Monday, December 21, 2015

66. Grateful Dead - Anthem of the Sun

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The Anthem image is certainly an offspring of the social and cultural, exploration, and changes of the 60s. Anthem's foundation and roots however, reach back many years before. During the 60s, I was
much less concerned about rebellion and revolution, than with seeking out what peoples had in common and what brought balance, harmony and contentment to our lives. As I saw it, the first step was
to determine what personal changes of understanding and being were needed in order for me to achieve this state within myself. In other words, to expand my mental and emotional space in order to
embrace it all. This attitude, and being unburdened by either gods or demons (I had reached the 'age of reason' relatively young), led to open personal and artistic exploration, and the assimilation
and generation of whatever ideas, imagery, symbolism, and techniques I felt best represented this understanding in its most expansive context.

Anthem was a synthesis of diverse, distant and dissonant ideas, and modes of thinking about and relating to oneself and the world. The image incorporates elements that draw from not only Eastern and
Western art and ideas, but from man's earliest artistic expression as well. For me, Anthem represents a resolution of some of these apparently contradictory elements into a state of balance, harmony
and rhythmic unity. Expressed within a tight symmetrical structure where controlled energy and wildness can not only abide together but complement, intensify and give greater import to each other.
After all, the world is not delineated in just black and white, but is composed of a varied and rich palette of colours. Bill Walker in Anthem: The Walker's Guide.

Here's the original album cover art design.

No. 288, Rolling Stone, The 500 Greatest Albums of All Time; No. 376, The Virgin All-Time Album Top 1000.

Art design by Bill Walker. Album produced by Grateful Dead and David Hassinger. Warner Brothers/Seven Arts 1968.

On the Grateful Dead's Anthem of the Sun the studio with its production work dissolves into live performance, the carefully crafted is thrown together with the casually tossed off, and the results are
spliced together. The end product is one of the finest albums to come out of San Francisco, a personal statement of the rock aesthetic on a level with the Jefferson Airplane's After Bathing at Baxters.
To be sure, the album has its weak points, but as a total work it is remarkably successful, especially when compared to the first Dead album. Full article

(B) Alligator - Caution (Do Not Stop on Tracks)

"Caution (Do Not Stop on Tracks)" audio from David Berger on YouTube.



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