Comprised of Rick Danko, Levon Helm, Garth Hudson, Richard Manuel and Robbie Robertson, The Band's self-titled sophomore effort spent 24 weeks in the Billboard Top 40. The album was released at a time when the US album cha... more »rts were taken over by the psychedelic rock movement, and despite this, the album had the aforementioned chart success and would go on to sell over one million copies. This edition of the "Classic Albums" series focuses on The Band's follow-up to "MUSIC FROM BIG PINK". Featuring classics such as "Up On Cripple Creek", "The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down", and "Rag Mama Rag", the story of the album is told through interviews with surviving members of The Band, fellow musicians Eric Clapton, Don Was, and George Harrison, and vintage footage. The Band is a classic album!« less
Sean M. Kelly | Portland, Oregon United States | 05/11/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"With the recent remastering and re-releasing of the full Band canon, interest in one of America's greatest musical acts has never been higher. This is as good a time as any to pick up a copy of "The Band," one in Rhino records series called "classic Albums," which documents the making of classic albums. (other dvd's include the Wailers, the Who, and the Grateful Dead) This dvd documents the classic lp "The Band" from 1969.Filled with vintage footage of the Band in rehersals, as well as interviews with Robbie Robertson, Levon Helm, the reclusive Garth Hudson, and the late Rick Danko, "The Band" chronicles the making of this amazing album, focusing on the disparate musical influences- country, bluegrass, rockabilly, black R&B, rock n roll, and folk/Americana- that led to many of guitarist/vocalist Robbie Robertson's greatest songs. The surviving members at the time of this documentary (made in 1997-pianist Richard Manuel had died in 1986) add their own anecdotes to the music, giving the songs unique colors and life. Levon Helm, Robbie Robertson, and Garth Hudson (the most pleasant surprise on the dvd taking into account his well known reclusive nature) add to the fun by playing some of the tunes based on their perspective, offering running commontary as they go. Add to the Band's perspective those of Eric Clapton, (who wanted to join the Band at one point) George Harrison, Elton John's lyicist Bernie Taupin, and producer Don Was, and the cup of greatness runneth over.The performances, including "The Weight," "Rockin' Chair," "I Shall Be Released," "The Unfaithful Servant," and "King Harvest (Has Surely Come)," as well as a touching tribute to the late Richard Manuel, make the dvd all the more valuable to fans of the Band. The music is timeless, the interviews vintage, and the performances sparkle as they never have. That makes this dvd one to have in any collection.R.I.P. Richard Manuel and Rick Danko"
A Must Have DVD
Michelle Hensley | Heart Of The Midwest | 01/21/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"If you love The Band (is there such thing as a casual Band fan?) you MUST own this! There is some repetition of the usual stories, such as Clapton telling us his 'Big Pink' story, but others are fresh and exciting. Also, there are solo tidbits that will break your heart. Robby doing Dixie, and Rick, God rest his soul, doing When You Awake. Absolutely essential."
A Joyful Little DVD
Steven Barnett | USA | 07/31/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"As a fan of the group, I decided to take a chance on this DVD though I knew nothing about it. It very easily could have been a dud, but it turned out to be something very special. The surviving members of the group actually participated in this documentary, and they show a lot of pride and a lot of affection for their days together, and for the music they made. Just watch Levon listening back to "Rocking Chair," his eyes closed, delighted at the sound of Richard Manuel's voice, basking in the joy of what The Band created together so many years ago. He still retains that modest, down-home quality that is so endearing. Then there's "Brother Garth." Band fans will find this DVD worth the purchase price just to see Garth improvising at the keyboard, displaying just what a lovable crazed-genius he really is. And then there is plenty of Robbie Robertson, giving some very insightful information about The Band's writing and recording processes. Like Levon, Robbie just can't contain the thrill he obviously feels listening back to the original multitracks from the album. Unfortunately, it doesn't appear that Robbie ever "reunited" with the others for this program, even if just to listen to the tracks together. The interviews are all done separately. But that's not really a complaint, just an observation. Anyone who is a fan of The Band, and anyone who has a genuine interest in the creative process and in making music, will certainly love this DVD. I'm a picky guy, but I gave this the highest rating I could."
Essential for hardcore Band fans
crabshaw | Deep Southern Illinois United States | 02/22/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"If you're not a lifelong, hard shell Band addict, go to the next review. Only these people will probably appreciate the rest of this review. The following are my personal highlights.
It has several different sections of footage of Garth. Intertwining classical, gospel, circus midway, blues, and folk licks, his nose approximately two inches from the keyboard, occasionally talking to the keyboards as he plays---The man is beyond genius status. He's also very cool.Watch and listen to Rick play "When You Awake" on flattop.Watch the unabashed joy in Levon's face when he is at the mixing board listening to Richard and Rick (and himself) harmonize on "Rockin' Chair", or to Garth's keyboards on "Rag Mama Rag". ("Ain't it easy when you know how"--Levon on Garth's playing).Watch Robbie Robertson sing proudly into a purposely dead mike. You might fool some of the people some of the time...Watch Robbie take credit for the writing when it was obviously a group effort almost every time.Richard wrote the lyrics to several songs; Garth and Rick wrote a lot of the music--very seldom did they receive credit (or royalties)--only Robbie. Listen to Eric Clapton and George Harrison reveal that the Band's music was beyond anything they had heard or played.Listen to Robbie's chord work and his excellent explanation as to why the Band sang harmonies a certain way (that was all they could reach)and why he frequently played odd, partial guitar chords (they just sounded right).Just watch and listen to Levon.Whether he's singing, playing, or being interviewed, he is extremely entertaining. He, like Garth, is also one of a kind. Listen to Richard sing anything. I'm positive he and Rick are members in good standing in God's choir.This is a wonderful DVD. It has much more footage than the TV version I taped off of television. I bought it new.., although I think it ususally sells for [more]. I would have paid [more] for it. If you're a Band fanatic-this is a must have."
One of the best of the Classic Album DVD's
Scott L. Anderson | Lincoln, Nebraska United States | 07/26/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I have a number of the DVD's from the Classic Album series. I find this one to be particularly compelling and balanced. It is rare to see anything about The Band that includes input from both Robbie Robertson and Levon Helm and the DVD is all the better for it. I found that the fine editing kept Levon's bitterness to a minimum (the "someone needs to tune that guitar" quip from Rocking Chair) and Robbie's contribution to the whole affair balanced. The highlights include the improvisation of Garth Hudson at the keyboard and the insights of John Simon, who produced the first two Band albums and Jon Taplin. Levon sums it up well in the end. The movie is "righteous"."