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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This is a review of the 2cd set released this month.
First thing first.
It's THE BAND!
25 tracks plus 4 encores with DYLAN!
Beautiful package for the price.
Add to that the monster of mix by Bob Clearmountain.
He's delivered some awesome albums in his career but the sound of this package will impress you.
Hardly any crowd noise, buzzes,glitches, and other interference.
Like they were in...
Published 9 months ago by Marcus Delerious

versus
36 of 38 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars OK, but don't throw away your Rock of Ages discs...
This is a review of the 4 CD + 1 DVD edition.

DISCS 1 + 2: the first two discs comprise the very same Rock of Ages performances released on the 2001 2CD edition (plus "Strawberry Wine" and "Smoke Signal" but minus "Loving You Is Sweeter Than Ever"), with different running order and brand new mix.
The new Bob Clearmountain mix sounds great inasmuch it...
Published 9 months ago by Agnes Andrea


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36 of 38 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars OK, but don't throw away your Rock of Ages discs..., 12 Oct 2013
By 
Agnes Andrea - See all my reviews
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This is a review of the 4 CD + 1 DVD edition.

DISCS 1 + 2: the first two discs comprise the very same Rock of Ages performances released on the 2001 2CD edition (plus "Strawberry Wine" and "Smoke Signal" but minus "Loving You Is Sweeter Than Ever"), with different running order and brand new mix.
The new Bob Clearmountain mix sounds great inasmuch it vastly enhances the performances of the five members of The Band. Their playing is allowed to truly stand out and is given new depth and detail. This is quite exciting, but on the other hand, the horn section is pushed in the background and mixed very low. The harmonies, the counterpoints and the obbligatos played by the horns are barely audible on many of the tracks, and in my opinion this is a wrong move because Allen Toussaint's arrangements were superb. The question is: since the whole point of those 1971 concerts was to play and record with a horn section, experimenting with Touissant's arrangements and some of the world's greatest horn players, why now mix it out of the performances? Beats me. This is where, in my opinion, the Rock of Ages discs still sound superior.

DISCS 3 + 4: a "soundboard mix" of the whole New Year's Eve concert. 11 of these performances are the same performances included in Rock of Ages and in the first 2 CDs of this set. There are 16 previously unreleased performances (same songs, though).
This is a very basic, almost dull mix, with vocals up-front and the instruments a bit jumbled together. Robertson & son (who apparently did the mix) have been quoted saying that this soundboard mix sounds like "a great bootleg". Right. But who needs a bootleg when 2 different professional multitrack mixes from these concerts are already available?
Discs 3 & 4 are a curio which quickly becomes boring... I don't see myself playing it again in the future.

THE DVD: mostly an audio DVD with the same performances on CDs 1+2 presented with 5.1 surround sound. There are also two filmed performances of King Harvest and W.S. Walcott, apparently the only existing footage from those nights.
-
In a nutshell: discs 1+2 sound great but the horns are mixed very low, so in that respect the 2001 edition of Rock of Ages is still indispensable, possibly better if you liked the horn arrangements.
Discs 3+4 sound ok but are a rather nondescript addition.
DVD: if you care for surround sound you'll love this. Otherwise, you might as well go for the cheaper 2CD edition of this release, which discards the soundboard mix and the DVD and presents only the new Bob Clearmountain mix, which in my opinion (even with the reservations above) is the only thing of some interest here.
I'd give this set 3 stars and a half...
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great Sound, BUT, 12 Oct 2013
By 
Sordel (United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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MUSIC & SOUND

The Band's Rock Of Ages is regularly counted amongst the great live albums, but when it was originally issued it was billed as a live album taken from the recording of their concert at The Academy Of Music on December 31st, 1971. In fact, the album was compiled from recordings at the same venue taken over the span of four nights, of which the New Year's Eve performance was the last. Various issues of Rock Of Ages have added bonus tracks, but this five disc set is an attempt to readdress history in a more radical way.

