Band, The - Cahoots [180G]

Band, The - Cahoots [180G]

Regular price
$30.99 USD
Sale price
$30.99 USD
Regular price
Sold out
Unit price

Originally released on September 15, 1971, Cahoots contains a number of The Band's best-loved and most enduring songs, including "Life Is A Carnival" and "When I Paint My Masterpiece." As recounted in the liner notes, longtime Band road manager Jonathan Taplin notes how "Carnival" was born in part out of Robertson's infatuation with some of the more peculiar characters on display in Marcel Carné's 1945 film Les Enfants du Paradise, not to mention his having worked on the midway at the Canadian National Exhibition in Toronto in his youth. In addition to The Band's own impeccable style of groove-making, the song's Mardi Gras-esque atmospherics are also due to legendary New Orleans R&B producer Allen Toussaint having been deployed to compose a most excellent, and decidedly funky, horn arrangement to buttress the track. Meanwhile, "When I Paint My Masterpiece" ensued from a visit by lifelong Band compadre Bob Dylan, an instant classic that's bolstered by Levon Helm's mandolin and Garth Hudson's accordion, both of which lent the track a European feel that best matched Dylan's lyrical axis.

Incidentally, Cahoots features another guest of note who also happened to be a Woodstock resident at the time: namely, Van Morrison, who adds his indelible vocal stamp to "4% Pantomime." One afternoon, Morrison stopped by Robertson's writing studio, heard Robertson noodling on some chord changes and a melody on piano, and the next thing anyone knew, Morrison was singing and creating lyrics on the spot while looking right at Richard Manuel. Morrison (whom Robertson dubbed the "Belfast Cowboy") was so galvanized by the tune that he suggested they all head to the studio to cut it that same night. A few hours and a few false starts later, "4% Pantomime" was officially on tape. In the finished version, Morrison and Richard Manuel trade impassioned face-to-face vocals captured only a few feet apart (with Manuel also turning in double duty on piano), Levon Helm supplying the unmistakable backbeat, and Garth Hudson adding all the right organ fills. 

Cahoots peaked at No. 21 on Billboard, marking The Band's fourth consecutive Top 30 album appearance. Fifty years on, Cahoots remains a stone-cold masterpiece, reinforced with a vibrant and refreshing new stereo mix. Believe it or not, Cahoots is most definitely worth more than "two bits a shot."

  1. Life Is A Carnival
  2. When I Paint My Masterpiece
  3. Last Of The Blacksmiths
  4. Where Do We Go From Here?
  5. 4% Pantomime
  6. Shoot Out In Chinatown
  7. The Moon Struck One
  8. Thinkin' Out Loud
  9. Smoke Signal
  10. Volcano
  11. The River Hymn