The Grateful Dead – American Beauty (CD)
Label: Warner Bros. Records – 7599-27190-2
Format: CD, Album, Reissue
Barcode: 0 7599-27190-2
Label Code: LC 0392
Rights Society (Boxed): GEMA/BIEM
Price Code (France): WE 835
Artwork – Kelly, Mouse Studios
1 Box Of Rain 5:18
2 Friend Of The Devil 3:24
3 Sugar Magnolia 3:19
4 Operator 2:25
5 Candyman 6:14
6 Ripple 4:09
7 Brokedown Palace 4:09
8 Till The Morning Comes 3:09
9 Attics Of My Life 5:12
10 Truckin 5:03
Bass, Guitar, Piano, Vocals – Phil Lesh
Drums – Bill Kreutzmann
Guitar, Pedal Steel Guitar [Pedal Steel], Piano, Vocals – Jerry Garcia
Guitar, Vocals – Bob Weir
Harmonica, Vocals – Pig Pen (Ron McKernan)
Percussion – Mickey Hart
Recorded at Wally Heider Studios in San Francisco.
Originally released on LP in 1970.
Manufactured in Germany by Record Service Gmbh. Alsdorf.
Pressé en Allemagne par Record Service Gmbh. Alsdorf.
© 1970 Warner Bros. Records Inc.
Made in Germany
All songs published by Ice Nine Pub. Co.
Released in a standard jewel case.
CD and Inlay in very fine condition
++++++++++++ Released in Nov. 1970, it was their sixth album and first true studio album, the last to feature the percussion work of Mickey Hart (for a while), and recorded in a time when Jerry’s mother and Phil’s father died. Warner Brothers finally gave them the sort of publicity and attention they’d wanted and needed all along. The backcover should originally be a photograph of the band with pistols. They spent time shooting at Mickey’s Hart ranch and even shoot up a golden record. Robert Hunter rejected the photo. The front lettering can also be read as AMERICAN REALITY. The DeaD had stopped their acoustical sets in concerts. Weir was not writing much and most of the songs he sang were covers. SUGAR MAGNOLIA was his first lead-vocal since ANTHEM. The song is about a free spirited but foolish woman. FRIEND OF THE DEVIL is a blue-grass tune about a man on the run who bargains with the devil, and has David Grissman on mandolin. CANDYMAN is a “gambling” song, OPERATOR was sung and written by Pigpen. TILL THE MORNING COMES was inspired by C,S,N & Y. BOX OF RAIN was Lesh’s first vocal and has a perfect vocal interplay. RIPPLE is a folksy tune about enlightenment that comes from within and is a favourite of Deadheads. ATTICS is a three harmony song about friendship with only guitar and bass. TRUCKIN’ is autobiographical which recounted the events of a year in which they had been busted again, this time in New Orleans, and sacked their manager. It did quiet well as a single. The album became a favourite on college camps ++++++++++++
nr. 1 The group’s patchouli-oil philosophy, which does nothing more than reinforce solipsism and self-indulgence in its listeners, except when it is nurturing its Hells Angels fan club, is exactly the sort of stuff that gave peace ‘n’ love a bad name. * * DAVE MARSH, R.S. RECORD GUIDE, 1983
nr. 2 Another gem in the same vein as its predecessor, but even more vocally orientated and more ploished lyrically. Again, there are classics every DeaD fan knows, but the album has a few marginal songs, as well (OPERATOR, TILL THE MORNING COMES, CANDYMAN). I’ ve yet to meet a Deadhead who doesn’t love AMERICAN BEAUTY and WORKINGMAN’S DEAD, and they are still the group’s most accessible. * * * * BLAIR JACKSON, THE MUSIC NEVER STOPPED,1983
nr. 3 These (delicate, multipart harmonies) tunes are some of the catchiest and most melodic Grateful Dead have ever come up with. The album is packed full of classic Grateful Dead tracks. TRUCKIN’ shot straight to Number One, in Turlock, California. JAMIE JENSEN, BUILT TO LAST, 1990
nr. 4 This is the simplistic folk-rock album WORKINGMAN’S DEAD is supposed to be-sweeter vocally and more direct instrumentally, with words to match. Robert Hunter is better at parsing American conun-drums than at picking American Beauties, so too many of the lyrics revolve around love, dreams, etc. But only ATTICS has nothing upstairs. (rating: A-) ROBERT CRISTGAU, ROCK ALBUMS OF THE 70’S, 1982
nr. 5 The album opens with an classic track, BOX OF RAIN, a song so strong it’s uplifting in times of trouble. FRIEND OF THE DEVIL seems to be speeded up, but is nice all together. A beautiful, but short Pigpen song, and an easy-going CANDYMAN are all on side one. Side two opens with another classic; RIPPLE. BROKEDOWN PALACE is a slow song, but also very beautiful. TRUCKIN’ makes up for the weaker ATTICS OF MY LIFE and TILL THE MORNING COMES. An classic album. * * * * ERIK SCHOTHANS, July 1992
nr. 6 ANTHEM and AOXOMOXOA are weirder, goofier, more out there – but for melodic ease of listening AMERICAN BEAUTY is more fulfilling and proves that the DeaD could cut it as a strange saloon outfit and still write memorable, disciplined songs. Since the DeaD remain intrinsically psychedelic to this day (as much a jazz band as anything) only they are capable of defining their own rules. BOX OF RAIN sets a golden standard, and a high proportion of the ensuing album remains in the band’s repertoire to this day. Bittersweet West Coast pop rock at its finest. VOX ESSENTIAL PSYCHEDELICA ON CD, July 1992
nr. 7 Any record that continues in the same vein as Workingman’s Dead has got to be something special. a perfect record that exudes warmth and friendliness from every song. It positively overflows with character and vitality, expressing both lyrically and musically a full range of emotions. BROKEDOWN PALACE and BOX OF RAIN are favourites of mine. But as Garcia remarks: ‘They’re good tunes. Everyone of ’em is a gem. I modestly admit.’ ANDY CHILDS, ZIG ZAG Magazine
nr. 8 American Beauty (Warner Bro. WS 1893) early releases of this record had a Grateful Dead sticker on the shrinkwrap. Released in November, 1970. Parts of “Friend Of The Devil” were written at Rock Scully’s house in Kentfield, CA: Robert Hunter brought over the beginning words and John “Marmaduke” Dawson provided the “set out running but I take my time, a friend of the Devil is a friend of mine” line. “Truckin'” was started by Hunter in San Francisco, and finished while touring with the Dead in Florida. The death of Garcia’s mother was the inspiration for “Brokedown Palace”. “Box Of Rain” was written for Phil Lesh’s father, who was dying. The “…ripples in still waters…” refrain in “Ripple” is a 17 syllable haiku; the song was written in England. David Grisman plays mandolin on “Ripple” and “Friend Of The Devil”. Ned Lagin also appears on this album. The title of the album can be read off the front cover artwork, by some use of imagination, as “American Reality”. I. W. Slabicky, 1993