For a band that never really cared much about album sales or perfecting the craft of playing a song perfectly in unison, the surviving members of the Grateful Dead are certainly embracing the album reissue as they enter their twilight years. The band, which broke up back in 1995 following the death of Jerry Garcia, announced the upcoming release of Anthem Of The Sun: 50th Anniversary Deluxe Edition on Tuesday, which is set to arrive on July 13 on Rhino Records.
The album was initially released back on July 18, 1968, and is still considered by Deadheads as one of the prime studio recordings of the band in their earlier, psychedelic years. According to the album's pre-order page on the band's website, the two-disc deluxe edition of the album will include “newly remastered sound,” in addition to a bonus disc containing a previously unreleased live recording. Vinyl-loving fans will have the opportunity to purchase a limited edition 12-inch LP picture disc, with only 10,000 copies set to be pressed. The “live recording” will be pulled from a show at the, now closed, Winterland in San Francisco back on Oct. 22, 1967. According to the website, longtime Grateful Dead audio engineer Jeffrey Norman “remastered the first known recording of the Grateful Dead with drummer Mickey Hart,” who had just joined the band as its additional rhythm player just a month prior.
The band’s well-known archivist, David Lemieux, added his own two cents on the Deluxe Edition album announcement, saying, “This is one the most thrilling albums the Grateful Dead ever produced, mixing portions of live recordings from the first six months of Mickey’s tenure with the band, along with studio experimentations that would hint at where the Dead would go.”
This is the second reissue that the band and Rhino are putting out as part of a celebratory series of a 50th anniversaries coming up for their studio catalog, having already re-released their 1967 self-titled debut LP last year. Fans can click here to learn more about the deluxe edition and pre-order Anthem of the Sun.
As any Deadhead will be quick to explain, the band’s creative process when it came to recording albums was not the same as your typical pop/rock band, even in the classic rock era. The Dead really never cared much for playing for machines, and wouldn’t even see their first hit single on a mainstream level until the late 1980s.
Three of the surviving members continue to tour as Dead & Company alongside former Allman Brothers’ bassist Oteil Burbridge, John Mayer and Jeff Chimenti. Since forming back in late 2015. They’ve since kept up (kind of) with their old touring ways in continuing to perform across the country in of the three summers that have followed, including their upcoming 2018 trek. Tickets for select shows on the band’s 2018 summer tour schedule are on sale now and can be purchased by clicking here.