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Live At The Academy Of Music 1971 [4 CD/DVD Combo]

3.9 out of 5 stars 113 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

During the final week of 1971, The Band played four legendary concerts at New York City's Academy Of Music, ushering in the New Year with electrifying performances, including new horn arrangements by Allen Toussaint and a surprise guest appearance by Bob Dylan for a New Year's Eve encore. Select highlights from the concerts were compiled for The Band's classic 1972 double LP, Rock Of Ages, which peaked at No. 6 on the Billboard 200 and remains a core album in the trailblazing group's storied Capitol Records catalog.

For the first time, all four of the concerts' multi-track recordings have been revisited for 'Live At The Academy Of Music 1971,' a new 4CD+DVD collection. The expansive new collection features new stereo and 5.1 Surround mixes, including 19 previously unreleased performances and newly discovered footage of two songs filmed by Howard Alk and Murray Lerner. 'Live At The Academy Of Music 1971' takes a deep dive into The Band's historic shows for a definitive document of the pioneering group's stage prowess at the apex of their career.
Live At The Academy Of Music 1971 is presented in a deluxe, 48-page hardbound book with previously unseen photos, a reproduction of Rolling Stone's original Rock Of Ages review by magazine co-founder Ralph J. Gleason, an essay by The Band's Robbie Robertson, and appreciations of The Band and the set's recordings by Mumford & Sons and Jim James of My Morning Jacket. The collection's first two discs feature performances of every song played over the course of the four concerts, and the New Year's Eve soundboard mix on discs 3 and 4 puts the listener in the room for that entire legendary night: Uncut, unedited, taken straight from the master recordings and presented in full for the first time. The set's DVD presents the tracks from discs 1 and 2 in 5.1 Surround, plus Alk and Lerner's filmed performances of 'King Harvest (Has Surely Come)' and 'The W.S. Walcott Medicine Show.'

The stereo mixes for the first two discs and the DVD's 5.1 Surround mix were done by Bob Clearmountain, with the stereo mixes for discs 3 and 4 helmed by Sebastian Robertson and Jon Castelli, assisted by Ryan Nasci. The collection was mastered by Patricia Sullivan at Bernie Grundman Mastering. The concerts were originally recorded by Phil Ramone with Mark Harman.

Additional Disc Information: (Disc 3) New Year's Eve At The Academy Of Music 1971 (The Soundboard Mix)/(Disc 4) New Year's Eve At The Academy Of Music 1971 (The Soundboard Mix)/(Disc 5) [DVD] Live At The Academy Of Music 1971 in 5.1 Surround Sound plus archival film clips of two previously unissued performances from December 30, 1971.

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. The W.S. Walcott Medicine Show (Friday, December 31)
  2. The Shape I'm In (Friday, December 31)
  3. Caledonia Mission (Thursday, December 30)
  4. Don't Do It (Wednesday, December 29)
  5. Stage Fright (Friday, December 31)
  6. I Shall Be Released (Thursday, December 30)
  7. Up On Cripple Creek (Thursday, December 30)
  8. This Wheel's On Fire (Wednesday, December 29)
  9. Strawberry Wine (Tuesday, December 28) (Previously Unissued Performance)
  10. King Harvest (Has Surely Come) (Friday, December 31)
  11. Time To Kill (Tuesday, December 28)
  12. The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down (Wednesday, December 29)
  13. Across The Great Divide (Thursday, December 30)

Disc: 2

  1. Life Is A Carnival (Thursday, December 30)
  2. Get Up Jake (Thursday, December 30)
  3. Rag Mama Rag (Friday, December 31)
  4. Unfaithful Servant (Friday, December 31)
  5. The Weight (Thursday, December 30)
  6. Rockin' Chair (Wednesday, December 29)
  7. Smoke Signal (Tuesday, December 28)
  8. The Rumor (Thursday, December 30)
  9. The Genetic Method (Friday, December 31)
  10. Chest Fever (Tuesday, December 28)
  11. (I Don't Want To) Hang Up My Rock And Roll Shoes (Wednesday, December 29)
  12. Loving You Is Sweeter Than Ever (Wednesday, December 29)
  13. Down In The Flood (The Band with Bob Dylan) (Friday, December 31)
  14. When I Paint My Masterpiece (The Band with Bob Dylan) (Friday, December 31)
  15. Don't Ya Tell Henry (The Band with Bob Dylan) (Friday, December 31)
  16. Like A Rolling Stone (The Band with Bob Dylan) (Friday, December 31)

