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  • Author: avelin
  • Date: 3-03-2015, 22:19
3-03-2015, 22:19

The Band - 8 Album Japan SHMCD Series (2015) [FLAC]

Category: Music

The Band - 8 Album Japan SHMCD Series (2015) [FLAC]

The Band - 8 Album Japan SHMCD Series (2015) [FLAC]
8 Albums | Release: 2015 | MP3 320 Kpbs | 44.1 Khz | Joint-Stereo | 1.88 GB
Genre: Rock

Album

1968 Music From Big Pink

None of the Band's previous work gave much of a clue about how they would sound when they released their first album in July 1968. As it was, Music from Big Pink came as a surprise. At first blush, the group seemed to affect the sound of a loose jam session, alternating emphasis on different instruments, while the lead and harmony vocals passed back and forth as if the singers were making up their blend on the spot. In retrospect, especially as the lyrics sank in, the arrangements seemed far more considered and crafted to support a group of songs that took family, faith, and rural life as their subjects and proceeded to imbue their values with uncertainty. Some songs took on the theme of declining institutions less clearly than others, but the points were made musically as much as lyrically. Tenor Richard Manuel's haunting, lonely voice gave the album much of its frightening aspect, while Rick Danko's and Levon Helm's rough-hewn styles reinforced the songs' rustic fervor. The dominant instrument was Garth Hudson's often icy and majestic organ, while Robbie Robertson's unusual guitar work further destabilized the sound. The result was an album that reflected the turmoil of the late '60s in a way that emphasized the tragedy inherent in the conflicts. Music from Big Pink came off as a shockingly divergent musical statement only a year after the ornate productions of Sgt. Pepper, and initially attracted attention because of the three songs Bob Dylan had either written or co-written. However, as soon as “The Weight” became a minor singles chart entry, the album and the group made their own impact, influencing a movement toward roots styles and country elements in rock. Over time, Music from Big Pink came to be regarded as a watershed work in the history of rock, one that introduced new tones and approaches to the constantly evolving genre.

01 Tears Of Rage
02 To Kingdom Come
03 In A Station
04 Caledonia Mission
05 The Weight
06 We Can Talk
07 Long Black Veil
08 Chest Fever
09 Lonesome Suzie
10 This Wheel's On Fire
11 I Shall Be Released

1969 The Band

The Band's first album, Music from Big Pink, seemed to come out of nowhere, with its ramshackle musical blend and songs of rural tragedy. The Band, the group's second album, was a more deliberate and even more accomplished effort, partially because the players had become a more cohesive unit, and partially because guitarist Robbie Robertson had taken over the songwriting, writing or co-writing all 12 songs. Though a Canadian, Robertson focused on a series of American archetypes from the union worker in “King Harvest (Has Surely Come)” and the retired sailor in “Rockin' Chair” to, most famously, the Confederate Civil War observer Virgil Cane in “The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down.” The album effectively mixed the kind of mournful songs that had dominated Music from Big Pink, here including “Whispering Pines” and “When You Awake” (both co-written by Richard Manuel), with rollicking uptempo numbers like “Rag Mama Rag” and “Up on Cripple Creek” (both sung by Levon Helm and released as singles, with “Up on Cripple Creek” making the Top 40). As had been true of the first album, it was The Band's sound that stood out the most, from Helm's (and occasionally Manuel's) propulsive drumming to Robertson's distinctive guitar fills and the endlessly inventive keyboard textures of Garth Hudson, all topped by the rough, expressive singing of Manuel, Helm, and Rick Danko that mixed leads with harmonies. The arrangements were simultaneously loose and assured, giving the songs a timeless appeal, while the lyrics continued to paint portraits of 19th century rural life (especially Southern life, as references to Tennessee and Virginia made clear), its sometimes less savory aspects treated with warmth and humor.

