The Bands Northern Lights-Southern Cross is, in nearly every respect, the groups studio swan song. The groups fifth album is also one of its finest works, a finely textured collection that at the time of its 1975 release marked the quintets first album of new material in four years. And what songs they are. Anchored by the standards "Acadian Driftwood," "Ophelia," and "It Makes No Difference," the set finds the collective in peak form, the absorbing music a result of both guitarist Robbie Robertsons unflappable songwriting and a fortunate confluence of creative factors.
"It was the first time in a while that I felt we had locked in again in a certain kind of way. We were really having enjoyable times together both musically and hanging out. We had a great time going out and playing with Bob, the new environment was refreshing and I think musically we were hungry. You put all these bits and pieces together and it adds up to something." Robertson, as told to Rob Bowman
As Robertson recalls, the Band had been rejuvenated after touring with Bob Dylan and reconnecting with the same muse responsible for inspiring its landmark debut. In addition, the group came to the realization that it worked better when operating outside of traditional recording studios. Akin to Music From Big Pink (also available on Mobile Fidelity Hybrid Stereo SACD - MOBSA2044) and The Band, sessions for Northern LightsSouthern Cross occurred within a clubhouse-like atmosphere - specifically, a converted Malibu ranch/bordello they called Shangri-La.
There, with the pressure off, the Band was able to relax, think, and take their time. The situation also fostered a new approach to recording. Due to Shangri-Las dimensions and myriad of windows, the Band overdubbed all of the vocals, ensuring unrivaled smoothness and fluidity. In addition, the group embraced the then-new technology afforded by recording on a 24-track console, allowing for multiple layering of keyboards and overlapped harmonies.
Mastered from the original master tapes, Mobile Fidelitys numbered limited-edition hybrid SACD brings the beauty, intellect, and contours of Northern LightsSouthern Cross to life as never before. Particularly compelling is the priceless "Acadian Driftwood," on which you can hear the oddly tuned fiddling of bluegrass virtuoso Byron Berline seamlessly mesh with Garth Hudsons bagpipe and Richard Manuels piccolo with unparalleled transparency. Blending Quebecois, Cajun, and country, the song is one of the greatest compositions in the American songbook - and now, even better.
Other titles by The Band on Limited Edition Mobile Fidelity SACD are Rock of Ages (MOBSA2046), Music From Big Pink (MOBSA2044), and Cahoots (MOBSA2045)
Super Audio CD
SACD Stereo SACD Layer
This Hybrid SACD contains a 'Red Book' Stereo CD Layer which is playable on most conventional CD Players!
Numbered, Limited Edition
Mastered From Original Master Tapes
1. Forbidden Fruit
2. Hobo Jungle
4. Acadian Driftwood
5. Ring Your Bell
6. It Makes No Difference
7. Jupiter Hollow
8. Rags And Bones