.
http://assets-s3.rollingstone.com/assets/images/album_review/amanda-1379966135.jpg Live at the Academy of Music 1971

The Band

Live at the Academy of Music 1971

Capitol/UMe
Rolling Stone: star rating
Community: star rating
5 5 0
September 23, 2013

In these days of near-instantaneous, shit-sounding YouTube bootlegs, it's hard to recall how great live recordings can be. Rock of Ages is indeed a great live recording – in his 1972 Rolling Stone review, included in this reissue, Ralph J. Gleason called it a "classic" straight out of the gate, ranking alongside "sacred" in-concert LPs like Mingus at Monterey. Taken from multitrack tapes of the '71 four-night stand that sourced Rock, this five-disc set combines the expanded 2002 reissue with a soundboard recording of the run's fabled New Year's Eve gig, which was capped by a balls-out, back-from-exile Dylan cameo. Rarely do the historic and the ecstatic match up so juicily.

With jazz pros playing hot contrapuntal horn charts specially written for the shows by New Orleans maestro Allen Toussaint, the Band kill it on nearly every song, often improving the originals. The mournful gospel-blues arrangements on "The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down" add a new emotional layer to Levon Helm's Southern-man plaint, and the Dylan tracks are off-the-hook. The reading of "Like a Rolling Stone" is one of the most breathtaking ever, with Dylan hollering like a man just out of prison. All totaled: a trunkload of what at this point are barroom folk standards, played so vividly you'll be bellowing along.

prev
Album Review Main Next

ADD A COMMENT

Community Guidelines »
loading comments

loading comments...

COMMENTS

Sort by:
    Read More
    Daily Newsletter

    Get the latest RS news in your inbox.

    Sign up to receive the Rolling Stone newsletter and special offers from RS and its
    marketing partners.

    X

    We may use your e-mail address to send you the newsletter and offers that may interest you, on behalf of Rolling Stone and its partners. For more information please read our Privacy Policy.

    Song Stories

    “Road to Nowhere”

    Talking Heads | 1985

    A cappella harmonies give way to an a fuller arrangement blending pop and electro-disco on "Road to Nowhere," but the theme remains constant: We're on an eternal journey to an undefined destination. The song vaulted back into the news a quarter century after it was a hit when Gov. Charlie Crist used it in his unsuccessful 2010 campaign for the U.S. Senate in Florida. "It's this little ditty about how there's no order and no plan and no scheme to life and death and it doesn't mean anything, but it's all right," Byrne said with a chuckle.

    More Song Stories entries »
    www.expandtheroom.com