Grateful Dead – American Beauty 180g 45RPM 2LP

£80.00

Mobile Fidelity 45 rpm release

Available on back-order

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Grateful Dead – American Beauty 180g 45RPM 2LP

Grateful Dead - American Beauty

MFSL2-429

The Most American Folk-Rock Ever Made: Indelible Harmonies, Spare Playing, and Gorgeous Textures Surround Masterfully Crafted Songs
American Beauty is the most perfectly realized, superbly played, and openly natural folk-rock record ever released. They don’t make albums like this anymore, but thankfully, Mobile Fidelity’s extraordinary 180g 45RPM 2LP set allows you to experience this 1970 masterpiece with unrivaled intimacy, realism, detail, and perspective. The Dead might as well be sitting on a Persian carpet right in your living room.

The pinnacle of the Dead’s studio output, American Beauty lives up to its name – as well as that of the “American Reality” ambigram on the iconic cover. Airy vocal harmonies blow like fresh breezes. Strummed acoustic guitars amicably intermingle with plaintive percussive beats. Warmth, relaxation, and poignancy envelop the performances and create sensations of bliss, peace, and honesty. Songs flower with majestic melodies and emotionally direct lyrics. It’s a rare album that makes one feel, restores one’s faith, and renews one’s appreciation for all life offers.

Made just months after its companion release, Workingman’s Dead, the San Francisco legends’ second 1970 masterpiece furthers the former work’s close-knit relationship between country and folk while adding extra rock and bluegrass currents. Understated amplified passages, graceful melodies, layered singing, and old-time string flavors – including mandolin work from masterful guest David Grisman – bestow the material with easygoing, comfortable vibes. Again taking advantage of the best songwriting of Robert Hunter’s career, the Dead turns in its most collective studio performance, with every individual contributing equally and focusing on nothing but the songs at hand.

Indeed, Garcia doesn’t even indulge in a single guitar solo on the record. A majority of fare lacks any significant instrumental breaks. The Dead recorded the foundations (drums, bass, acoustic guitars) of nearly every track live, which helps explain why American Beauty sounds so powerfully rich and clear. Coupled with the band’s personal reflections of the circumstances surrounding them – Bob Weir’s parents had died, Garcia’s mother and Lesh’s father were in the process of passing, Ron “Pigpen” McKernan’s health was in decline – these characteristics combined to yield a purity of heart that exceeds that managed by Dead peers (and roots revivalist leaders) The Band and Bob Dylan.

From Garcia’s breathtaking gospel-laden homage to his mother (“Brokedown Palace”) to Lesh’s healing salve in the form of the groove-based “Box of Rain,” from Weir’s jaunty and free-wheeling summer escape “Sugar Magnolia” to McKernan’s eloquently simple homespun plea “Operator,” all the way to the closing autobiographical anthem “Truckin’,” American Beauty feels like the warm, spirit-infusing embrace of a loved one after a long journey away. Welcome home.

Track listing

Box of Rain
Friend of the Devil
Sugar Magnolia
Operator
Candyman
Ripple
Brokedown Palace
Till the Morning Comes
Attics of My Life
Truckin’

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Mobile Fidelity

Mobile Fidelity Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab has been the undisputed pioneer and leader in audiophile recordings since the company's inception in 1977. Established by dedicated audiophiles, Mobile Fidelity's first and foremost goal was to offer faithfully reproduced high fidelity recordings that would compliment the numerous advances occurring in audio delivery systems. Throughout its history, Mobile Fidelity has remained true to this goal, pioneering state-of-the-art technologies and setting audiophile standards that remain in place today. In response to rapid advancements in both recording formats and audio delivery systems over the past several years, Mobile Fidelity has maintained its ongoing commitment to improving industry standards. This has resulted in the introduction of numerous innovations in the audiophile arena: half-speed mastered Original Master Recording™ LPs, Ultra High Quality Records™ (UHQRs), high fidelity cassettes, consumer alignment devices for phono cartridges and audio cassette decks, Original Master Recording™ compact discs, the 24-karat gold plated Ultradisc™ CD and the Ultradisc™ Ultra High Resolution™ (UHR). To this day the independently owned firm continues its commitment to exceeding industry standards.