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Workingman's Dead CD

Price: £6.97 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £10. Details
Includes FREE MP3 version of this album.
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Rock's longest, strangest trip, the Grateful Dead were the psychedelic era's most beloved musical ambassadors as well as its most enduring survivors, spreading their message of peace, love, and mind-expansion across the globe throughout the better part of three decades. The object of adoration for popular music's most fervent and celebrated fan following -- the Deadheads, their ... Read more in Amazon's Grateful Dead Store

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Frequently Bought Together

Workingman's Dead + American Beauty + Live Dead
Price For All Three: £21.54

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Product details

  • Audio CD (1 Jun 1989)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: CD
  • Label: Warner Bros
  • ASIN: B000002KB6
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Audio Cassette  |  Vinyl  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 56,768 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.

Song Title Time Price
Listen  1. Uncle John's Band 4:44£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  2. High Time 5:15£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  3. Dire Wolf 3:14£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  4. New Speedway Boogie 4:06£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  5. Cumberland Blues 3:17£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  6. Black Peter 5:44£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  7. Easy Wind 4:59£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  8. Casey Jones 4:25£0.99  Buy MP3 

Product Description

Product Description

WEA 759927184 ctr; WEA ITALIANA - Italia;

Workingman's Dead and its successor American Beauty from later in 1970, are the Dead albums even non-Deadheads embrace. With these two new-decade statements, the group reigned in its demonstrative instrumental side in favour of a pithier presentation of prize tunes. The opener, "Uncle John's Band", signalled that this was a relatively streamlined Dead. "Dire Wolf", "Cumberland Blues" and "Casey Jones" hammer the point home: the Grateful Dead could set aside the jams for a while and make a great album. --Steven Stolder

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

39 of 40 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 3 May 2001
Format: Audio CD
First off, Workingman's Dead is a brilliant album. Disregarding all the other factors that make it such a masterpiece, that it was the beginning of a whole new direction for the Dead, or even that it affirmed the Dead's place in rock-music history, by proving to the world what the Dead were capable of. Even ignoring all those factors which make it such a significant piece of work, purely on the music alone is one of the finest records ever made. But despite it's beautiful, laid-back, country-rock atmosphere, and Robert Hunter's lyrical wizardry, Workingman's Dead is not only a good album, but an extremely important one, in the development of the Grateful Dead, and the development of music as a whole. What makes the album all the more amazing, is what an incredible change of direction in style it represented for the Dead. Only a few months earlier, the Dead had released Live Dead, a double vinyl album, of transcendental, jaw-dropping psychedelia, which had once and for all set the Dead apart from the other, similarly styled, bands who emerged from the San Francisco scene, in 1966/67. In contrast, Workingman's is a rustic culmination of blues, country and bluegrass, combined with the Dead's own indefinable sound. It also brought the Dead a whole new audience, once which had largely ignored the band since their inception in the mid-60's, and who had little time for 35 minute long, spacey, psychedelic odysseys. This is not to say the Dead sold out to their psychedelic "roots" with the release of Workingman's Dead. Concert tapes from the time show that they were blending their new CSNY-sound, with long (almost) lyric-less, acid-rock trips. Workingman's allowed Robert Hunter's ability as a lyricist to shine.Read more ›
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By KMorris on 23 July 2007
Format: Audio CD
While not wishing to enter into any kind of discussion with reviewers who have expressed disappointment with this record, one can see how this can come about and it points out the need for a little research when beginning to listen to such a long-lived, prolific and diverse band.

In my opinion this is an excellent record giving sustained listening pleasure and, along with "American Beauty" of lasting interest and importance. Freaky space rock it certainly ain't, but who else could have produced a song like "Uncle John's Band" as well as the epic "Dark Star". The answer is, of course, no one else and maybe that's why The Dead are so well loved and followed even after all this time.

Getting into The Grateful Dead is a big, big adventure and what we have here is one of the many good places to start. May I also highly recommend, as a good companion to this CD the "Anthem to Beauty" DVD from the Classic Album series which gives much helpful and entertaining background material and insight into the creative processes of the band at that time.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Lozarithm VINE VOICE on 4 Mar 2005
Format: Audio CD
Any ill-informed Dead Head who bought this upon its release in June 1970, expecting more of the acid-drenched blues and psychedelia of such recent predecessors as Anthem Of The Sun and Aoxomoxoa, must have had a considerable shock when they dropped the needle into the groove, and track one, Uncle John's Band, began to play.
The hallmark guitar was augmented by mellifluous pedal steel and banjo, and in the place of all the weirdness and experimentation came beautifully-recorded, clean sounding, almost traditional, timeless songs, song after song with three-part harmonies and tunes you almost felt you knew already. The Dead had gone back to their roots, the music they grew up with, and their lyricist, Robert Hunter, had risen to the challenge with songs about miners and engineers that belonged within a rich musical tradition, largely forgotten, that was being re-invented by artists like the Band and Ry Cooder. When they entered the studios behind the Fillmore for two weeks in February 1970 they had been coached in harmony by Crosby, Stills and Nash, knew all the songs they were to record and even the order they were to appear on the album, and were completely focused on their mission. This, and its equally inspired sequel American Beauty, expel the myth that the Grateful Dead were a live band whose studio work was of secondary importance, and can stand up proudly against any other record.
This 79-minute edition, re-mastered in HDCD, doubles the length of the original album with live material and one alternative take.
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Format: Audio CD
Before the release of this album , the Dead had a reputation as the live band of the era who excelled in lengthy psychedelic type jams . Here they went into the studio and showed that they could produce a tight country rock album as well as any of their peers . There are many delights but newcomers can look forward to wallowing in the acapella group chorus towards the end of Uncle John's Band - sheer bliss which will get you every time .
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Smitty Werbenjaegermanjensen (real name) TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 18 Feb 2010
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Ok, so this was the first Grateful Dead album I heard. I bought it way back in the days of vinyl supremacy, well CDs had not been invented and the 8 track cartridge had just been declared extinct.

I was listening to the Damned, Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath, Devo, Motorhead and so on, a varied diet of rock/punk with a dominant beat. I had read about the Dead and was expecting something entirely different to this. As one other reviewer has stated, Jerry looked like a real rocker, and here is this almost shaky thin voice that sounds at odds to his appearance.

I could only stand to listen to Uncle Johns Band, Cumberland Blues and Casey Jones as I was looking for an adrenaline rush, not contemplation and music that requires patience and an attentive ear for the lyrics. The rest sounded like country and western, an abomination to my rock orientated ears.

Many years have passed since that first encounter and I have slowed down a bit, lost a bit of hair, got kids and am a less hasty sort of chap. I asked for recommendations for the best version of Dark Star and was steered towards a couple of live albums that got me thinking back to this one. I got the remastered version to replace the vinyl one that got sold on years ago.

The sound quality is superb and I have a greater appreciation of the bigger picture presented, the twang of the pedal steel guitar, the harmonies, the double drumming and the emotive style of Jerrys singing. I miss the size of the artwork on the vinyl sleeve. This card cover comes close, but bigger was better. I love the overall sepia tone of the artwork and the mood of the cover shot, even if Bill Kreutzman had had enough and just cleared off to sit in the shade and get away from the hassle of posing on the street corner.
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