The Band - Stage Fright (Limited Edition, Reissue, Remastered)
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Stage Fright is the third studio album by Canadian–American group the Band, released in 1970. It featured two of the group's best known songs, "The Shape I'm In" and "Stage Fright", both of which showcased inspired lead vocal performances (by Richard Manuel and Rick Danko, respectively) and became staples in the group's live shows.
Stage Fright was a contradictory record, combining buoyant music and disenchanted lyrics, and exploring themes such as peace, escape and frivolity that revealed darker shades of melancholy, anxiety and fatigue. Writer Ross Johnson described it as "a cheerful-sounding record that unintentionally was confessional... a spirited romp through a dispirited period in the group's history." As a result, it received a somewhat mixed reception compared to its widely-praised predecessors, largely due to the ways that it departed from those records and, perhaps, frustrated expectations. Generally, critics agreed that the music was solid. They hailed aspects like Garth Hudson's diverse textural weavings, Robbie Robertson's incisive guitar work, and the funk of the Danko–Levon Helm rhythm section, but differed on the record's troubling tone and overall cohesiveness. In later years, on the occasion of reissue and remaster releases, many critics reappraised the album as showing "no drop-off in quality compared to the first two" and "evidence of a group still working at the top of their form."
Much more of a rock album than the group's previous efforts, Stage Fright had a more downcast, contemporary focus and less of the vocal harmony blend that had been a centerpiece of the first two albums. The tradition of switching instruments continued, however, with each musician contributing parts on at least two different instruments. The album included the last two songs composed by pianist Richard Manuel, both co-written with Robertson, who would continue to be the group's dominant songwriter until the group ceased touring in 1976.
Stage Fright peaked at number 5 on the Billboard albums chart, surpassing the group's first two albums, which reached numbers 30 and 9, respectively. It was one of three albums by the group, including The Band and Rock of Ages, to be certified gold (more than 500,000 sales).
Label: Capitol Records 00602507352400
Format: Vinyl, LP, Album, Limited Edition, Reissue, Remastered, Stereo
Style: Country Rock, Folk Rock
A1 The W.S. Walcott Medicine Show
A2 The Shape I'm In
A3 Daniel And The Sacred Harp
A4 Stage Fright
A5 The Rumor
B1 Time To Kill
B2 Just Another Whistle Stop
B3 All La Glory
B4 Strawberry Wine