Workingman’s Dead Album is by Grateful Dead, who were an American rock band.
The album, the fourth, was released on the 14th of June 1970. Workingman’s Dead, along with studio album, American Beauty, was recorded back-to-back.
Both albums were similar in style, forgoing the psychedelia of Grateful Dead’s previous work in favour of the Americana-styled compositions of writers Jerry Garcia and Robert Hunter.
Recorded in February 1970 at the Pacific High Recording Studio, 60 Brady Street in San Francisco, the two albums took nine days to finish.
The album got its name from a comment made to Robert Hunter by Jerry Garcia when he said it was ” turning into the ‘workingman’s Dead’ version of the band “.
Grateful Dead took a new direction with both the songwriting and composition for the album. They left the electric music that had defined them previously to revive their roots in folk.
Production took influences from the Bakersfield sound, a type of country music that emerged in the mid- to late 50s in and around Bakersfield, California, a city known for agriculture and oil production. The most successful of the Bakersfield sound era include Grammy award-winning Buck Owens and the Buckaroos and Merle Haggard with his backing band, the Strangers.
The Recording Industry Association of America ( RIAA ) certified the album Gold on the 11th of July 1974 and Platinum on the 13th of October 1986.
The single, ” Uncle John’s Band ” was released on the 14th of June 1970. Written by Jerry Garcia and Robert Hunter, it has become on of Grateful Dead’s best-known songs.
Listed in The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame’s 500 Songs that Shaped Rock and Roll. In 2001, ” Uncle John’s Band ” was included in the Songs of the Century project list, ranked number 321 out of 365 songs.
The song has an arrangement that features elements of bluegrass and folk, with the close harmonies inspired partly by Crosby, Stills & Nash, the folk-rock group.
In the United States, the single peaked at number sixty-nine on the Billboard 100 in September 1970, spending seven weeks on the chart.
The Workingman’s Dead album had chart success on the Billboard 200 in the United States where it reached number twenty-seven on the 18th of July 1970. It stayed on the chart for twenty-six weeks.
In the United Kingdom, the album first charted on the 19th of September 1970 reaching number sixty-nine on the UK Albums Chart. It spent two weeks in the Top 100.
About Grateful Dead
Grateful Dead was an American rock group. Using the name Warlocks, they formed in Palo Alto, California, United States, in 1965.
The original line-up consisted of Jerry Garcia, Bob Weir, Ron “Pigpen” McKernan, Phil Lesh, Robert Hunter and Bill Kreutzmann.
Grateful Dead are known for fusing various musical styles including rock, psychedelia, experimental music, modal jazz, country, folk, bluegrass, blues and reggae. Along with the fusion of styles, they are also known for their long instrumental jam sessions and live performances.
Their debut album, The Grateful Dead, released on the 17th of March 1967, took four days to record. The album reached number seventy-three on the Billboard 200 on the 29th of July 1967 and spent twenty-eight weeks on the chart there.
In 1994, Grateful Dead were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. In 2012, a recording of their live performance at Cornell University’s Barton Hall on the 8th of May 1977 was added to the National Recording Registry of the Library of Congress.
The group have achieved worldwide sales of over 35 million albums.
To date, Grateful Dead’s Album releases are thirteen studio, ten live, nine Compilations, ten video albums, six box sets and fifty-eight Retrospective live albums. They have also released twenty-seven singles and various digital downloads.
Grateful Dead received a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award on the 10th of February 2007, accepted by Mickey Hart and Bill Kreutzmann on behalf of the band.
After the death of Jerry Garcia on the 9th of August 1995, the remaining members decided to disband and pursue other projects.
Workingman’s Dead Track Listing:
1. Uncle John’s Band
2. High Time
3. Dire Wolf
4. New Speedway Boogie
5. Cumberland Blues
6. Black Peter
7. Easy Wind
8. Casey Jones