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American Beauty (DVD-Audio Surround Sound)
American Beauty
DVD-Audio Surround Sound
Genres: Music Video & Concerts
2001

Expanded & remastered (HDCD) version of the band's 1970 classic featuring many of the Dead's best-known songs plus 6 bonus tracks 'Truckin' (single version) & 5 live tracks 'Friend of the Devil', 'Candyman', 'Till The M...  more »

     
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Movie Details

Genres: Music Video & Concerts
Sub-Genres: Pop, Rock & Roll, Grateful Dead, Classic Rock
Studio: Rhino / Wea
Format: DVD Audio
DVD Release Date: 10/30/2001
Original Release Date: 01/01/1970
Release Year: 2001
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 5
 

Movie Reviews

"Make Your Duck A Grateful Duck"
Steve Vrana | Aurora, NE | 03/04/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)

"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."While there are several live albums available that would give you a broader view of the Grateful Dead, this album along with WORKINGMAN'S DEAD are the finest studio albums of their storied career and belongs in any serious music fan's collection [Total running time: 79:56] ESSENTIAL"
Let Their be Songs To Fill the Air
My Uncle Stu | Boston | 12/01/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Now that the Dead are no more (at least the Jerry Garcia version of the Dead), I don't know how often new people are getting turned on to the music. The fun of it, of course, was always to go to a live show, where you had a one in three chance of seeing phenomenal group improvisational musicianship. Even on the off nights, you would listen to a lot of lazy, mediocre jamming but would still probably experience one of those unique transcendental moments at some point, probably late in the second set.

Like most young people, my biases towards bands and music scenes was the product of who I was hanging out with at that point in my life. In High School, I made fun of deadheads. But when I got to college, many of my good friends were into the music or getting into it. With my first shows coming up, I wanted to appreciate the experience. My hirsute, stoner dorm-neighbor Brad (17 years old like the rest of us but he had been growing a beard for several years and was able to buy 3.2 beer at the 7-11) handed me this CD and told me this was the best starter Dead. I listened and liked it. Once I had been to several shows and really appreciated the magic of the scene, I felt that studio Grateful Dead was missing the point. The beauty of the band was that these guys had jammed together so much that they communicated together through their music and had a real chemistry. I've enjoyed many of the newer jambands, but with many of them, Phish being an obvious example, while they can engage in hard-core energetic jamming, the musicians are often stepping on each other's toes. It's often Four-Guys-Jamming, not One-Band-Jamming.

But for someone of the next generation, someone who will only know the Grateful Dead through bootlegs, I don't know how accessible the magic of the live shows will ever be. I know the surviving band members still tour, and from what I've heard it's actually really good. But still, with no disrespect to the remains, there was only one Jerry Garcia and when he was on, there was nothing better.

The studio music is probably the best introduction to the band, and American Beauty is by far the best studio album. With one glaring blemish (the passive-aggressively bland "Operator") the album is flawless. Box of Rain, Friend of the Devil, Sugar Magnolia, Ripple, and Truckin' in particular are the Grateful Dead's stickiest, most contagious music. This album is a snapshot of the Dead during a wonderful moment in their creativity, both musically and lyrically. It captures them at their studio best just the way Europe '72 captures them at their live best.

They weren't always great. But when they were, they were among the best. Buy this album. Play it often. And, please, no need to thank me, just hip somebody else and pass down the favor."
Beauty indeed
C. Burgess | Brooklyn, NY United States | 12/01/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)

"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."
The best place to start for the Grateful Dead
James H. Luscombe | Monterey, CA | 03/15/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)

"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."