Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
The Band - Greatest Hits
Genres: Country, Folk, Pop, Rock, Classic Rock
It seems odd that the Band emerged in 1968, defying the counterculture's extravagant rejections of U.S. culture with literary, often Southern-tinged musical and lyrical vehicles. Hearing this 18-song anthology, with its he... more »
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It seems odd that the Band emerged in 1968, defying the counterculture's extravagant rejections of U.S. culture with literary, often Southern-tinged musical and lyrical vehicles. Hearing this 18-song anthology, with its heavy weighting toward the Canadian quintet's first three albums--Music from Big Pink (four tunes), The Band (five tunes), and Stage Fright (three tunes)--what still stands out is the Band's command of yearning vocal harmonies, their sense of plainly laid melodies that reveal acoustic depth, and a nostalgia for an imagined American culture. With all their quirkiness and the advance of Robbie Robertson as their centerpiece, the Band lost their celebrated place in the rock pantheon within a decade. This set, which opens so magnificently with "The Weight," "Tears of Rage" (cowritten with Dylan), and the big organ-vamping "Chest Fever," declines rather steeply on the final tracks, "Acadian Driftwood" and "The Saga of Pepote Rouge." Up till then, however, this set is fantastic. --Andrew Bartlett
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Greatest Hits?! Please....
T. Schmidt | Mansfield TX USA | 04/24/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)
"First of all, The Band only had two bonafide hits. One of those (their magnificant live cover of Marvin Gaye's "Don't Do It") isn't even included in this collection! With that out of the way, let's get down to bidness...As far as single-disc collections go, this is not bad. Yes, everybody out there could probably think of a song that should have been included, but, with five strong studio albums, one has to pick and choose when making selections. My personal gripes are the afore-mentioned absence of "Don't Do It" and the presence of the weak cover of "Ain't Go No Home" in the place of the great "Mystery Train" from Moondog Matinee.This collection works for two groups of people. It's ideal for those who own nothing by The Band and have no idea where to begin. There have been many comments about the heavy leaning of the set towards the first three albums. This is justified in that The Band recorded their strongest material on those three albums. After all, who would want a Dylan compilation with equal numbers of tracks from Blonde on Blonde and Under the Red Sky? All of their "hits" are here in one handy little package.The second group (I'm included in this category) consists of those people who want a quick road trip CD. This really is a great, concise CD to play when you're on a trip with people who have (gasp!) never really heard The Band.It's almost guaranteed that most who hear this collection will want to delve deeper into The Band's catalog. After all, every one of their studio albums has something to offer. So, instead of overly criticizing this collection, we should be encouraging people to give this a spin. Who knows where it could lead from there..."
A Great Justice to the Year 2000 Remastered Series
Bud | Seminole, Texas, USA | 11/30/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The Band's "Greatest Hits" is one of the very few compilation albums that those interested in the group would be fortunate to buy before actually buying the original albums themselves. The reason for that is solely because this Greatest Hits package is from the Band Remaster series of 2000; each track here represents the amazingly sharp and high quality job the sound engineers did in restoring The Band's original catalog of work. Each track here will prove to new fans that, if they're interested in dipping into the career of this remarkable group, they should definitely choose the CD's from the 2000 editions. This is most notable on the tracks from "Stage Fright"--'The Shape I'm In' and that album's title track far outweigh the relatively flat sound heard on earlier remastering attempts. To be specific, Garth Hudson's wildly immaculate keyboards, the effects on Rick Danko's vocals, and Robbie Robertson's unusual guitar work are finally heard the way they were meant to be.
But other than that, it has to be said that the track selection is classic--but predictable. The sequencing is a bit uneven as well...in other words, Richard Manuel's glorious, hymn-like vocal and piano on 'I Shall Be Released' somehow doesn't fit placed between the wonderfully bizarre 'Chest Fever' and the "drunkard's dream" 'Up On Cripple Creek' (which was ironically The Band's only Top 30 hit in the US). Also, the relatively mediocre 'Time To Kill' was obviously only included because it was a minor hit for "Stage Fright." Perhaps it could have been better replaced by 'The Rumor.' The classic duet between Manuel and Van Morrison on '4% Pantomime' (from "Cahoots") is missing, and the albums "Moondog Matinee" and even the swan song "Islands" could have been represented much better.
But in the end, despite the standard compilation album bringdowns, "Greatest Hits" serves best as a clue to new fans that the 2000 Remastered Editions are the best way to go."
Buy the early albums instead.
voiceofreason | Nokomis, FL USA | 10/11/2002
(3 out of 5 stars)
"The Band is by all accounts seminal, legendary, and awe-inspiring. What else would you expect from a group that could get away with naming itself "The Band"? For some reason, however, the great songs just haven't yet been sequenced in a coherent "hits" package. Maybe it's just not possible. To those unfamiliar with The Band, the individual songs on this CD will probably not seem drastically different in approach and style. To those people, I'm sure, it all sounds vaguely like what is categorized these days as "Americana". For those who have had a chance to wade deep into the aural landscapes of the albums, this effort at plucking songs for a retrospective probably isn't any more satisfying than previous compilations. If you really want the most accurate retrospective, I'd suggest "The Last Waltz", which is the soundtrack to Martin Scorsese's film documenting a final concert at which the Band invited old friends and mid-70's highlighters to join them in one last shebang. Mavis Staples singing in "The Weight" on that album is an astonishing vocal performance.Don't get me wrong; these selections are all worthy, and those who put them together did an admirable job in trying to incorporate the popular hits with those that struck a chord primarily in Band junkies. But if you're a close listener, I just don't think this selection, or any sampler of this band's oevre, can ever be as satisfying as listening to "Music from Big Pink", or "The Band", without adornment.I will say, though, that those who bought earlier "greatest hits" compilations should be happy to know that "Acadian Driftwood" is included on this CD. That song shone like a jewel in the otherwise leaden "Northern Lights - Southern Cross". For those not familiar with the Band but have been hooked by hearing "The Night they Drove Old Dixie Down" or "Up on Cripple Creek" on the radio, buying this CD should not be a disappointment. The men who comprised this group are each among the finest, most creative, most emotive artists that have ever played rock music. But there's a case to be made that this group's great albums, like the aforementioned "Music from Big Pink" and "The Band", are so cohesive and powerful standing alone, that a greatest hits effort can only seem haphazard and spotty in comparison."