Legendary Canadian-American roots-rock group The Band was a musical institution unlike anything that came before them or since. In the 1960s, they were initially brought together as The Hawks by Ronnie Hawkins and later gained international recognition as Bob Dylan's backing band on his groundbreaking electric tours.
However, it was the original material Robbie Robertson, Rick Danko, Richard Manuel, Garth Hudson and Levon Helm recorded as The Band such as "The Weight," "The Night They Drove Ol' Dixie Down," "Up On Cripple Creek," "Life is a Carnival," "The Shape I'm In," "Don't Do It," "It Makes No Difference," "Tears of Rage," "Stage Fright" and "Ophelia" that turned them into the highly respected icons they remain to this day.
Advancing the chemistry and cohesion of the group's ground-shifting debut, 1969 follow-up The Band is an inimitable distillation of compelling storytelling, cosmic divinity, loose country-rock tunefulness, and superbly crafted songwriting. Warm, literate, poignant, and intimate, the record established new standards for seemingly effortless telepathic interplay among first-class musicians whose creations are as much about feeling as they are about sound.
From the swampy bayou grooves, jaw-harp-mimicking clavinet passages, and traditional yodels found on "Up on Cripple Creek" to the jubilant dance persuasion of "Rag Mama Rag," The Band blends mythological devices with authentic melodies, rustic acoustic properties with haunting harmonies. Universally identifiable, the characters in the songs are people well-versed in hardship, depression, working-class struggle, and Skid Row trouble. Musically, the group balances sweetness and edginess on all of its foundational material, capturing the essence of American music and culture as well as anybody.
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. Lookout Cleveland
11. The Unfaithful Servant
12. King Harvest (Has Surely Come)