About Newsroom Classroom Search  

We're Grateful for the Dead
By Steph M., Grade 10, Fredericton High, Fredericton, NB

American Beauty
By Grateful Dead
Warner Bros. 1970

The second of two studio masterpieces, it leaves you with the sweet sound of musical genius echoing in your head.

The Grateful Dead consists of 6 band members. They include, Jerry Garcia who performs on the guitar, pedal steel, piano and vocals, Bob Weir on guitar as well as vocals, Phil Lesh playing the bass, guitar, piano, and vocals, Ron ``pigpen`` McKeran on the harmonica and vocals. And then there is the help by those individuals that the band could not do without, Mickey Hart doing the bands percussion, Bill Kreutzmann on the drums, and Robert Hunter the songwriter. Some other albums created by the dead are as follows, Anthem of the sun, Garcia, Aoxomoxoa, Workingman's dead, and Grateful Dead.

Their style captures you with the unique combination of all kinds of magnificent instrumental sounds, along with lyrics that make you think. It's soft but at the same time leaves you with the uncontrollable urge to get up and dance. Whether you're sitting alone, with one or a few friends, or partying at the year's concert, it suits all.

Recorded at Wally Heider Recording studios in San Francisco, C.A. the overall quality of this album is very well done. They have managed to combine soothing, exciting, excellent music with the legendary voice of Jerry Garcia.

The lyrics are beautifully written as well as spoken and sang. They're very imaginative and will leave you pondering on whatever they had previously been speaking of. The music doesn't rhyme, however it tells a story to the listener with catchy tunes in the background aiding them to success. The talk about every day occurrences and what they are thinking of. They acquire a fantastic imagination and writing abilities. Each member of the dead contributes hid own thoughts into a song that could do as much as to sink into your dreams. One song that demonstrates the unique thoughts and an interesting collaboration of opinions is ĎA Friend of the Devil', for example the sing.

"Ran into the devil baby, loaned me 20 bills, spent the night in Utah and I came up to Beverly Hills sit out runnin', but I take my time, a friend of the devil is a friend of mine."

I strongly encourage a person to invest in this album. Its nothing like the ordinary. Mellow enough for those who would rather slow music. Yet jumpy enough for those who love to dance around. Although, their music and instrumental use is quite different, some might not take to the beat and flow as well as others.



Back to Front Page