Skeletons from the Closet: The Best of Grateful Dead

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Skeletons from the Closet:
The Best of Grateful Dead
A line drawing of a skeleton holding a record, a woman holding a rose, and a man holding the woman
Cover art by John Van Hamersveld
Greatest hits album by Grateful Dead
Released February 1974 (1974-02)
Recorded 1967–1972
Genre Acid rock, jam, psychedelic rock, blues rock, country rock, folk rock
Length 44:53
Label Warner Bros.
WS 2764
Producer Stephen Barncard, Betty Cantor, David Hassinger, the Grateful Dead, and Bob Matthews
Grateful Dead chronology
Wake of the Flood
(1973)
Skeletons from the Closet: The Best of Grateful Dead
(1974)
From the Mars Hotel
(1974)
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 3.5/5 stars [1]
Rolling Stone Mixed[2]

Skeletons from the Closet: The Best of Grateful Dead was the first compilation album from the Grateful Dead. It was first released on LP in February 1974. The release was a ploy for Warner Bros. Records to cash in on the escalating popularity of the band (based on the sales of Workingman's Dead and American Beauty).[3]

Four of the tracks were not original Dead album studio recordings. This "Turn On Your Lovelight" first appeared on the album The Big Ball, which was a loss leader sampler distributed by Warner Bros.; it had also appeared in longer form on Live/Dead. "One More Saturday Night" was taken from the band's live release Europe '72. And "Mexicali Blues" was actually a track from guitarist Bob Weir's solo release (but essentially Dead album) Ace. The version of St Stephen on the European release of Skeletons from the Closet is the identical recording from the Live/Dead LP with the long jam in the middle edited out.

Warner Bros. released the album on CD and cassette in 1988 before re-releasing the LP in 1990. The album would be later re-released on by Rhino Records on May 24, 2004 as part of a greatest hits series by various bands. It contains the complete "Lovelight" from Live/Dead.

Skeletons from the Closet is the Dead's best-selling album, going triple platinum in the United States.

Album cover art[edit]

The artwork for the front and back covers of the album was created by John Van Hamersveld. The back cover depicts three men playing cards, with a globe in the center of the table. The futuristic Dymaxion car designed in 1933 by U.S. inventor and architect Buckminster Fuller is parked outside in the background. The three men appear as Marlon Brando from The Wild One, a long-haired bearded man in a graduation cap and gown and a bandito with a sly look on his face. The front cover features the Roman goddess of fertility, Venus, from the painting by Sandro Botticelli, The Birth of Venus.

Track listing[edit]

  1. "The Golden Road (To Unlimited Devotion)" (Jerry Garcia, Bill Kreutzmann, Phil Lesh, Ron "Pigpen" McKernan, and Bob Weir) – 2:07
  2. "Truckin'" (Garcia, Robert Hunter, Lesh, and Weir) – 5:09
  3. "Rosemary" (Garcia and Hunter) – 1:58
    • Originally released on the album Aoxomoxoa.
  4. "Sugar Magnolia" (Hunter and Weir) – 3:15
    • Originally released on the album American Beauty.
  5. "St. Stephen" (Garcia, Hunter, and Lesh) – 4:26
    • Originally released on the album Aoxomoxoa.
  6. "Uncle John's Band" (Garcia and Hunter) – 4:42
  7. "Casey Jones" (Garcia and Hunter) – 4:24
    • Originally released on the album Workingman's Dead.
  8. "Mexicali Blues" (John Perry Barlow and Weir) – 3:24
    • Originally released on the Bob Weir album Ace.
  9. "Turn On Your Love Light" (Deadric Malone and Joseph Scott) – 6:30 / 15:08 (2004 re-release)
  10. "One More Saturday Night" (Weir) – 4:45
  11. "Friend of the Devil" (John Dawson, Garcia, and Hunter) – 3:20
    • Originally released on the album American Beauty.