Accordingly, the first two discs give us an augmented & remastered Rock Of Ages (an attempt to give us as the best possible version of the album as originally compiled) and discs three & four give us, complete and in order, New Year's Eve. Although they've described the NYE mix as a "soundboard mix" this is not, in fact, a stereo feed from the soundboard but a completely new mix from the multi-track master. With notably less audience noise, this mix gets us closer to the action on stage.

Due to the overlap between Rock Of Ages and NYE, you end up with almost exactly the same songs on the first & second pair of discs, with eleven actual performances shared (including the climactic set with Bob Dylan). There's a logic to what they've done, but it results in a poor value package for someone expecting four CDs of The Band live rather than a meticulous exploration of one special album.

Sound on the Rock Of Ages discs is very good, and very enjoyable, but for me the New Year's Eve concert is too revealing, putting the performances under a microscope. If you're going to pick one version of these concerts for repeated listening, I think it will be the first two discs, which are separately available.

Disc five, the DVD, gives us a surround sound version of the first two discs which is actually quite nice (you may need to back up your centre channel a bit because it's rather vocal-heavy) and features a slideshow of some stills of the concert. This is fine, but it's only encoded in Dolby Digital ... it seems like a stupid corner to cut not to give at least DTS, and given the premium pricing of this set a Blu-Ray should have been included.

BOOK & TEXT

Physically speaking, this set is woeful. The book is smaller than you might expect: it looks from pictures as though it might be LP sized but in fact it's far smaller (and over an inch shorter than the superb A Musical History ... the set that set the bar for Band boxed sets). Much of the thickness of the set is down to the nasty cardboard leaves that hold the discs. A paper insert of the Rolling Stone review of Rock Of Ages is just slipped in rather than housed in a fold, so it will fall out every time you pick this set up.

The pages of the book feature poor quality photos printed on low quality glossy paper. The text is dreadfully typeset and less illuminating than you'd hope. Worse, a full page quotation from Allen Toussaint is just lifted from the (vastly superior) essay about Rock Of Ages in A Musical History.

OVERALL

Great sound quality and a sober, archival approach cannot disguise that this set has been significantly overpriced for its contents and that Universal is cashing in here with a low-standard imitation of the better super-deluxe editions being issued today. Pride of ownership is very low and this set can only be recommended for fans ardent enough to compare versions and mixes in painstaking detail. For the rest of us, the two disc version or A Musical History are vastly preferable.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This is a review of the 2cd set released this month., 7 Oct 2013
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This review is from: Live At The Academy Of Music 1971 (Audio CD)
First thing first.
It's THE BAND!
25 tracks plus 4 encores with DYLAN!
Beautiful package for the price.
Add to that the monster of mix by Bob Clearmountain.
He's delivered some awesome albums in his career but the sound of this package will impress you.
Hardly any crowd noise, buzzes,glitches, and other interference.
Like they were in the studio.
Don't think twice;GET THIS!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars You May Have All The Albums - Still Get This!, 7 April 2014
By 
P. Bayley - See all my reviews
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This ranks with "Live At Watkins Glen" as showcasing one of the 20th century's most influential and enjoyable bands at their best.
A couple of the cover versions are a bit ropey, but all the original Band songs highlight how those disparate voices gel into an unforgettable whole, around a series of perfectly ramshackle musical masterpieces.
If you like this, do buy the Last two Levon Helm albums and the two Robbie Robertson solos, then wonder at how two such distinctive musicians could be in the same supergroup.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The fog has lifted !, 7 Oct 2013
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This review is from: Live At The Academy Of Music 1971 (Audio CD)
I only became aware last week that this album was being released.Despite possessing "Rock of Ages",thought "what the hell,give it a go".
Glad I did so.This is a stunning mix by Bob Clearmountain,whoever he is.Never heard of him,but what a job he has done.
New life has been breathed into these songs.Voices and instruments are crystal clear.Levon Helms' drumming,in particular, is crisper,and the "high end" is high ! That was first thing that struck me,but the sheer musicality of these recordings has had a light shone upon it.
Like a fog has lifted.
Buy it,bin "Rock of Ages" and enjoy.
Time for a beer and another listen !
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5.0 out of 5 stars classic, 1 Dec 2013
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a great live recording , Band on top from , and Dylan too. dvd was disappointing no live film or pictures
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5.0 out of 5 stars it's the Band what else is there to say, 6 Nov 2013
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It's the Band - music and movie. Should be on the national curriculum to show our kids how good music can be.
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55 of 74 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Landmark In Music History, 27 July 2013
By 
N. J. Baird "Dr. N.J. Baird" (Ipswich, United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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`LIVE AT THE ACADEMY OF MUSIC 1971,' TO BE RELEASED SEPTEMBER 17 BY CAPITOL/UME, PRESENTS THE BEST OF THE BAND'S FOUR LEGENDARY
YEAR-END CONCERTS, INCLUDING THE COMPLETE NEW YEAR'S EVE SET

