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The Band :: The Band

Audio Fidelity uses Steve Hoffman to bring out the inherent qualities of the debut classic from The Band on this remastered AF Gold Disc series CD.  And as his skills always produces a sterling edition of a classic, so it enhances the quality of this S/T album by The Band that gave us "The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down" as well as "Up On Cripple Creek."

The Band emerged as a musical force with this 1969 release that not only delivered those two hits mentioned but also provided solid album cuts in "Rag Mama Rag," and the beautiful Manuel-sung "Whispering Pines.". Of course, this Band album is far more than a collection of a few hits and a few great album cuts.  It is the historic beginning of a band that would become legendary, ending a fruitful career in an equally legendary Live concert famously known as The Last Waltz.

The audio on this Audio Fidelity is rich, and is especially notable on "Rag Mama Rag," the album's second track.  It's brighter, cleaner.  You can revel in the ragtime piano-work, with the vocals standing out.  That richness is continued on the band's great tune, "The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down," and the wonderful "Up on Cripple Creek".  "Whispering Pines"?  Simply gorgeous and unforgettable.

This Audio Fidelity 24kt+ Gold remastering of The Band is augmented by a bonus track, "Get Up Jake".  This studio version was recorded around the time of The Band debut, which is why it is included here, but has been previously released on a B-side to "xxx" and as a live version on Rock of Ages.

As are many of these Audio Fidelity reissues, this CD is a numbered Limited Edition.  The CD's jewel-case is itself protectively slip-cased.

Audio Fidelity enjoys a great track record of Hoffman-remastered reissues of notable classics.  I'm confident that we'll continue to see these exemplary reissues coming from this label.

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