The Band: Stage Fright

There are very few bands that have the ability to perform music effortlessly and timelessly.

The Band is one of these groups.

Recently, Capitol Records made it their goal to remaster and re-release Stage Fright The Band’s third album which was originally released in 1970.

Stage Fright provides listeners with a rare glimpse into The Bands psyche and tells of their true feelings for performing live and touring.

Opening up with “Strawberry Wine,” co-written by drummer Levon Helm and guitarist Robbie Robertson, this cheerful romp starts Stage Fright off on a positive note.

The second song “Sleeping” is perhaps one of the best songs The Band has ever recorded. This musically challenging piece, co-written by pianist and vocalist Richard Manuel with Robertson, features Manuel’s piano virtuosity and strong lyrical persuasion.

In addition this songs sets the mellow mood for the entire album. “For the life we chose/In the evening we rose/Just long enough to be lovers again/And for nothing more/The world was too sore/To live in.”

The albums fourth track, “Just Another Whistle Stop,” continues to reverberate the dislike of touring on the road.

The seventh track The “W.S. Walcott Medicine Show” is perhaps the most blatant attack against commercialism in music.

Making obscure references to medicine shows and professional singers such as Diamond Teeth Mary the song boasts a catchy intra guitar riff as well as unique chord progressions throughout the song.

“Stage Fright,” the album’s ninth track, is The Band’s statement about having to perform live and their fear of the stage.

In addition to the ten tracks on the original album Capitol Records included three bonus songs as well as the original radio commercial to promote the 1970 release.

Overall this is a superb album that demonstrates the uncanny musical superiority of The Band. Anyone that knows little about this phenomenal group knows that this is a solid purchase and a nice addition to any collection.

Grade: A

About the author

Todd DeFeo

Todd DeFeo loves to travel anywhere, anytime, taking pictures and notes. An award-winning reporter, Todd revels in the experience and the fact that every place has a story to tell. He is owner of The DeFeo Groupe and also edits The Travel Trolley and Railfanning.org.