Grateful Dead American Beauty on Numbered Edition Hybrid SACD from Mobile Fidelity
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
Close Your Eyes as the Dead Serenade You in Your Room: Mobile Fidelity SACD of American Beauty Epitomizes Realistic Space, Vocals, Instrumentation, and Ambience
Ranked #261 on Rolling Stone’s List of the 500 Greatest Albums of All Time: Includes “Truckin’,” “Sugar Magnolia,” “Friend of the Devil,” “Ripple”
Companion to 1970’s Workingman’s Dead, Also Available on Hybrid SACD from Mobile Fidelity
. They don’t make albums like this anymore, but thankfully, Mobile
Fidelity’s extraordinary hybrid SACD allows you to experience
this 1970 masterpiece with unrivaled intimacy, realism, detail, and
. 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.
Mastered from the original master tapes, this collectible hybrid SACD possesses seemingly limitless dynamics,
reference-grade presence, and expansive soundstages
. The seamless, effortless integration of the group’s vocals has always been a high point of American Beauty
, and when you hear it here, you’ll want every record you own to sound half as good. Every member’s distinctive singing resounds with tube-like clarity; the intended expressionism is as plain as day.
Instruments, too, resonate in glorious Technicolor. The supple tension of Phil Lesh
’s bass lines, charismatic timbres of Jerry Garcia
’s pedal-steel fills, and interwoven dialogue between the pianos and percussion are rendered with lifelike scale and tone.
Made just months after its companion release, Workingman’s Dead
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.
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
’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
Secure your numbered copy of this iconic record from Music Direct
"There is more inner detail and texture, more clarity and
verisimilitude, on these MoFi reissues than on early original pressings,
which sound thinner and grainier by comparison. The SACDs sound more
like very good analog than mere digital."
—Marc Mickelson, The Audio Beat
Grateful Dead American Beauty Track Listing:
1. Box of Rain
2. Friend of the Devil
3. Sugar Magnolia
7. Brokedown Palace
8. Till the Morning Comes
9. Attics of My Life