In Praise Of... The Grateful Dead "Anthem Of The Sun"

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Maybe I just haven't delved deeply enough into Dick's Picks and other assorted boots, but this is the pinnacle for me. Stellar guitar tones, killer percussionists, studio collaging to save us from wank, and HOOKS by god! Ain't no sissyass Workingman's Dead or American Beauty, more streamlined than Live Dead. Total classic.

Ian John50n (orion), Monday, 6 June 2005 16:34 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

Hippie. Oh wait.

Ned Raggett (Ned), Monday, 6 June 2005 16:36 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

If you're looking for a good live companion for that era, Two from the Vault is a good one. Or this one:

Tripmaker (SDWitzm), Monday, 6 June 2005 16:52 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

Guys, why u break heart all time?

Ian John50n (orion), Tuesday, 7 June 2005 16:53 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

Oh fuck/ Ian, are you SAERIOUS?

A Viking of Some Note (Andrew Thames), Tuesday, 7 June 2005 16:55 (fourteen years ago) Permalink


Ian John50n (orion), Tuesday, 7 June 2005 17:08 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

I would definitely get Two From the Vault if you like this. But the beauty of Anthem of the Sun is all the crazy effects during That's It for The Other One, which they never really produced live quite the same (though TC does get some awesome sounds from his prepared piano or whatever it's called). Plus, this has some cool as shit horn sounds on it.

I don't know that I accept the argument that this is more streamlined than Live/Dead, though. In what way?

Scott CE (Scott CE), Tuesday, 7 June 2005 17:45 (fourteen years ago) Permalink


Get one brane, moran.

Scratch and Sniff, Tuesday, 7 June 2005 18:49 (fourteen years ago) Permalink


Ian John50n (orion), Tuesday, 7 June 2005 19:23 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

Little red dot with white x through it?

Scratch and Sniff, Tuesday, 7 June 2005 19:29 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

shows for me, captain underpants.

Ian John50n (orion), Tuesday, 7 June 2005 19:33 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

I'm really not familiar enough w/studio Dead; I've spent lots of time w/the live stuff though and have to second Two from the Vault in a big way--it's streamlined aplenty but still fairly ragged in a good way. But Live/Dead has always been my fave.

Matos-Webster Dictionary (M Matos), Tuesday, 7 June 2005 19:35 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

Now that I looked in the code... Precisely the image I was thinking of.

Scratch and Sniff, Tuesday, 7 June 2005 19:38 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

"Born Cross-Eyed" is probably my favorite Bob Weir song.

Tripmaker (SDWitzm), Tuesday, 7 June 2005 19:43 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

It's weird, I think I hate that douche Bob Weird until I realize he sings a lot of my favorites. Sometimes, he sounds like such a dipshit I don't recognize him in the good songs when he doesn't sound like a dipshit.

Scratch and Sniff, Tuesday, 7 June 2005 19:51 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

i like it.

Amon (eman), Wednesday, 8 June 2005 04:00 (fourteen years ago) Permalink


pretty much otm. (note "a lot" ain't "all.") the original mix is definitely the shit.

el sabor de gene (yournullfame), Wednesday, 8 June 2005 05:49 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

Purely on a whim, I recently rented the Dead's 'Closing of Winterland" DVD, even achieved the proper altered state to watch it. Crap singing, crap playing, just... crap.

(PBS was showing "The Grateful Dead Movie" during their fundraiser a couple nights ago, though, and there were a few parts of that I quite enjoyed.)

Daniel Peterson (polkaholic), Wednesday, 8 June 2005 13:55 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

Anthem of the Sun is from a different universe than either of those films, both of which I think pretty much suck. That's just not my favorite era of the band.
I can understand the urge to call Live/Dead sprawling. It's got three side-long jams! I love it to death, though. Well, I'll admit that I find myself skipping "Turn on your Lovelight" more often than the rest.

Tripmaker (SDWitzm), Wednesday, 8 June 2005 14:00 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

Heh heh, the "Lovelight" side is my favourite! I find most of the rest kinda sleepy - not enough sustained forward motion for my tastes.

Anthem is my Dead pick too, especially the remastered one with the alternate takes of "Alligator" and "Caution". But even that LP isn't terribly mindblowing, considering it's supposedly their most psychedelic. It's kinda weird to learn that their catalogue is pretty sedate, considering they're supposedly the grandfathers of psychedelia. Many contemporaries of theirs were far weirder. (Not a putdown, just an observation.)

Myonga Von Bontee (Myonga Von Bontee), Wednesday, 8 June 2005 16:41 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

When was Anthem released? '67?

Anyway, to what Myonga said ... if 'catalog' = studio releases, then I can understand. The live performances from that period were pretty consistently wild, at least in a late-60s context. Even past the R&B numbers like Lovelight, the would still find spaces in their shows to get a little weird (Other Ones, feedback jams, etc.). And once they learned what to do with Playing in the Band, there are some seriously wild Playings (the Dicks Picks from Boston '73 is a perfect example). etc. etc., but yeah, a band like Phish seemed to get a little more wilder (probably b/c they tend to keep a tighter groove and build together; w/ GD, you hear a little something more amorphous).

Suzy Creemcheese (SuzyCreemcheese), Wednesday, 8 June 2005 18:39 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

the last halves of New Potato Caboose and Alligator have some damn beautiful guitar playing. and the bonus alternate take of Born Cross-Eyed (not listed on the cd for some reason???) beats the album version.

