The BAND – ” Stage Fright ” Expanded Reissue

Posted: December 19, 2020 in CLASSIC ALBUMS, MUSIC
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The Band’s classic 1970 album is often considered slightly inferior to its two stone-cold-classic predecessors, the group’s debut “Music From Big Pink” and the self-titled follow-up — but what’s not often stated is that “slightly inferior” to those albums still makes it one of the best albums of the year if not the era.

While the group had started to fragment a bit at the time of its recording — largely due to substance abuse — it still contains several of their all-time best songs, like the title track, “The Shape I’m In,” “Strawberry Wine” and others. On February 12th, 2021, Capitol/UMe will celebrate the 50th anniversary of The Band’s classic third album, “Stage Fright”, with a suite of newly remixed, remastered and expanded 50th Anniversary Edition packages, including a multi-format Super Deluxe 2CD/Blu-ray/1LP/7-inch vinyl box set photo booklet; digital, 2CD, 180-gram black vinyl, and limited edition 180-gram colour vinyl packages. All the Anniversary Edition releases were overseen by principal songwriter Robbie Robertson and boast a new stereo mix by Bob Clearmountain from the original multi-track masters. For the first time, the album is being presented in the originally planned song order. The boxed set, CD and digital configurations feature a bevy of unreleased recordings, including Live at the Royal Albert Hall, June 1971, In the set’s liner notes, Robertson calls the show at London’s Royal Albert Hall “One of the greatest live concerts The Band ever played. ”It was a thrilling full concert captured in the midst of their European tour; alternate versions of “Strawberry Wine” and “Sleeping”; and seven unearthed field recordings, Calgary Hotel Recordings, 1970, an impromptu late-night hotel jam session between Robbie Robertson, Rick Danko and Richard Manuel of several Stage Fright songs recorded while the album was in the mixing stage.

Exclusively for the boxed set, Clearmountain has also created a new 5.1 surround mix and a hi-res stereo mix of the album, bonus tracks and the live show, presented on Blu-ray. All the new audio mixes have been mastered by Bob Ludwig at Gateway Mastering. The set also includes an exclusive reproduction of the Spanish pressing of The Band’s 1971 7-inch vinyl single for “Time To Kill” b/w “The Shape I’m In” in their new stereo mixes and a photo booklet with new notes by Robbie Robertson and touring photographer John Scheele, who recorded the Calgary Hotel Recordings; 1970,” a fun and loose, impromptu late night hotel jam session between Band members Robertson, Rick Danko and Richard Manuel of several “Stage Fright” songs, recorded during the group’s legendary “Festival Express” Canadian tour with Janis Joplin, the Grateful Dead, Buddy Guy and others. plus a reprinting of the original Los Angeles Times album review by critic Robert Hilburn; three classic photo lithographs; and photographs from Scheele and several other photographers.

Originally Released on August 17th, 1970, Stage Fright features two of The Band’s best-known songs, “The Shape I’m In” and the title track, both of which showcased inspired lead vocal performances by Manuel and Danko, respectively, and became staples in the group’s live shows. Recorded over 12 days on the stage of the Woodstock Playhouse, the album was self-produced by The Band for the first time and engineered and mixed by Todd Rundgren with additional mixing by Glyn Johns.

For the 50th Anniversary collection, the sequence has been changed to present Stage Fright with the originally planned song order.

The release follows last year’s stellar reissue of “The Band,” which included the group’s previously unreleased set from the Woodstock festival. All the Anniversary Edition releases were overseen by principal songwriter Robbie Robertson and boast a new stereo mix by Bob Clearmountain from the original multi-track masters (which resolves the conundrum caused by some of the album’s earlier re-releases, which included incorrect mixes of several songs). While the release notes that “For the first time, the album is being presented in the originally planned song order,” what will really interest fans is the previously unreleased material.

The Band

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