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The Band: Live at the Academy of Music 1971

Levon Helm: Ramble at the Ryman

The Band: Three of a Kind

Robbie Robertson: How to Become Clairvoyant

Garth Hudson Presents a Canadian Celebration of The Band

Levon Helm: Electric Dirt

Garth and Maud Hudson: Live at the Wolf

Pulse

Dirt Farmer

Elliot Landy's Woodstock Vision

Stage Fright

[cover art]

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Stage Fright was a reaction to a level of adulation that the Band members were unprepared for. It was conceived as a lighter, less serious, more rock & roll type of album. The final product ended up somewhat darker, as the Band themselves were going through a number of changes. "The Shape I'm In" and "Stage Fright" tell the story well. Some of the original feeling manifests itself in romps such as "Strawberry Wine" and "W. S. Walcott Medicine Show."
--Rob Bowman, All-Music Guide

For some reason, the mixing of the Stage Fright tapes was done independently by Todd Rundgren and by Glyn Johns in England, and their final results were quite different from each other. The 1994 Gold CD release of Stage Fright contain different mixes than the original release, according to the All-Music Guide:

If you think you know Stage Fright, take a closer look at this CD. The usual procedure for audiophile releases is to use the original released master of the album. DCC and producer Steve Hoffman did something different with Stage Fright, however, going back to an alternate mix that was prepared at the time of the album's completion. The group turned copies of the multitrack tapes from the Stage Fright sessions over to the album's producer,Todd Rundgren, and to engineer Glyn Johns, whom they'd met at the Isle of Wight Festival, and asked each to prepare a mix. According to one account, the album released in 1970 consisted of seven songs prepared by Rundgren and three Johns tracks, but it's also been claimed that the Johns mixes were all that were used (that fits with the credits of the original album). Hoffman and DCC went back to the mixes -- apparently those by Rundgren -- that weren't used, coming up with a version of the album that's completely different in every detail from the LP or other CD reissues from Capitol. The songs sound more raw, more "live" in the studio, and far more interesting than the relatively flat, smooth versions on the original album. The singing has a raw, immediate quality, and both the singing and playing have lots of wrong (but honest) notes that were buried in the official mix -- all of the material is different and, one has to say, better, making this worth the $30 list price. This version of Stage Fright puts it much closer in content and spirit to Music From Big Pink and The Band, which preceded it. And the sound is really good, too, with extraordinarily close, vivid textures on "Strawberry Wine," "The Shape I'm In," "The W.S. Walcott Medicine Show," "Daniel and the Sacred Harp," and the title track.
--Bruce Eder, All-Music Guide

DCC Compact Classics, the manufacturers of the gold disc version of Stage Fright, has its own discussion forum in which Steve Hoffman, the mastering engineer, participates quite often. Hoffman maintains that he used the Todd Rundgren mixes. He was informed of the liner notes of the 2000 reissue claimed he had used Glyn Johns' remixes, but Hoffman dismissed that claim, saying that whoever wrote those notes needed to do more tape research. (BTW, besides being a great mastering engineer, he is known for a incredible research in locating master tapes. Unlike Mobile Fidelity, he has never made a gold disc that came from inferior source material; often times companies will mark safety copies and various different dubs as the "original tapes" for various reasons, but Hoffman has always caught these discrepancies through research and through technical analysis, as dubs have certain technical characteristics the originals wouldn't have). When asked why he used the Rundgren mixes instead of the Johns mixes, this was what he said: "They were the first generation master mixes. The later ones were either third generation copies of the remixes, or the Todd mixes redubbed with extra echo."

A limited edition Japanese CD, with very nice artwork and covers, but horrible lyrics transcriptions, came in 1998. In August 2000 Capitol Records released a remastered Stage Fright, produced (mostly) from the original master tapes, with 4 bonus tracks and a booklet with liner notes by Rob Bowman included (Band biographer Barney Hoskyns wrote the original liner notes for the 2000 reissue, but they were rejected by Capitol/ Robertson.)

Tracks

(*: bonus track on 2000 CD re-issue)

1. Strawberry Wine [RealAudio]
2. Sleeping [RealAudio]
3. Time To Kill [RealAudio]
4. Just Another Whistle Stop [RealAudio]
5. All La Glory [RealAudio]
6. The Shape I'm In [RealAudio]
7. W.S. Walcott Medicine Show [RealAudio]
8. Daniel & The Sacred Harp [RealAudio]
9. Stage Fright [RealAudio]
10. The Rumor [RealAudio]

11.* [RealAudio] Daniel And The Sacred Harp
Alternate take (take 1) - recorded 6/4/70 at the Woodstock Playhouse, this is an uptempo version.
12.* [RealAudio] Time To Kill
Alternate mix - mixed by Glyn Johns 6/13/70 at Island Studios in the UK. This is a final mix that was not chosen for the LP. The Rundgren mix made the original album.
13.* [RealAudio]The W.S. Walcott Medicine Show
Alternate mix - this mix is from Rundgren's first set of mixes (mixed in late June, 1970 at the Record Plant in NYC). This version is said to feature the horns more prominently.
14.* [RealAudio] Radio Commercial
30-second radio spot produced to promote Stage Fright.

