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Released - November, 1970, Warner Bros. Records. Produced by The Grateful Dead
Jerry Garcia - Lead Guitar, Lead Vocals,
Pedal Steel Guitar, Piano, Vocal Harmonies
Additional Personnel: Dave Torbert - Bass on 'Box of Rain', Dave Nelson - Electric Guitar on 'Box of Rain', David Grisman - Mandolin on 'Friend of the Devil' & 'Ripple', Howard Wales - Organ on 'Candyman' & 'Truckin', Piano on 'Brokedown Palace', Ned Lagin - Piano on 'Candyman', New Riders Of The Purple Sage appear on 'Box of Rain'
For a band that wasn't known for their studio albums, this one stands out and is something else. The strongest and best song on the album, "Truckin", is one of the few Dead songs you might hear too much of on the radio. But my favorite song from American Beauty is Jerry Garcia's "Ripple". The tune starts out so peacefully, it never fails to put a smile on my face the minute I hear its guitars starting out.
There's two more tens on this one; "Friend Of The Devil", just love the lyrics, and Bob Weir's "Sugar Magnolia" is yet another delight! Really there isn't any song that is weak on this one, Phil Lesh's "Box Of Rain" is a great opener and Ron "Pigpen" McKernan's "Operator" is a nice little county song.
Regardless of what some may say about the Dead being lousy vocalist, I love the group's harmonies throughout this LP. Overall, this album lives up to its name, it sure is as beautful as a rose, a true beauty of an LP!
- Keno 2001
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