Personnel[edit]

Grateful Dead
Additional performers
  • John "Marmaduke" Dawson on "Rosemary" and "St. Stephen"
  • Debbie on "Rosemary" and "St. Stephen"
  • Snooky Flowers – horns on "Mexicali Blues"
  • Luis Gasca – horns on "Mexicali Blues"
  • Peter Grant on "Rosemary" and "St. Stephen"
  • David Grisman – mandolin on "Friend of the Devil"
  • Mouse on "Rosemary" and "St. Stephen"
  • David Nelson on "Casey Jones", "Rosemary", "St. Stephen", and "Uncle John's Band"
  • The Space Rangers – horns on "Mexicali Blues"
  • Dave Torbert – bass guitar
  • Howard Wales – organ on "Truckin'"
  • Wendy on "Rosemary" and "St. Stephen"
Technical personnel
  • Alembic – engineering, mixing on "Casey Jones" and "Uncle John's Band"
  • Stephen Barncard – compilation production; production on "Friend of the Devil", "Sugar Magnolia", and "Truckin'"
  • Dick Bogert – engineering on "The Golden Road (To Unlimited Devotion)"
  • Betty Cantor – production, engineering on "Casey Jones", "Rosemary", "St. Stephen", "Turn On Your Love Light", and "Uncle John's Band"
  • Bob Cassidy – engineering on "The Golden Road (To Unlimited Devotion)"
  • Dave Collins – digital remastering assistance; pre-mastering assistance on "Friend of the Devil", "Sugar Magnolia", and "Truckin'"
  • Tom Flye – engineering, mixing on "Casey Jones", "Friend of the Devil", "Sugar Magnolia", "Truckin'", and "Uncle John's Band"; mastering supervision on "Friend of the Devil", "Sugar Magnolia", and "Truckin'"
  • Joe Gastwirt – remixing, production; pre-mastering assistance on "Friend of the Devil", "Sugar Magnolia", and "Truckin'"
  • David Hassinger – compilation production; production on "The Golden Road (To Unlimited Devotion)"
  • Dan Healy – consulting engineering on "Rosemary" and "St. Stephen"
  • Scott Heard – equipment technician on "Casey Jones" and "Uncle John's Band"
  • Robin Hurley – audio production on "Casey Jones", "Friend of the Devil", "Sugar Magnolia", "Truckin'", and "Uncle John's Band"
  • Bob Matthews – production, engineering on "Casey Jones", "Rosemary", "St. Stephen", "Turn On Your Love Light", and "Uncle John's Band"
  • Andrew McPherson – authoring on "Casey Jones" and "Uncle John's Band"
  • David McLees – executive production on "Friend of the Devil", "Sugar Magnolia", and "Truckin'"
  • Jeffrey Norman – engineering, mixing on "Casey Jones" and "Uncle John's Band"; engineering on "Friend of the Devil", "Sugar Magnolia", and "Truckin'"
  • Fred Ordower – engineering on "Friend of the Devil", "Sugar Magnolia", and "Truckin'"
  • Ramrod – equipment technician on "Casey Jones" and "Uncle John's Band"
  • Bob Seidemann – art direction
  • Rudson Shurtliff – engineering, mixing on "Casey Jones" and "Uncle John's Band"; engineering on "Friend of the Devil", "Sugar Magnolia", and "Truckin'"
  • Owsley Stanley – consulting engineering on "Rosemary" and "St. Stephen"
  • John Van Hamersveld – artwork
  • Ron Wickersham – consulting engineering on "Rosemary" and "St. Stephen"
  • Bill Wolf – editing

Charts[edit]

Billboard

Chart Position
Pop Albums 75[citation needed]

RIAA Certification

Certification Date
Gold[4] March 14, 1980
Platinum[4] December 15, 1986
Double Platinum[4] June 27, 1994
Triple Platinum[4] January 31, 1995

References[edit]

  1. ^ Lankford, Ronnie D., Jr.. Skeletons from the Closet: The Best of Grateful Dead at AllMusic
  2. ^ Scoppa, Bud (April 25, 1974). Skeletons from the Closet: The Best of Grateful Dead, Rolling Stone
  3. ^ Grateful Dead: The Illustrated Trip . Jake Woodward, et al. Dorling Kindersley Limited, 2003, pg. 165.
  4. ^ a b c d "RIAA Gold & Platinum database-Skeletons from the Closet". Retrieved February 28, 2009.