Classic Albums: The Grateful Dead - Anthem to Beauty (VHS + CD)
VHS | Box Set
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The Grateful Dead are a unique phenomenon. One of the most successful live touring bands in the world, their longevity is founded on their desire to play music their way, coupled with an extraordinarily close relationship to their huge following. From Anthem to Beauty tells the story of the band and their journey from the experimental "Anthem of the Sun" (recorded in 1967/1968) to the accessible, countryish "American Beauty." It is told in the band's own words and includes a rare interview with lyricist Robert Hunter. The film also features a wealth of rare vintage film footage of the Grateful Dead in their prime, including television appearances, home videos, and classic recordings like "Ripple," "Box of Rain," "Truckin'," and "Mountains of the Moon," and it all adds up to a riveting portrait of one of the rock world's most controversial bands. 75 minutes.
Top customer reviews
This DVD is from the Classic Albums collection, meaning it has interviews, song & concert snippets, etc. I never understand the reviewers, of whatever band in this series, complaining about them not being a live concert. It's called the Classic Album series!
I love this DVD because it shows behind the scenes in the making of the GD's weirdest, trippiest album, & also one of their most commercial--in a good way--albums. The difference is, even non-Deadheads and non-freaky counter-culture types can love American Beauty, but Anthem for the Sun... now that's an acid test! I still consider side 1 a masterpiece, even if I don't listen to it that much.
I enjoyed seeing the way the GD member's personalities have changed. Phil Lesh was Mister Avant-Garde, very vocal & opinionated. Mickey Hart was like a wild savage unleashed. I laughed about how Bob Weir & Pigpen were fired for lack of musical chops, but didn't leave, & eventually got better. I guess I deduct a half a star because it seems a crime not to have a bonus full-length version of "Mountains of the Moon" from Playboy After Dark, with Tom Constanten on harpsichord no less!! They rarely played this gem live, & nearly never w/ TC.
As you would expect from the Dead, this DVD is about 20 minutes longer than any others in this series. I highly recommend this, as well as Hendrix Electric Ladyland, & Pink Floyd Dark Side of the Moon. Fairly cheap & they make great presents.