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Grateful Dead American Beauty'
American BeautyRanked 258/500 on Rolling Stone Magazine's 500 Greatest Albums of All Time.
Widely regarded as the Grateful Dead's studio masterpiece, 1970's American Beauty is a further refinement of the roots direction the band undertook with Workingman's Dead which was released earlier the same year. Includes some of the Dead's best-known material in Sugar Magnolia, Friend Of The Devil, Ripple, Box of Rain and Truckin.1. Box Of Rain
2. Friend Of The Devil
3. Sugar Magnolia
7. Brokedown Palace
8. Till The Morning Comes
9. Attics Of My Life
10. Truckin'$24.99180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
American BeautyThe Most American Folk-Rock Ever Made: Indelible Harmonies, Spare Playing, and Gorgeous Textures Surround Masterfully Crafted Songs
Close Your Eyes As the Dead Serenade You in Your Room: MoFi Edition of American Beauty Epitomizes Realistic Space, Vocals, Instrumentation, and Ambience
Ranked #261 on Rolling Stone's List of the 500 Greatest Albums of All Time: Includes "Truckin'," "Sugar Magnolia," "Friend of the Devil," "Ripple"
American Beauty is the most perfectly realized, superbly played, and openly natural folk-rock record ever released. They don't make albums like this anymore, but thankfully, Mobile Fidelity's extraordinary 180g 45RPM 2LP set allows you to experience this 1970 masterpiece with unrivaled intimacy, realism, detail, and perspective. The Dead might as well be sitting on a Persian carpet right in your living room.
The pinnacle of the Dead's studio output, American Beauty lives up to its name-as well as that of the "American Reality" ambigram on the iconic cover. Airy vocal harmonies blow like fresh breezes. Strummed acoustic guitars amicably intermingle with plaintive percussive beats. Warmth, relaxation, and poignancy envelop the performances and create sensations of bliss, peace, and honesty. Songs flower with majestic melodies and emotionally direct lyrics. It's a rare album that invites and makes you feel, restores one's faith, and renews one's appreciation for all life offers.
Mastered from the original master tapes and pressed on 180g LP at RTI, this deluxe analog set possesses seemingly limitless dynamics, reference-grade presence, and expansive soundstages. The seamless, effortless integration of the group's vocals has always been a high point of American Beauty, and when you hear it here, you'll want every record you own to sound half as good. Every member's distinctive singing resounds with tube-like clarity; the intended expressionism is as plain as day. Instruments, too, resonate in glorious Technicolor. The supple tension of Phil Lesh's bass lines, charismatic timbres of Jerry Garcia's pedal-steel fills, and interwoven dialogue between the pianos and percussion are rendered with lifelike scale and tone.
Made just months after its companion release, Workingman's Dead, the San Francisco legends' second 1970 masterpiece furthers the former work's close-knit relationship between country and folk while adding extra rock and bluegrass currents. Understated amplified passages, graceful melodies, layered singing, and old-time string flavors-including mandolin work from masterful guest David Grisman-bestow the material with easygoing, comfortable vibes. Again taking advantage of the best songwriting of Robert Hunter's career, the Dead turns in its most collective studio performance, with every individual contributing equally and focusing on nothing but the songs at hand.
Indeed, Garcia doesn't even indulge in a single guitar solo on the record. A majority of fare lacks any significant instrumental breaks. The Dead recorded the foundations (drums, bass, acoustic guitars) of nearly every track live, which helps explain why American Beauty sounds so powerfully rich and clear. Coupled with the band's personal reflections of the circumstances surrounding them-Bob Weir's parents had died, Garcia's mother and Lesh's father were in the process of passing, Ron "Pigpen" McKernan's health was in decline-these characteristics combined to yield a purity of heart that exceeds that managed by Dead peers (and roots revivalist leaders) The Band and Bob Dylan.
From Garcia's breathtaking gospel-laden homage to his mother ("Brokedown Palace") to Lesh's healing salve in the form of the groove-based "Box of Rain," from Weir's jaunty and free-wheeling summer escape "Sugar Magnolia" to McKernan's eloquently simple homespun plea "Operator," all the way to the closing autobiographical anthem "Truckin'," American Beauty feels like the warm, spirit-infusing embrace of a loved one after a long journey away. Welcome home.
