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Greatest Hits Original recording remastered

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4.8 out of 5 stars 44 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Audio CD (12 Feb. 2001)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Original recording remastered
  • Label: EMI
  • ASIN: B00004YL5D
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (44 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 27,114 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
  • Sample this album Artist (Sample)
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Product Description

1. the weight listen listen2. tears of rage listen listen3. chest fever listen listen4. i shall be released listen listen5. up on cripple creek listen listen6. the night they drove old dixie down listen listen7. rag mama rag listen listen8. king harvest (has surely come) listen listen9. the shape i'm in listen listen10. stage fright listen listen11. time to kill listen listen12. life is a carnival listen listen13. when i paint my masterpiece 14. ain't got no home listen listen15. it makes no difference listen listen16. ophelia listen listen17. acadian driftwood listen listen18. the saga of pepote rouge listen listen

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
Listening to this album for the first time as a fan of The Last Waltz, but without knowing anything else about The Band, I was initially somewhat disappointed. The overall sound mix seemed hollow compared to the live versions of songs like Ophelia, yet one would normally expect a studio album to sound fuller and more rounded than a live effort. Worse, the production is flawed, with many of the tracks noisy and slightly damaged in some places.
But on a repeated listening and after following The Last Waltz's on-screen advice to turn the volume up, this collection grew on me - and has continued to grow on me, to the extent that I now spend much of my days annoying my colleagues by humming or singing, badly, some of the songs on this CD.
The Band, and lead guitarist Robbie Robertson in particular, must be amongst the greatest songwriters ever. The melodies are catchy and the arrangements are exquisitely put together. The lyrics are always intelligent and are often a daring historical narrative or social commentary, the best exemplar being the devastating Acadian Driftwood.
First and foremost, however, The Band are performers and are genuine masters of this craft. Every song is simply perfect: the musicians blend perfectly, the harmonies work perfectly and the individual performances are nothing short of stunning. The use of three "lead" singers with distinctive individual voices, far from being distracting, is a clever way of lending separate narrative voices to songs. The result of this careful arrangement is to instill a deep emotion into every track, which, combined with the intelligence of the writing, results in a powerful, unforgettable song in almost every instance, fusing country, blues and rock in a unique style.
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Format: Audio CD
The odds seem to be pretty heavily stacked against Greatest Hits: the well-liked two-CD anthology of 1990, To Kingdom Come, provides a more comprehensive introduction to The Band; this 2000 release's title is a bit of a misnomer given that they only had two US Top 40 hit singles; the enigmatic black-and white portrait of the group that adorns the cover is spoilt by the jarring superimposition of an unattractive logo; and the long sleeve-note by Rob Bowman is ridiculously pompous (It begins with the unappealing sentence: "The Band were singularly unique in the annals of North American music".)

Yet this digitally-remastered 18 track CD - taken from the 7 studio albums The Band issued between 1968 and 1977 - provides a pretty compelling overview of this roots-rock rock quintet from Canada. How does it do that? By shrewdly deciding to draw heavily from their first three albums: Music From Big Pink (1968); The Band (1969), and Stage Fright (1970). That means material that regularly features in critics' and fans' lists of the Top 10 songs by the group appears here like: 'I Shall Be Released'; 'The Weight'; 'Chest Fever'; 'King Harvest (Has Surely Come)'; 'The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down'; 'The Shape I'm In', and 'Stage Fright'. These evocative songs, with their yearning vocal harmonies, unflashy soul and funk inflections, and imagery of moon-lit cornfields and small-town dreaming, provide a powerful and effective contrast to the psychedelic era in which they were created. They also provide evidence of The Band's much documented closeness, which was said to have derived from having spent years on the road backing rockabilly showman Ronnie Hawkins and an electrified Bob Dylan.
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Format: Audio CD
Probabably the first use of the term Americana was used to describe the music and songs of the Band.Psychedelic music had morphed into acid rock ezcess and Prog Rock in England.The only way to go was backwards.The rather ridiculous criticism of country music was made null and void by the Band who were equally influnced themselves by what has now been called Roots Music
With Dylan as the way in the 70s would become the era of the Band.
In this country the biggest hit could have been The Night they drove Old Dixie down but made by Joan Baez.
Thus the Band were known as album artists who would bow out with The Last Waltz.
A recent covermount CD Across the Great Divide is of music they influenced
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I bought into this band as a 16 year old after hearing Rag Mamma Rag in the early 70`s but I never really bought any of their records.So purchasing this compilation gave me an insight into their music. Deffo one of the better Canadian bands
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
You know when you buy a compilation and it's disappointing? Well, rest assured, this is not one of those occasions. This album is magnificent, every track is a gem and a very good version of the song. Highly recommended. You will be thrilled to have this collection of the band's greatest hits.
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Nobody can deny their influence; echoes of this music can be heard in everyone from Zeppelin and the Stones to Van Morrison and Dexy's Midnight Runners. So why are The Band nowhere near as well known as any of those? Maybe it's because when you take the ego and posing out of rock, you risk taking the inspiration out too. If the Revolution ever comes, this is how rock will be afterwards: generic, faceless, devoid of any element of exploration, idealism or threat; the music of men who are skilled craftsmen, but not artists.

It's ironic that the booklet claims they were the first to produce music for listening rather than dancing (a nonsense anyway), because actually this is a definite step away from meaning and towards 'feel'. The vocals are low in the mix, and I'd defy even ardent Band fans to tell me what half these numbers are about - you get the impression that it just doesn't matter. Some are 'history book' songs, such as are the stock in trade of Iron Maiden, which is usually a dead giveaway that a songwriter has nothing personal to say; it even turns out that hippie anthem The Weight is actually about resentment at having to do a friend a favour. As the late Rik Mayall said, Woo-oodstock!

What The Band invented was not rock per se but AOR: pleasant, undemanding background music, whether for dancing or otherwise, produced by and for contented middle-aged folk. This album is very listenable, enjoyable enough, but it certainly doesn't set the pulse racing.
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