The Grateful Dead's most experimental album, 1968's Anthem Of The Sun was an unprecedented mix of studio and live recordings stitched together to create a convention challenging hybrid. A pinnacle of psychedelic music where the band used the recording studio as an instrument, the ambitious release also marked a departure for the Dead, as they began to channel their creativity into longer jams on songs like "Alligator" and "Caution (Do Not Stop On Tracks)" – two live staples of their early days. The addition of lyricist Robert Hunter and percussionist Mickey Hart here helped take the Dead's brand of improvisational psychedelia to new heights and displayed that the band could be as equally transcendent in the studio as in the live environment.
"This is one the most thrilling albums the Grateful Dead ever produced, mixing portions of live recordings from the first six months of Mickey's tenure with the band, along with studio experimentations that would hint at where the Dead would go when they started recording to 16-track tape the following year," says archivist and producer David Lemieux. "The 1971 remix, produced in order to make the album more accessible to the newer fans who were brought on board with Workingman's Dead and American Beauty, has been the most commonly heard version for the past 50+ years."