawing of a train with a winged circle to its left that has a skeleton inside of it and a winged circle to its right with Dylan's face inscribed
Live album by Bob Dylan and the Grateful Dead
Released February 6, 1989 (1989-02-06)
Recorded July 1987
Genre Rock
Length 43:07
Label Columbia
Producer John Cutler and Jerry Garcia
Bob Dylan chronology
Down in the Groove
(1988)Down in the Groove1988
Dylan & the Dead
Oh Mercy
(1989)Oh Mercy1989
Grateful Dead chronology
Dead Zone: The Grateful Dead CD Collection (1977-1987)
(1987) Dead Zone: The Grateful Dead CD Collection (1977-1987)1987
Dylan & the Dead
(1989) Dylan & the Dead1989
Built to Last
(1989) Built to Last1989

Dylan & the Dead is a collaborative live album by American singer-songwriter Bob Dylan and the Grateful Dead, released on February 6, 1989 by Columbia Records. The album consists of seven songs written and sung by Dylan, with the Grateful Dead providing accompaniment. The album was produced by Jerry Garcia and John Cutler.

Dylan & the Dead was recorded in 1987, during a successful stadium tour of the same name, that featured the two artists performing separately and together. Songs from two of the Grateful Dead's performances from the tour are documented on the album and video View from the Vault IV, and one of the tour-rehearsal songs is on the album Postcards of the Hanging.

Though ultimately poorly received, the album initially sold well, reaching #37 on the Billboard charts in the U.S., #38 in the UK, and earning a Gold certification in the United States.

In 1992, a bootleg of the first concert of the tour was released under the title "Orbiting Uvula". It includes the first-ever live performance of "Queen Jane Approximately", the first live performance of "John Brown" since 1963, and the first live performance of "Chimes of Freedom" since 1964.[1]


Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
AllMusic 1/5 stars[2]
Robert Christgau C–[4]
MusicHound 1.5/5 stars[5]
Rolling Stone 2.5/5 stars[3]

Despite strong initial sales, the album was poorly received by critics. Rolling Stone stated that the record "makes you wonder what the fuss [over the tour] was about", although they did have some kind words for several of the tracks.[6] Writing for The Village Voice, music critic Robert Christgau said that what Dylan "makes of his catalogue here is exactly what he's been making of it for years—money".[7] Amazon.com's Steve Appleford lamented that "if these were the stadium tour's best performances, pity anyone who actually sat through one of these concerts with a clear head."[8] Stephen Thomas Erlewine's review for AllMusic was particularly harsh, giving it one star out of a possible five, and calling it "quite possibly the worst album by either Bob Dylan or the Grateful Dead" and "a sad, disheartening document".[9]

Track listing[edit]

Side One
No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "Slow Train" (Recorded in Foxborough, Massachusetts on July 4, 1987) Bob Dylan 4:54
2. "I Want You" (Recorded in Oakland, California on July 24, 1987) Dylan 3:59
3. "Gotta Serve Somebody" (Recorded in Anaheim, California on July 26, 1987) Dylan 5:42
4. "Queen Jane Approximately" (Recorded in Eugene, Oregon on July 19, 1987) Dylan 6:30
Side Two
No. Title Writer(s) Length
5. "Joey" (Recorded in Foxborough, Massachusetts on July 4, 1987) Dylan, Jacques Levy 9:10
6. "All Along the Watchtower" (Recorded in Anaheim, California on July 26, 1987) Dylan 6:17
7. "Knockin' on Heaven's Door" (Recorded in Anaheim, California on July 26, 1987) Dylan 6:35



Grateful Dead


  • Guy Charbonneau – engineering
  • John Cutler – production, engineering
  • Joe Gastwirt – mastering
  • Herb Greene – photography
  • Rick Griffin – art direction
  • Gary Hedden – engineering
  • Peter Miller – engineering
  • David Roberts – engineering
  • Billy Rothschild – engineering
  • Chris Wiskes – engineering

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Olof Björner at www.bobsboots.com
  2. ^ AllMusic review
  3. ^ Rolling Stone review
  4. ^ Robert Christgau review
  5. ^ Graff, Gary; Durchholz, Daniel (eds) (1999). MusicHound Rock: The Essential Album Guide (2nd ed.). Farmington Hills, MI: Visible Ink Press. p. 371. ISBN 1-57859-061-2. 
  6. ^ Fricke, David. Dylan & the Dead review at Rolling Stone
  7. ^ Christgau, Robert. Dylan & the Dead review at RobertChristgau.com
  8. ^ Appleford, Steve. Dylan & the Dead at Amazon.com
  9. ^ Dylan & the Dead at AllMusic