American Beauty is the fifth studio album by the Grateful Dead. It was recorded between August and September 1970 and originally released in November 1970 by Warner Bros. Records. The album continued the folk rock and country music explored on Workingman's Dead and prominently features the lyrics of Robert Hunter.
In 2003, the album was ranked number 258 on Rolling Stone magazine's list of the 500 greatest albums of all time.
The band began recording American Beauty only a few months after the release of Workingman's Dead, and without their regular sound crew, which was out on the road as part of the Medicine Ball Caravan tour (which the Dead were originally scheduled to join), and this led to staff engineer Stephen Barncard replacing Bob Matthews as producer – "a move that irks Matthews to this day." Barncard mused that "I had heard bad stories about engineers' interactions with the Dead but what I found were a bunch of hardworking guys."
Both Workingman's Dead and American Beauty were innovative at the time for their fusion of bluegrass, rock and roll, folk and, especially, country music. Compared to Workingman's Dead, American Beauty had even less lead guitar work from Jerry