4CD+DVD Collection Builds on The Band's `Rock Of Ages' Concert Classic, Unearthing Much More From the Acclaimed Shows in New Stereo and 5.1 Surround Mixes

Los Angeles, California - July 24, 2013 - During the final week of 1971, The Band played four legendary concerts at New York City's Academy Of Music, ushering in the New Year with electrifying performances, including new horn arrangements by Allen Toussaint and a surprise guest appearance by Bob Dylan for a New Year's Eve encore. Select highlights from the concerts were compiled for The Band's classic 1972 double LP, Rock Of Ages, which peaked at No. 6 on the Billboard 200 and remains a core album in the trailblazing group's storied Capitol Records catalog. For the first time, all four of the concerts' multi-track recordings have been revisited for Live At The Academy Of Music 1971, a new 4CD+DVD collection to be released September 17 by Capitol/UMe. The expansive new collection features new stereo and 5.1 Surround mixes, including 19 previously unreleased performances and newly discovered footage of two songs filmed by Howard Alk and Murray Lerner. Live At The Academy Of Music 1971 takes a deep dive into The Band's historic shows for a definitive document of the pioneering group's stage prowess at the apex of their career. On the same date, the collection's first two discs will also be released as a 2CD set.

Live At The Academy Of Music 1971 is presented in a deluxe, 48-page hardbound book with previously unseen photos, a reproduction of Rolling Stone's original Rock Of Ages review by magazine co-founder Ralph J. Gleason, an essay by The Band's Robbie Robertson, and appreciations of The Band and the set's recordings by Mumford & Sons and Jim James of My Morning Jacket. The collection's first two discs feature performances of every song played over the course of the four concerts, and the New Year's Eve soundboard mix on discs 3 and 4 puts the listener in the room for that entire legendary night: Uncut, unedited, taken straight from the master recordings and presented in full for the first time. The set's DVD presents the tracks from discs 1 and 2 in 5.1 Surround, plus Alk and Lerner's filmed performances of "King Harvest (Has Surely Come)" and "The W.S. Walcott Medicine Show."

Live At The Academy Of Music 1971 is produced by Robbie Robertson, with co-producers Michael Murphy and Matt D'Amico. The stereo mixes for the first two discs and the DVD's 5.1 Surround mix were done by Bob Clearmountain, with the stereo mixes for discs 3 and 4 helmed by Sebastian Robertson and Jon Castelli, assisted by Ryan Nasci. The collection was mastered by Patricia Sullivan at Bernie Grundman Mastering. The concerts were originally recorded by Phil Ramone with Mark Harman.

By the late 1960s, The Band had become one of the most popular and influential rock groups in the world. Robertson, reflecting on the time and the decision to record the Academy Of Music concerts, recalls, "We were in a huddle of playing music, enjoying what we were doing, and I had a feeling, `We should capture this.' To end 1971 with these shows felt, for all of us, like the right thing to do. This is a fulfillment of that extraordinary musical experience that I feel great about sharing."