Amon (eman), Friday, 10 June 2005 03:01 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

(PBS was showing "The Grateful Dead Movie" during their fundraiser a couple nights ago, though, and there were a few parts of that I quite enjoyed.)

-- Daniel Peterson (dcpeterso...), June 8th, 2005 10:55 AM.

i caught that awhile back on PBS and not knowing what it was, just assumed it was the Winterland thing. in any case, it was pretty fun to watch. there was one scene of this hot hot hot scantily clad hippy girl dancing in front of a security guard with a shit-eating grin on his face.

Amon (eman), Friday, 10 June 2005 03:07 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

I think that's Phil Lesh on brass in that Born Crosseyed.

Suzy Creemcheese (SuzyCreemcheese), Friday, 10 June 2005 06:09 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

I'm sure you're right about those live performances Suzy - I've just got a more limited definition of "psychedelic". In my mind, it's a term used specifically for RECORDED music, altered by studio trickery into something entirely new, different, disorienting, something you wouldn't have heard in "real" time. Anthem is surely the most studio-concocted Dead LP, but that doesn't necessarily make it the most psychedelic - except in my own lazy personal definition of the term. (And the fact that much of it consists of actual literal LIVE recordings makes my reasoning look even flimsier!)

Myonga Von Bontee (Myonga Von Bontee), Friday, 10 June 2005 20:38 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

Yes, that is Lesh; apparently, he was a trumpet virtuoso or something. Anthem remains my favorite Dead album.

Joe (Joe), Saturday, 11 June 2005 03:28 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

Well, I think Lesh started out on trumpet (maybe another brass; i forget). Didn't start playing bass until about a week before GD played their first show ('65). He was more of a composer at that point I think (studied w/ Berio in the early 60s; wrote some spacially-interesting comps during the time). His bass-playing in 73-74 is some of my all-time favorite bass, anyone, any time. I don't know what it is, but, during some of those Dark Stars and Playings, he plays some of the strangest bass lines that I've ever heard.

Understood about the 'psychedelic'. I think our understanding might be colored a bit by the fact that we have 30 years of studio advances at work. I'm sure when Anthem came out, it sounded a bit strange.

God I forgot how much I love GD ... time to go over to OiNK and start snatching up Dick's Picks (including the Volume 12 set that I scratched up).

Suzy Creemcheese (SuzyCreemcheese), Saturday, 11 June 2005 06:59 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

I thought Bobby Weir in his short shorts might spark some sexy discussion.

Suzy Creemcheese (SuzyCreemcheese), Saturday, 11 June 2005 07:16 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

one month passes...
This is pretty fantastic, and I also usually don't like the Dead (though I'm getting softer on them).

Almost seems to complete a trilogy with two other albums I have in heavy rotation right now -- Miles Davis's "On the Corner" and Can's "Ege Bamyasi"

Hurting (Hurting), Tuesday, 26 July 2005 01:29 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

Not that it's really that applicable to this discussion, but Miles Davis actually opened up for the Dead during one of their tours, either late 60s or early 70s. all of the GD guys were fans, and from what I remember reading, MDavis blew them off the stage.

Suzy Creemcheese (SuzyCreemcheese), Tuesday, 26 July 2005 02:04 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

Hardly surprising.

T/S: Mickey Hart vs. Tony Willams wouldn't be much of a thread (or substitute Jack DeJohnnette depending on when)

Hurting (Hurting), Tuesday, 26 July 2005 02:05 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

hahaha. actually i've warmed to the dead's drummers over the years (esp. bill k.) but TW or JdeJ w/one hand tied behind his back...

m coleman (lovebug starski), Tuesday, 26 July 2005 09:28 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

this album is fantastic

huell howser (chaki), Tuesday, 26 July 2005 09:43 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

Anthem is a good one. So differant than the other studio albums
I'm a huge Dead fan
You must pick up some of the Dick's Picks volumes. Volumes 4, 19, 28, 29 are great ones off the top of my head.

meister, Tuesday, 26 July 2005 10:55 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

Wow, "Other One" is so, like, trippy at the end! And the math-rock part is really awesome too -- "Comin', Comin', Com-in-a-round (comin' around) com-in-a-round (comin around)"

Hurting (Hurting), Thursday, 28 July 2005 04:00 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

Ah, it's tough to think of some Dick's Picks that aren't good (except for the Richmond '85 DP). I've always loved DP 12 and whichever is the 4-disc Boston '73, where the first disc begins w/ a Morning Dew and the last disc ends w/ a Morning Dew.

bill k. was always my favorite GD drummer - thought his style mixed perfectly w/ their style in the early 70s. There isn't anything ostensibly wrong w/ Micky Hart, but man, he's one cheesy d00d.

Suzy Creemcheese (SuzyCreemcheese), Thursday, 28 July 2005 12:06 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

four weeks pass...
And touching makes the flesh to cry out looooooouuuud.

Ian John50n (orion), Thursday, 25 August 2005 04:14 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

eleven years pass...

There's no better album for a rainy day than this IMO

rudy githyanki (GOTT PUNCH II HAWKWINDZ), Thursday, 15 December 2016 20:55 (two years ago) Permalink

two years pass...

Ugh, the Lesh 1971 mix is pretty bad, glad I never heard that version first.

MaresNest, Wednesday, 9 January 2019 01:25 (five months ago) Permalink

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