Islands - Capitol 1977
This may not be as succesful an album as its predecessor, but there is still much great music that it equals some other the other Band albums.
Stand out tracks are Robertson´s “Christmas Must Be Tonight”, inspired by the birth of his son in July 1975, and here beatifully sung by Danko. I´m usually not very fond of Christmas tunes; but this one makes an exception. Other highlights are Richard Manuels great vocals on the old standard “Georgia on my Mind”, which was also released as a single and the new song “Right as Rain”. “Let the Night Fall”, could have been a great song, but it sounds a little unfinished, probably lacking a good bridge.
“Streewalker” is another fine track, sung by Danko, would have fitted nicely into “Cahoots”.
“Ain´t that a Lot of Love” sounds like it should been featured on “Moondog Matinee”. Helm sings!
The instrumental “Islands” is fine track, but misses some vocals to make it a “real” great “Band” track.
“The Saga of Pepote Rouge” is a great song, sung by Danko with Helm and the charming “Knocking Lost John” sung by Helm and Robertson is bound to grow on you.
The final track “Livin´ in a Dream” is described in the notes a Grade B material - with the addition, grade B material from the Band is better than the finest efforts from a lot of other artist.
The first bonus-track is a real stand-out, and possibly the only authentic out-take, “Twilight” was a song from the “Northern Lights” sessions that the Band like so much that they saved it for a single. Beautiful song, slightly reggae inspired.
Don't ignore this album!