This title is not eligible for discount.1. Box of Rain
2. Friend of the Devil
3. Sugar Magnolia
7. Brokedown Palace
8. Till the Morning Comes
9. Attics of My Life
10. Truckin'$49.99180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP 45RPM - 2 LPs Sealed Buy Now
Europe '72Nearly 40 years ago, the Grateful Dead released Europe '72, a triple live album documenting its historic trek across Europe that became not only one of the band's best-selling releases, but also set the gold standard for live Dead.
The Grateful Deads first tour outside of North America took them to all sorts of historic and unusual venues in England, Denmark, West Germany, France, Holland and even Luxembourg. Many members of the Dead family came along on what was really an extended working vacation that was designed to both expose the Dead to new audiences and also reward the band for their unlikely conquest of America during the preceding two years. As a hedge against the costs of the nearly two-month trip, the Deads label, Warner Bros., paid for the band to lug around a 16-track recorder to capture the entire tour.
This was a band at the top of its game, still ascending in the wake of three straight hit albums: Workingmans Dead, American Beauty and the live Grateful Dead (Skull & Roses). It had been a year since the lineup had gone to its single-drummer configuration, six months since Keith Godchaux had been broken in as the groups exceptional pianist, and this marked the first tour to feature Donna Godchaux as a member of the touring band. This would also be Pigpen's final tour with the band.
There was a ton of new, unreleased material that came into the repertoire in the fall of 71 (after Skull & Roses was out) and during the spring of 72, including Tennessee Jed, Jack Straw, Hes Gone, Ramble on Rose, One More Saturday Night and Mr. Charlie. All those future classics were interspersed with songs from the aforementioned hit albums such as Cumberland Blues and Sugar Magnolia, as well as spectacular versions of Truckin and I Know You Rider.LP1
1. Cumberland Blues (Live in England 1972 Version)
2. He's Gone (Live in Amsterdam 1972 Version)
3. One More Saturday Night (Live in England 1972 Version)
4, Jack Straw (Live in Paris 1972 Version)
5. You Win Again (Live in England 1972 Version)
6. China Cat Sunflower (Live in Paris 1972 Version)
7. I Know You Rider (Live in Paris 1972 Version)
1. Brown-Eyed Woman (Live in Denmark 1972 Version)
2. Hurts Me Too (Live in London 1972 Version)
3. Ramble On Rose (Live in England 1972 Version)
4. Sugar Magnolia (Live in Paris 1972 Version)
5. Mr. Charlie (Live in England 1972 Version)
6. Tennessee Jed (Live in Paris 1972 Version)
1. Truckin' (Live in London 1972 Version)
2. Epilogue (Live in England 1972 Version)
3. Prelude (Live in England 1972 Version)
4. Morning Dew (Live in England 1972 Version)$59.99180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP - 3 LPs Sealed Buy Now
CrossroadsThe first-ever reissue of the private-press country-rock rarity by Colorado auto body painter, Marine,
and garage band lifer Kenny Knight-he played in the original `60s Black Flag-Crossroads recalls
a homebrew American Beauty-era Grateful Dead in its world-weary, low-key mood and indelible
songwriting. Faded, anxious, melancholy, and beautifully woozy, this out-of-time document belies its
1980 release date. Produced in collaboration with Numero Group, it features liner notes by writer
and collector Michael Klausman and Kenny himself.1. Does He Hide
2. One Down
3. All My Memories
4. Carry Me Down
6. To Be Free
7. Baby's Back
8. You Can Tell Me I'm Wrong
10. America$23.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
ADAD-AST-9614xDots Will Echo
Drunk Is The New Sober/Stupid Is The New DumbDrunk Is The New Sober and Stupid Is The New Dumb are the twin subtitles of Drunk & Stupid, Dots Will Echo's debut album on Asthmatic Kitty, but those aren't just arch witticisms, they encapsulate the apparent contradictions that power the New Jersey duo's music. The warmly weird world created by multi-instrumentalist Nick Berry and drummer Kurt Biroc seems simultaneously sacred and profane, edgy and accessible, sad and transcendently silly. What else would you expect from a group that describes itself as "dour moralizers and drunken assholes" and identifies its key influences as "A little bit The Incredible String Band, a little bit AC/DC?"
