Bloomsbury is extremely proud to announce the second of fourteen new 33 1/3 volumes…coming to a bookstore (and kindle/iPad) near you in: Spring 2015, Fall 2015, Spring 2016 and Fall 2016. It was extremely difficult to select these titles from a pool of over 400 brilliant proposals so we hope you enjoy! To highlight each new title and the author behind it, we’ll announce one book each day over the next two weeks.
Workingman’s Dead- Grateful Dead
By Buzz Poole
Coming September 2015!
Released in 1970, the Grateful Dead’s Workingman’s Dead is a cold-water-shock departure from the Acid Test feedback madness of the late ‘60s material, exemplified by songs like “St. Stephen” and “Dark Star.” Rather than relying on chemically-fuelled guitar licks and spacey improvisational explorations, this album is the first listen to what would become an extensive songbook informed and inspired by dusty, rough and tumble American history and world mythologies, charting the long, winding path to self-discovery and individual empowerment.
The eight songs that comprise Workingman’s Dead will serve as points of entry from which will form a fully-rendered portrait of an exceptional musical recording, both in terms of the songs but also, and perhaps more importantly, how these songs speak to late twentieth-century America, and the attendant cultural and political anxieties that resulted from the idealism of the ‘60s giving way to the uncomfortable realities of the ‘70s, making a case for the relevance of this music nearly forty-five years after it was recorded. Based on research, interviews, and personal experience, the book will probe the paradox at the heart of the band’s appeal: the Grateful Dead was about much more than music, though it was really just about the music.
About the author: Buzz Poole has written about books, design, music, and culture for numerous outlets, including Print, The Village Voice, The Believer, Los Angeles Review of Books, San Francisco Chronicle, and The Millions. He is the author of the story collection I Like to Keep My Troubles on the Windy Side of Things; the New Statesman named his examination of unexpected iconography, Madonna of the Toast, one of 2007’s Best Underground Books.
You can find Buzz on Twitter here: @BuzzPoole