In 1969, The Band released a new album — its second, a self-titled affair that acted as the follow-up to Music from Big Pink, which announced the ensemble‘s arrival the previous year.
The Brown Album, as it was quickly referred to due to its self-titled nature, became a landmark moment in the history of the Band, and it has been honored as such with a lavish 50th anniversary reissue. Pick up the 2-CD set at this link, and the 2-LP edition here.
Released on Friday, this reissue brings together the album’s recordings in remixed and expanded format, in addition to alternate takes and mixes of songs that vary from the final versions everybody has enjoyed for decades.
Everything was curated by guitarist/songwriter Robbie Robertson regarding this reissue, leaving a pretty strong stamp of approval on the proceedings.
Via the news release;
Dressed like 19th century fire-and-brimstone preachers and singing rustic, sepia-toned songs about America and the deep south, The Band – Garth Hudson (keyboards, piano, horn), Levon Helm (drums, vocals, mandolin), Richard Manuel (keyboards, vocals, drums), Rick Danko (bass, vocals, fiddle) and Robbie Robertson (guitar, piano, vocals) – was an enigma, unlike any group that came before or after. And their self-titled “Brown Album,” as it would lovingly be called, cemented their status as one of the most exciting and revolutionary bands in years, on the strength of now-classic songs like “The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down,” “Up On Cripple Creek” and “Rag Mama Rag.”
Stream the whole thing below, via Spotify: