Wednesday, July 24, 2013

New archival live release from The Band

During the final week of 1971, The Band played four concerts at New York City’s Academy Of Music, with new horn arrangements by Allen Toussaint and a surprise guest appearance by Bob Dylan for a New Year’s Eve encore.

Select highlights from the concerts were compiled for The Band’s classic 1972 double LP, Rock Of Ages, which peaked at No. 6 on the Billboard 200. For the first time, all four of the concerts’ multi-track recordings have been revisited for Live At The Academy Of Music 1971, a new 4CD+DVD collection to be released Sept. 17 by Capitol/UMe.

The expansive new collection features new stereo and 5.1 Surround mixes, including 19 previously unreleased performances and newly discovered footage of two songs filmed by Howard Alk and Murray Lerner. Live At The Academy Of Music 1971 takes a deep dive into The Band’s historic shows for a definitive document of the pioneering group’s stage prowess at the apex of their career. On the same date, the collection’s first two discs will also be released as a 2CD set.
Live At The Academy Of Music 1971 is presented in a deluxe, 48-page hardbound book with previously unseen photos, a reproduction of Rolling Stone’s original Rock Of Ages review by magazine co-founder Ralph J. Gleason, an essay by The Band’s Robbie Robertson, and appreciations of The Band and the set’s recordings by Mumford & Sons and Jim James of My Morning Jacket.