"I can see the carnival lights from here," sings Berry in a half-crazed, half-elated tone at the beginning of the opening track, "I Like It," sounding like either a psychotic infatuated with his own attractive fantasy world or a genius inventor marveling at the luminous landscape he's created. It's up to the listener to decide which, but either way it's 100% Dots Will Echo.
Everything on Drunk & Stupid was played by Berry and Biroc, with the basic tracks recorded in a single marathon, three-day session. "I meant this to be a very raw recording, capturing the way we sound live," says Berry, who plays everything from guitars and keyboards to Autoharp, glockenspiel, and Andean charango over the course of the album, as he and Biroc build their own beautifully ramshackle universe from the ground up before your very ears.
"A poorly played violin can sound better than a well played piano," says Berry half-jokingly of the organic, offhand feel of the tracks. From the first moment, Drunk & Stupid makes the listener a fly on the wall for a day in the life of Dots Will Echo, with snatches of goofy studio chatter interspersed between tunes. The bit that leads into the crooked campfire singalong "I'm a Monkey" is particularly telling, as Berry spontaneously announces, "I want to try a song I dreamt the other night," Biroc disapprovingly asks, "In the studio?" and Berry blithely counters, "Yeah, why not?"
In fact, Berry dreams a large percentage of his songs. "Some are stupid, but I let 'em fly anyway," he says self-deprecatingly, "but the really stupid ones, nobody's ever gonna hear." By the time they enter our waking world, Berry's tunes bear trace elements of psychedelia, power pop, field-recording folk, DIY post-punk, and tantalizingly trashy garage rock (the duo does in fact rehearse in Biroc's garage). "What You Tryin' To Do," for instance, comes off like Sister Lovers-era Big Star recording for Harry Smith's Anthology of American Folk Music, while the giddy blastoff of "Rocket Girl" evokes early XTC covered by Guided By Voices, and the fragile, almost-ominous beauty of the hushed, acoustic ballad "Gates of Eden" feels like the greatest song Neil Young never wrote for Galaxie 500.
The black humor that inhabits an impressive amount of real estate in the Dots Will Echo neighborhood isn't the whistling-through-the-graveyard variety, but rather the kind that finds all of creation to be a bit of a knee-slapper. Like the great writers in every medium, Berry finds the human dilemma a source of endless hilarity, even though you can always hear the big, gently bruised heart beating at the core of every song on Drunk & Stupid. Berry sounds like an amphetamine-fueled tour guide as he walks us through a field of mankind's folly on "Seven Deadly Sins," his loopy lyrics punctuated by Captain Beefheart-esque bursts of six-string cubism.
Even when things get apocalyptic, as on the minimalist stomp of the cautionary "Shitstorm," Berry exhibits so much obvious glee in announcing the impending arrival of the titular phenomenon that you can't help singing "there's a shitstorm coming" right along with him and bobbing your head randomly to the track's triumphantly spastic anti-groove. The deceptively mellow-sounding anthem of global dystopia "History's Grave" was written in early 2008, but Berry notes, "Since then many of the events mentioned or alluded to have come to pass. This made me feel a little bit like a character in a Stephen King novel."
At the same time, Drunk & Stupid sports songs like "Be a Friend" and "So Deep the Night," lambent, low-key ballads that balance between bittersweet and unabashedly sentimental without ever turning mawkish. On these tracks, the Lennon-like undertone in Berry's voice rises to the top of the mix, tapping into an almost spiritual vibe and making for some of the most undeniably poignant moments on the album.
Berry and Biroc, who also work together at the same day job (the drummer is Berry's boss), have been making music together since 2004, hashing out their ideas in Biroc's garage and documenting them in Berry's basement studio. Along the way, they've made unofficial micro-pressings of their work, mostly for passing around to friends and admirers in an ad hoc fashion, but Drunk & Stupid represents the first time the duo's freewheeling work has ever been properly presented to the public at large as a full-on album. With all the material the prolific pair has been stockpiling, they had a huge tally of tunes to haul along with them for this project, and hearing it is a little like stumbling for the first time into a lost world with a long legacy of its own rituals, relics, regalia, and history. But once you wander in, you can't imagine how you ever existed without it.
