New 33 1/3 Title Coming Spring 2016: Workingman’s Dead

Workingmans-DeadBloomsbury 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

0 thoughts on “New 33 1/3 Title Coming Spring 2016: Workingman’s Dead”

  1. Reblogged this on and commented:
    If you are like me and collect the ‘ultra-hip’ books from the 33 1/3 series…you may be happy to hear about the announcement of their newest title…Grateful Dead – Workingman’s Dead by Buzz Poole (great name!)

  2. Dear Lord.. None of the titles I liked even made the too 100 and now this.. Too bad 33 1/3 cannot take a risk once and a while.. Guess will be stuck with a bunch of titles written by a group of boring middle class journalists and MFAs… Hey 33 1/3, do you only seek out the top album lists from Rolling Stone and Pitchfork when making decisions? Are Amherst students your primary demographic? (No offense to current or former Amherst students..)


    1. I dunno. I feel like these first three albums are more interestng picks than if they were things like Astral Weeks, Ziggy Stardust, Automatic for the People, and Violator which while all great albums seem like much safer choices.

  3. This is one of the books on my Top 14 List! Yes!

    This is one of the Dead’s best recordings, and I’m sure it will be one of the best selling books in this series.
    I know I’ll be buying it!

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