1001 Albums You Must Hear (and Blog about) Before You Die

My attempt to blog all of the entries from the book 1001 Albums to Hear Before You Die

803. American Beauty – The Grateful Dead


Brief Background: American Beauty was recorded through August and September of 1970 and was released in November of that year.

What I think: I wouldn’t call myself a Dead fan, and I’m certainly no fan of their live performances, but this is actually really good. It’s sort of a Byrds, The Band and CSN&Y hybrid, although the vocals aren’t nearly as good as either The Byrds or CSN&Y.

My favorites here are “Friend of the Devil”, “Ripple” and “Till the Morning Comes” although there really isn’t a bad track here. (“Candyman” isn’t the greatest, but I wouldn’t call it bad.) Though the standout of all of them is “Attics of My Life” with its three (four?) part harmony. Truly a beautiful song.

To me what this album really shows is that when these guys used some restraint in the studio and everything was working on all cylinders, they really were a great group of musicians.


Do I agree or disagree with the writers as to this being an album you must listen to? There is no doubt that this should be here, it’s a really wonderful album.

Rating (Out of 5): 4.5

Amazon Review (Out of 5): 4.5

Is this my first time hearing this album? Yes (154/199)

Percentage of Albums that are new to me: 77%


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This entry was posted on April 24, 2015 by and tagged , , , , , .

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