Originally meant to be two separate discs (the vinyl version is a double LP with download codes for bonus tracks), Drunk & Stupid is a wild ride that clocks in at just under 80 minutes and boasts 19 songs overflowing with insanely catchy melodies, endearingly off-kilter arrangements, and a strangely satisfying blend of the divine and the absurd." As Berry says, "We try to allow for the will of the universe to have a large part in our music. There must be something sacred in mistakes. This is our explanation for being fuck-ups."1. Untitled
2. I Like It
3. Untitled II
4. I'm a Monkey
6. Be a Friend
7. Whatcha Tryin to Do
8. Rocket Girls
10. Run Away Anna
11. History's Grave
12. Sweet Sweet Sanity
14. Who Left You Here
15. The Future
16. Untitled III
17. Peace in Your Life
18. Our Little Part of the World
19. Untitled IV
20. Gates of Eden
21. Visions of Light
22. Seven Deadly Sins
23. So Deep the Night$24.99Vinyl LP - 2 LPs Sealed Buy Now
The Cookbook (Pre-Order)With The Cookbook, the innovative Missy Elliott proves to the masses she is a musical mad scientist whose artistic abilities are unparalleled and without peer. Elliott is a quadruple threat: rapper, singer, songwriter and producer; add that to her woman-empowered lyrics and Missy's ability to be a musical and mental role model is inarguable. As a producer, Missy Elliott knows how to build a great project by incorporating the best talent available, an easy task since so many want to work with her. Not surprisingly, The Cookbook is filled with a world-class guest list.
That very large list includes American Idol winner Fantasia , cRunk&B queen Ciara , old-school rapper Slick Rick , dancehall sensation M.I.A. (on the drumline-heavy Bad Man) and the current queen of soul, Mary J. Blige . In a reversal of roles, My Struggles finds Missy singing Ya'll don't really know my life, y'all don't really know my struggles while Mary J. raps over a sample of herself from What's The 411. One unexpected surprise is Missy sings out more than on previous releases. The bare-bones Remember When is a definite standout, a 70's-inspired slow jam highlighted by her honest lyrics, sweet falsetto and jazz-affected tones. The beautiful melancholy of Teary Eyed is another standout, an amen-inducing testament to a relationship gone wrong and the beginning of the healing process.
To hear Missy sing with full rawness and no bravado is a further testament to her talents and will likely bring an even larger audience into her fold. - Denise Sheppard1. Joy
3. Irresistible Delicious
4. Lose Control
5. My Struggles
7. On & On
8. We Run This
9. Remember When
10. 4 My Man
11. Can't Stop
12. Teary Eyed
14. Click Clack
15. Time And Time Again
16. Bad Man$24.99Vinyl LP - 2 LPs Sealed PRE-ORDER Buy Now
Babel (Out Of Stock)
Babel follows the 2009 release of Mumford & Sons' debut album, Sigh No More. It is produced by Markus Dravs.
Fantastic 4 Star review from American Songwriter!
There are some guitar sounds so indelibly stuck into our collective pop-consciousness that even those who can't tell a minor from a major chord can identify the band or player from just a few riffs -a dreamy John Lennon lick, the cosmic climb of Joe Perry, Slash's slash, Nirvana's fuzzy-barre rips, the post-punk fury of Sonic Youth. Now, the chugging, kinetic strum of Mumford & Sons is slowly creeping onto this revered list - not born out of extreme skill or virtuosity but by sheer branding, note for note. And it's how the band's second album, Babel, opens on the title track: with that same very strum, born somewhere between English mountain folk and an old time Appalachia. You can nearly hear the sweat flying off Marcus Mumford, his Martin instrument hiked high on his chest, every time he and banjo player Winston Marshall attack their strings.
