Grateful Dead Previews ‘American Beauty: The Angel’s Share’ Outtake Collection

The Grateful Dead detailed the American Beauty: The Angel’s Share collection in celebration of the iconic album’s 50th anniversary this year. The compilation features over two hours of unreleased studio outtakes, demos and alternate mixes with a demos playlist available to stream today.

1970’s American Beauty continued the Grateful Dead’s evolution from psychedelic rock to cosmic Americana begun on Workingman’s Dead, which was released earlier that year and also received the Angel's Share treatment. In August 1970, GD reconvened at Pacific High Recording Studio — where they recorded Workingman’s — in San Francisco to begin demo work on the their second LP in ’70. The American Beauty: The Angel’s Share demos collection features sketches of every song on the record (save for “Box Of Rain”) along with an earlier take on the Garcia/Hunter composition “To Lay Me Down” which would later appear on Jerry’s debut solo album, Garcia.

While fans have grown accustomed to hearing the songs evolve in a live setting, American Beauty: The Angel’s Share gives the Dead faithful an intimate look at how the tunes matured in a studio environment, both sonically and with banter from the band — Jerry Garcia, Mickey Hart, Bill Kreutzmann, Phil Lesh, Ron “Pigpen” McKernan and Bob Weir — as well as producer Stephen Barncard and engineer Phil Sawyer. The compilation also boasts multiple takes of “Friend Of The Devil,” “Ripple” and Pigpen’s “Operator” as well as alternate cuts of “Truckin’” and “Candyman.” Rounding things out are an acoustic mix of “Box Of Rain” and a version of “Attics Of My Life” that spotlights Garcia solo on electric guitar, both of which were taken from additional sessions at Wally Heider Recording. The complete 56-track collection arrives on October 15.

The deep dive into American Beauty comes courtesy of tireless work from engineer Brian Kehew and archivist Mike Johnson under the supervision of chief Grateful Dead archivist David Lemieux. Additionally, GD’s official podcast, The Good Ol’ Grateful Deadcast hosted by singer-songwriter and producer Rich Mahan and author and WFMU DJ Jesse Jarnow, launches its second season today which will feature a track by track look at American Beauty and will welcome some of the LP’s contributing musicians including David Grisman and David Nelson among other guests.

Stream American Beauty: The Angel’s Share (Demos) below:

American Beauty: The Angel’s Share Tracklist:

  1. “Friend Of The Devil” – Demo
  2. “Sugar Magnolia” – Demo
  3. “Candyman” – Demo
  4. “To Lay Me Down” – Demo
  5. “Truckin’” – Demo
  6. “Hand Me Down” (“Ripple”) – Demo
  7. “Brokedown Palace” – Demo
  8. “Till The Morning Comes” – Demo
  9. “Attics Of My Life” – Demo
  10. “Operator” – Demo
  11. “Box Of Rain” – Acoustic Mix
  12. “Candyman” – Alternate Take
  13. “Truckin’” – Alternate Mix
  14. “Operator” (Take 1) [Slated]
  15. “Operator” (Take 2 Breakdown) [Slated]
  16. “Operator” (Take 3) [Slated]
  17. “Operator” (Take 4 Breakdown) [Slated]
  18. “Operator” (Take 5) [Misnamed As Take 6] [Slated]
  19. “Operator” (Take 6 Breakdown) [Slated]
  20. “Operator” (Take 7 Breakdown) [Slated]
  21. “Operator” (Take 8) [Slated]
  22. “Friend Of The Devil” (Take 1 Breakdown) [Slated]
  23. “Friend Of The Devil” (Take 2 Breakdown) [Slated]
  24. “Friend Of The Devil” (Take 3 Breakdown) [Slated]
  25. “Friend Of The Devil” (Take 4 Breakdown) [Slated]
  26. “Friend Of The Devil” (Take 5) [Slated]
  27. “Friend Of The Devil” (Take 6) [Slated]
  28. “Friend Of The Devil” (Take 7) [Slated]
  29. “Friend Of The Devil” (Arranging Take 1) [Not Slated]
  30. “Friend Of The Devil” (Arranging Take 2) [Not Slated]
  31. “Friend Of The Devil” (Arranging Take 3) [Not Slated]
  32. “Friend Of The Devil” (Take 9 Breakdown) [Slated]
  33. “Friend Of The Devil” (Take 10 Breakdown) [Slated]
  34. “Friend Of The Devil” (Take 11) [Slated]
  35. “Friend Of The Devil” (Take 12 Breakdown) [Slated]
  36. “Friend Of The Devil” (Take 13) [Not Slated]
  37. “Friend Of The Devil” (Take 14 Breakdown) [Slated]
  38. “Friend Of The Devil” (Take 15) [Slated]
  39. “Friend Of The Devil” (Take 16) [Slated]
  40. “Friend Of The Devil” (Take 17) [Slated]
  41. “Friend Of The Devil” (Take 18) [Slated]
  42. “Friend Of The Devil” (Take 19) [Not Slated]
  43. “Friend Of The Devil” (Take 20) [Slated]
  44. “Attics Of My Life” (Take 1) [Slated]
  45. “Attics Of My Life” (Take 2 Breakdown) [Slated]
  46. “Attics Of My Life” (Take 3 Breakdown) [Slated]
  47. “Attics Of My Life” (Take 4 Breakdown) [Slated]
  48. “Attics Of My Life” (Take 5) [Slated]
  49. “Attics Of My Life” (Solo Version)
  50. “Hand Me Down” (aka “Ripple”) [Take 1 Breakdown] [Slated]
  51. “Hand Me Down” (aka “Ripple”) [Take 2 With Vocals] [Slated]
  52. “Hand Me Down” (aka “Ripple”) [Take 3] [Slated]
  53. “Hand Me Down” (aka “Ripple”) [Take 4] [Slated]
  54. “Hand Me Down” (aka “Ripple”) [Take 5 Breakdown] [Slated]
  55. “Hand Me Down” (aka “Ripple”) [Take 6 Breakdown] [Slated]
  56. “Hand Me Down” (aka “Ripple”) [Take 7] [Slated]