Of the set's complete New Year's Eve recording, Robertson says, "This is like being there. It was the final night; there was a thrill in the air. We were excited about New Year's Eve, and then Dylan joined us for the encore. When he came out, we thought we could wing it, and wing it we did. We thought, `We're not gonna fall off this wire.' That whole night had a bit of magic to it."

The Band's members shared an extensive collaborative history. Between 1960 and 1962, the then-teenaged multi-instrumentalists Levon Helm (drums, vocals, mandolin), Robbie Robertson (guitar, piano, vocals), Rick Danko (bass, vocals, fiddle), Richard Manuel (keyboards, vocals, drums) and Garth Hudson (keyboards, horns) first performed and recorded together as members of the backing band for Ronnie Hawkins called the Hawks. In late 1963, the Hawks struck out on their own and became Levon & the Hawks, playing and recording under this name in 1964 and 1965.

In 1965, Robertson met with Bob Dylan in New York, just as Dylan was seeking an electric guitarist for his touring band. The Band was born, with all of the former Hawks backing Dylan on the road from October 1965 through 1966 as he incensed audiences in the U.S., Australia and Europe, performing electric sets. Disheartened by the vocally disdainful `folkie purist' audience response to their first plugged-in performances with Dylan, Helm left The Band in November 1965.

After the 1966 tour concluded, The Band woodshedded for the next year in upstate New York, often in the company of Dylan, forging a highly original sound that in one way or another encompassed the panoply of American roots music: country, blues, R&B, gospel, soul, rockabilly, the honking tenor sax tradition, Anglican hymns, funeral dirges, brass band music, folk music, modern rock, fused and synthesized in ways that no one had ever before thought possible.

Helm re-joined The Band in 1967, as the group prepared to record their first full-length album. Released in 1968, Music From Big Pink received glowing reviews; a journalist for Life magazine wrote that The Band "dipped into the well of tradition and came up with a bucketful of clear, cool, country soul that washed the ears with a sound never heard before." While the album only reached No. 30 on Billboard's chart when it was released, it has become recognized over time as one of the most important albums in the history of rock.

Between 1968 and 1978, The Band released nine albums. In 1989, The Band was inducted into the Canadian Juno Hall of Fame; five years later they were accorded the same honor by the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. In 2008, The Band was honored with The Recording Academy's Lifetime Achievement Award.

Sadly, three members of The Band, Richard Manuel, Rick Danko and Levon Helm, have passed away, but The Band's legacy lives on, in their recordings and in their tangible influence on popular music since they first hit the scene, wowing not only Bob Dylan, but many other major players of the day, including Eric Clapton, George Harrison, and Miles Davis. Making Americana music before the term even existed, Rick, Levon, Garth, Richard and Robbie collectively constituted the only ensemble to ever rightfully earn the sobriquet The Band.

The Band: Live At The Academy Of Music 1971
* indicates previously unissued performance

Disc 1 [CD]
1. The W.S. Walcott Medicine Show Friday, December 31
2. The Shape I'm In Friday, December 31
3. Caledonia Mission Thursday, December 30
4. Don't Do It Wednesday, December 29
5. Stage Fright Friday, December 31
6. I Shall Be Released Thursday, December 30
7. Up On Cripple Creek Thursday, December 30
8. This Wheel's On Fire Wednesday, December 29
9. Strawberry Wine * Tuesday, December 28
10. King Harvest (Has Surely Come) Friday, December 31
11. Time To Kill Tuesday, December 28
12. The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down Wednesday, December 29
13. Across The Great Divide Thursday, December 30

