Musical History CD (2005)

Artist: Band

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Product Overview

This exhaustive, rarity-laden six-disc collection tells a story that's long begged to be told: the tale of one of the most seminal yet underrated forces of rock 'n' roll's formative years. True to its name, A Musical History goes back to the embryonic days of the Hawks, who would later morph into the Band, collecting several songs -- highlighted by a burning version of "Who Do You Love" -- culled from their days as Ronnie Hawkins's backing band. That era is also represented by a handful of unreleased songs, notably the roadhouse-ready "Bacon Fat," that exhibit the burgeoning rootsiness that would endear the Band to Bob Dylan, who ultimately hired them to help propel what was arguably the most vital period in his career. Songs from both their stints with Zimmy pop up here and there, the pleading "Tell Me Mama" and a fierce live version of "Highway 61 Revisited" being the most compelling. But, to the credit of the musicians involved, the set's most stirring moments occur when they're working things out on their own. Early, radically different versions of songs like "Daniel and the Sacred Harp" and "Jemima Surrender" (the latter a real showcase for Levon Helm's earthy-yet-cerebral drumming) give insight into their restless nature as a collective, while song sketches for "Beautiful Thing" and "You Don't Come Through" attest to their willingness to get down-and-dirty. A Musical History offers up just about all the things you'd expect from a best-of, but the outtakes and oddities ultimately bring the most pleasure, from the gnarled blues shuffle of "Look Out Cleveland" to the easy-on-the-ears lope of "Strawberry Wine."


Label Capitol Records
SKU 64009386
UPC 724357740906
UPC 14 00724357740906
Format CD
Release Date 9/27/2005
Author Band
Product Attributes
Artist Band
Label Capitol Records

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