The Band’s 1970 LP Stage Fright turns 50 this year and they’re going to celebrate on February 12th, 2021 by releasing a deluxe edition containing a new stereo mix, a live set taped at London’s Royal Albert Hall in June 1971, and a never-before-released jam session between Robbie Robertson, Rick Danko, and Richard Manuel captured while Stage Fright was in the mixing stages.
Stage Fright was released on August 16th, 1970 and it features some of the Band’s most beloved songs, including “The Shape I’m In,” “The W.S. Walcott Medicine Show,” and the title track. This new edition will be available digitally, as a two-disc set, on 180-gram black vinyl, and as a multi-format Super Deluxe 2CD/Blu-ray/1LP/7-inch vinyl box.
The most intriguing element of this new collection is the Calgary Hotel Recordings, 1970. It captures Robertson, Danko, and Manuel messing around on songs like “Calgary Blues,” “The W.S. Walcott Medicine Show” and Bo Diddley’s “Before You Accuse Me” while they were in Canada on their legendary Festival Express train tour with the Grateful Dead, Janis Joplin, Buddy Guy, the Flying Burrito Brothers, and Delaney and Bonnie and Friends. A release describes the set as a “fun and loose, impromptu late-night hotel jam session.”
The set also features a new stereo mix by Bob Clearmountain, a reproduction of the Spanish pressing of the Band’s 1971 7-inch vinyl single for “Time To Kill” and “The Shape I’m In,” and new liner notes by Robbie Robertson.
The classic five-man lineup of the Band hasn’t played since their Last Waltz concert in November 1976. They reformed without Robertson in 1983 and continued touring even after Richard Manuel’s suicide in 1986, but permanently split after Rick Danko died in 1999. Drummer Levon Helm died in 2012, leaving Garth Hudson and Robbie Robertson as the last surviving members.