Anthem of the Sun [Bonus Tracks]

( 3 )

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Lindsay Planer
As the second long-player by the Grateful Dead, Anthem of the Sun (1968) pushed the limits of both the music as well as the medium. General dissatisfaction with their self-titled debut necessitated the search for a methodology to seamlessly juxtapose the more inspired segments of their live performances with the necessary conventions of a single LP. Since issuing their first album, the Dead welcomed lyricist Robert Hunter into the fold -- freeing the performing members to focus on the execution and taking the music to the next level. Another addition was second percussionist Mickey Hart, whose methodical timekeeping would become a staple in the Dead's ability to stop on ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Lindsay Planer
As the second long-player by the Grateful Dead, Anthem of the Sun (1968) pushed the limits of both the music as well as the medium. General dissatisfaction with their self-titled debut necessitated the search for a methodology to seamlessly juxtapose the more inspired segments of their live performances with the necessary conventions of a single LP. Since issuing their first album, the Dead welcomed lyricist Robert Hunter into the fold -- freeing the performing members to focus on the execution and taking the music to the next level. Another addition was second percussionist Mickey Hart, whose methodical timekeeping would become a staple in the Dead's ability to stop on the proverbial rhythmic dime. Likewise, Tom Constanten (keyboards) added an avant-garde twist to the proceedings with various sonic enhancements that were more akin to John Cage and Karlheinz Stockhausen than anything else coming from the burgeoning Bay Area music scene. Their extended family also began to incorporate folks like Dan Healy -- whose non-musical contributions and innovations ranged from concert PA amplification to meeting the technical challenges that the band presented off the road as well. On this record Healy's involvement cannot be overstated, as the band were essentially given carte blanche and simultaneous on-the-job training with regards to the ins and outs of the still unfamiliar recording process. The idea to create an aural pastiche from numerous sources -- often running simultaneously -- was a radical concept that allowed consumers worldwide to experience a simulated Dead performance firsthand. One significant pattern which began developing saw the band continuing to refine the same material that they were concurrently playing live night after night prior to entering the studio. The extended "That's It for the Other One" suite is nothing short of a psychedelic roller coaster. The wild ride weaves what begins as a typical song into several divergent performances -- taken from tapes of live shows -- ultimately returning to the home base upon occasion, presumably as a built-in reality check. Lyrically, Bob Weir (guitar/vocals) includes references to their 1967 pot bust (."..the heat came 'round and busted me for smiling on a cloudy day") as well as the band's spiritual figurehead Neal Cassidy (."..there was Cowboy Neal at the wheel on a bus to never ever land"). Although this version smokes from tip to smouldering tail, the piece truly developed a persona all its own and became a rip-roaring monster in concert. The tracks "New Potato Caboose" and Weir's admittedly autobiographically titled "Born Cross-Eyed" are fascinatingly intricate side trips that had developed organically during the extended work's on-stage performance life. "Alligator" is a no-nonsense Ron "Pigpen" McKernan workout that motors the second extended sonic collage on Anthem of the Sun. His straight-ahead driving blues ethos careens headlong into the Dead's innate improvisational psychedelia. The results are uniformly brilliant as the band thrash and churn behind his rock-solid lead vocals. Musically, the Dead's instrumental excursions wind in and out of the primary theme, ultimately ending up in the equally frenetic "Caution (Do Not Stop on Tracks)." Although the uninitiated might find the album unnervingly difficult to follow, it obliterated the pretension of the post-Sgt. Pepper's "concept album" while reinventing the musical parameters of the 12" LP medium. [The expanded and remastered edition included in the Golden Road (1965-1973) (2001) box set contains a live performance from August 23, 1968, at the Shrine in Los Angeles. This miniset features an incendiary medley of "Alligator" and "Caution (Do Not Stop on Tracks)" concluding with over four minutes of electronic feedback.]
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 2/25/2003
  • Label: Rhino
  • UPC: 081227439323
  • Catalog Number: 74393
  • Sales rank: 15,104

Album Credits

Performance Credits
Grateful Dead Primary Artist
Mickey Hart Chimes, Drums, Gong, finger cymbals, Orchestra Bells, Crotale, Prepared Piano
Jerry Garcia Acoustic Guitar, Guitar, Kazoo, Vocals, Vibraslap
Bob Weir Acoustic Guitar, Rhythm Guitar, Kazoo, Vocals, 12-string Guitar
Tom Constanten Piano, Prepared Piano
Bill Kreutzmann Chimes, Drums, Gong, finger cymbals, Orchestra Bells, Crotale, Prepared Piano
Phil Lesh Bass, Piano, Trumpet, Harpsichord, Kazoo, Vocals, Timpani, Guiro
Ron "Pigpen" McKernan Organ, Celeste, Vocals, Claves
Technical Credits
Jerry Garcia Composer
Grateful Dead Arranger, Composer, Producer
Bob Weir Composer
Tom Constanten Electronic Tape
Robert Hunter Composer
James Austin Reissue Producer
Joe Gastwirt Mastering
David Hassinger Producer
Dan Healy Engineer
Bill Kreutzmann Composer
Phil Lesh Composer
Ron "Pigpen" McKernan Composer
Gary Peterson Discographical Annotation
Robert Peterson Composer
Bill Walker Cover Art
Ed Thrasher Art Direction
Lee Conklin Cover Art
Shawn Amos Liner Note Coordination
Daniel Goldmark Editorial Research
Blair Jackson Liner Notes
Michael Wesley Johnson Research Coordination
David Lemieux Reissue Producer
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 3 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    A Rainbow Of Sound

    When I first heard this album after seeing the Dead perform at Shoreline, I had to get used to extended jamming. Well, I listened to it a lot and now it's my favorite. New Potato Caboose is a very beautiful song. In my opinion, it will always be the closest thing to a poem being sung. I have never understood why many people revere Jerry Garcia as an excellent lead guitarist, yet they don't like the early stuff. This was Jerry Garcia at his primal most. If you want to hear something besides Sugar Magnolia and Truckin', buy this album. Listen to the live tracks of Alligator and Caution (Do Not Stop On Tracks) with the Feedback section. It will blow you away.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    The trippiest album every made!

    This is by far one of the trippiest and best Dead albums ever. It starts with soft guitar and organ strains that give way the frenetic monster that would become "The Other One". "New Potato Caboose" and "Born Crosseyed" are delicious gems of psychedlia that take the listener to sonic plain of existence with endless possibilities. "Aligator" and "Caution (Do Not Stop On Tracks)" are the real treat of the album. Pigpen's vocals, combined with a trippy blues performance, and electronic feeback redifine what music can be. Buy this album!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 7, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews