Anthem to Beauty is a music documentary about the making of the Grateful Dead albums Anthem of the Sun and American Beauty. It originally aired in a somewhat shortened version in 1997 as part of the television series Classic Albums. It was released on VHS video tape in 1998 and on DVD in 1999, with a running time of 1 hour 15 minutes.
The video combines footage from the early years of the Grateful Dead with 1997 interviews of former band members and associates. Phil Lesh, Mickey Hart, Bob Weir, Robert Hunter, and David Grisman, among others, discuss the creation of 1968's experimental, psychedelic Anthem of the Sun and 1970's folk-rock classic American Beauty. They also listen to and analyze the original master recordings for the albums, and talk about being in (or working with) the Grateful Dead at that time. Recording engineer Stephen Barncard rolls the original master tape and solos tracks, recalling the recording sessions and highlighting specific moments.
Keyboardist Tom Constanten discusses the artificiality of appearing on Hugh Hefner's show Playboy After Dark. David Grisman plays his full version of the mandolin part for Ripple, as he had intended.
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