Disc: 3

  1. Up On Cripple Creek (Previously Unissued Performance)
  2. The Shape I'm In
  3. The Rumor (Previously Unissued Performance)
  4. Time To Kill (Previously Unissued Performance)
  5. Rockin' Chair (Previously Unissued Performance)
  6. This Wheel's On Fire (Previously Unissued Performance)
  7. Get Up Jake (Previously Unissued Performance)
  8. Smoke Signal (Previously Unissued Performance)
  9. I Shall Be Released (Previously Unissued Performance)
  10. The Weight (Previously Unissued Performance)
  11. Stage Fright

Disc: 4

  1. Life Is A Carnival (Previously Unissued Performance)
  2. King Harvest (Has Surely Come)
  3. Caledonia Mission (Previously Unissued Performance)
  4. The W.S. Walcott Medicine Show
  5. The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down (Previously Unissued Performance)
  6. Across The Great Divide (Previously Unissued Performance)
  7. Unfaithful Servant
  8. Don't Do It (Previously Unissued Performance)
  9. The Genetic Method
  10. Chest Fever (Previously Unissued Performance)
  11. Rag Mama Rag
  12. (I Don't Want To) Hang Up My Rock And Roll Shoes (Previously Unissued Performance)
  13. Down In The Flood (with Bob Dylan)
  14. When I Paint My Masterpiece (with Bob Dylan)
  15. Don't Ya Tell Henry (with Bob Dylan)
  16. Like A Rolling Stone (with Bob Dylan)

Disc: 5

  1. The W.S. Walcott Medicine Show (DVD)
  2. The Shape I'm In (DVD)
  3. Caledonia Mission (DVD)
  4. Don't Do It (DVD)
  5. Stage Fright (DVD)
  6. I Shall Be Released (DVD)
  7. Up On Cripple Creek (DVD)
  8. The Wheel's On Fire (DVD)
  9. Strawberry Wine (Previously Unissued Performance)(DVD)
  10. King Harvest (Has Surely Come)(DVD)
  11. Time To Kill (DVD)
  12. The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down (DVD)
  13. Across The Great Divide (DVD)
  14. Life Is A Carnival (DVD)
  15. Get Up Jake (DVD)
  16. Rag Mama Rag (DVD)
  17. Unfaithful Servant (DVD)
  18. The Weight (DVD)
  19. Rockin' Chair (DVD)
  20. Smoke Signal (DVD)
  21. The Rumor (DVD)
  22. The Genetic Method (DVD)
  23. Chest Fever (DVD)
  24. (I Don't Want To) Hang Up My Rock And Roll Shoes (DVD)
  25. Loving You Is Sweeter Than Ever (DVD)
  26. King Harvest (Has Surely Come) (Previously Unissued Performance) (Archival Film Clips-December 30, 1971)(DVD)
  27. The W.S. Walcott Medicine Show (Previously Unissued Performance) (Archival Film Clips-December 30, 1971)(DVD)


Product Details

  • Audio CD (September 17, 2013)
  • Number of Discs: 5
  • Label: Capitol
  • ASIN: B00DJYKFXG
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (113 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #51,758 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This box set is essential for any fan of The Band.

It collects the released performances from "Rock Of Ages" 1972 album and 2001 reissue on Discs 1 & 2. These are the same takes from those titles, but newly remixed by Robbie Robertson and Bob Clearmountain. For the original mix of "Rock Of Ages", Mobile Fidelity's SACD is the absolute best option. But this box set's remixes offer much improved sound over the original mix, as great as it was. The difference in sound is comparable to the original "Last Waltz" issue vs. the remixed 2002 box set. So basically, the soundstage is way wider and spread out, the instruments are all clearer and more dynamic, and the Clearmountain mixes attempt to present the takes in the best sound quality updated technology can provide.

