Wed, Sep. 3, 9pm EDT - 'American Beauty' by the Grateful Dead

When you think Grateful Dead, you think live concert.  It makes sense. But their studio material obviously cannot be forgotten either.  American Beauty is a testament to that.  Released in 1970, it contains some of the most beloved Dead songs of all time including "Brokedown Palace", "Box of Rain", "Sugar Magnolia", "Friend of the Devil", "Ripple" and "Truckin'". Quite a list of classics for just one album!

Rolling Stone has it ranked as 261 on their list of the "500 Greatest Albums of All Time".  Should it be higher? Should it be lower?  Join me on Wednesday, September 3 at 9pm EDT and make your case! See you then!

37 comments

  • John Banrock

    John Banrock

    My usual reminder: Please make sure to periodically refresh your browser during the event so you can see all the comments as they are posted. I'll post a comment at 9pm so we can all get started at the same time. Happy listening to all!

    My usual reminder:
    Please make sure to periodically refresh your browser during the event so you can see all the comments as they are posted.

    I'll post a comment at 9pm so we can all get started at the same time.
    Happy listening to all!

  • Henry

    Henry Stubbville, KS

    Good evening! I'm ready to start Truckin'

    Good evening! I'm ready to start Truckin'

  • John Banrock

    John Banrock

    Hola amigo. Glad to have you aboard for tonight's "Album "Night! I haven't listened to this one in a while, so I'm eager to get started. Less than 10 minutes to lift-off!

    Hola amigo. Glad to have you aboard for tonight's "Album "Night! I haven't listened to this one in a while, so I'm eager to get started. Less than 10 minutes to lift-off!

  • Henry

    Henry Stubbville, KS

    Ditto here. Been to long for what I remember to be a great album

    Ditto here. Been to long for what I remember to be a great album

  • John T

    John T NY

    Greetings. I haven't played this one in quite some time. Curious as to how it will sound. I am not sure why it hasn't drawn me back but I guess we will see soon.

    Greetings. I haven't played this one in quite some time. Curious as to how it will sound. I am not sure why it hasn't drawn me back but I guess we will see soon.

  • John Banrock

    John Banrock

    Thanks for joining John T. We'll be rolling momentarily

    Thanks for joining John T. We'll be rolling momentarily

  • John Banrock

    John Banrock

    Album Night officially starts now! Start track 1 (hit play or put the needle down on side A) of 'American Beauty' by the Grateful Dead. Share your thoughts right here as you listen!

    Album Night officially starts now! Start track 1 (hit play or put the needle down on side A) of 'American Beauty' by the Grateful Dead. Share your thoughts right here as you listen!

  • John T

    John T NY

    The opener is a very mellow and pleasant start. It sets the tone and signals the continuation of the sound they started developing on Workingman's Dead.

    The opener is a very mellow and pleasant start. It sets the tone and signals the continuation of the sound they started developing on Workingman's Dead.

  • Henry

    Henry Stubbville, KS

    I heard they learned how to harmonize their vocals from Crosby, Stills and Nash. "Friend of the Devil" is picking up the pace a bit

    I heard they learned how to harmonize their vocals from Crosby, Stills and Nash. "Friend of the Devil" is picking up the pace a bit

  • John T

    John T NY

    The lyrics on Friend of the Devil is more like classic Dead. It could have been on any of the earlier albums so I wonder when it was written.

    The lyrics on Friend of the Devil is more like classic Dead. It could have been on any of the earlier albums so I wonder when it was written.

  • John Banrock

    John Banrock

    Friend of the Devil is a really good song. Not sure when it was written but I'll see if I can look it up. Sugar Magnolia isn't a bad song but it's not my favorite of the album

    Friend of the Devil is a really good song. Not sure when it was written but I'll see if I can look it up. Sugar Magnolia isn't a bad song but it's not my favorite of the album

  • John T

    John T NY

    Sugar Magnolia sure sounds good doesn't it? For a song that I have heard hundreds of times - including many Dead concerts - it hasn't worn out a bit. Finally some of Jerry's electric guitar which adds to the overall upbeat mood.

    Sugar Magnolia sure sounds good doesn't it? For a song that I have heard hundreds of times - including many Dead concerts - it hasn't worn out a bit. Finally some of Jerry's electric guitar which adds to the overall upbeat mood.

  • John T

    John T NY

    Operator doesn't sound familiar for some reason - maybe I skipped it when I played the album back in the day. It is always good to focus on Phil Lesh. In my opinion the best player out there and still to this day.

    Operator doesn't sound familiar for some reason - maybe I skipped it when I played the album back in the day. It is always good to focus on Phil Lesh. In my opinion the best player out there and still to this day.

  • John Banrock

    John Banrock

    Looks like Friend of the Devil was written in 1969, though doesn't say what part of the year. Interesting story on it being written too, at this link if you scroll down http://artsites.ucsc.edu/GDead/agdl/fotd.html

    Looks like Friend of the Devil was written in 1969, though doesn't say what part of the year. Interesting story on it being written too, at this link if you scroll down
    http://artsites.ucsc.edu/GDead/agdl/fotd.html

  • John Banrock

    John Banrock

    Nice to hear that harmonica solo on Operator too. Anyone know who played the harp?

