Album Remarks & Appraisals:
The Band: A Musical History is the definitive collection. 5 CD's, a DVD, 111 tracks, 37 of which are previously unreleased that include demo's, Alternate takes and performances. Comes packaged in a unique coffee table book. Capitol. 2005.
Rolling Stone (No. 984, p.158) - 5 stars out of 5 - "...The group's devotees will find much to enjoy on this set, and their pleasures won't be limited to the thirty-seven previously unreleased tracks and film clips...."
Mojo (Publisher) (p.124) - 4 stars out of 5 - "A lot of great music...CD1 is the most remarkable: 25 songs plotting their transformation from Nuggetsy rock, via R&B, Dylan's band, folk rock and gospel, to that unmistakable Band sound."
The Band: Rick Danko (vocals, guitar, bass guitar); Robbie Robertson (vocals, guitar); Levon Helm (vocals, mandolin, drums); Richard Manuel (vocals, piano, drums); Garth Hudson (accordion, saxophone, bugle, organ, keyboards, synthesizer).
Additional personnel: Emmylou Harris, Bob Dylan (vocals, guitar); Mavis Staples, Roebuck "Pops" Staples, Ronnie Hawkins, Van Morrison (vocals); Roy Buchanan (guitar); Mickey Jones (drums); Dionne Warwick (background vocals).
Liner Note Author: Rob Bowman.
This stunning six-disc box set, A MUSICAL HISTORY, traces the evolution of the Band, one of the most towering and influential groups of the late 1960s and early '70s. In the minds of many, the Band came to define the sound of roots-oriented "Americana" rock (though most of its members were, ironically, Canadian). This lovingly assembled collection follows the development of that sound, from their inception as Ronnie Hawkins backing band the Hawks and their tenure with Bob Dylan, through their peak years as the Band, and on to their swan song in 1976, THE LAST WALTZ.
What makes this set more essential than any prior compilation is not only its obsessive attention to the timeline (the chronological sequencing really does play, as the title states, like a musical history), but the abundance of new material (32 of the 102 cuts here were unreleased). Live versions, covers, alternate takes, rarities, and well-known songs--not to mention a bonus DVD packed with live-performance footage--work together to give a complete picture of this unique ensemble, making A MUSICAL HISTORY the final and definitive word on the Band.