Disc 2 [CD]
1. Life Is A Carnival Thursday, December 30
2. Get Up Jake Thursday, December 30
3. Rag Mama Rag Friday, December 31
4. Unfaithful Servant Friday, December 31
5. The Weight Thursday, December 30
6. Rockin' Chair Wednesday, December 29
7. Smoke Signal Tuesday, December 28
8. The Rumor Thursday, December 30
9. The Genetic Method Friday, December 31
10. Chest Fever Tuesday, December 28
11. (I Don't Want To) Hang Up My Rock And Roll Shoes Wednesday, December 29
12. Loving You Is Sweeter Than Ever Wednesday, December 29
13. Down In The Flood (The Band with Bob Dylan) Friday, December 31
14. When I Paint My Masterpiece (The Band with Bob Dylan) Friday, December 31
15. Don't Ya Tell Henry (The Band with Bob Dylan) Friday, December 31
16. Like A Rolling Stone (The Band with Bob Dylan) Friday, December 31

Disc 3 [CD] - New Year's Eve At The Academy Of Music 1971 (The Soundboard Mix)
1. Up On Cripple Creek *
2. The Shape I'm In
3. The Rumor *
4. Time To Kill *
5. Rockin' Chair *
6. This Wheel's On Fire *
7. Get Up Jake *
8. Smoke Signal *
9. I Shall Be Released *
10. The Weight *
11. Stage Fright

Disc 4 [CD] - New Year's Eve At The Academy Of Music 1971 (The Soundboard Mix)
1. Life Is A Carnival *
2. King Harvest (Has Surely Come)
3. Caledonia Mission *
4. The W.S. Walcott Medicine Show
5. The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down *
6. Across The Great Divide *
7. Unfaithful Servant
8. Don't Do It *
9. The Genetic Method
10. Chest Fever *
11. Rag Mama Rag
12. (I Don't Want To) Hang Up My Rock And Roll Shoes *
13. Down In The Flood (with Bob Dylan)
14. When I Paint My Masterpiece (with Bob Dylan)
15. Don't Ya Tell Henry (with Bob Dylan)
16. Like A Rolling Stone (with Bob Dylan)

Disc 5 [DVD] - Live At The Academy Of Music 1971 in 5.1 Surround Sound
1. The W.S. Walcott Medicine Show
2. The Shape I'm In
3. Caledonia Mission
4. Don't Do It
5. Stage Fright
6. I Shall Be Released
7. Up On Cripple Creek
8. The Wheel's On Fire
9. Strawberry Wine *
10. King Harvest (Has Surely Come)
11. Time To Kill
12. The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down
13. Across The Great Divide
14. Life Is A Carnival
15. Get Up Jake
16. Rag Mama Rag
17. Unfaithful Servant
18. The Weight
19. Rockin' Chair
20. Smoke Signal
21. The Rumor
22. The Genetic Method
23. Chest Fever
24. (I Don't Want To) Hang Up My Rock And Roll Shoes
25. Loving You Is Sweeter Than Ever
Archival Film Clips - December 30, 1971
1. King Harvest (Has Surely Come) *
2. The W.S. Walcott Medicine Show *

Rick Danko: bass, violin, vocals
Levon Helm: drums, mandolin, vocals
Garth Hudson: organ, accordion, saxophones
Richard Manuel: piano, keyboards, drums, vocals
Robbie Robertson: guitar, vocals

Featuring:
Snooky Young: trumpet, flugelhorn
Howard Johnson: baritone sax, tuba, euphonium
Joe Farrell: tenor sax, soprano sax, english horn
Earl McIntyer: trombone
J.D. Parron: alto sax, e flat clarinet

Horns arranged by Allen Toussaint
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best live recording ever, 7 Oct 2013
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This review is from: Live At The Academy Of Music 1971 (Audio CD)
This is about as perfect as a band can be live and without all that protools rubbish.
If you love the last waltz you need to hear this.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Band Live, 26 Oct 2013
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This review is from: Live At The Academy Of Music 1971 (Audio CD)
A superb package for those who don't wish to shell out for the 4 Disc box set of the same concerts. The re-mastered sound is much improved over the previous issue '' Rock of Ages'' live set. The remaining 4 tracks which feature Bob Dylan are a genuine bonus.
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