Fulvue Drive-In.com
Current Reviews
In Stores Soon
In Stores Now
DVD Reviews, SACD Reviews Essays Interviews Contact Us Meet the Staff
An Explanation of Our Rating System Search  
Category:    Home > Reviews > Documentary > Music > Rock > Albums > Classic Albums: The Band - The Band (Eagle DVD remaster)

Classic Albums: The Band – The Band (Eagle/Remaster)


Picture: C+     Sound: B-     Extras: D     Main Program: B-



In a world of The Beatles, Psychedelic Rock and social unrest, The Band come together in Woodstock, New York in that most psychedelic year of 1967, yet their music was from a more familiar world.  Their debut album was Music from Big Pink, a 1968 release actually available as a 5.1 DVD-Audio from EMI, making a respectable impression.  But it was their self-titled sophomore effort that really put them on the map, covered here in this nice reissue of the early Classic Albums series installment about it.


Having worked with Bob Dylan, they became so synonymous with him that they were initially thought of as his session singers and backing band for some of his key projects, but Robbie Robertson (guitar), Rick Danko (bass), Levon Helm (drums), Richard Manuel and Garth Hudson (both keyboards) were so talented, they could have all had their own bands.  Instead, they formed a special kind of supergroup without trying.  Classics included Up On Cripple Creek, which remains their biggest national hit, The Night They Drove Dixie Down, The Weight and Rockin’ Chair are among the remarkable songs that filled this second album.  Not only were they doing Rock, Country Rock and with an emphasis on acoustics, but the filling of an Appalachian influence and the distinctive talents of each member made it the kind of stunner the record industry used to offer all the time.


My only complaint is that the 75 minutes is just not enough to totally explore the album or this band, but what is here is a strong and early installment in the remarkable Classic Albums series, so if it is a bit rough, that is just par for the course in the early shows.  It helped make the series possible and a fine piece of music documentary just the same.


The full frame 1.33 X 1 image was produced on analog videotape and is slightly better here than in the original cardboard snapper DVD release by Rhino back in the late 1990s.  The Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo replaces the PCM 2.0 Stereo from that disc, and though that might have been richer in sound, this has enough Pro Logic surrounds to make that matter less.  The only extra is a text discography, but that is all, though the interviews with Bernie Taupin, Eric Clapton and the late, great George Harrison are a plus.


Of course, Martin Scorsese’s The Last Waltz (1978, reviewed elsewhere on this site as part of the MGM Scorsese set) film of their 1976 break-up makes for an interesting comparison, getting more to the heart of what made them great.  Of course, it is a concert film, but Scorsese goes beyond that convention to get into the heart of The Band and its members.  This Classic Albums show is a great companion to it; pretty much covering what this later show missed, or did not need to repeat.  Ironically, after watching this, one understands Scorsese’s love of their music and why he still has Robertson work with him on his feature films.  If you missed this before, catch it soon.



-   Nicholas Sheffo


 Copyright © MMIII through MMX fulvuedrive-in.com