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Northern Lights Southern Cross
Northern Lights Southern Cross
Genres: Country, Folk, World Music, Pop, Rock, Classic Rock
  •  Track Listings (10) - Disc #1

Hailed upon its arrival as a significant comeback for the Band, this 1975 collection hasn't aged as well as the likes of Stage Fright, Moondog Matinee, or even the outfit's post-Robbie Robertson output. The eight-song coll...  more »


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CD Details

All Artists: Band
Title: Northern Lights Southern Cross
Members Wishing: 10
Total Copies: 0
Label: Capitol
Release Date: 5/8/2001
Album Type: Extra tracks, Original recording reissued, Original recording remastered
Genres: Country, Folk, World Music, Pop, Rock, Classic Rock
Styles: North America, Singer-Songwriters, Folk Rock, Country Rock, Album-Oriented Rock (AOR)
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaCD Credits: 1
UPC: 724352539420

Hailed upon its arrival as a significant comeback for the Band, this 1975 collection hasn't aged as well as the likes of Stage Fright, Moondog Matinee, or even the outfit's post-Robbie Robertson output. The eight-song collection (augmented on the 2001 reissue with two agreeable extras--alternate versions of "Twilight" and "Christmas Must Be Tonight") isn't without its delights, foremost being Rick Danko's heavy-hearted reading of the devastating "It Makes No Difference." But for every "Forbidden Fruit" and "Ophelia"--worthy additions to Robertson's credits--there are the somewhat forced likes of "Jupiter Hollow" and "Rags and Bones." Also, Garth Hudson stocked up on the latest technology before heading into the studio, but the layers ARPs and mini-Moogs here contribute to a feeling of busyness. Northern Lights--Southern Cross is very much a '70s album--not a good thing from a quintet whose best music was tough to peg to any era. --Steven Stolder

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CD Reviews

Stellar, almost perfect
M. Pagano | s. jerz | 07/27/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)

"How I wish this had been the Band's last studio release, as it would have been a triumphant end to their tenure. Also, this album sounds more late 70's due to Garth's experimentation rather than the bland -Islands- that marked their departure (yes, it does have some good songs). Let's cut through the pork, firstly, as it must be recognized that It Makes No Difference is one of the finest love songs ever recorded. Ever. Period. Brings a tear to the eye every time, as it has struck a personal chord as it reminds me of an up-and-down relationship I stuggled to maintain control of, moslty due to my own mistakes. Danko's heartfelt vocals accompanied by Robertson's twangy, tearing-at-your-heartstrings solo make this an epic. This and Acadian Driftwood, a bittersweet and historic offering about the the boys native Canadaian land, represent the Band's most poignant songwriting. Not to say that other previously released material such as The Weight and Stage Fright don't penetrate deep into one's consciousness, but those two songs are fantastic. The rest of the album is pretty good too. Ophelia will occasionally get play from the local classic rock station, its a funky classic. I also enjoy Hobo Jungle and Jupiter Hollow. I have this album on vinal, but bought the re-release on disc a few years ago. The two added tracks, Twilight, and Christmas Must Be Tonight are excellent, especially Twilight. I cannot be pushed to say that this effort matches that of Big Pink or Stage Fright, but it is on the same plateau. A collective masterpiece that showcases the unique brand of folk-rock only the Band could bring."
Leslie Karen Rigsbey | WOOD RIVER, IL USA | 07/02/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Robbie Robertson may have tricked everyone into believing that his writing muse had dried up, but the fact is that it just hadn't approved itself for public consumption up until this recording. This album covers everything and shows why Robertson may well be the greatest songwriter ever. Depth, meaning, and characterization? They are here in excess--and that's a good thing. "Forbidden Fruit" is a smart opening song that really grabs you with a rock and roll feel. "Hobo Jungle" is a magical tear-jerker that won't let you be. "OPHELIA" is a lot of fun. "ACADIAN DRIFTWOOD" is a history piece, the very best ever of its type. "RING YOUR BELL" is hilarious and smoky. "IT MAKES NO DIFFERENCE" is breathtakingly beautiful, saddening and tearful, but equally relatable. "JUPITER HOLLOW" is one of the most brilliant songs I have ever heard, a science fictional fantasy piece that puts other electronic music to shame. "RAGS AND BONES" is probably the weakest, but even it is terrific as it tells of days gone by. This album has everything about life in it, from the fantasies to the heartbreaking realities, to the trials and the joys, and while it may be depressing and a little darker than THE BAND, it is so compelling that none of that really matters. The Band was the greatest band in history, so I suggest you get this album as soon as possible and give it a CLOSE LISTEN. YOU NEED IT!!!!"
Greats Songs - Great Vocals
Morten Vindberg | Denmark | 06/25/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)

""Northern Light, Southern Cross" was the last Band album that I really got into. Their first 3 albums were immediate favourites, but "Cahoots" was a disappointment and I did not like "Moondog Matinee" ( all old covers ) at all, when it was released in 1973; later I have come to appreciate that album too. I actually thought it was over with the Band. So I guess I never really gave "Northern Light, Southern Cross" the chance it needed and deserved, when I was first introduced to it around 1978. The songs somehow did not appeal to me at the time.Luckily with the re-releases of all the Band`s original albums ( with bonus-tracks and great informative booklets ) I chose to give this album a new chance. Now I realize that this album is really among the Band`s finest; which says a lot!!The original album consisted of only 8 tracks, which was due to the relatively long playing time of the songs. They recorded 9 songs for the album, but the great track "Twilight" never made it to the album, but was released as a 1976 single instead. The version included here is not the finished version, but an early take of it. "Christmas Must Be Tonight" is also an early version of the song; to get these 2 great songs in their finished shape, go for the re-release of
"Islands".The opener "Forbidden Fruit" is a typical Band-rocker sung by Levon Helm, in his best "Stage Fright" style; this is one of the longest tracks and it features some of Robertson`s rare guitar-solo work. Sadly some Band members did not take the warning in the song seriously enough.The ballad "Hobo Jungle" is beautifully sung by Richard Manuel; a song that is somehow often overlooked. One of my favourites on the album."Ophelia" was also released as a single and was actually a minor hit (#73) - it`s a song written in 1920-30`s style."Acadian Driftwood" is one the standouts. Great melody and the blend of the three great Band voices is a thrill. On their early albums this was one of their trademarks. The song tells the story of the Acadians, a native people, who was removed from their home to another place in America. A moving story told over many verses."Ring Your Bell" is sung by Manuel with Danko and Helm helping on the chorus."It Makes No Difference" is another standout. Danke delivers one his best vocal performances on a Band record. Again all three great voices join in the chorus."Jupiter Hollow" is the one track that I never really got. It`s a kind of funky tune sung by Helm. "Rags and Bones" again, sung by Manuel, features another original Robertson guitar-solo.Both bonus-tracks are good, though especially "Christmas Must Be Tonight" is not as good as the finished version that can be found on the "Islands" re-issue. A great album, where all three great vocalists show to their best advantage, both individually and collectively"