The Band

The Collection: The Band

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Although they were an innovative, fascinating, and highly influential recording outfit in the late '60s and early '70s, the Band were never a singles act and none of their songs ever made much of a dent in the pop charts. Furthermore, they also, at their best, crafted albums that had an uncommon coherence and purpose from track to track, so a sampler like this one, which pulls tracks from all over the place, weakens a little bit the powerful and perfectly realized singularity that was the Band in the first place. Oh, there are great pieces here, like the live "Don't Do It," the group's timeless version of "Long Black Veil," and Richard Manuel's late-era recasting of "Georgia on My Mind," but the best way to hear these tracks is still in their original settings on the original albums.

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