On this day in music history: June 14, 1970 – …

On this day in music history: June 14, 1970 – “Workingman’s Dead”, the fifth album by The Grateful Dead is released. Produced by Bob Matthews, Betty Cantor and The Grateful Dead, it is recorded at Pacific High Recording Studio in San Francisco, CA in February 1970. Following their last studio album “Aoxomoxoa” and the double live LP “Live/Dead”, both released in 1969, The Grateful Dead find themselves at a musical crossroads in their career. Their next album sees them moving away from the psychedelic influenced free form rock that has been their trademark, toward a more country rock sound with shorter and more concise songs. Lyricist Robert Hunter (a frequent collaborator with both Jerry Garcia and The Dead) is a significant catalyst in this change in musical direction. The album is recorded and mixed in only three weeks, with its title being taken from a statement made by bandleader and guitarist Jerry Garcia to Robert Hunter stating that “this album was turning into the Workingman’s Dead version of the band”. The finished result is the Dead’s most critically and commercially successful album to date. It produces such Dead classics as “Uncle John’s Band”, “Cumberland Blues” and “Casey Jones”. Originally released on CD in 1987, it is released as a DVD-A disc in 2001. The disc features a high resolution remastering of the original stereo mix, along with a newly remixed Dolby Digital 5.1 surround mix, also in high resolution. A remastered CD edition with HDCD encoding is released in 2003, with eight additional bonus tracks including alternate takes, live recordings and an original radio spot advertising the album. It is also reissued as a 180 gram vinyl LP by Rhino Records in 2011. “Workingman’s” is also remastered and reissued as a limited edition hybrid SACD in 2014 by Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab. MoFi also issues the title as a limited double vinyl set, mastered at 45 RPM. “Workingman’s Dead” peaks at number twenty seven on the Billboard Top 200, and is certified Platinum in the US by the RIAA.