Rock of Ages - Capitol 1972
Tracks: 1. Introduction / 2. Don't Do It / 3. King Harvest (Has Surely Come) / 4. Caledonia Mission / 5. Get Up Jake / 6. The W.S. Walcott Medicine Show / 7. Stage Fright / 8. The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down / 9. Across The Great Divide / 10. This Wheel's On Fire / 11. Rag Mama Rag / 12. The Weight / 13. The Shape I'm In / 14. Unfaithful Servant / 15. Life Is A Carnival / 16. The Genetic Method / 17. Chest Fever / 18. (I Don't Want To) Hand Up My Rock And Roll Shoes // 1. Loving You Is Sweeter Than Ever / 2. I Shall Be Released / 3. Up On Cripple Creek / 4. The Rumor / 5. Rockin' Chair / 6. Time To Kill / 7. Down In the Flood / 8. When I Paint My Masterpiece / 9. Don't Ya Tell Henry / 10. Like a Rolling Stone
This 1972 Band live-album shows the group at the peak of their career.
After 4 highly successful studio-albums it was natural thing to consider a live album. All these recordings come from 2 New York concerts played around new year 71/72. To support the group half of the set featured a 5 man horn-section arranged by Allan Toussaint. Toussaint had already worked with the Band on their previous album “Cahoots”, and these “new” arrangements of older songs like “Caledonia Mission”, “W. S. Walcott” and “The Night they Drove Old Dixie Down” are really a thrill. The Band shows very tight playing and all 3 lead-singers sound inspired and give great performances.
The original vinyl release was a double album, all of which is found on CD 1. CD 2 contains material that was originally left out. This must be due to lack of space, because the standards on these tracks are equally high. Very impressive vocal performance by Richard Manuel on “I Shall Be Released”; and “Rockin´Chair”, “Up on Cripple Creek” and “Time to Kill” are as good as the best on the original album.
Bob Dylan appears on the last four tracks, which is obviously a scoop; especially considering that at the time he very rarely performed live.
Interesting that the most recent album “Cahoots” only provides one song “Life is a Carnival” ( + “When I Paint My Masterpiece” among the bonus-tracks ). Though by no means a weak album, compared to their first 3 albums “Cahoots” was a little disappointing.
Some great non-album songs are also featured; especially the B-side “Get Up Jake” and “Don´t Do it” stand out!
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