Wednesday, July 14, 2010

18. Grateful Dead - American Beauty

Counting down my favorite 25 albums of 1970:

Grateful Dead - American Beauty

The Grateful Dead released two albums in 1970; this one, and Workingman's Dead. I usually listen to them back-to-back, or put them both in the playlist and shuffle them. But American Beauty, is easily the Grateful Dead's most essential album. It starts strong with three classics: "Box of Rain", "Friend of the Devil", and "Sugar Magnolia". The album is a group effort; each of the first 5 tracks (i.e. Side A) features a different band member. The next five (i.e. Side B) reverts back to the Garcia/Hunter formula with the exception of the great final track "Truckin'" which is credited to the entire band and has become their signature tune.

This album also has my all-time favorite Grateful Dead song, "Ripple".

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