TAS Super LP List! Special Merit: Informal
One Of TAS' Ten Best Vinyl Reissues of 2020!
When The Band's seminal eponymous second album was released fifty years ago on September 22, 1969, not much more was known about the reclusive group than when they released their landmark debut, Music From Big Pink, to widespread critical praise and bewilderment, just the year before. The band, made up of four Canadians and one American, was still shrouded in mystery, allowing for listeners and the music press to let their imaginations run wild about who these men were and what this music was that sounded unlike anything else happening at the close of the psychedelic '60s. Dressed like 19th century fire-and-brimstone preachers and singing rustic, sepia-toned songs about America and the deep south, The Band - Garth Hudson (keyboards, piano, horn), Levon Helm (drums, vocals, mandolin), Richard Manuel (keyboards, vocals, drums), Rick Danko (bass, vocals, fiddle) and Robbie Robertson (guitar, piano, vocals) - was an enigma, unlike any group that came before or after. And their self-titled "Brown Album," as it would lovingly be called, cemented their status as one of the most exciting and revolutionary bands in years, on the strength of now-classic songs like "The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down," "Up On Cripple Creek" and "Rag Mama Rag."
UMe celebrates the 50th Anniversary of The Band's pioneering self-titled album with this Double LP Black Vinyl edition featuring the new stereo mix of the album by Bob Clearmountain. Chris Bellman cut the vinyl lacquers for the album's new stereo mix at 45 rpm at Bernie Grundman Mastering, expanding the album's vinyl footprint from one LP to two.
All the Anniversary Edition releases were overseen by Robertson and feature a new stereo mix by Bob Clearmountain from the original multi-track masters, similar to the acclaimed 50th anniversary collections of 2018's Music From Big Pink releases.
Clearmountain and Robertson's approach to remixing the beloved album was done with the utmost care and respect for the music and what The Band represents. "The idea was to take you deeper inside the music, but this album is homemade," Robertson says in the liner notes. "You can't touch up a painting. It has nothing to do with what you get when you go into a recording studio." When he expressed his concerns to Clearmountain, the renowned engineer and producer reassured him: "We're just trying to overcome the original technological limitations in order to bring you closer into the room," he explained. "I'm going to do everything in my power not to get in the way of this music at all." The result is a new mix that allows listeners to hear these classic songs in stunning, and often times startling, clarity, packing more of a sonic and emotional punch than ever before.
For the first time, you can hear the particulars of Robbie Robertson's feisty guitar licks, Garth Hudson's organ wizardry, Richard Manuel's propulsive piano, Levon Helm's inimitable drum work, and Rick Danko's complex and McCartney-esque bass lines. You can also feel the ache in the vocals, parse the harmonies, and unravel the covert complexities of the arrangements. The result isn't merely revelatory, it's intoxicating.
- 50th Anniversary Edition
- New stereo mix by Bob Clearmountain
- 180g Vinyl
- Double LP
- First time on 2LP
- Lacquers cut by Chris Bellman for the album's new stereo mix at 45 rpm at Bernie Grundman Mastering
- Overseen by Robbie Robertson
- All new mixes mastered by Bob Ludwig at Gateway Mastering
- Gatefold jacket
- Made in Canada
|Garth Hudson||keyboards, piano, horn|
|Levon Helm||drums, vocals, mandolin|
|Richard Manuel||keyboards, vocals, drums|
|Rick Danko||bass, vocals, fiddle|
|Robbie Robertson||guitar, piano, vocals|
- Across The Great Divide
- Rag Mama Rag
- The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down
- When You Awake
- Up On Cripple Creek
- Whispering Pines
- Jemima Surrender
- Rockin' Chair
- Look Out Cleveland
- The Unfaithful Servant
- King Harvest (Has Surely Come)