Exposé Online banner

Grateful Dead — Anthem of the Sun - 50th Anniversary Edition
(Rhino Records 03497-86489, 1968/2018, 2CD)

by Peter Thelen, Published 2018-08-17

Anthem of the Sun - 50th Anniversary Edition Cover art

A most important reissue in that it contains both the original 1968 mix of Anthem of the Sun, the Grateful Dead’s most psychedelic and experimental album, as well as the 1971 remix, which is the only one that has been available on compact disc up to this point. Those who have vinyl editions from prior to ’71 will have heard the original, which contains much of the chaos and experimentation right up front by then-newest band member Tom Constanten and bassist Phil Lesh, mixing studio performances with multiple live performances and and other experimental recording techniques (all detailed in the 50th Anniversary booklet), enough to drive producer Dave Hassinger to throw his hands up and walk out of the sessions. The album contains basically two long suites: “That’s It for the Other One / New Potato Caboose” on side one, and “Alligator / Caution (Do Not Step on the Tracks” filling up the entire second side of the LP, both of which would feature prominently in Dead live shows of the period, and then at the end of side one is the two-minute Bob Weir penned “Born Cross-Eyed,” which was also released as a single. After a few years and a lot more studio experience, Phil Lesh wanted to take another stab at mixing the album, with a more pronounced low end and crisper sound overall, and lessening the prominence of some of the more disorienting elements of the original. Both mixes are very cool, and here both versions of the album in their entirety are featured on disc one.

The second disc of this set is a live show from October ’67 at Winterland in San Francisco, featuring “That’s It for the Other One” and “New Potato Caboose” from the as-yet-unreleased second album, several great tunes from the first (“Morning Dew,” “Beat It on Down the Line,” and “Cold Rain and Snow”) plus “It Hurts Me Too” and “Turn on Your Lovelight,” a tune that the Grateful Dead would make their own over the course of many live shows throughout their early career. The second disc is a testament to the power that the band had when playing live, even way back in late 1967! For this live show, second drummer Mickey Hart was already part of the band (but Tom Constanten wouldn’t join until the sessions for the studio album). Jerry Garcia and Bob Weir are already displaying telepathic tendencies in some of the extended jams, with vocals shared by all band members (except the drummers). This is definitely a live show worth its weight in history alone. The packaging for the set includes a slipcase with a lenticular photo of the original cover (3D) and a booklet that describes the sessions in detail.


Filed under: Reissues, 2018 releases, 1968 recordings

Related artist(s): Grateful Dead

More info
http://www.dead.net/store/1960s/anthem-sun-50th-anniversary-deluxe-edition

Latest news

2018-09-25
Help the Psychic Equalizer Avoid Extinction – Last year we reviewed the debut album by Psychic Equalizer, a musical project of Hugo Selles. He's now working on the ambitious follow-up to that release, and is seeking funding from listeners around the world. » Read more

2018-09-05
Krautrock Documentary Seeks Funding – The next installment of the Progressive Warriors documentary series will focus on the vast body of music that falls under the banner of "krautrock." As most of our readers will know, previous films have tackled RIO and the Canterbury scene, as well as what we might call "mainstream" prog rock. » Read more

2018-07-31
Tomasz Stańko RIP – Tomasz Stańko, one of the greats of Eastern European jazz, has died at the age of 76. Stańko's career started in Krzysztof Komeda's quintet, where he contributed trumpet from 1963-1967, when he formed his own group. He worked extensively with Edward Vesala, Don Cherry, Zbigniew Seifert, Chico Freeman, Howard Johnson, Cecil Taylor, and many others. Many of his recordings have been released by ECM, an association that began in the mid-70s. » Read more

2018-07-09
Soft Machine Set to Release New Music – It's been 50 years since The Soft Machine changed the face of music with their first album. Their blend of psychedelic rock and jazz was unique, and while the band went through many changes before disbanding in 1981 — by which time there were no original members remaining — they remained an innovative force with a style all their own. » Read more

2018-07-01
7d Surfaces Happy Rhodes Back Catalog – We've covered singer Happy Rhodes before, both for her solo work and recently with The Security Project, but her 11 albums have been hard to track down. Until now. 7d features high-quality downloads of all her releases, and several of them are also available on CD. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Sándor Szabó / Kevin Kastning - Resonance & Parallel Crossings – These are two collections of duos featuring New England based Kevin Kastning and Hungarian born guitarist Sándor Szabó, the latter with a number of previous releases to his credit. The...  (2008) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues