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Islands Extra tracks, Import, Original recording reissued, Original recording remastered

3.9 out of 5 stars 28 customer reviews

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Audio CD, Extra tracks, Import, May 8, 2001
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Their last studio album, from 1977. Also includes the bonus tracks Twilight (single version) and Georgia on My Mind (alternate version).

Amazon.com

The liner notes for Robbie Robertson's version of the Band's swan song makes the case that Islands was never meant to be viewed as their studio signoff. Rather, argues Robertson, it was seen as their version of the Who's Odds and Sods and a contract fulfiller so that the quintet could release their true coda, The Last Waltz, on Warner Bros. With such modest aspirations in mind, Islands, while falling far short of the Band's creative heights, provides a pleasant listen for stalwart fans. Covers of "Ain't That a Lot of Love" and "Georgia on My Mind" (the latter recorded to boost Jimmy Carter's presidential campaign) showcase the always striking vocals of Levon Helm and Richard Manuel, respectively. And while the likes of "The Saga of Pepote Rouge," "Knockin' Lost John," and "Let the Night Fall" lack the passion and precision of prime Band, they're appealing in their own modest way. --Steven Stolder
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (May 8, 2001)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Extra tracks, Import, Original recording reissued, Original recording remastered
  • Label: Capitol
  • ASIN: B00004W3L2
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #44,285 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I do not want to repeat what everone says about this album being an illegitimate child of this great band. It has been beaten by the critics, fans, and even by the band itself. However, this is still a joy to listen, particularly when you are in the mood for something light and cheerful. From the delightful opening of "Right as Rain" to the peaceful charm of "Christmas must be Tonight" to the bright horns of "Livin' in a Dream," the music here will ease your heart. To me, the stand-out cover of "Goergia on My Mind" is even rather out of context for this album.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
By The Band's standards, "Islands" is less remarkable than earlier efforts; but given the fact that it was merely a contract-filler to Capitol Records, it's not as disappointing as most albums that are as business-oriented.
The overall musical sound that The Band produces on "Islands" sounds distinctly like 70s easy listening radio (refer to 'Right As Rain' and 'Let the Night Fall'), a definite drawback for a group that had previously created a sound that was as unique at it had; gone was the inimitable ring of a 19th-century creole that was still easy to place with any given era in time, only vaguely present on 'Knockin' Lost John.' But the effort of the five members is still there nonetheless. The late Rick Danko's vocals on 'Street Walker' and the alluring gem 'The Saga Of Pepote Rouge' are highlights, as is that of the late Richard Manuel on a cover of 'Georgia On My Mind,' which became Jimmy Carter's theme during his run for the Presidency. Garth Hudson's keyboards are well-served, even if his saxophone--though perfected--is somehow out of place on the album, but Levon Helm's drumming and vocals are unmistakable. Robbie Robertson's biazarre guitar work that he had perfected in the past seems to be absent. His lyrics however are recognizably brilliant most of the time, echoing a feeling of sadness, weariness, and melancholy, evident on another gem, 'Livin' In a Dream' and 'Knockin' Lost John.'
But those emotional lyrics are for some reason matched with disappointingly upbeat and bland music, and weak moments like 'Let the Night Fall' and a cover of the standard 'Ain't That A Lot of Love' drag the album down a bit. The title track, an instrumental, doesn't sound like a Band song at all, but rather an empty 70s-style take.
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Format: Audio CD
This record may not be the most commerical release of The Band. However there are some stylish melodies and catchy hooks throughout the ten track original release. The cover of Georgia On My Mind is stunning. Richard Manuel has rarely sounded better. Knocking Long John, Aint That A Lot Of Love, and Saga Of Pepeto Rouge are other catchy numbers. Consistent if not spectacular from start to finish. These guys blend together like a hand in a glove.
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By A Customer on May 10, 2001
Format: Audio CD
Islands is probably the worst album released by The Band, but it is still far above other albums released at the time. Most songs on Islands are really well done. "Knocking Lost John", "Let the Night Fall", and "Georgia on My Mind" stand out on the album and are worth the price. The title track is interesting, but seems like a throw away. The playing on the album is exceptional. Just listen to the accordion and guitar on "Knocking Lost John" and listen to the entire band on "Saga of Pepote Rouge".Islands is not a great album, but it is something worth having if you are a fan of The Band.
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Format: Audio CD
Of all the albums that the original line-up of The Band released, Islands is by far the least known. Released in 1977 after they had already played their last show, the album is made up of unreleased material. While the album sounds like a throwaway, don't be misled. There is quality work included and some forgotten gems. Songs like "Right as Rain", "The saga Of Pepote Rouge", "Knockin' Lost John", "Livin' In A Dream" and a great version of "Georgia On My Mind" are all good songs that deserve a listen. Islands isn't going to make you forget their early work, but it is an enjoyable album.
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Format: Audio CD
"Islands" has often been described as an album that was just released by the Band to fulfill their obligations to their record company Capitol - Robbie Robertson calls it an album of B-sides and outtakes in the sleeve-notes. Though there obviously is some truth in his statement, there actually were new sessions held to do a follow-up album to the much-acclaimed "Northern Lights / Southern Cross".

This may not be as succesful an album as its predecessor, but there is still much great music that it equals some of the other Band albums.

Stand out tracks are Robertson's "Christmas Must Be Tonight", inspired by the birth of his son in July 1975, and here beatifully sung by Danko. I'm usually not very fond of Christmas tunes; but this one makes an exception. Other highlights are Richard Manuels great vocals on the old standard "Georgia on my Mind", which was also released as a single and the new song "Right as Rain". "Let the Night Fall", could have been a great song, but it sounds a little unfinished, probably lacking a good bridge.

"Streewalker" is another fine track, sung by Danko, would have fitted nicely into "Cahoots".

"Ain't that a Lot of Love" sounds like it should been featured on "Moondog Matinee". Helm sings!

The instrumental "Islands" is fine track, but misses some vocals to make it a "real" great "Band" track.

"The Saga of Pepote Rouge" is a great song, sung by Danko with Helm and the charming "Knocking Lost John" sung by Helm and Robertson is bound to grow on you.

The final track "Livin' in a Dream" is described in the notes a Grade B material - with the addition, grade B material from the Band is better than the finest efforts from a lot of other artist.
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