10 Great Songs

The Band

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10 Great Songs Review

by Steve Leggett

The Band’s greatest strength was their ability to sound like the whole history of American pop music rolled into one big rustic blender, creating in the process a kind of frozen mythic landscape that somehow informs the present by suggesting the past. It was quite a hat trick, and it’s easy to glimpse a little bit of that funky and mythic R&B carnival the Band represented in this brief ten-song set. Songs like “The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down,” “Rag Mama Rag,” “Chest Fever,” “It Makes No Difference,” and “The Shape I’m In” add up to a whole universe of time, place, and status. Calling yourself the Band was a little arrogant. It was also tremendously modest. It was all part of a brilliant balancing act. Even at only ten tracks, this sampler shows clearly why the Band truly deserved to be called the Band.

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