Entertainment Weekly (5/25/01, p.81) - "...Their sweet homage to vintage soul..." - Rating: B+
Down Beat (10/01, p.66) - 3 stars out of 5 - "A labor of love with the usual suspects revising r&b songs from the 50s and 60s..."
Mojo (Publisher) (6/01, p.123) - "...Audibly a classic, it is the last true romantic gasp of Richard Manuel's soulful emotive wail..."
The Band started their career with two stunningly perfect albums in '68 and '69 (MUSIC FROM BIG PINK and THE BAND, respectively). An edgy comment on their newfound fame, STAGE FRIGHT, came in '70. Then an album of scattered focus (CAHOOTS) and a brilliant live retrospective (ROCK OF AGES) followed over the next two years. Whether or not the well of new material was running dry, The Band wisely chose to take some of the pressure off by revisiting their days as The Hawks for this 1973 set of covers.
From the Levon Helm-sung "Ain't Got No Home" (the Clarence "Frogman" Henry song) which opens the set, to the soaring Richard Manuel vocal on Sam Cooke's "A Change Is Gonna Come," everything and everybody shines here. Robbie Robertson's sassy riffing on "Mystery Train," Garth Hudson's oozing and undulating organ beds, and that always- perfect rhythm section--this is a brilliant display of great interpretive skills wedded to great songs. This album of covers set a standard to which other similar projects are always compared.