Credits

  • Robbie Robertson , Guitar / Composer / Keyboards / Vocals
  • Rick Danko , Bass / Violin / Vocals
  • Levon Helm , Guitar / Composer / Drums / Vocals
  • Garth Hudson , Keyboards / Saxophone
  • Richard Manuel , Composer / Drums / Keyboards / Vocals
  • Chris Morris , Liner Notes
  • Todd Rundgren, Engineer
  • Glyn Johns, Engineer / Co-producer
  • Larry Walsh, Remastering Engineer

Song-by-song Credits

  1. Strawberry Wine
    Levon Helm: Lead Vocal & Electric Guitar
    Rick Danko: Ampeg Fretless Bass
    Richard Manuel: Drums
    Robbie Robertson: Lead Electric Guitar
    Garth Hudson: Accordion & Lowrey Organ

  2. Sleeping
    Richard Manuel: Lead Vocal & Piano
    Rick Danko: Back Vocal & Bass
    Levon Helm: Drums
    Robbie Robertson: Electric Guitar
    Garth Hudson: Lowrey Organ & Accordion

  3. Time To Kill
    Rick Danko: 1st Lead Vocal & Bass
    Richard Manuel: 2nd Lead Vocal & Drums
    Levon Helm: Back Vocal & Rhythm Electric Guitar
    Robbie Robertson: Lead Electric Guitar
    Garth Hudson: Electric Piano

  4. Just Another Whistle Stop
    Richard Manuel: Lead Vocal & Piano
    Levon Helm: Drums
    Rick Danko: Bass
    Robbie Robertson: Electric Guitar & Additional Electric Guitar
    Garth Hudson: Lowrey Organ

  5. All La Glory
    Levon Helm: Lead Vocal & Drums
    Rick Danko: Bass
    Richard Manuel: Hammond Organ
    Robbie Robertson: Electric Guitar & Additional Electric Guitar
    Garth Hudson: Accordion

  6. The Shape I'm In
    Richard Manuel: Lead Vocal & Clavinett
    Levon Helm: Back Vocal & Drums
    Rick Danko: Back Vocal & Bass
    Robbie Robertson: Electric Guitar
    Garth Hudson: Lowrey Organ

  7. The W.S.Walcott Medicine Show
    Levon Helm: 1st Lead Vocal & Drums
    Rick Danko: 2nd Lead Vocal & Bass
    Richard Manuel: Piano
    Robbie Robertson: Electric Guitar
    Garth Hudson: Tenor Sax (Solo) & Bariton Sax
    John Simon: Trombone

  8. Daniel And The Sacred Harp
    Levon Helm: 1st Lead Vocal & 12 String Acoustic Guitar
    Richard Manuel: 2nd Lead Vocal & Drums
    Rick Danko: Accoustic Bass & Violin
    Robbie Robertson: Electric Guitar & Autoharp
    Garth Hudson: Lowrey Organ

  9. Stage Fright
    Rick Danko: Lead Vocal & Bass
    Levon Helm: Drums
    Richard Manuel: Piano
    Robbie Robertson: Electric Guitar
    Garth Hudson: Lowrey Organ

  10. The Rumor
    Rick Danko: 1st Lead Vocal & Ampeg Fretless Bass
    Levon Helm: 2nd Lead Vocal & Drums
    Richard Manuel: 3rd Lead Vocal & Piano
    Robbie Robertson: Electric Guitar
    Garth Hudson: Lowrey Organ

Stage Fright - The Band - (35:41) - 1970 - Capitol SW-425
Single sleeve LP with Normann Seeff portrait included inside
Rereleased in 1980 (Capitol SN-16006)
Compact Disc: Capitol C2-93593 (1989)
Also available as 24K gold disc: DCC Gold Disc GZS 1061 (1994).
Limited Edition CD: Capitol Japan M57630 (1998)
Remastered CD with bonus tracks: Capitol/EMI 72435-25395-2-9(2000)
Limited Edition "mini-sleeve" CD: Caroline Records 22201, UK (2008)

AMG Rating: Good


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