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The Band

The BandAudio CD
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (172 customer reviews)


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Biography

For about six years, from 1968 through 1975, the Band was one of the most popular and influential rock groups in the world, their music embraced by critics (and, to a somewhat lesser degree, the public) as seriously as the music of the Beatles and the Rolling Stones. Their albums were analyzed and reviewed as intensely as any records by their one-time employer and sometime mentor Bob Dylan. ... Read more in Amazon's The Band Store

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (August 24, 1988)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Capitol/Emi/Sbk/Chrysalis
  • ASIN: B00000DQT7
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (172 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #337,355 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Across The Great Divide
2. Rag Mama Rag
3. The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down
4. When You Awake
5. Up On Cripple Creek
6. Whispering Pines
7. Jemima Surrender
8. Rockin' Chair
9. Look Out Cleveland
10. Jawbone
11. The Unfaithful Servant
12. King Harvest (Has Surely Come)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com

Popularly known as "The Brown Album," this is the collection people first think of when this august outfit's name is mentioned. The four parts Canadian, one part Arkansan quintet's sophomore effort boasts more soon-to-be-staples than any other Band studio recording, what with the likes of the Joan Baez hit "The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down," "Across the Great Divide," and "Up on Cripple Creek" standing out among the dozen uniformly memorable tracks. Lesser-known group originals such as the achingly lovely "Whispering Pines" and the cryptic "Unfaithful Servant," however, play crucial roles in giving this 1969 classic its unique flavor. Given the high standard established by The Band and its better-still 1968 predecessor, Music from Big Pink, it's not surprising the Band peaked early as a recording group. --Steven Stolder

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
192 of 196 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This is arguably the greatest album ever made. November 3, 1999
By A Customer
Format:Audio CD
I've played in blues and rock bands since 1968, and have spent thousands and thousands of hours listening to music. "The Band" (brown album) is my all-time favorite album ever. In 1969, most people were listening to Hendrix, Grateful Dead, Led Zeppelin, Eric Clapton, The Who, etc. I had a few extra bucks and bought "The Band" mainly because of the cool album cover. It was one of the most important days of my life. I had never heard anything like it before (or since). There were no blaring leads, the harmonies were like none I had ever heard, the lyrics addressed historical facts and rural life, yet the music made you feel good and even want to dance. They were truly a band-- it was nearly impossible to figure out who was singing what (especially since Robertson was wisely told to sing into a dead mike). This is the only album I have ever heard where EVERY song is great. My particular favorites are Across the Great Divide, Rockin' Chair, King Harvest, and Rag Mama Rag. Levon Helm , Richard Manuel, Garth Hudson, Rick Danko, and Robbie Robertson (masters of 27 different instruments among them) were a once in a century combination that managed to create a unique style of music that is genuine American. Who else could incorporate guitars, fiddles, church organ, mandolins, horns, piano, and three exceptional vocalists into a groundbreaking rock and roll band? Voted the Band of the Decade (70's) by Rolling Stone magazine, their combined talents provided some of the finest music of this century.You will never hear anyone who can cover their songs even remotely, a testament to their collective musical genius. And "The Band" is the best of the best.
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59 of 61 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Still unsurpassed after all these years January 31, 2001
Format:Audio CD
I doubt that any single album has so many great songs played so well. I've come back to this album time and again over the last XX years and it's never disappointed me.
At a time when most popular music was permutating the basic guitar-bass-drums line-up, The Band were blending those instruments with reeds, horns and keyboards. Using a tuba as the bass on Rag Mama Rag, no less The sound is simultaneously rough yet sophisticated. The singing blends sweetness and hard edge. Rural but definitely not country.
For music lovers born in the 50s and 60s (and maybe earlier) this album is an absolute sure-fire must-have. For those born later, I wonder whether it sounds as compelling - years of multi-track recording and studio wizardry have raised the taste for smoothness so this one might be a tad too grainy for them.
The version I have is the unremastered CD. I wonder about the additional tracks on this one - more can sometimes diminish the perfect integrity of a great album. If record companies want to give the fans a little extra, bless them, then I personally would prefer them on a 2nd CD.
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31 of 32 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Up there with the best December 5, 2001
Format:Audio CD
I've said elsewhere that the Stones' 'Let It Bleed' was the album of 1969, but I forgot about this. I can't decide whether or not it's better than The Band's remarkable debut, 'Music From Big Pink', but in any case it's probably best to follow Levon Helm's lead and treat them as the one work and forget about rating them.
The 'brown album' is full of tremendous cuts, notably Robertson's magnificent 'The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down,' sounding starker and drier here than the live versions I've heard, 'The Unfaithful Servant,' with its stupendous Danko vocal and weepy horn outro from Hudson and John Simon, and 'King Harvest (Has Surely Come),' graced with perhaps Robbie's best solo as well as a very funky rhythm section.
While the album owes its greatness to top-shelf songs more than anything else, The Band's ensemble playing is enough to make a person cry (Garth's piano on 'Rag Mama Rag' is, well, indescribable). More than that, you can't help but marvel at the fact that one band could have so many great singers. Put all that together and you have one of the very best albums anyone is likely to make.
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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars History as Mystery: The Band's time-defying masterpiece October 20, 2005
Format:Audio CD
Some albums are declared "dated" or "timeless" based on particular qualities (lyrics, instrumentation, production gimmickry) that either trap them in cultural amber or leave them curiously unscathed by musical faddishness. But The Band's eponymous second LP (now reissued with greatly improved sound, penetrating liner notes, and some decent but inessential bonus tracks) is that rarest of things: an album that exists OUTSIDE of time, or rather *in* but not *of* it.

Let me explain. This disc was written, recorded and released in 1969, but could just as plausibly have come from 1869. The songs (gorgeously played slices of Americana, all) do indeed speak of certain historical events - Stoneman's raids and a visit from General Robert E. Lee near the end of the Civil War in "The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down" to name one, the coming of rural trade unionism in "King Harvest (Has Surely Come)" to name another - but the music and performance stands eerily outside the continuum of actual CHRONOLOGICAL time, and instead gestures towards a permanent, idealized near-mythical imagining of American history.

It's rather amazing, really: Robbie Robertson and his cohorts, having fully absorbed the American folk tradition, have reorganized it as an impressionistic snapshot history of the United States in sepia-tone. Given the preternatural way in which every single song on the album fully and flawlessly evokes American folk images and myths while simultaneously remaining effortlessly modern - again, a product of its times but still not of them - it's either deeply ironic or perfectly predictable that this most American of albums was written and performed by four Canadians (plus one Razorback). I'm still not sure which.
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additional tracks
Yada-yada. Hit eject after track 12, and you won't have to hear the bonus tracks.
Mar 27, 2012 by Walter Five |  See all 3 posts
THE BAND are a Canadian band , not American!
Yes -- it's often overlooked that four of these five guys are (or were -- at least one has passed away) Canadian. But they paid their dues playing for years (four or five?) in very funky road houses in the south as a back up band for Ronnie Hawkins, a regional southern rock star. These guys... Read More
Mar 26, 2011 by Amazon Customer |  See all 9 posts
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