01 Across The Great Divide
02 Rag Mama Rag
03 The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down
04 When You Awake
05 Up On Cripple Creek
06 Whispering Pines
07 Jemima Surrender
08 Rockin' Chair
09 Look Out Cleveland
10 Jawbone
11 The Unfaithful Servant
12 King Harvest (Has Surely Come)

1970 Stage Fright

Stage Fright, the Band's third album, sounded on its surface like the group's first two releases, Music From Big Pink and The Band, employing the same dense arrangements, with their mixture of a deep bottom formed by drummer Levon Helm and bassist Rick Danko, penetrating guitar work by Robbie Robertson, and the varied keyboard work of pianist Richard Manuel and organist Garth Hudson, with Helm, Danko, and Manuel's vocals on top. But the songs this time around were far more personal, and, despite a nominal complacency, quite troubling. Only “All La Glory,” Robertson's song about the birth of his daughter, was fully positive. “Strawberry Wine” and “Sleeping” were celebrations of indolence, while “Time to Kill,” as its title implied, revealed boredom while claiming romantic contentment. Several of the album's later songs seemed to be metaphors for trouble the group was encountering, with “The W.S. Walcott Medicine Show” commenting on the falseness of show business, “Daniel and the Sacred Harp” worrying about a loss of integrity, and the title song talking about the pitfalls of fortune and fame. “The Shape I'm In” was perhaps the album's most blatant statement of panic. the Band was widely acclaimed after its first two albums; Stage Fright seemed to be the group's alarmed response, which made it their most nakedly confessional. It was certainly different from their previous work, which had tended toward story-songs set in earlier times, but it was hardly less compelling for that.

01 Strawberry Wine
02 Sleeping
03 Time To Kill
04 Just Another Whistle Stop
05 All La Glory
06 The Shape I'm In
07 The W.S. Walcott Medicine Show
08 Daniel And The Sacred Harp
09 Stage Fright
10 The Rumor

1971 Cahoots

In comparison to its predecessors, Cahoots, the Band's fourth album, may be characterized as an essentially minor effort that nevertheless contains a few small pleasures. These pleasures begin with the leadoff track, “Life Is a Carnival,” a song that continues the theme of Stage Fright by emphasizing the false nature of show business and its impact on reality. The song features a lively Dixieland horn chart courtesy of Allen Toussaint. “When I Paint My Masterpiece,” a Bob Dylan song making its recorded debut here as the second selection, is another welcome track, buoyed by mandolin and accordion in a charming arrangement appropriate to its tale of an odd trip to Europe. “4% Pantomime” is a duet between the Band's Richard Manuel and Van Morrison that is entertaining to hear, even if the song itself is slight. Unfortunately, that just about completes the list of the album's attractions. Annotator Rob Bowman claims that the overriding theme of the songs is “extinction and the sadness that accompanies the passing of things that once were held to be of great value”; actually, there is no overriding theme to the minor songs written by Robbie Robertson. Several of the songs' lyrics come across as half-baked film scenarios, but they fail to be evocative, and they are paired to music lacking in structure. The failure is solely in the writing; the Band sounds as good as ever playing the songs, with singers Manuel, Levon Helm, and Rick Danko all performing effectively and primary instrumentalist Garth Hudson filling in the arrangements cleverly. It's just that the material is not strong enough, particularly in comparison to the three impressive albums the Band had released previously.

01 Life Is A Carnival
02 When I Paint My Masterpiece
03 Last Of The Blacksmiths
04 Where Do We Go From Here
05 4% Pantomine
06 Shoot Out In Chinatown
07 The Moon Struck One
08 Thinking Out Loud
09 Smoke Signal
10 Volcano
11 The River Hymn

