Workingman’s Dead: A Double Celebration
In order to celebrate Workingman’s Dead getting its AARP card, The Grateful Dead have released two great collections of music: The Angel’s Share and Workingman’s Dead: 50th Anniversary Deluxe Edition. There is a wealth of material here in addition to the original recording. Let’s jump in!
Workingman’s Dead: The Angel’s Share
The three-CD release The Angel’s Share features “more than two-and-a-half hours of unreleased studio outtakes from the album’s recording sessions. From the Grateful Dead press release:
“Compiled from dozens of 16-track reels that were recently discovered in unlabeled boxes, the collection includes outtakes for every song on the album, which have been unheard since they left the studio over 50 years ago. Under the supervision of Grateful Dead legacy manager David Lemieux, engineer Brian Kehew and archivist Mike Johnson spent countless hours compiling and piecing these reels together to create the final opus. The collection takes its name from a term used by whiskey distillers. The ‘angel’s share’ is the percentage of whiskey that’s lost to evaporation each year as the liquid is aged in oak barrels. Much like the whiskey distillation process, there were also ingredients that were vital to the creation of Workingman’s Dead that were lost and did not end up on the final album, the band’s own version of the ‘angel’s share’.”
Workingman’s Dead: 50th Anniversary Deluxe Edition
Also now available is a deluxe edition of the album through Rhino Records on vinyl, CD, and digital download. This includes the Workingman’s Dead: 50th Anniversary vinyl picture disc. The remastered album is paired with a live recording from The Capitol Theatre in Port Chester, an unreleased show from 02.21.71. The Grateful Dead at the time of the recording were Jerry Garcia, Bob Weir, Ron “PigPen McKernan, Phil Lesh, Bill Kreutzmann and Mickey Hart. Workingman’s Dead was recorded at San Francisco’s Pacific High Recording Studio with Bob Matthews and Betty Cantor.
Grateful Dead archivist David Lemieux explained:
“Since we embarked on the series of Grateful Dead 50th anniversary releases, we’ve had a blast re-mastering the original albums and finding previously unreleased live material from the era for each. In 2020, we’re blessed to have two albums celebrating their 50th anniversaries, and we’re thrilled with how Workingman’s Dead has turned out. For an album as important and great as Workingman’s Dead, it seemed appropriate to double the amount of bonus material. The show we’ve selected gives a definitive overview of what the band were up to six months after the release of the album and shows the Dead sound that would largely define the next couple of years. From Workingman’s Dead through Europe ’72, the Dead’s sound was Americana, and the live show included here is a workingman’s band playing authentically honest music.”
Enjoy the Spotify playlists below.