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117 of 118 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars wonderful
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...
Published on May 11, 2001 by Sean M. Kelly

versus
2 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting for fans of The Band
It's too bad that Levon and Robbie couldn't be interviewed together for this DVD. This is a reminder of the unfortunate rift between these two.
If you are a fan of The Band, you would find the information interesting.
Published on February 19, 2009 by Tony


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117 of 118 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars wonderful, May 11, 2001
By 
Sean M. Kelly (Portland, Oregon United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
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.
The performances, including "The Weight," "Rockin' Chair," "I Shall Be Released," "The Unfaithful Servant," and "King Harvest (Has Surely Come)," as well as a touching tribute to the late Richard Manuel, make the dvd all the more valuable to fans of the Band. The music is timeless, the interviews vintage, and the performances sparkle as they never have. That makes this dvd one to have in any collection.
R.I.P. Richard Manuel and Rick Danko
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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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50 of 52 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Must Have DVD, January 21, 2001
By 
Michelle Hensley (Heart Of The Midwest) - See all my reviews
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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
By 
G. Lapidus (Bay Area, California USA) - See all my reviews
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Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Classic Albums: The Band - The Band (DVD)
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
By 
Scott L. Anderson (Lincoln, Nebraska United States) - See all my reviews
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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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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Classy Document of a Classic Band, March 3, 2006
By 
David Fairall (Clemmons, NC USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Classic Albums: The Band - The Band (DVD)
This is an illuminating glimpse into the music and song craft of The Band. Composed primarily of interviews with individual members of the group and producer John Simon in studio settings discussing the music on their timelessly classic second studio recording "The Band".

This one is for music lovers. Many of the interviews take place at a mixing console in a studio, with John Simon, Robbie Robertson and Levon Helm adjusting track levels to bring up and highlight the various components of the mix. Absolutely fascinating stuff. Having listened to this music hundreds of times over the past 30 years, it was revelatory to hear some of the more creative parts of this complex whole isolated, with insightful commentary from the artists who created it.

Also fascinating, in more of a train wreck kind of a way, was seeing the interview and solo studio performance asides of Garth Hudson and Rick Danko. Both brilliant artists, but both seemingly still paying the price of the lifestyle that accompanied the height of The Band's fame. Rick's remarks on the loss of his best friend Richard Manuel left me with chills, knowing that not too many more months from this interview and Rick would be gone from this place as well.

Well worth the bargain price, this will be one of those rare DVD's that I actually return to again and again.
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Essential for hardcore Band fans, February 22, 2002
By 
"crabshaw" (Deep Southern Illinois United States) - See all my reviews
If you're not a lifelong, hard shell Band addict, go to the next review. Only these people will probably appreciate the rest of this review. The following are my personal highlights.
It has several different sections of footage of Garth. Intertwining classical, gospel, circus midway, blues, and folk licks, his nose approximately two inches from the keyboard, occasionally talking to the keyboards as he plays---The man is beyond genius status. He's also very cool.
Watch and listen to Rick play "When You Awake" on flattop.
Watch the unabashed joy in Levon's face when he is at the mixing board listening to Richard and Rick (and himself) harmonize on "Rockin' Chair", or to Garth's keyboards on "Rag Mama Rag". ("Ain't it easy when you know how"--Levon on Garth's playing).
Watch Robbie Robertson sing proudly into a purposely dead mike. You might fool some of the people some of the time...
Watch Robbie take credit for the writing when it was obviously a group effort almost every time.Richard wrote the lyrics to several songs; Garth and Rick wrote a lot of the music--very seldom did they receive credit (or royalties)--only Robbie.
Listen to Eric Clapton and George Harrison reveal that the Band's music was beyond anything they had heard or played.
Listen to Robbie's chord work and his excellent explanation as to why the Band sang harmonies a certain way (that was all they could reach)and why he frequently played odd, partial guitar chords (they just sounded right).
Just watch and listen to Levon.Whether he's singing, playing, or being interviewed, he is extremely entertaining. He, like Garth, is also one of a kind.
Listen to Richard sing anything. I'm positive he and Rick are members in good standing in God's choir.
This is a wonderful DVD. It has much more footage than the TV version I taped off of television. I bought it new.., although I think it ususally sells for [more]. I would have paid [more] for it. If you're a Band fanatic-this is a must have.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A documentary on a classic album, January 30, 2000
When purchased I thought it may have been an older concert they had put on to dvd. When it came in I found out it was a documentary on the making of the Bands self titled album. Then I thought it would be some thirty year old documentary they put on dvd. But I was very suprised and glad I bought it. Just recently made, I believe in 1997, it interviews each of the living members of the Band even Robbie. Each telling how the album came together. Levon and Robbie, who take a few of the songs and put them on a mixing board to let you hear the individual voices and instruments, I found to be the most interesting. For any fan of the Band this is one you have to have. It talks about one the greatest albums ever made. Also purchased The Band Live at the New Orleans Jazz Festival. It was everything I thought it would be.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Pure Pleasure., October 9, 2000
By 
Jonathan Lyness (New York, NY United States) - See all my reviews
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A fantastic, illuminating program on one of the greatest albums of all time. The previous reviews are right on the money...this one is a joy to watch. Learning about the layers of vocals and instrumentation on songs like Rockin' Chair is fascinating...you will learn more about how the group worked from this video than from The Last Waltz (as great as that is in its own way). There are riveting interviews with Robbie, Levon, Rick & Garth and even snippets of live performance as they show how some of the intricate sounds on the album were achieved. Just buy it already! :)
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Leaves VH1's "Behind the Music" in the Dust, September 29, 2001
By 
A. Wolverton (Crofton, MD United States) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
If the rest of the "Classic Albums" series is as good as "The Band," you can say goodbye to shows like VH1's "Behind the Music." While the VH1 shows are usually interesting, they really aren't "Behind the Music," but rather "Behind the Lives" of the performers. You get some of that with "The Band" too, but the focus of this DVD really IS the music. It was a pleasure watching Levon Helm and Robbie Robertson especially talking with such love and affection about their music and how it was put together. Some great photos and live shots make this DVD a must-have for fans of The Band.
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Classic Albums: The Band - The Band
Classic Albums: The Band - The Band by Bob Smeaton (DVD - 2005)
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