The Band (“The Brown Album”)

~ Release group by The Band

Album

Release Format Tracks Date Country Label Catalog# Barcode
Official
The Band Vinyl 12 Capitol Records (imprint of Capitol Records, Inc.) 132
The Band CD 12 Capitol Records (imprint of Capitol Records, Inc.) CDP 7 46493 2 077774649322
The Band CD 12 Capitol Records (imprint of Capitol Records, Inc.) CDP 546493, CDP 7 46493 2 07777464932
The Band CD 19 Capitol Records (imprint of Capitol Records, Inc.) 7243 5 25389 2 8 724352538928
The Band CD 19 Capitol Records (imprint of Capitol Records, Inc.) 7243 5 25389 2 8 724352538928
The Band HDCD 13 Audio Fidelity AFZ 032 780014203221
The Band Hybrid SACD 12 Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab UDSACD 2129 821797212960
The Band SHM-CD 19 Capitol Records (imprint of Capitol Records, Inc.) TOCP-95107 4988006556409
The Band SHM-CD 12 Capitol Records (imprint of Capitol Records, Inc.) UICY-40115 4988005861122
The Band Hybrid SACD 12 Capitol Records (imprint of Capitol Records, Inc.) UIGY-9658 4988005861542
The Band Digital Media 12 Capitol Records (imprint of Capitol Records, Inc.) 602537733354
The Band (expanded edition) Digital Media 19 Capitol Records (imprint of Capitol Records, Inc.) 724352538959

Relationships

creative direction: Sam Gay
included in: Music From Big Pink / The Band
part of: Rolling Stone: 500 Greatest Albums of All Time: 2012 edition (number: 45)
Allmusic: http://www.allmusic.com/album/mw0000192897 [info]
Discogs: https://www.discogs.com/master/14499 [info]
Wikidata: Q926142 [info]
other databases: https://rateyourmusic.com/release/album/the_band/the_band/ [info]
reviews: http://www.bbc.co.uk/music/reviews/3mgw [info]

CritiqueBrainz Reviews

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In 1968, The Band released their debut album, Music from Big Pink, and rock'n'roll took pause. The (mostly) Canadian quintet had found notoriety as Bob Dylan's backing band during his controversial 1966 'electric' world tour. Subsequently retreating to Woodstock, New York, they set about crafting songs that blended myriad North American styles into a timeless music that owed nothing to the then raging psychedelic revolution.

As influential as it was, …Big Pink was a patchwork album, with multiple writers, no real lead singer and meandering narratives. Its eponymous, September 1969 successor (recorded in Sammy Davis Jr.'s LA pool house) would be a more focused affair, thanks to the group's nominal leader, guitarist Robbie Robertson, who wrote or co-wrote all its songs within a conceptual framework of "the old, weird America". His vivid, emotion-soaked snapshots of simple lives imperilled by civil war, famine and misfortune implicitly chimed with the ambiguousness of an America then caught between Woodstock idealism and the horror of the Vietnam War.

By now seasoned musicians, the quintet's ensemble playing on The Band is the epitome of judiciousness and economy: discreet funk and soul influences somehow woven into the rootsy fabric of their sound. Like The Beatles, they could boast a triumvirate of fine singers: drummer Levon Helm, a master of the grizzled bark; bassist Rick Danko, possessor of a high, tremulous Appalachian tenor; and pianist Richard Manuel, a vocalist with a molasses tone to match Ray Charles. Cannily, Robertson parcelled out their vocal idiosyncrasies like a film director, matching 'character' to narrative. Typically, on the proud, surging and Civil War-themed The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down and Louisiana-set drunken spree Up On Cripple Creek, Arkansan Helm is given full, ornery license, while Danko conjures a yearning American Gothic quality on the melancholy The Unfaithful Servant and Manuel invests the sublime Whispering Pines and hymnal King Harvest (Has Surely Come) with wounded profundity.

Drugs, tours and the blinding glitterball of showbiz would inexorably erode The Band's mojo, but at the very close of the 60s, rock'n'roll's most cerebral combo was in its pomp: tasting the American condition by stirring up the soup of its past.