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- Product Dimensions : 1.9 x 12.5 x 14.1 cm; 91 Grams
- Manufacturer : RBDO 2171
- Original Release Date : 2020
- Run time : 3 hours and 4 minutes
- Label : RBDO 2171
- ASIN : B08HQ1Z4HB
- Number of discs : 3
- Customer Reviews:
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By any measure, 1970 was a high-water mark for the Grateful Dead. Hot on the heels of the incredible success of Workingman's Dead that summer, the band returned in the autumn with the equally stunning American Beauty. Those back-to-back classics not only introduced songs that would be a key part of the group's live repertoire for decades, but they also opened a gateway into the world of the Grateful Dead for generations of Dead Heads. American Beauty celebrate its 50th anniversary this year with two new releases. The three-CD set includes the album with newly remastered audio, plus an unreleased concert recorded on February 18, 1971 at the Capitol Theatre in Port Chester, NY. The show was mixed from the 16-track analog master tapes by Jeffrey Norman at Bob Weir's Marin County TRI Studios and mastered by Grammy® Award-winning engineer, David Glasser. The 12" picture disc includes the original album with newly remastered audio. Jerry Garcia, Bob Weir, Ron “Pigpen" McKernan, Phil Lesh, Bill Kreutzmann and Mickey Hart recorded American Beauty in August and September 1970 at Wally Heider Studios in San Francisco with producer Stephen Quinn Barncard. When they entered the studio, Workingman's Dead was still on the charts going strong. Such a quick follow-up on studio albums was unheard of for the band, and a feat they would never repeat. Equally shocking was the high level of craftsmanship exhibited by new songs like, Friend Of The Devil, Sugar Magnolia, Truckin', and Ripple. Today, it's still considered to be one of the greatest albums ever made. American Beauty (50th Anniversary Deluxe Edition) includes the band's previously unreleased live performance from February 18, 1971 at the Capitol Theatre, one of the most requested archival recordings in the Dead's vault. On stage that night, the Dead debuted a whole new batch of songs, five in all: Wharf Rat, Playing In The Band, Bertha, Greatest Story Ever Told and Loser. Fans were also treated to a few standbys from the previous decade, including St. Stephen and an inspired Dark Star jam that led into Wharf Rat and back to Dark Star. Notably, keyboardist Ned Lagin (who played piano on Candyman on American Beauty) sat in with the band for the show.
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Yes, a humble assessment. but a wrong one. The Dead made some of the most beautiful and enduring albums of their era. This one, American Beauty, is one of the best. To me, it hasn't dated in the slightest. Never have such transcendent lyrics been couple with such superb melodies ans sensitive playing. If you have never heard this album-boy are you in for a treat. One of the best albums ever made.
I am in a minority regarding the live set, though. 18/2/71, and the first of a run of shows at Portchester. It is the worst of the run-several new songs are played for the first time, and it sounds like it. Even comparative warhorses like Hard To Handle sound hesitant and unsure. In fact they slow down so much on that one, that during the instrumental break down it sounds as though they are going to stop playing all together. Maybe they would have done if Pigpen hadn't woken everybody up when he resumes singing. Its not all bad-the Dark Star-Wharf Rat-Dark Star is the stuff of legend, and the band seem to find their collective mojo in the last half hour and rock out in fine style. The downside to this final rock out is Ned Lagin's tootling keyboard. Some friend he turned out to be.
Curiously, it was Mickey Hart's last show for a few years. Obviously dissension in the ranks as he played the first show of the run and then left.
Still - this is a great release. Just don't go thinking 18/2/71 represents the band at its best. And i should perhaps add that many Deadheads love 18/2/71-so maybe its just me.
disc 2/3 another live disc from Chester '71 and again highlights what a spellbinding live band,when they are on it,they are on it.
Packaging excellent,fold out dig pak,superb booklet and comes in a lovely embossed slip case
I love this album, I already have this on an old vinyl record, and that plays fine, albeit a few clicks and pops, but it is 40 odd years old.
So I thought I'd treat myself to this record, as I'd already heard the 50th Anniversay CD, and the remastering is great, and I like things on vinyl, I have a good set up, maybe that's why I can hear any faults? (I genuinely didn't know this was a picture disc when I ordered it) I remember buying Curved Air Airconditioning in '72 I think, and that was a bad sounding record) When I got this, I hoped that it would play ok, maybe I'm wrong, but I do think the printed surface is the reason it sounds so bad
So I'm sorry I cannot recommend this at all. and can only it two stars only, purely because It does look good, and would be great as a piece of art, maybe on a wall.. but that's all.
With the benefit of hindsight, I realise that the Dead predate our taste for what we now call Americana - a folk music rather than rock'n'roll. It feels as though my tatse has converged with this grand old band about 40 years down the road, but it no less desirable for that.