....quite a few early Deadheads jumped off board when "Workingman's Dead" and "American Beauty" were released. All they wanted to hear was "What's Become of the Baby?" things, and thought those two gems of albums represented some sort of betrayal of the band's psychedelic roots....
Thats funny, In Phils book he describes those albums as a return to their roots, Something that they had gotten away from with all the Psychedelic wierdness of their music in the 60's.
I believe it to be a progression, Nothing you can hold for very long, Take what you learn and improve what you have.