Grateful Dead - Workingman's Dead (50th Anniversary)

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While the Dead’s first three studio albums appealed to many, the group didn’t yet have the mass breakthrough that would make the entire world take notice of this band of misfits from the Bay Area. Workingman’s Dead changed all that. With eight perfect songs – like “Casey Jones” and “High Time” – the album solidified the Jerry Garcia-Robert Hunter songwriting tandem as one of the best, and most important, songwriting collaborations in music history. The album included the single “Uncle John’s Band,” which climbed to #69 on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart. 

Garcia, Bob Weir, Ron “Pigpen” McKernan, Phil Lesh, Bill Kreutzmann and Mickey Hart recorded the album in about 10 days at Pacific High Recording Studio in San Francisco with Bob Matthews and Betty Cantor – the band’s live-sound engineers – as producers. Fifty years on, every song on Workingman’s Dead sounds fresh, alive, and new. 

“Since we embarked on the series of Grateful Dead 50th anniversary releases, we've had a blast re-mastering the original albums and finding previously unreleased live material from the era for each. In 2020, we're blessed to have two albums celebrating their 50th anniversaries, and we're thrilled with how Workingman's Dead has turned out,” says David Lemieux, Grateful Dead archivist and the set’s producer. “For an album as important and great as Workingman's Dead, it seemed appropriate to double the amount of bonus material. The show we've selected gives a definitive overview of what the band were up to six months after the release of the album and shows the Dead sound that would largely define the next couple of years. From Workingman's Dead through Europe '72, the Dead's sound was Americana, and the live show included here is a workingman's band playing authentically honest music.”

Heavyweight vinyl pressed by Rhino Records in 2020. Remastered from the original analog tapes. Produced by David Lemieux.

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