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The Band Extra tracks, Original recording reissued, Original recording remastered

4.8 out of 5 stars 232 customer reviews

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Audio CD, Extra tracks, Original recording reissued, August 29, 2000
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Product Description

Robertson and his mates had the songs and the sound to make an all-time classic with their second LP. This hit #9 in '69; this reissue has two versions each of The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down; Rag Mama Rag , and Up on Cripple Creek plus more bonus tracks!

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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. As with all the 2000 Band reissues, this remastered reissue boasts a number of bonus tracks, though all but "Get Up Jake" are alternate takes of album selections. --Steven Stolder
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (August 29, 2000)
  • Rmst ed. edition
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Extra tracks, Original recording reissued, Original recording remastered
  • Label: Capitol
  • ASIN: B00004W510
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (232 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,300 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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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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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By A Customer on 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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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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