Welcome to Feature Fridays! Every week, the AU music library staff will be highlighting a different CD or artist from our collection.
This week, Student Assistant Emily Langlois reviews The Golden Road box set by The Grateful Dead.
The Grateful Dead is known as one of the most groundbreaking psychedelic rock bands of their era. Although they are placed in the same league as The Rolling Stones and The Doors, their laid-back attitude and experimental music style allowed them to develop a uniquely dedicated fan base (aka “Deadheads”). This box set, The Golden Road, is an anthology of 10 albums recorded from 1965-1973. It also includes a booklet which provides in-depth information about the band’s beginnings, rise to fame, and impact on modern rock music up to this day.
The first album in the set, Birth of the Dead, is a collection of songs from their early years. Their defining sound shines through in songs such as “Early Morning Rain” and Can’t Come Down”. Unlike other guitar-heavy classic rock songs, The Grateful Dead seamlessly integrates folk and blues elements to create an upbeat yet relaxed sound. Their music can appeal to almost any listener, from those looking for pleasant background noise to even the most advanced rock n’ roll connoisseurs. My favorite album is Workingman’s Dead, one of their most acoustic pieces of work. It represented a large shift in sound for them, but the quality of its lyrics is unprecedented and complemented by the lack of synths and clashing symbols.
With such a diverse style, The Grateful Dead’s live and studio recordings provide something different for everyone. I highly recommend exploring their discography and finding what album is perfect for you! For those interested in classic rock anthologies, the music library is also home to box sets of The Velvet Underground, The Doors, and The Beatles.