Northern Lights – Southern Cross

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Northern Lights - Southern Cross
Studio album by The Band
Released November 1, 1975 (1975-11-01)
Recorded Spring-Summer 1975
Shangri-La Studio, Zuma Beach, California
Genre Roots rock, Americana
Length 40:40
Label Capitol
Producer The Band & Cheryl Pawelski
The Band chronology
The Basement Tapes
Northern Lights - Southern Cross
The Best of The Band
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 4/5 stars[1]
Robert Christgau (B+)[2]
Rolling Stone 3.5/5 stars[3]

Northern Lights – Southern Cross is the sixth studio album by Canadian-American rock group The Band released in 1975. It was the first album to be recorded at their new California studio, Shangri-La, and the first album of all new material since 1971's Cahoots. All eight songs are credited as compositions of guitarist Robbie Robertson.

Northern Lights - Southern Cross was recorded using a 24-track console, which allowed Garth Hudson to include multiple layers of keyboards on several tracks.

Three songs from the album -- "It Makes No Difference," "Ophelia," and "Acadian Driftwood"—were performed at The Last Waltz, The Band's 1976 "final performance." "It Makes No Difference" and "Ophelia" were included in the film of the same name and on The Last Waltz (1978 album), the 1978 soundtrack album, and "Acadian Driftwood" was included in The Last Waltz (2002 album), a 2002 extended re-release of the soundtrack album. These songs in particular have enjoyed subsequent revivals and cover versions. "Acadian Driftwood" was featured in a 1984 CBC-TV special titled Murray McLauchlan's Floating Over Canada. The only Band member to appear in the sequence was Levon Helm. In this presentation of the song, Levon, his wife Sandy Helm, and Murray McLauchlan depict the expulsion of Acadian citizens by British forces. My Morning Jacket covered "It Makes No Difference" for the 2007 Band tribute album Endless Highway: The Music of The Band.[4]

Track listing[edit]

All songs written and composed by Robbie Robertson.

Side one[edit]

No. Title Length
1. "Forbidden Fruit"   5:59
2. "Hobo Jungle"   4:15
3. "Ophelia"   3:32
4. "Acadian Driftwood"   6:42

Side two[edit]

No. Title Length
5. "Ring Your Bell"   3:55
6. "It Makes No Difference"   6:34
7. "Jupiter Hollow"   5:20
8. "Rags and Bones"   4:46

Bonus track listing from 2001 re-release[edit]

No. Title Length
9. "Twilight (early alternate version)"   3:13
10. "Christmas Must Be Tonight (alternate version)"   3:01


Additional personnel


Album - Billboard (North America)

Year Chart Position
1976 Billboard 200 26

Singles - Billboard (North America)

Year Single Chart Position
1976 "Ophelia" Hot 100 62[5]

External links[edit]

  • [1] – Peter Viney's article on "Acadian Driftwood" at
  • [2] – Peter Viney's article on "Jupiter Hollow" at