Speaks his mind on music & movies!
CB had taken the plunge with ‘The Best Of the Band’. So where did he go from here? To the record store to get more music by these guys. This is the album he chose. He was familiar with a few of the cuts on the album but there was plenty of new tunes for him to discover. He was not disappointed. He got more of the sound he wanted right off the bat with ‘Across the Great Divide’. It was all there. Then it was right into ‘Rag Mama Rag’ and he was getting even more. There was fiddle playing, not virtuoso but it sounded fantastic and it fit perfectly into the music these guys were making. Great vocals, piano, lyrics. ‘Dixie’ was next and a song CB had heard and liked. These kinds of “story songs” always appealed to him. It is just a real good tune. Creating all sorts of images. Like a movie soundtrack.
One of the things that CB was digging about these guys (among other things) was the different voices. Richard Manuel, Levon Helm and Rick Danko took turns and the songs seemed to suit their styles. ‘Cripple Creek’ was another familiar tune and becoming a favorite. Just the playing, the lyrics and the energy behind it. “I’m kinda tempted to go and see my Bessie again”. ‘Whispering Pines’ is just a beautiful song with some nice vocals. Garth Hudson’s keyboards are the perfect touch.
Side two opens with a great riff on ‘Jemima’ and some more great music. These guys just weren’t making a bad song. ‘Rockin’ Chair’, ‘Cleveland’ (with some nice licks from Robertson) continue that trend. “Jawbone’, “I’m a thief and I dig it”. CB dug the tune.
It’s hard not to give a a word on each song especially when there isn’t a weak one. ‘Servant’ is such a good song for so many reasons, the vocals, mandolin but it’s the sax at the end that does it for CB. How subtle and beautiful. ‘King Harvest’ ends the album and takes you out with The Band doing their thing.
No fireworks or flash and dash, just some unique music being played by a group of guys who were making it their way. Drawing on their individual influences and putting it together to make their style. CB wasn’t hearing a lot of music like it but this stuff was getting into his blood.
My question was how do you make a “Best of” album of this music? There wasn’t a bad cut on the album. So what was he missing from the other albums? CB was now going to get everything these guys recorded.
(Music Enthusiast did a bang up job on ‘The Band” back in March. Check it out. It’s worth it for the newcomer to their music and also to people who are familiar with them)
( Aphoristical drops a good review on this album also. Swing over and have a look)
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