Grateful Dead - Workingman's Dead
(Numbered 45RPM 180G Vinyl 2LP)
1. Uncle John’s Band
2. High Time
3. Dire Wolf
4. New Speedway
5. Cumberland Blues
6. Black Peter
7. Easy Wind
8. Casey Jones
Grateful DeadWorkingman’s Deadon Numbered Edition 180g 45RPM 2LP Set from Mobile Fidelity
Sublime, Stripped-Down 1970 Americana Classic Steeped in Country, Blues, and Folk
You’ve Never Heard This Roots-Based Marvel Sound Better: Mastered from the Original Master Tapes and Given Extra-Wide Grooves on 45RPM LP
Ranked #264 onRolling Stone’s List of the 500 Greatest Albums of All Time: Airy Harmonies, Simple Structures, Concise Arrangements, and Burnished Tones Anchor Songs
Workingman’s Deaddefies the erroneous belief that theGrateful Deadnever attained brilliance in the recording studio.Forever prized for natural sonics,Workingman’s Deadattains audiophile reference status courtesy of this first-ever 45RPM version. As flawless as any rustic album ever released, the 1970 set now brims with soaring harmonies, organic execution, intertwined textures, and uncomplicated structures that furnish the songs a transcendence associated with timeless American music. Colorful, relatable characters seemingly torn from working-class histories and old-time fables inhabit the narratives.
Mastered from the original master tapes and pressed on 180g LPs at RTI, Mobile Fidelity’s numbered edition of this period-defining recording renders the stripped-down fare with immense detail, rich airiness, and reach-out-and-touch-it realism. Longtime Deadheads and newcomers alike will hear significantly more information, experience wider and deeper soundstages, and become swept away by incredible tonal and vocal balances&mdashtraits made possible by the format’s wider grooves. Instrumental melds and refined accents, such as guestDavid Nelson’s nimble fills on “Cumberland Blues,” are part of a larger whole that gives the impression you are witness to the world’s coziest campfire session. Frontier tales and refined performances further this feeling.
The firstGrateful Deadalbum to eschew cosmic jams and complex signatures,Workingman’s Deadstakes its existence to great songs, homespun warmth, and bare essentials. Its wistful, relaxed state&mdashimmediately apparent via the innocent album-opening invitation “Will you come with me?” on “Uncle John’s Band”&mdashowes to the circumstances and conditions surrounding its creation. At the time, theDeadowed a considerable financial debt to Warner Bros. and were hobbled by a recent drug bust and financial scandal. Most significantly, the band was recovering from&mdashand reacting to&mdashthe tragic events of theAltamont Music Festivaland symbolic end of the peace and love era.
As such,Workingman’s Deadacts as a retreat from chaos and uncertainty, its songs emblems of simpler times and pleas for compassion in the face of hardship. LyricistRobert Huntersaid he aimed to capture the vintage elements of late 1940s country-and-western jukebox singles as well as old blues classics. In that vein, fare such as the Bakersfield-leaning “Cumberland Blues,” pastoral ballad “Dire Wolf,” and bluesy “Easy Wind” hit the mark. LeaderJerry Garcia’s occasional pedal-steel underpinnings arrive as a bonus.
Of course, aside from the economical concision and thematic consistency,the genius ofWorkingman’s Deadresides in the group’s expressive harmonies.Taught by Crosby, Stills and Nash, theDeadproduce live “air blends” of multi-part vocal harmonies that provide the foundations of nearly every track. “Uncle John’s Band,” “High Time,” “New Speedway Boogie” (with the iconic refrain “One way or another/This darkness has got to give” referencing the ill wind that greeted the new decade), and the radio favorite “Casey Jones” practically float on the ensemble’s communal vocal beds.
Mobile Fidelity’s 45RPM edition renders these invigorating, refreshing, and engaging characteristics in three-dimensional sound that transports you to the event. Recordings don’t get more lifelike.Workingman’s Dead&mdashan iconic, ageless record that drew countless listeners to the band’s unique style because of its accessibility and charm&mdashdeserves nothing less. Neither do you.
Mobile Fidelity - (Lmt to 2,000, Numbered 180g Super Vinyl LP)
Sealed (Numbered 180G Vinyl LP)