An album that underscored their growing individualization ends with one last blazing reminder of the way the Band’s voices once intertwined, the way their music provided a transportive solace, the way they once were — and sadly, it seems, never were again.
Post Tagged with: "Richard Manuel"
After a series of twilit ruminations, and very dire warnings, about the Band’s new rock-star lifestyle late into Stage Fright, perhaps this utterly scarifying parable was all but inevitable.
On its surface, this appears to be another of the Band’s searcher tales and, taken as only that, it’s easy to see why some may have been disappointed. The setting of an old-fashioned medicine show feels, at first, a little too on the nose
“The Shape I’m In,” despite its galloping cadence, finds the Band’s Robbie Robertson desperately attempting to reach out to the badly faltering Richard Manuel.
A song of dimly lit, strange salvation, “Just Another Whistle Stop” is a gem worth digging up for those who rarely get past the Band’s first two albums.
Richard Manuel’s greatest triumph on Stage Fright, and one of his last signature moments of creativity, arrives with “Sleeping” — as does the growing sense that this is a Band album like no other
“King Harvest,” the unforgettably sad tale of a besieged farmer, begins not with a scene-setting declaration, but with a quiet sense of forboding — one that returns for its out-of-time chorus
After a mirage of an intro, “Jawbone” — one of the most underrated moments on The Band — catches a shambolic groove even as Richard Manuel explores the story of a unrepentant ne’er-do-well.
The idea of reaping rewards — from community, from longevity, from the generations — is perhaps nowhere in sharper focus on The Band than during this key deep cut.
A lip-smacking, knuckle-dragging hoot, “Jemima Surrender” won’t win any awards for cosmopolitan thinking, but it couldn’t be more fun.