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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Comprehensive compilation, 8 May 2004
This review is from: To Kingdom Come (Audio CD)
The Band are famous as Bob Dylan's musicians but they also (eventually) had their own career, brilliantly represented on this collection, which includes extensive liner notes. The music they made on their own was very different to Bob's.
The collection begins with a live cover of Chuck Berry's Back to Memphis, previously unreleased. Next come six tracks from The Band's debut album, Music from the Big Pink. The six tracks chosen include covers of I shall be released and Long black veil as well as four original songs, the most famous of these being The weight. The others are Tears of rage, To kingdom come and Chest fever.
Five songs are taken from their eponymous second album, including their only American top thirty hit, Up on Cripple Creek. Nevertheless, the most famous track on this album is The night they drove old Dixie down. Although this is the original version - and it is brilliant - it was Joan Baez who had the hit single. The other three songs from this album are Rag Mama rag, Unfaithful servant and King harvest has surely come. Sandwiched between these tracks is a live recording of a cover of Loving you is sweeter than ever, the Four tops classic.
The Band were a rebellious bunch and decided that things were getting way too serious so their next album (Stage fright) was intended to be a lightweight, fun album - however, it didn't work out that way due to line-up changes. Nevertheless, one of the tracks (The W S Walcott medicine show) is a much lighter type of song and shows what might have been. Other tracks from Stage fright included here are the title track, The shape I'm in and Daniel and the sacred harp. This completes the first CD.
The second CD opens with a cover of a Motown song originally recorded by Marvin Gaye in 1964. This is followed by four tracks from their fourth album, Cahoots, then just one track (Mystery train) from Moondog matinee, a set of R+B covers. This sounds like an interesting album and I'd certainly like the chance to hear the whole album. Another live recording, Endless highway, is followed by Get up Jake, originally recorded for one of their earlier albums but not released.
Three tracks from Northern lights Southern Cross and three tracks from Islands including a Christmas song complete an outstanding collection.
This compilation is worth tracking down if you are interested in guitar rock music of the late sixties and early seventies. No subsequent compilation does as much justice to The Band as this one. All the original albums have been re-released on CD, so if you can't find this collection you can get all the tracks and many more besides.
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