Grateful Dead will continue their ambitious reissue series to commemorate the 50-year anniversary for each of their albums with Aoxomoxoa this June. Like all the albums in this ongoing series, Aoxomoxoa will be released approximately 50 years after its anniversary date as a two-disc deluxe CD edition that includes the original album with newly remastered sound, plus a bonus disc of unreleased live recordings. The album will also be released as a 12-inch picture disc produced in a limited edition of 10,000 copies.
The deluxe CD edition of Aoxomoxoa (50th Anniversary Edition) includes two versions of the album - one fully remastered from the original 1969 recording, and the other remastered from the definitive 1971 band-produced mix. This is the first time both mixes have been presented together in a single release. Also included is a bonus disc with previously unreleased live music recorded January 24-26, 1969 at the Avalon Ballroom in San Francisco, CA. Newly remastered by Jeffrey Norman, these shows were among the first live performances ever to be recorded to 16-track tape. The vinyl picture disc version will feature the remastered mix of the album from 1971.
Grateful Dead audiovisual archivist Dave Lemieux says: "In 1969, for their third album, the Grateful Dead eschewed outside producers and created Aoxomoxoa themselves, beginning a run of self-produced albums that would continue until 1977. Scrapping the first sessions, which were recorded to eight-track tape, the Dead now had 16 tracks with which to experiment their psychedelic sound, with an album that included entirely Robert Hunter-penned lyrics for the first time."
An enigmatic classic, Aoxomoxoa is messy and murky, mysterious and majestic - a perfect time capsule that is still stubbornly resplendent a half century after it first appeared. The album introduced favorites like "St. Stephen" and "Mountains On The Moon," as well as "China Cat Sunflower" - a song that would continue to remain in the band's repertoire.
The deluxe edition's bonus disc features unreleased live performances captured over several nights in January 1969 at the Avalon Ballroom. Recorded several months before the release of Aoxomoxoa, the live tracks include early versions of two tracks from the album - "Dupree's Diamond Blues" and "Doin' That Rag." The disc also includes the final live performance of "Clementine," a song the band began performing in 1968 but was never released on a studio album. The band also played several songs from its second album, Anthem of the Sun (1968). Highlights include a dynamic romp through "New Potato Caboose" and an electrifying "Alligator>Caution" jam that captures Pigpen at his primal best.
When these shows were recorded, the band members were: Jerry Garcia, Bob Weir, Ron "Pigpen" McKernan, Phil Lesh, Tom Constanten, Mickey Hart, and Bill Kreutzmann.