The collection’s first two discs feature performances of every song played over the course of the four concerts, and the New Year’s Eve soundboard mix on discs 3 and 4 puts the listener in the room for that entire legendary night: Uncut, unedited, taken straight from the master recordings and presented in full for the first time. The set’s DVD presents the tracks from discs 1 and 2 in 5.1 Surround, plus Alk and Lerner’s filmed performances of “King Harvest (Has Surely Come)” and “The W.S. Walcott Medicine Show.” 
Live At The Academy Of Music 1971 is produced by Robbie Robertson, with co-producers Michael Murphy and Matt D’Amico.  The stereo mixes for the first two discs and the DVD’s 5.1 Surround mix were done by Bob Clearmountain, with the stereo mixes for discs 3 and 4 helmed by Sebastian Robertson and Jon Castelli, assisted by Ryan Nasci. The collection was mastered by Patricia Sullivan at Bernie Grundman Mastering.  The concerts were originally recorded by Phil Ramone with Mark Harman.
By the late 1960s, The Band had become one of the most popular and influential rock groups in the world. Robertson, reflecting on the time and the decision to record the Academy Of Music concerts, recalls, “We were in a huddle of playing music, enjoying what we were doing, and I had a feeling, ‘We should capture this.’  To end 1971 with these shows felt, for all of us, like the right thing to do.  This is a fulfillment of that extraordinary musical experience that I feel great about sharing.”
Of the set’s complete New Year’s Eve recording, Robertson says, “This is like being there.  It was the final night; there was a thrill in the air.  We were excited about New Year’s Eve, and then Dylan joined us for the encore.  When he came out, we thought we could wing it, and wing it we did.  We thought, ‘We’re not gonna fall off this wire.’ That whole night had a bit of magic to it.”
Sadly, three members of The Band, Richard Manuel, Rick Danko and Levon Helm, have passed away, but The Band’s legacy lives on.
* indicates previously unissued performance
Disc 1 [CD]
1. The W.S.  Walcott Medicine Show                                          Friday, December 31
2. The Shape I’m In                                                                    Friday, December 31
3. Caledonia Mission                                                                 Thursday, December 30
4. Don’t Do It                                                                            Wednesday, December 29
5. Stage Fright                                                                          Friday, December 31
6. I Shall Be Released                                                                Thursday, December 30
7. Up On Cripple Creek                                                              Thursday, December 30
8. This Wheel’s On Fire                                                              Wednesday, December 29
9. Strawberry Wine *                                                                  Tuesday, December 28
10. King Harvest (Has Surely Come)                                           Friday, December 31
11. Time To Kill                                                                         Tuesday, December 28
12. The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down                                  Wednesday, December 29
13. Across The Great Divide                                                      Thursday, December 30
Disc 2 [CD]
1. Life Is A Carnival                                                                   Thursday, December 30
2. Get Up Jake                                                                          Thursday, December 30
3. Rag Mama Rag                                                                     Friday, December 31
4. Unfaithful Servant                                                                  Friday, December 31
5. The Weight                                                                            Thursday, December 30
6. Rockin’ Chair                                                                         Wednesday, December 29
7. Smoke Signal                                                                        Tuesday, December 28
8. The Rumor                                                                            Thursday, December 30
9. The Genetic Method                                                               Friday, December 31
10. Chest Fever                                                                         Tuesday, December 28
11. (I Don’t Want To) Hang Up My Rock And Roll Shoes             Wednesday, December 29
12. Loving You Is Sweeter Than Ever                                          Wednesday, December 29
13. Down In The Flood (The Band with Bob Dylan)                      Friday, December 31
14. When I Paint My Masterpiece (The Band with Bob Dylan)       Friday, December 31
15. Don’t Ya Tell Henry (The Band with Bob Dylan)                      Friday, December 31
16. Like A Rolling Stone (The Band with Bob Dylan)                    Friday, December 31
Disc 3 [CD] - New Year’s Eve At The Academy Of Music 1971 (The Soundboard Mix)
1. Up On Cripple Creek *
2. The Shape I’m In 
3. The Rumor *
4. Time To Kill *
5. Rockin’ Chair *
6. This Wheel’s On Fire *
7. Get Up Jake *
8. Smoke Signal *
9. I Shall Be Released *
10. The Weight *
11. Stage Fright
Disc 4 [CD] - New Year’s Eve At The Academy Of Music 1971 (The Soundboard Mix)
1. Life Is A Carnival *
2. King Harvest (Has Surely Come)
3. Caledonia Mission *
4. The W.S.  Walcott Medicine Show
5. The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down *
6. Across The Great Divide *
7. Unfaithful Servant
8. Don’t Do It *
9. The Genetic Method
10. Chest Fever * 
11. Rag Mama Rag
12. (I Don’t Want To) Hang Up My Rock And Roll Shoes *
13. Down In The Flood (with Bob Dylan)
14. When I Paint My Masterpiece (with Bob Dylan)
15. Don’t Ya Tell Henry (with Bob Dylan)
16. Like A Rolling Stone (with Bob Dylan)
Disc 5 [DVD] – Live At The Academy Of Music 1971 in 5.1 Surround Sound
1. The W.S. Walcott Medicine Show
2. The Shape I’m In
3. Caledonia Mission
4. Don’t Do It
5. Stage Fright
6. I Shall Be Released
7. Up On Cripple Creek
8. The Wheel’s On Fire
9. Strawberry Wine *
10. King Harvest (Has Surely Come)
11. Time To Kill
12. The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down
13. Across The Great Divide
14. Life Is A Carnival
15. Get Up Jake
16. Rag Mama Rag
17. Unfaithful Servant
18. The Weight
19. Rockin’ Chair
20. Smoke Signal
21. The Rumor
22. The Genetic Method
23. Chest Fever 
24. (I Don’t Want To) Hang Up My Rock And Roll Shoes
25. Loving You Is Sweeter Than Ever
Archival Film Clips – December 30, 1971
1. King Harvest (Has Surely Come) *
2. The W.S. Walcott Medicine Show *
Rick Danko: bass, violin, vocals
Levon Helm: drums, mandolin, vocals
Garth Hudson: organ, accordion, saxophones
Richard Manuel: piano, keyboards, drums, vocals
Robbie Robertson: guitar, vocals
Snooky Young: trumpet, flugelhorn
Howard Johnson: baritone sax, tuba, euphonium
Joe Farrell: tenor sax, soprano sax, english horn
Earl McIntyer: trombone
J.D. Parron: alto sax, e flat clarinet
Horns arranged by Allen Toussaint

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