So it's no coincidence, it seems, that the band's highly anticipated sophomore record begins exactly where we might expect, and the rest of LP that follows proves that this isn't an attempt to smash any expectations with a sudden progression of their style. For those devotees looking for the Mumfords to evolve drastically, well, you're out of luck. But who would that audience be, anyway? The band is no doubt polarizing: old time and bluegrass faithfuls wouldn't be caught dead with a copy of Sigh No More, and their most ardent followers are more likely to have an iPod stocked with Coldplay and John Mayer than Bill Monroe or Doc Watson. Even pop addicts can't deny the catchy craft of "Little Lion Man" or "The Cave." No one is looking for their Kid A. Thus Babel's not a new sentence in the book of Mumford & Sons - it's what happens after an ellipses. And in many ways, that suits them just fine. It will most definitely suit their fans.
Marcus Mumford has always been a bit of a melancholy fellow, and even a marriage to pixie-haired starlet Carey Mulligan, sold-out shows and Grammy nominations haven't shaken the teary introspection from this set of songs. Obviously, Babel deals in a lot of religious imagery and lyrics - with all the success and opportunities to indulge, it seems the boys have taken a moment to ask a few questions of their maker. "This cup of yours tastes holy/but a brush with the devil can clear your mind," Mumford sings on the second track "Whispers in the Dark." It's an anthem call with a firm statement: "I'm a cad but I'm not a I'm not a fraud / I set out to serve the lord." Maybe the trials and tribulations of being simultaneously loved and harangued have worn on the Mumford's, but at least they can prove to themselves, their audience or even their lord that this stuff comes from the heart.
The album's single, "I Will Wait," is an easy crowd-pleaser moment with an arena-ready hushed chorus, set to those furious strings. The lyric and melody could easily be a Fray song if you removed the plucking banjo -and that's the amazing thing about Mumford & Sons. Purists aside, there's no one else that can get an audience from ages eight to eighty screaming along to a bunch of acoustic instruments or urge a kid to choose guitar lessons over computer games. Every time they perform - live or on Babel - they do it with sheer fervor, as if it's both their first and last time.
While the band is mostly known for their "Americana" sound, they also pull references from their side of the pond: from both classic British countryside folk and Celtic punk bands like The Pogues. Those influences run a little more clear on Babel - "Ghosts That We Knew" and "Reminder" are both soft, melancholy stunners born out of grassy hills and cockney-tinged tales told in wood-paneled bars. And "Broken Crown" is the boys at their angriest yet: "I'll never be your chosen one," Mumford sings lightly before launching into an all-out war over minstrel plucks. It's a force of a song, and not your firmest pick nor hard-earned callous could weather that storm.
Babel has some other unexpected moments, too, like on "Hopeless Wanderer," which begins with keys instead of strum, and "Lover of the Light" is a sunnier moment, perhaps a nod to the singer's recent vows ("to have and to hold," Mumford howls on the track). And the album's closer, "Not Without Haste," is a beautiful lullaby meant more for singing a restless man to sleep than a still-innocent child.
There's also a continuation of the Mumford's love of literary references, with the boys even copping recently to ripping a line from Hilary Mantel's Wolf Hall - this is the band, after all, that was able to loop Macbeth's fateful cry of "stars, hide your fires" into their rollicking song "Roll Away Your Stone." So while the album title, Babel, is most likely a biblical reference, it's hard not to think of Jorge Louis Borges' short story, The Library of Babel. In it Borges imagines a universe composed of an endless library that contains every book in every possible permutation, and, therefore, nothing at all. This excess causes great despair for people of the library as they try to search for meaning in all of it. They fret. They come up empty.
Babel may not hold all the answers, and it may not be some exotic transformation of their original formula - it's a safe bet to say that nothing from the Mumford & Sons may ever be. In The Library of Babel, the final realization that everything repeats itself is the universe's saving grace. And in Babel, you could say the same. Though there may not be endless possibilities, there's comfort - elegance, even - in that familiar, now nearly iconic rip of those strings, strummed in the way only those boys from West London can strum. It's not perfect, but it's perfectly Mumford & Sons.1. Babel
2. Whispers In The Dark
3. I Will Wait
4. Holland Road
5. Ghosts That We Knew
6. Lover Of The Light
7. Lovers' Eyes
9. Hopeless Wanderer
10. Broken Crown
11. Below My Feet
12. Not With Haste$16.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Temporarily out of stock