Monday, February 26, 2007

Five Best...The Band Albums (#5)

5. Stage Fright

-After the first two albums The Band released—both masterpieces—it was time for a slight fall. And although this album has some great tracks on it, there’s still something missing that was on the other two albums. Maybe it’s a lack of harmony between the members or because it’s too polished but Stage Fright, released in 1970, lacks that something The Band had beforehand.

Stage Fright is a rare album where the second half is much better than the first. The tracks on side two include “The Shape I’m In,” “The WS Walcott Medicine Show,” “Daniel and the Sacred Harp,” “Stage Fright” and “The Rumor.” Of course, during The Last Waltz, three of those tracks (especially “Stage Fright) would pack a punch not found on the album. In fact, Danko’s tortured vocals during “Stage Fright” is one of the highlights from the movie/album.

Sadly, this would also be the last album that Richard Manuel would co-write a track. He contributed “Sleeping” and “Just Another Whistle Stop,” both written with Robbie.