In 1966, before The Grateful Dead was signed to Warner Brothers, upstart San Franscisco based label Together Records cleared the rights to record some live shows at the Avalon Ballroom. One such show was performed by The Grateful Dead.
Together Records soon folded. MGM stepped in, paid the remaining debt and took possession of the tapes. Well within their rights, they released two albums of live Dead material in 1970 on their subsidiary Sunflower imprint.
Sunflower was started by songwriter Mack David - the genius who gave us the Casper The Friendly Ghost Theme. Their only hit single was Chick-A-Boom by one hit wonder Daddy Dewdrop.
How the Dead ended up here, I'll never know.
So here are the releases
Vintage Dead (Sunflower 1970)
Since The Dead were riding high with American Beauty at the time featuring the song 'Ripple,' It's only fitting that there would be a bottle of cheap wine on the cover. Complete with screw top. That solved the mystery to me. I always thought the song was about a higher power and took influence from Taoism and The Book of Psalms. I guess it was about cheap Gallo wine all along.
And on the back we get photos of the band circa 1970
On the back we get some ghost-like figures that are supposed to be the band. See if you can guess who is who. I can't.
MGM only had enough material for two LP's. That didn't stop them from releasing a third.
The History Of The Grateful Dead (Pride 1970)
What do you do when the material runs out? You make another LP with one side from the first relase and the other side from the second. You release it on yet another subsidiary so the consumer is less inclined to think it's a reissue.