Grateful Dead fans can start the weekend early, as RHINO has released American Beauty: The Angel’s Share celebrating the 50th anniversary of the band’s seminal 1970 studio album. Similar to the Workingman’s Dead: The Angel’s Share which arrived earlier this year, the new 56-track album released on Thursday welcomes fans into the recording studio with a fly-on-the-wall perspective on the recording sessions for songs that ended up on American Beauty.
A statement shared with the album’s release reads,
Together, we’ll hear never-before-heard studio recordings and between-song antics compiled from dozens of recently discovered 16-track reels, including multiple outtakes for several album tracks along with demos for every song on the album (except “Box Of Rain”) plus one for “To Lay Me Down,” which was later included on Jerry Garcia’s first solo album, GARCIA.
Like its predecessor, the latest incarnation of THE ANGEL’S SHARE was made possible by the tireless work of engineer Brian Kehew and archivist Mike Johnson who – operating under the supervision of Grateful Dead legacy manager David Lemieux – spent countless hours compiling and piecing the reels together to create this revelatory experience.
The lengthy album opens with 10 demos that were recorded in August 1970 at Pacific High Recording Studio, and continues with a mix of partial and complete takes from the sessions including “Friend Of The Devil”, “Ripple”, and “Operator”, along with an alternate mix of “Truckin’” and a different version of “Candyman”. Some of these never-before-heard outtakes and alternate recordings have already been heavily featured in the second season of The Good Ol’ Grateful Deadcast which arrived late last month. RHINO will release the official American Beauty 50th anniversary reissue on multiple formats later this month on Friday, October 30th.
Stream the new album in full below.
Grateful Dead – American Beauty: The Angel’s Share
The forthcoming American Beauty reissue will also include the Dead’s February 18, 1971 performance at The Capitol Theatre in Port Chester, NY. The performance that night saw and heard the Dead debut a mix of songs that would remain in their arsenal for years to come including “Wharf Rat”, “Playing In The Band”, “Bertha”, “Greatest Story Ever Told”, and “Loser”. Additionally, keyboardist Ned Lagin who played piano on “Candyman” sat in with the band for the February 1971 show.
All editions for the American Beauty 50th anniversary deluxe reissue are available for pre-order here.