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American Beauty

American Beauty

June 28, 2010

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Product Details

  • Original Release Date: June 1, 1970
  • Release Date: June 1, 1970
  • Label: Rhino/Warner Bros.
  • Copyright: 2001 Warner Brothers Records. Manufactured and Marketed by Warner Strategic Marketing.
  • Record Company Required Metadata: Music file metadata contains unique purchase identifier. Learn more.
  • Total Length: 42:02
  • Genres:
  • ASIN: B0012ELLB0
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (269 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #23,388 Paid in Albums (See Top 100 Paid in Albums)

Customer Reviews

One of my favorite albums of all time.
garfan vango
And I am not one to flock to a band that EVERYONE says is GREAT, like the dead...so here I am praising this great CD, as that is just what it is.
The Bas
American Beauty features lyrical, complex songs and straight-forward American Folk music.
C. Burgess

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

108 of 113 people found the following review helpful By Steve Vrana HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on March 4, 2003
Format: Audio CD
The Grateful Dead's first four albums earned them the reputation of being another jam-oriented, hippy-trippy band from San Francisco. But their two classic albums from 1970--WORKINGMAN'S DEAD and AMERICAN BEAUTY--showcased their strong songwriting talents and their country, folk and bluegrass roots. The album prominently features Garcia's pedal steel playing--there is not a single Garcia guitar solo to be found anywhere!--and friend David Grisman adds mandolin on "Friend of the Devil" and "Ripple." Songs like "Sugar Magnolia," "Friend of the Devil" and "Truckin'" became permanent fixtures in their live shows.

This HDCD remastered edition by Rhino is the same one that was included as part of the 2001 box set THE GOLDEN ROAD. As such it is packed with with nearly forty minutes of bonus material, including the single version of "Truckin'" (which peaked at No. 64, making it the highest charting single of their career until "Touch of Grey" went Top 10 in 1987), as well as five live songs from various concerts from 1970: "Friend of the Devil," "Candyman," "Till the Morning Comes," "Attics of My Life" and "Truckin'." There are also two hidden tracks: a live version of "Ripple" and a hilarious 60-second radio spot promoting the Dead's then new album, which encourages listeners to buy the record and "make their duck a grateful duck."
In addition, there are some terrific photos included with the 16-page booklet along with an essay by Deadhead David Gans, who wrote last year's "Conversations with the Dead: The Grateful Dead Interview Book.
Read more ›
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45 of 46 people found the following review helpful By C. Burgess on December 1, 1999
Format: Audio CD
I would venture to guess that more people were lured into the magical, maniacal world of the Grateful Dead through American Beauty than any other way. More times than I can count, I've seen a non-Deadhead listen to this album, be blown away, and slowly join the rest of us in our nirvana. American Beauty features lyrical, complex songs and straight-forward American Folk music. "Ripple" may be the most beautiful song ever written. "Box of Rain" is funny and poignant. And I dare you not to break into a huge grin during "Sugar Magnolia." While this is a much different Grateful Dead from what you saw in concert, it is equally glorious.
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23 of 25 people found the following review helpful By James H. Luscombe on March 15, 2000
Format: Audio CD
Doesn't everybody already own this album? I'm an old Deadhead - so you can calibrate my remarks. This is the best place to start in learning about the GD. If you had to own to just one GD album, this would be it. Box of Rain, Attics of My Life, Brokedown Palace, Ripple - all beautiful poetry in their own right. Hunter-Garcia, what a KNOCKOUT combination! Cherish well Jerry's voice here - as his singing voice declined markedly in his later years. What a burst of creativity American Beauty is. Buy this one, then go listen to some of their live albums - Live Dead, the "Skull & Roses" album, or Europe 72, and you'll get a glimpse of what it was all about.
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Douglas LaRose on July 2, 2003
Format: Audio CD
I always feared having to write a review of this album, but I guess I can accept it as a challenge, and attempt the impossible. For truly, how could one review something like a part of their lives, a place where they lived, or a transitioning period? To me the album brings on smells, tastes, and visions from all three of those stages.
Objectively, American Beauty has its flaws. The songs were done in the studio, something the band never looked forward to, and a little bittle of evolution, well, took some of these songs a long way. Look at Sugar Magnolia and Truckin' for instance, two of the bands most famous works, they never became great songs until they played them live, let them evolve, unfold, and bloom. Any experienced listener would take a live Truckin' or Sugar Magnolia over the studio versions anyday. But that doesn't really matter, because what the rest of the album has to offer is probably the best of what folk and rock music have to offer....
Box of Rain, Ripple, Brokedown Palace, Candyman, Friend of the Devil, and Attics of My Life.
Of all the jazz, classical music, folk & roots music, and world & ethnic music I have ever listened to, I still have not found songs which parallel these in their strength and grandeur. These are'nt merely songs, these are moments, these are Zen watercolor paintings, and they are the most sincere, and human pieces of art that I have ever come to know.
Coming to know these songs was like developing a new sense for me. It was like seeing, or smelling, or hearing for the first time, when the buddha sprang from beneath the bodhi tree he must have felt similar. I truly envy you if you have never listened to these songs, I would pay astronomical amounts of money to hear these songs again for the first time.
But then again, that was another time, another world....
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17 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Jinglebell Rainbow on September 25, 2000
Format: Audio CD
What else can be said about this album? Because the album is worth listening to over and over, so is reading, writting and talking about it. The vocals on Attics of my Life are the best the dead ever produced on any album. They are perfect. All the songs are expertly written and performed. Ripple is one of the best true- blue american folk song ever written. The melody meshes perfectly with the words which gives the feeling of optimisim,hope and pure happiness. The song Till the Morning Comes never made it into the regular concert rotation, is a excellent rendition. The sound is joyful and very peppy. Box of Rain is song written by Robert Hunter and Phil Lesh which was wriiten at the time of Lesh's farther dying of cancer. As a matter of fact, Garcia's mother and Bob Weir's Parents had also passed away at the time. All the emotion and passion for life were put into this album. This is the "Crown Jewel" of recordings in american folk music, not just for the Grateul Dead. Other songs of note are Candyman and Friend of a Devil. Again, Garcia sings beautifully. His voice is young,fresh, and full of heartfelt passion. This album is not at all like the live concerts the band was playing at the time. Some shows had acustic sets but the electric sets were like entering a war zone of Fire Breathing Dragons. The sound on American Beauty is rich, warm and very inviting. This is a testiment to the incrediable versitility of this remarkable band of very fine musicians. Special note goes to David Grisman and Howard Wales for adding texture with mandolin and keyboards respectivly.
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