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Band, The: Live At The Academy Of Music (Box Set)

An expansive set that spans 4 CD's and 1 DVD, Live at the Academy of Music captures The Band at their legendary residency at New York City's Academy of Music in December 1971. The 56 performances include a mix from all four nights shows on two discs (which make up all the individual songs performed during the four-night stand) and the remaining two discs turn the spotlight onto the complete New Year's Eve concert itself. An elaborate package it is completed by the DVD, which includes the remastered first two discs of the box in surround sound, plus two video clips 'King Harvest (Has Surely Come)' and 'The W.S. Walcott Medicine Show' from the December 31 show. The entire set is presented in s presented in a deluxe, 48-page hardbound book with previously unseen photos, a reproduction of Rolling Stone's original Rock Of Ages review, an essay by Robbie Robertson, and appreciations of The Band by contemporary musicians.

This, of course, is The Band at the height of their powers and there are some magical performances that also feature a crack horn section arranged by Allen Toussaint that gives some added punch and Bob Dylan turns up for the encore of the New Year's Eve set and performed four numbers. Bob Clearmountain has done a superb job on the mixing of the first two discs and vocals, band and horns are all sounding crystal clear and exactly as they should be. Some of the set has been previously available as Rock of Ages but even those who already have this release will surely by tempted by what has to be considered the definitive release of these historic shows.

Robbie Robertson perhaps best summed up the occasion when referring to the New Years Eve recording; "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."

Whether you love rock, country, blues, jazz or good old folk rock, The Band had a little bit of everything; with releases such as this their legacy will hopefully be enjoyed and appreciated by a whole new generation.

Added: October 18th 2013
Reviewer: Dean Pedley
Score:
Related Link: Track List
Hits: 1415
Language: english

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