Rolling Stone - 12/24/70, p.52
"...the album is American beauty of the best possible kind....A complete contentment shines through the vocal work....The instrumentation is rich with sound that moves through, under and into the listener..."
Mojo (Publisher) - p.153
"It's a near perfect set of songs, most becoming mainstays of their repertoire."
Grateful Dead: Jerry Garcia, Bob Weir (guitar); Ron "Pigpen" McKernan (harmonica); Phil Lesh (bass guitar); Bill Kreutzmann (drums); Mickey Hart (percussion).
Additional personnel: David Nelson (electric guitar); David Grisman (mandolin); Ned Lagin (piano); Howard Wales (organ); Dave Torbert (bass guitar); New Riders of the Purple Sage.
AMERICAN BEAUTY was an instant classic when it was first released November of 1970. It is among the most satisfying and enduring of the Grateful Dead's studio recordings, expanding as it does on the engaging mix of country, blues, and folk materials they first coined earlier in the year with WORKINGMAN'S DEAD.
The musical vision of the Dead is more sharply focused on AMERICAN BEAUTY--from the serene reflection and compassion of the opening "Box Of Rain" and the earthy mysticism of "Ripple," to the sensual rock of "Sugar Magnolia" and the anthemic proto-boogie of the closing "Truckin'." But then, every tune on AMERICAN BEAUTY has attained a classic resonance, both from decades of steady airplay, and the way the Dead seemed to continually revive these popular standards for their concert repertoire.