The complete New Year's Eve show, as mixed by Sebastian Robertson, is on Discs 3 & 4. This mix is different from Clearmountain's: instead of a super polished mix, the sound is raw, immediate and without any unneccesary tricks or frills. Clear and well mixed vocals, thick and supple drums/bass, piano and guitar left/right, and organ left and center. It is a wonderful mix to hear this show like you're in the audience and the soundmen are doing a fantastic job. Also note that this complete New Year's Eve show does repeat some songs from the first two discs. Those takes were selected as the "best" of the run, and of course they would also appear in their proper place in the original show. BUT, contrary to what many people are thinking, the New Year's Eve show only has 7 repeated/previously released tracks (not including Dylan).

Both mixes have a more natural, balanced mix of the horn section, which was a common complaint from some over the years.
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i don't like to write user reviews of music on here, it's all subjective. This is about the box set. It's The Band, I love it. However if you have the Rock Of Ages album, you have most of what's on here.

Disc 1 & 2 is the show sequenced from performances on 12/28/71 to 12/31/71 with one previously unreleased track.

Disc 3 & 4 is the New Year's Eve show in it's entirety and labeled the soundboard mix. It's very close to the same setlist as the first two discs. Th e sound is identical to the first two discs.

Disc 5 is what originally prompted me to buy the set. It is a DVD in 5.1 sound of the NYE performance. I thought I was getting a video performance. I guess I didn't read the details well enough. It is indeed the show in 5.1 and it sounds spectacular but there is no video just a photo montage.

And that brings us to the book. The book has some nice photos and text but half is actually just the place holders for the discs.

At a price point of $80+ I think I was expecting a little more. More variety and some video. Had this been priced at about $50, i would say absolutely get it. But unless you're a completist, I would pass on this and get Rock Of Ages.
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Format: Audio CD
This is my review of the 4 CD + 1 DVD edition...

DISCS 1 + 2: the first two discs comprise the very same Rock of Ages tracks released on the 2001 2CD edition (plus "Strawberry Wine" and "Smoke Signal" but minus "Loving You Is Sweeter Than Ever"), culled form 4 different nights (December 28th-31st), with different running order and a brand new mix.
The new Bob Clearmountain mix sounds great inasmuch it vastly enhances the performances of the five members of The Band. Their playing is allowed to truly stand out and is given new depth and detail. This is quite exciting, but on the other hand, the horn section is pushed in the background and mixed very low. On many tracks you'll have to strain your ears to catch the harmonies, the counterpoints and the obbligatos played by the horns, and in my opinion this is a wrong move because Allen Toussaint's arrangements were superb. My question is: since the whole point of those 1971 concerts was to play and record with a horn section, experimenting with Touissant's arrangements and some of the world's greatest horn players, why now mix it so low? Beats me. This is where, in my opinion, the Rock of Ages 2001 edition still sounds superior.

DISCS 3 + 4: a "soundboard mix" of the whole New Year's Eve concert. 11 of these performances are the same performances included in Rock of Ages and in the first 2 CDs of this set. There are 16 previously unreleased performances (same songs, though).
This is a very basic mix, a bit flat and spiritless if I may say so, with vocals up-front and the instruments a bit jumbled together. Robertson & son (who apparently did the mix) have been quoted saying that this soundboard mix sounds like "a great bootleg". Right.
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Format: Audio CD
Well. The new mix is definitely different. There are things that I like about it and things that I do not. I don't think that it will replace the original mix for me. Whether it gains a place side by side remains to be seen.

What I like: It recaptures that dull, wooden, thump kind of sound that characterized The Band's first two albums. It also brings up and separates out the instrumental contributions , and especially, the vocals of The Band. This aspect is really, really good.

What I don't like: The remixing of the horns. The horns are mixed down so that they are much less prominent. If that was the only way that the horns were remixed, that may or may not have been OK with me. The problem is that the horns themselves have been so remixed that the power and majestic harmonies of the horns are gone. At times the horns are almost absent. Many of your favorite horn passages, if you like the horns, will be virtually unrecognizable. Others will be completely inaudible. The horns on the original LP version of Rag Mama Rag are one the highlights of the LP for me. On this remixed version the horns are virtually unrecognizable. Same with Across The Great Divide.
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