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Moondog Matinee Extra tracks, Original recording reissued, Original recording remastered

37 customer reviews

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Audio CD, Extra tracks, Original recording reissued, May 8, 2001
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Product Description

The complete 1973 release, plus the outtakes Didn't It Rain; Crying Heart Blues; Shakin'; What Am I Living For , and Going Back to Memphis , along with a studio version of Endless Highway !

By 1973, the Band were at a crossroads. Having summed up the first phase of their recording career with the Rock of Ages concert recording, Robbie Robertson flirted with an ambitious project inspired by Polish composer Krzystof Penderecki. But instead of forging ahead into uncharted territory, the quintet opted to hearken back to their roadhouse days with an LP that renovated oldies associated with the likes of Clarence "Frogman" Henry, the Platters, and Fats Domino. Given that Robertson's originals were no longer coming as fast and true as in the late '60s, a covers collection was a wise move. After all, Levon Helm, Rick Danko, and Richard Manuel were all vocalists who could tackle classics from the canons of Chuck Berry ("The Promised Land"), Bobby "Blue" Bland ("Share Your Love"), and Sam Cooke ("A Change Is Gonna Come") without straining under the weight of the originals. The 2001 reissue of this unaffected delight is fleshed out with a half-dozen outtakes that fit in nicely with the 10 tracks from the original LP. --Steven Stolder

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (May 8, 2001)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Extra tracks, Original recording reissued, Original recording remastered
  • Label: Capitol
  • ASIN: B00005B4G9
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (37 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #7,501 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

30 of 31 people found the following review helpful By Jonathan W. Oldfield on May 18, 2001
Format: Audio CD
This was the Band's attempt to chill out from the endless pressure of having to live up to the legend that had become The Band. And you know what, it works. Big Time! Hey I loved this one before it was remastered and loaded with bonus tracks. Now with the 2001 re-release I am in heaven. Of course I have ordered and recieved all 8 re-released Band cds and that is all I am listening to at the moment. But enough. For those of you who already own this one on cd or cassette or lp or 8-track for goodness sake, you have no choice but to purchase this one all over again. There are 6 bonus tracks at the end of this one. One of these is the original studio recording of 'Endless Highway' This is the only song on this cd written by the band so it may seem out of place on an album of all covers. But of course it never appeared on any of the Band's albums. In that it was recorded in the same period of time as 'Moondog..' it fits right in as a bonus track. The best version of this song however is found on the Dylan/Band double live 'Before The Flood'. That one has a killer solo and fill after fill by Robbie Robertson. Another great bonus cut is the REAL version of Chuck Berry's 'Going Back To Memphis'. Read the liner notes for interesting info on this on and its bogus live version found on a previous live compilation(not the Bands doing). The 3rd bonus track to have is a version of "Shaken". Sound great. But I love the version of 'Didnt It Rain' which is gospel tune. To hear Levon Helm sing a black gospel standard is something to behold. I love it. Order this cd and find out for yourself.
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22 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Bud Sturguess on December 4, 2003
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Its attractive and fitting title borrowed from the name of an old Alan Freed radio show, "Moondog Matinee" was definitely not the album that a majority of The Band's fans and critics were anticipating. The group had enjoyed mass success with their first three albums, but their fourth, 1971's "Cahoots," was undeservedly regarded as a disappointment. And when compared to the immense praise that went to those first three releases, it wasn't hard to see that The Band were quickly beginning to lose their place. That's why "Moondog Matinee" can in many respects be viewed as a "draw"; amidst growing creative problems within the group, and a loss of critical adulation, this collection of cover-tunes saw The Band declaring a brief cease-fire in the struggle to come up with original material that was on par with previous successes.
It's almost a time machine of a recording; the five members revisit their days when they were known as The Hawks, dishing out some stunning testaments to their incredible power when interpereting any song they got their hands on. "Moondog Matinee" starts off with a bang as they charge into Frogman Henry's 'Ain't Got No Home,' its highlight being Levon Helm's goofy "frog" voice (credit to Bandmember Garth Hudson, who rigged a special device to make the frog voice possible). Hudson's organ ability meanwhile is in full tow on 'Third Man Theme,' despite being one of the more tedious selections. Chuck Berry's 'The Promised Land' is fitting, while Richard Manuel's captivating vocal on 'The Great Pretender,' and the group's performance on the Gospel romp 'Saved' coat the album with musical glory.
For a Band that made a name on such fantastic original material, a cover album isn't entirely disappointing.
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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful By "howlinw" on January 24, 2004
Format: Audio CD
I have seen this record get two stars from rock critics, and for years avoided it despite the greatness of the Band's earlier records simply because I did not believe it to be on a par with the Band's classics. Finally I noticed that it had been remastered and was generally garnering good reviews from those who had bought it (see the other reviews here). So, I sprung for it and couldn't have been happier with the result. Like Lennon's "Rock N Roll," it's a seriously underrated attempt to explore an older style of music after the creation in years past of groundbreaking new work. The Band tackle a style of rock that came about in the 1950s and largely had ended when the psychedelic sound changed rock in the mid-60s. It's lively, bluesy and raw, but with enough polish and musical sophistication to make it interesting. My favorite tracks are the outtakes, like "What am I Living For" and "Shakin'," which I think are significantly better than some of the album tracks and push the disc into solid 5-star territory. If you dig "Get Back" era Beatles, earlier work by the Band, Chuck Berry and very early Elvis, this will likely be a favorite for you as it is for me.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Glenn on May 16, 2001
Format: Audio CD
This is not an "Oldies" album; it's not just a bunch of "cover" songs, either. The Band pay tribute to their influences through a diverse selection of wonderful tunes that they really grab a hold of and make their own. From start to finish this disc is a gem. The playing is outstanding, and the vocals are superb. Levon Helm gets things rocking on track one (turn it up!) "Ain't Got No Home." Richard Manuel turns in 3 great vocals on "Share Your Love" (outdoing the Bobby Bland original), "Saved" and "The Great Pretender." Rick Danko handles the vocal lead on "Holy Cow" and a moving rendition of "A Change is Gonna Come." Robbie Robertson introduced some new lyrics and a funky new groove to the classic "Mystery Train," which they also performed at their farewell concert "The Last Waltz." And Garth Hudson adds his usual, incredible keyboard and horn work throughout (check out the instrumental "Third Man Theme"). This new release also includes 6 bonus tracks. Of particular note are "Back to Memphis" and "Endless Highway" stripped of applause that was added to the "Watkins Glen" release (what was Capitol thinking?), and Levon's vocal on "What Am I Living For?" The liner notes give good background to the songs and making of the album. I highly recommend this disc.
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