1972 Rock Of Ages: The Band In Concert

Released on the heels of the stilted, static Cahoots, the double-album Rock of Ages occupies a curious yet important place in Band history. Recorded at a spectacular New Years Eve 1971 gig, the show and album were intended to be a farewell of sorts before the Band took an extended break in 1972, but it turned out to be a last hurrah in many different ways, closing the chapter on the first stage of their career, when they were among the biggest and most important rock & roll bands. That sense of importance had started to creep into their music, turning their studio albums after The Band into self-conscious affairs, and even the wildly acclaimed first two albums seemed to float out of time, existing in a sphere of their own and never having the kick of a rock & roll band. Rock of Ages has that kick in spades, and it captures that road warrior side of the band that was yet unheard on record. Since this band — or more accurately its leader, Robbie Robertson — was acutely aware of image and myth, this record didn't merely capture an everyday gig, it captured a spectacular, in retrospect almost a dry run for the legendary Last Waltz. New Orleans R&B legend Allen Toussaint was hired to write horn charts and conduct them, helping to open up the familiar tunes, which in turn helped turn this music into a warm, loose, big-hearted party. And that's what's so splendid about Rock of Ages: sure, the tightness of the Band as a performing unit is on display, but there's also a wild, rowdy heart pumping away in the backbeat of this music, something that the otherwise superb studio albums do not have. Simply put, this is a joy to hear, which may have been especially true after the dour, messy Cahoots, but even stripped of that context Rock of Ages has a spirit quite unlike any other Band album. Indeed, it could be argued that it captured the spirit of the Band at the time in a way none of their other albums do.

01 Introduction
02 Don't Do It
03 King Harvest (Has Surely Come)
04 Caledonia Mission
05 Get Up Jake
06 The W.S. Walcott Medicine Show
07 Stage Fright
08 The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down
09 Across The Great Divide
10 This Wheel's On Fire
11 Rag Mama Rag
12 The Weight
13 The Shape I'm In
14 Unfaithful Servant
15 Life Is A Carnival
16 The Genetic Method
17 Chest Fever
18 (I Don't Want To) Hang Up My Rock And Roll Shoes

1973 Moondog Matinee

The Band essentially went back to being the Hawks of the late '50s and early '60s on this album of cover tunes. They demonstrated considerable expertise on their versions of rock & roll and R&B standards like Clarence “Frogman” Henry's “Ain't Got No Home,” Chuck Berry's “The Promised Land,” and Fats Domino's “I'm Ready,” but of course that didn't do much to satisfy the audience they had established with their original material and that, two years after the disappointing Cahoots, was waiting for something in the same league with their first three albums.

01 Ain't Got No Home
02 Holy Cow
03 Share Your Love
04 Mystery Train
05 Third Man Theme
06 Promised Land
07 The Great Pretender
08 I'm Ready
09 Saved
10 A Change Is Gonna Come

1975 Northern Lights – Southern Cross

The first studio album of Band originals in four years, in many respects Northern Lights-Southern Cross was viewed as a comeback. It also can be seen as a swan song. The album was the Band's finest since their self-titled sophomore effort. Totaling eight songs in all, on this album the Band explores new timbres, utilizing for the first time 24 tracks and what was (then) new synthesizer technology. “Acadian Driftwood” stands out as one of Robertson's finest compositions, the equal to anything else the Band ever recorded.

01 Forbidden Fruit
02 Hobo Jungle
03 Ophelia
04 Acadian Driftwood
05 Ring Your Bell
06 It Makes No Difference
07 Jupiter Hollow
08 Rags & Bones

1977 Islands

Theoretically, even though the Band had given up touring as of Thanksgiving 1976, they were going to keep making records, and Islands was the first album released in the new era. Only it wasn't; it was the album they scraped together to complete their ten-LP contract with Capitol Records and the last new full-length album the original five members ever made. The playing, as ever, was impeccable, and the record had its moments, notably a Richard Manuel vocal on the chestnut “Georgia on My Mind” that had been released as a single in 1976 to boost Georgia governor Jimmy Carter's successful run for the presidency. But the songwriting quality was mediocre, and the Band had set such a standard for itself in that department that Islands couldn't help suffering enormously in comparison.

01 Right As Rain
02 Street Walker
03 Let The Night Fall
04 Ain't That A Lot Of Love
05 Christmas Must Be Tonight
06 Islands
07 The Saga Of Pepote Rouge
08 Georgia On My Mind
09 Knockin' Lost John
10 Livin' In A Dream
The Band - 8 Album Japan SHMCD Series (2015) [FLAC]

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