Friday, April 2, 2010

Grateful Dead - Anthem Of The Sun (1971)

It's strange how many people (especially "psych" fans) tell me they "don't get the Dead". There's nothing to get, man. It's psychedelia pure & simple- in fact it's closer to the heart of real psychedelia than almost anything else. I'd say that along with The 13th Floor Elevators, no other band integrated the LSD experience into their work as openly and persistently as the Grateful Dead.

I'm not a Dead-head, and I'll probably never get into their post-Warner Bros.
stuff (I can stomach Terrapin Station, but everything after that is pretty much crapola- Go To Heaven is a cruel joke, right?), but I find myself enjoying the late 1960s (Tom Constanten-era) Dead more and more, both studio and live.

This copy I'm sharing is the 1971 re-mix that Mickey Hart did; if you're more familiar with the original you'll notice that the vocals are mixed differently- some are half-buried under the organs; some completely taken out, some boosted, etc. Basically; there are a lot of subtle differences but it's still the same record. It's as close to a live record as you can make in the studio; that's what happens when you give a bunch of lysergically-induced, stoned-out happy freaks unlimited studio time. The Dead actually ended up owing Warner a ton of money from this record; they didn't recoup it until the money started rolling in as their unstoppable tour machine gathered steam in the late '70s.

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