segunda-feira, 24 de outubro de 2016

GRATEFUL DEAD: "AMERICAN BEAUTY"


Original released as Warner Bros LP WS 1893
(US, November 1970)


A1. Box Of Rain (Hunter/Lesh) 5:18
A2. Friend Of The Devil (Dawson/Garcia/Hunter) 3:24
A3. Sugar Magnolia (Hunter/Weir) 3:19
A4. Operator (McKernan) 2:25
A5. Candyman (Garcia/Hunter) 6:13
B1. Ripple (Garcia/Hunter) 4:09
B2. Brokedown Palace (Garcia/Hunter) 4:09
B3. Till The Morning Comes (Garcia/Hunter) 3:09
B4. Attics Of My Life (Garcia/Hunter) 5:14
B5. Truckin’ (Garcia/Hunter/Lesh/Weir) 5:17


Produced by The Grateful Dead and Robin Hurley
Co-producer: Audio – Steve Barncard
Art Direction: Kelly (Mouse Studios)
Rear photo: George Conger
Recorded at Wally Heider Studios in San Francisco, CA (9/70)



They recorded just three studio albums in their final 15 years, but back in 1970 the Grateful Dead somehow managed to assemble their two best works all within the space of five months: "Workingman’s Dead" and this one, their trully masterpiece. With a new producer (the 20-year old Steve Barncard, who’d recorded Garcia’s famous pedal-steel overdub for the Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young hit “Teach Your Children” some months earlier) the band set up in Heider’s upper-level Studio C, birthplace of classic recordings by the likes of Creedence Clearwater Revival, Jefferson Airplane, and CSN&Y. Even with drummer Bill Kreutzmann perched just a few feet away, Barncard insisted on cutting the band’s acoustic guitars live. «That was so important – especially when there would be any interplay between the two acoustic guitars,» Barncard recalls. «The reason those rhythm tracks are so tight is because they were set up really close together, just sitting in these plastic chairs facing each other, with very little obstruction. I may have had a few small baffles around the drums, but that was it. When they were recording, they liked to be able to look at each other’s fingers, pick up on accents, and do forth. The interplay was a very big part of those sessions.»



Everything in this album it is a joy to listen to: rich in acoustic instrumentation, well-rounded backing vocals, and a subtle electric presence. "American Beauty" established the group as more than a house band for its charismatic stoner leader, Jerry Garcia (there is not a single Garcia guitar solo on the whole record). For the first time, the Dead seemed a cohesive unit with a battery of accomplished singer-songwriters, including Phil Lesh and Bob Weir. There is no “jamming” on the album, it’s all about the songs, and the perfomances serve them beautifully. Expertly played, with some gorgeous harmony singing, this is an intricate album. Its influence has resonated in successive generations of musicians but back in 1970 "American Beauty" proved to be a good career move. It ended with the existing dichotomy between those that worshiped or simply hated the Grateful Dead. Since then, there was no more reasons to extreme feelings: the band’s fans becomed united in the love for the Dead. Forty six years after, "American Beauty" remains as one of the absolute masterpieces of the pop/rock universe.




4 comentários:

Anonymous disse...

Merci pour ce toujours excellent album et groupe!!

alain

zephyr disse...

Thank you very much Rato It has taken me a generation or two to discover I like this band

Rato disse...

Hi zephyr
Maybe the reason is because the Grateful Dead always perfomed two kinds of music: this one, near rock&folk and another one, more psichedelic. But of course, they were a GREAT, GREAT band!
Greetings

Anónimo disse...

Ola. O link esta inativo.
Quando puder, por gentileza corrigir.
Muito obrigado.

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