Dwight M. (Dewey) from RUTLAND, MA Reviewed on 11/6/2006...
Classics by "The Band"! Good stuff.
A Review of "Twilight"
Bud | Seminole, Texas, USA | 04/13/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The sole purpose of this review is to shed light on the track `Twilight.' This song would be the only reason to buy this compilation, but fortunately `Twilight' was included in remastered form on the 2001 re-issue of "Islands," the last studio album released by the original line-up, so a compilation isn't necessary to acquire this track. (If you're looking to start out with a compilation, 2000's "Greatest Hits" would be a nice affair, as it is a handy preview of the Band Remaster Series.) But back to `Twilight.'
This song was released as a single in 1976, probably to promote "The Best Of" album, but it also coincided with the release of the highly successful film "The Last Waltz," the original line-up's final concert. `Twilight' seemed to embody all of the sadness and reflection of times past, which was pretty much the personal state of The Band at that time. This one song alone expressed all of these things just as well as the entire "Last Waltz" film. The Band's motivation was fading, and so was their creative flame (in the eyes of critics anyway). Though they had loose intentions to release more studio albums after the Waltz, it was obvious they were nearing an end. Which makes Rick Danko's vocal all the more moving as he sings "Don't put me in a frame upon the mantle, for memories turn dusty old and grey." And the following lines are subtle but devastating "Don't leave me alone in the twilight, `cause twilight is the loneliest time of day." The musical backdrop of the song meanwhile would have fit perfectly on the "Islands" album; a catchy, rhythmic-almost tropical-beat provides the backbone for one of Danko's most effective vocals (the `Twilight' formula can be compared to `Amazon (River Of Dreams)' from The Band's reunion album "Jericho," which featured an exotic, almost funky beat topped off by a vocal full of melancholy and heartache). The feelings generated by `Twilight' were those of a lost, ever-fading era of joy. The Band were almost done, but they didn't want to be placed in "a frame upon the mantle"...which in hindsight, is exactly what all of the "best of" releases did.
The only logical reason for `Twilight' being excluded from the original release of "Islands" is that perhaps the personell thought it would boost sales for "The Best Of" (if so, it only propelled the record to Number 51). But by that logic, it would have been more important to promote "Islands" than it would have been for a compilation (the song also seemed to match that record's album cover). Available on the 2001 re-release of "Islands," and an equally stirring early version is a bonus track on the re-release of "Northern Lights-Southern Cross.""
A very good collection from a classic group
tupac wayne gacy | tha baghdad basement | 05/11/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"while maybe not for diehards, this collection has everything a new fan could possibly want, and is a good purchase if you can still find it cheap. it has a lot of southern flavored rock songs, mellow and well arranged, which is just good music without any pretensions. They would later be ruined by the guitarist's ego trip on The Last Waltz, but these tunes show them at a time when they were equals and friends who made great music. This cd is highly recommended for anyone even remotely interested in hearing The Band's unassuming yet adorned music."
In the Great Compilation Tradition...
finulanu | Here, there, and everywhere | 11/23/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"...there's good music here, there just needs to be more. Though it is handy to have the Weight, Night They Drove Old Dixie Down, Tears of Rage, Up on Cripple Creek and other songs on one disc, there are plenty of good missing songs. Being new to the Band (I only own this and Music From the Big Pink), I can't really say much needs to be added, but I do know that I Shall Be Released, This Wheel's On Fire and Yazoo Street Scandal should've been here. So, why weren't they?"
Jukebox Dave | RECORD TOWN, USA | 12/12/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"THE BAND-THE BEST OF THE BAND: The Band was composed of five uniquely talented roots-rock musicians (who, among other things, could play everything from traditional rock instruments to mandolin, tuba, accordian and nearly anything else between them) whose legacy can only be scratched by this too brief anthology. Guitarist Robbie Robertson penned most of their output, though sticksman Levon Helm and bass player Rick Danko provided the bulk of the group's earthy, everyman vocals, leaving Garth Hudson and Richard Manuel to round out their instantly identifiable sound with rich keyboard textures. Country, rock, gospel, blooze, RNB, jazz, and more were all part of the Band's basic blend; witness their "hits" THE NIGHT THEY DROVE OLD DIXIE DOWN (AM radio listeners, think Joan Baez' cover), UP ON CRIPPLE CREEK, and THE WEIGHT, some of the most poignant story songs in all of pop. From Danko's quavering vocal on the lovely STAGE FRIGHT and IT MAKES NO DIFFERENCE to Helm's funky attitude on THE SHAPE I'M IN and Marvin Gaye oldie DON'T DO IT, this ex backup group for Dylan stood head and shoulders above most of their competition, sounding just as vital today as they did thirty years ago. How many other "bands" can say that? RATING: FIVE EASY PIECES