Grateful Dead - The Golden RoadGrateful Dead - Anthem of the Sun

Grateful Dead
Golden Road (1965-1973)


Part Three: Anthem of the Sun

The Music Box's #1 specialty package for 2001

First Appeared in The Music Box, February 2002, Volume 9, #2

Written by John Metzger


Anthem of the Sun

After spending only four days to record its first album, the Grateful Dead took six months to compile its follow-up. But what a project it turned out to be: a compilation of live and studio recordings merged together into a magnificent sonic suite that showcased the band's adventurous nature, its unbridled creativity, and its fiery passion.

Released in July 1968, Anthem of the Sun demonstrated exactly why the Grateful Dead had risen so quickly to the top of the Bay Area music scene. And of all the albums that comprise The Golden Road (1965-1973), it very well may be the album that benefits the most from the recent remastering. Gone are the murky atmospherics that plagued the original vinyl as well as early CD incarnations. With crystal-clear clarity, the four movements of Thatís It for the Other One now swirl from speaker to speaker like a three-dimensional assault on the senses. Sounds ebb and flow as the band shifts from folk ballad to relentlessly propelled rock, only to spiral out to deep space before landing squarely in the majestic strains of New Potato Caboose. This is the album the way it was always meant to be heard, and as such Anthem of the Sun can now take its rightful place alongside Live/Dead, Workingmanís Dead, and American Beauty.

As for the bonus material, one canít do better than the alternative second side of Anthem of the Sun featured here. Recorded in concert just a month after the release of the album, itís once again easy to see the direction in which the Grateful Dead were heading ó towards lengthier improvisational jams that mirrored what Miles Davis was accomplishing with the jazz idiom. Here, Alligator, Caution (Do Not Stop on Tracks), and Feedback fuse together to form nearly 35 minutes of blissful, heady music, perfect for dancing, dreaming, psychedelic self-exploration, and healing. starstarstarstarstar


This is the third installment of a nine part series, which
will examine
The Golden Road (1965-1973) album by album. The
entire set is rated:


The Golden Road (1965-1973)

Part One: Birth of the Dead

Part Two: The Grateful Dead

Part Four: Aoxomoxoa

Part Five: Live Dead

Part Six: Workingman's Dead / American Beauty

Part Seven: Grateful Dead

Part Eight: Europe '72

Part Nine: History of the Grateful Dead, Vol. 1 (Bear's Choice)


Anthem of the Sun is available from Barnes & Noble.
To order, Click Here!

Anthem of the Sun is also part of the box set Golden Road (1965-1973),
which is available from Barnes & Noble.
To order, Click Here!



1 Star: Pitiful
2 Stars: Listenable
3 Stars: Respectable
4 Stars: Excellent
5 Stars: Can't Live Without It!!


Copyright © 2002 The Music Box