The Band Stage Fright on Numbered Edition 180g LP
Record Shivers With Raw Emotions, Dark Confessionals, and Intense Singing
A sharp stylistic and thematic detour away from its first two albums, the Bandâ€™s Stage Fright
is a compelling snapshot of a group coping with massive success and internal changes. Recorded in 1970 at the Woodstock Playhouse, the set shivers with raw emotions, dark confessionals, and intense singing. Largely devoid of the quintetâ€™s trademark all-for-one harmony vocals, Stage Fright
is an utterly distinctive piece of the Bandâ€™s catalogâ€”and a historic landmark thatâ€™s a necessary part of any music collection.
â€œWhen Stage Fright
came about, all I was doing was feeling my way along. But, where everybody was in a huddle on both Big Pink and The Band, with Stage Fright
it didnâ€™t feel like we were all connected in the same kind of way. In this period of experimentation in life, in music, in drugs, people kept wanting to stretch and reach and go somewhere and try things and, in the course of that, some real alienation can take place as well. When these things are chemically induced, you can feel an incredible shutdown of communication.â€ â€“guitarist Robbie Robertson, as told to Rob Bowman
Such splintered camaraderie and personal demons appear in now-famous songs such as the title track, â€œThe Shape Iâ€™m In,â€ and â€œThe W.S. Walcott Medicine Show.â€ The music is rife with palpable tension, and as a credit to the Bandâ€™s unique sound, absolutely singular. Itâ€™s impossible to think of any other group playing these tunes. Robertsonâ€™s balladic ode to his daughter, â€œAll La Glory,â€ featuring a gorgeous vocal turn from Levon Helm, provides a sunny contrast to the darker compositions.
Circumstances behind the recording sessions also reflected the mood. While the Band had intended to capture the album in one take in front of a small crowd at the theater, the town residents vetoed the idea due to concerns over being inundated by too many visitors. Consequently, the Band played to an audience of no one, sometimes with the curtains closed and other times, with them open. Todd Rundgren, who engineered the album, couldnâ€™t even see what was going onâ€”he was sitting in a canvas prop tent that became the control room, behind the theater.
As always, we half-speed mastered this numbered edition 180g LP from the original master tapes for a superior sonic experience. This analog edition of Stage Fright
bursts with supreme tonal clarity and an airiness that brings the genius of Rundgrenâ€™s preservation of high frequencies to complete realization. Even the fine textures of the hand drums on the stunning â€œDaniel and the Sacred Harpâ€ come to light with microscopic detail. Perfectly blended, MoFiâ€™s Stage Fright
takes its place as the most balanced and punchy record in the Bandâ€™s oeuvre.Stage Fright
is part of our effort to present the Bandâ€™s timeless music in the highest fidelity possible. The Band Stage Fright Track Listing:
1. "Strawberry Wine"
3. "Time to Kill"
4. "Just Another Whistle Stop"
5. "All La Glory"
6. "The Shape I'm In"
7. "The W.S. Walcott Medicine Show"
8. "Daniel and the Sacred Harp"
9. "Stage Fright"
10. "The Rumor"