    Nice to hear that harmonica solo on Operator too. Anyone know who played the harp?

  • John T

    John T NY

    Thanks John. Interesting background on Friend of the Devil. The more songs I hear on this album the more it seems out of place.

    Thanks John. Interesting background on Friend of the Devil. The more songs I hear on this album the more it seems out of place.

  • John Banrock

    John Banrock

    The bass on Candyman is really what feels like it's moving the song along. Subtly, but I feel without it the song would feel lacking

    The bass on Candyman is really what feels like it's moving the song along. Subtly, but I feel without it the song would feel lacking

  • John T

    John T NY

    Always thought Bob Weir played harmonic most of the time but not sure in this instance.

    Always thought Bob Weir played harmonic most of the time but not sure in this instance.

  • John T

    John T NY

    Ripple is a great sing-a-long. I find myself joining in with the group as I listen. Great way to start Side 2.

    Ripple is a great sing-a-long. I find myself joining in with the group as I listen. Great way to start Side 2.

  • John Banrock

    John Banrock

    Got the info on facebook that the harmonica solo was Pigpen

    Got the info on facebook that the harmonica solo was Pigpen

  • John Banrock

    John Banrock

    Ripple is a great side 2 start for sure. Definitely a sing along and snap your fingers song

    Ripple is a great side 2 start for sure. Definitely a sing along and snap your fingers song

  • John Banrock

    John Banrock

    "Brokedown Palace" is one of my favorites of the album. Very soulful

    "Brokedown Palace" is one of my favorites of the album. Very soulful

  • John Banrock

    John Banrock

    great harmonies too

    great harmonies too

  • Henry

    Henry Stubbville, KS

    Till the Morning Comes is rockin'. Might be twice the speed of Brokedown Palace

    Till the Morning Comes is rockin'. Might be twice the speed of Brokedown Palace

  • John T

    John T NY

    I am totally with you Henry. It really lifts the spirits which we need to prepare us for the dirge like Attics of My Life.

    I am totally with you Henry. It really lifts the spirits which we need to prepare us for the dirge like Attics of My Life.

  • John Banrock

    John Banrock

    Fantastic harmonies on Attics of My Life too. Top 3 of the album for me. Great lyrics too

    Fantastic harmonies on Attics of My Life too. Top 3 of the album for me. Great lyrics too

  • Henry

    Henry Stubbville, KS

    Yeah. The tempo's just been cut in half in Attics!

    Yeah. The tempo's just been cut in half in Attics!

  • Henry

    Henry Stubbville, KS

    And we're back to double time w/ Truckin'. This album went too fast! Gonna enjoy this last one

    And we're back to double time w/ Truckin'. This album went too fast! Gonna enjoy this last one

  • John T

    John T NY

    Truckin' is a perfect way to close things out on the right note. It served as their them song for the next 25 years!

    Truckin' is a perfect way to close things out on the right note. It served as their them song for the next 25 years!

  • John T

    John T NY

    All in all an excellent listening experience. Maybe not their best but for sure better than I remembered. Thanks John for another trip down memory lane with some classic sounds leading the way!

    All in all an excellent listening experience. Maybe not their best but for sure better than I remembered.

    Thanks John for another trip down memory lane with some classic sounds leading the way!

  • John Banrock

    John Banrock

    No problem. Thanks for joining again John. Glad we could listen together

    No problem. Thanks for joining again John. Glad we could listen together

  • John Banrock

    John Banrock

    Henry, thank you for joining too. I hope you also enjoyed this selection. I know I was pleasantly pleased with it after not listening to it for so long. I'll probably give it another spin today or tomorrow. Definitely a thumbs up for me!

    Henry, thank you for joining too. I hope you also enjoyed this selection. I know I was pleasantly pleased with it after not listening to it for so long. I'll probably give it another spin today or tomorrow. Definitely a thumbs up for me!

  • Henry

    Henry Stubbville, KS

    No problem. It was a pleasure as always. What's coming up next?

    No problem. It was a pleasure as always. What's coming up next?

  • John Banrock

    John Banrock

    Great question Henry. We're heading to the late 90's for the next one. Figure we need to mix it up a bit, though I've been absolutely loving the late 60's/ early 70's stuff. "Album Night" will return on Wed, Sep 17 with 'Moon Safari' by Air I hope to see you all then!

    Great question Henry. We're heading to the late 90's for the next one. Figure we need to mix it up a bit, though I've been absolutely loving the late 60's/ early 70's stuff.

    "Album Night" will return on Wed, Sep 17 with 'Moon Safari' by Air

    I hope to see you all then!

  • Henry

    Henry Stubbville, KS

    I've actually never heard that album. I'm intrigued... I'll be back in 2 weeks and anticipate hearing it!

    I've actually never heard that album. I'm intrigued... I'll be back in 2 weeks and anticipate hearing it!

  • John Banrock

    John Banrock

    Excellent! I don't think you'll be disappointed. See you then!

    Excellent! I don't think you'll be disappointed. See you then!

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