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Classic Albums: The Band - The Band (1997)

The Band , Bob Smeaton  |  NR |  DVD
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (58 customer reviews)

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Classic Albums: The Band - The Band + The Last Waltz (Special Edition) + Ain't In It For My Health: A Film About Levon Helm
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Product Details

  • Actors: The Band
  • Directors: Bob Smeaton
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, Dolby, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Eagle Rock Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: May 31, 2005
  • Run Time: 75 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (58 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0007GADYU
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #95,647 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Classic Albums: The Band - The Band" on IMDb

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

Comprised of Rick Danko, Levon Helm, Garth Hudson, Richard Manuel and Robbie Robertson, The Band's self-titled sophomore effort spent 24 weeks in the Billboard Top 40. The album was released at a time when the US album charts were taken over by the psychedelic rock movement, and despite this, the album had the aforementioned chart success and would go on to sell over one million copies. This edition of the "Classic Albums" series focuses on The Band's follow-up to "MUSIC FROM BIG PINK". Featuring classics such as "Up On Cripple Creek", "The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down", and "Rag Mama Rag", the story of the album is told through interviews with surviving members of The Band, fellow musicians Eric Clapton, Don Was, and George Harrison, and vintage footage. The Band is a classic album!

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
117 of 118 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars wonderful May 11, 2001
With the recent remastering and re-releasing of the full Band canon, interest in one of America's greatest musical acts has never been higher. This is as good a time as any to pick up a copy of "The Band," one in Rhino records series called "classic Albums," which documents the making of classic albums. (other dvd's include the Wailers, the Who, and the Grateful Dead) This dvd documents the classic lp "The Band" from 1969.
Filled with vintage footage of the Band in rehersals, as well as interviews with Robbie Robertson, Levon Helm, the reclusive Garth Hudson, and the late Rick Danko, "The Band" chronicles the making of this amazing album, focusing on the disparate musical influences- country, bluegrass, rockabilly, black R&B, rock n roll, and folk/Americana- that led to many of guitarist/vocalist Robbie Robertson's greatest songs.
The surviving members at the time of this documentary (made in 1997-pianist Richard Manuel had died in 1986) add their own anecdotes to the music, giving the songs unique colors and life. Levon Helm, Robbie Robertson, and Garth Hudson (the most pleasant surprise on the dvd taking into account his well known reclusive nature) add to the fun by playing some of the tunes based on their perspective, offering running commontary as they go. Add to the Band's perspective those of Eric Clapton, (who wanted to join the Band at one point) George Harrison, Elton John's lyicist Bernie Taupin, and producer Don Was, and the cup of greatness runneth over.
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41 of 41 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Joyful Little DVD July 31, 2001
As a fan of the group, I decided to take a chance on this DVD though I knew nothing about it. It very easily could have been a dud, but it turned out to be something very special. The surviving members of the group actually participated in this documentary, and they show a lot of pride and a lot of affection for their days together, and for the music they made.
Just watch Levon listening back to "Rocking Chair," his eyes closed, delighted at the sound of Richard Manuel's voice, basking in the joy of what The Band created together so many years ago. He still retains that modest, down-home quality that is so endearing.
Then there's "Brother Garth." Band fans will find this DVD worth the purchase price just to see Garth improvising at the keyboard, displaying just what a lovable crazed-genius he really is.
And then there is plenty of Robbie Robertson, giving some very insightful information about The Band's writing and recording processes. Like Levon, Robbie just can't contain the thrill he obviously feels listening back to the original multitracks from the album.
Unfortunately, it doesn't appear that Robbie ever "reunited" with the others for this program, even if just to listen to the tracks together. The interviews are all done separately. But that's not really a complaint, just an observation.
Anyone who is a fan of The Band, and anyone who has a genuine interest in the creative process and in making music, will certainly love this DVD. I'm a picky guy, but I gave this the highest rating I could.
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51 of 53 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Must Have DVD January 21, 2001
If you love The Band (is there such thing as a casual Band fan?) you MUST own this! There is some repetition of the usual stories, such as Clapton telling us his 'Big Pink' story, but others are fresh and exciting. Also, there are solo tidbits that will break your heart. Robby doing Dixie, and Rick, God rest his soul, doing When You Awake. Absolutely essential.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful Tribute June 30, 2005
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
I am a huge fan of the entire Classic Series; however do not let that fact make you feel I am being biased. This is the first time I've watched one of the many of this series and was compelled to write a review and recommend its purchase.

Excellent footage, interviews, and insight into a band with such an abundance of heart that only music could capture.

Will never forget the endless days/nights of enjoying The Bands music, and the 1973 Roosevelt Stadium shows my friends and I were privileged to attend.

It is all fantastic, but to watch Rick Danko being recorded in present day, playing guitar and singing "When You Awake" is worth way more then the price of admission. This DvD is priceless. Thanks to all involved for its production.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best of the Classic Album DVD's July 26, 2003
I have a number of the DVD's from the Classic Album series. I find this one to be particularly compelling and balanced. It is rare to see anything about The Band that includes input from both Robbie Robertson and Levon Helm and the DVD is all the better for it. I found that the fine editing kept Levon's bitterness to a minimum (the "someone needs to tune that guitar" quip from Rocking Chair) and Robbie's contribution to the whole affair balanced. The highlights include the improvisation of Garth Hudson at the keyboard and the insights of John Simon, who produced the first two Band albums and Jon Taplin. Levon sums it up well in the end. The movie is "righteous".
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
only fault is pq, I'd rather have this in HD, but it is what it is... Interesting material.
Published 4 days ago by igroucho
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
awesome stuff
Published 1 month ago by george
5.0 out of 5 stars Great recollections. Levon and Garth were great.
Great video. Levon and Garth were the highlights for me. Garth plays various fanfare's during the recollections of the tracks and he is in some other place mentally...... Read more
Published 3 months ago by David Carlin
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Great seller, great product.
Published 3 months ago by Frances D.
5.0 out of 5 stars A Must for all Band Fans
If you loved the Band in the day and would like some insight to their chemistry and greatness...this is the disk for you!
Published 7 months ago by Michael Sakolsky
4.0 out of 5 stars Sweet Music
Talent galore, they take you on a great ride through early american rock late 60's early 70's. Chest Fever just blows you away.
Published 7 months ago by lou hidalgo
5.0 out of 5 stars The Band
One of the Best Groups ever. You will not go wrong buying any of their albums.
For an era when melody and harmony were still something people listened to.
Published 7 months ago by Asa Pace
5.0 out of 5 stars ultimate in classic rock talent
Better than I expected. probably the best film on classic rock, about the most talented musicians of that period.
Thank you
Published 9 months ago by Robert Mitchell
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic Album!
What a treat that one of my favorite albums of all time was part of the "Classic Albums" series. Read more
Published 9 months ago by nikki bee
4.0 out of 5 stars great
was a Christmas gift and got on time. would recommend it for anyone who likes the group and enjoys music from the past
Published 9 months ago by renee hessenberger
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