Set for release on October 30th is the Grateful Dead's 50th anniversary edition of 1970's American Beauty. The triple disc set will feature the original album — with newly remastered audio — plus the Dead's previously unreleased concert on February 18th, 1971 at the Port Chester, New York's Capitol Theatre. On stage that night, the Dead debuted five new tunes: “Wharf Rat,” “Playing In The Band,” “Bertha,” “Greatest Story Ever Told,” and “Loser.”
The set has been mixed from the 16-track analog master tapes by Jeffrey Norman at Bob Weir‘s Marin County TRI Studios and mastered by Grammy Award-winning engineer, David Glasser.
A new vinyl version of the album will be available the same day for $21.98. Produced in a limited edition of 15,000 copies, it containins the newly remastered version of the original album.
The press release for the anniversary edition quoted the late, great Jerry Garcia talking about the American Beauty material: “It has some of the first things I’ve written, and that we’ve performed as a band, that in my opinion are genuinely beautiful. We were in the studio, creating this thing, pullin’ together, and because we managed to get off under those circumstances the music has a certain quality.”
An exclusive line of American Beauty merchandise also launched today at dead.net including a Levi’s vintage trucker jacket, sterling silver ring, vintage matchstick tin, crew sweatshirt, and a numbered, limited edition print by Liane Plant.
Jerry Garcia shed light on how the Dead had Warner Brothers beaten by their own game upon inking their first record contract: “The music business discovered everybody — they wanted to sign everybody. So, we were in the unique position of. . . we were already making a good living playing in ballrooms at that time, it really didn't matter to us whether we made a record or not. So, we were in that thing of having that upper leg for the first time in — I mean, rock n' roll, rhythm & blues, (and) country & western music have been traditionally — I mean, I'm talking about in like the 50's, 40's, and '30s and so forth — real exploitative, because the performers are mostly really ignorant, y'know? We were in that position of being cynical, sharp, definitely anti-authoritarian, crazy people — and we didn't care about those people, y'know? So, as far as we were concerned, if they wanted to sign us, it had to be our way.”