The Band (album)

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The Band
Studio album by The Band
Released September 22, 1969
Recorded late 1968/1969
Pool House, 8850 Evanview Drive, West Hollywood, CA[1] and The Hit Factory, New York, NY.
Genre Rock, roots rock, Americana, Southern rock
Length 43:50
Label Capitol
Producer John Simon
The Band chronology
Music from Big Pink
The Band
Stage Fright
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
AllMusic 5/5 stars[2]
Robert Christgau A+[3]
MusicHound 5/5 stars[4]
The Rolling Stone Album Guide 5/5 stars[5]

The Band is the eponymous second studio album by The Band, released on September 22, 1969. It is also known as The Brown Album. According to Rob Bowman's liner notes for the 2000 reissue, The Band has been viewed as a concept album, with the songs focusing on people, places and traditions associated with an older version of Americana.[6] Thus, the songs on this album draw from historic themes for "The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down", "King Harvest (Has Surely Come)" and Richard Manuel's "Jawbone" (which was composed in the unusual 6/4 time signature.)


After unsuccessfully attempting sessions at a studio in New York, the band set up shop in the pool house of a home the group rented in West Hollywood. The home, located at 8850 Evanview Drive, was once owned by Judy Garland, Wally Cox and, at the time the group worked there, Sammy Davis, Jr.[7] According to Robbie Robertson, the location was chosen to give the songs a more Basement Tapes-like feel in what was termed "a clubhouse concept."[8] Work was later completed at The Hit Factory in New York City.


The album was originally released as an LP on September 22, 1969. After a number of reissues on vinyl, cassette tape, and compact disc, it was remastered and rereleased, with bonus tracks, in 2000, in a process overseen by Robbie Robertson. (The 2000 re-release has also been packaged as a double CD with The Band's debut album Music from Big Pink.)

The album was also reissued in 2009 by Audio Fidelity as a limited edition gold CD. Remastered from a 1980s CD pressing[citation needed], the album also included a single b-side "Get Up Jake" as a bonus track. "Get Up Jake", which also appears on the 2000 reissue, was slated for inclusion in the original album, but was dropped from the line-up at the last minute, either because the band felt it was too similar to another track on the album, or because there physically wasn't enough room on the album.[9][10]

A 1980 "Capitol 16000 Series" budget vinyl reissue of the album omitted "When You Awake" and "King Harvest (Has Surely Come)."

The original LP back cover quotes the opening lines from Shelton Brooks' 1917 composition "Darktown Strutters' Ball".


The album includes many of The Band's best-known and critically acclaimed songs, including "The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down", which Rolling Stone named the 245th greatest song of all time (in the updated version,[11] it was the 249th greatest song of all time). In 2003, the album was ranked number 45 on Rolling Stone magazine's list of the 500 greatest albums of all time. In 1998 Q magazine readers voted The Band the 76th greatest album of all time. TIME magazine included it in their unranked 2006 list of the 100 greatest albums. Robert Christgau, having been disappointed with their debut, had expected to dislike the record and even planned a column for The Village Voice to castigate their followup. Upon hearing the record, however, he declared it better than Abbey Road, which had been released four days following, writing that The Band's LP is an "A-plus record if I've ever rated one."[3] He ranked it as the fourth best album of the year in his ballot for Jazz & Pop magazine's annual critics poll.[12]

The Band peaked at #9 on Billboard '​s Pop Albums chart. In 2000, it recharted on Billboard's Internet Albums chart, peaking at #10. The singles "Rag Mama Rag" and "Up on Cripple Creek" peaked on the Pop Singles chart at #57 and #25 respectively.

Album - Billboard (North America)

Year Chart Position
1970 Pop Albums 9
2000 Top Internet Albums 10

Singles - Billboard (North America)

Year Single Chart Position
1970 "Rag Mama Rag" Pop Singles 57
1970 "Up on Cripple Creek" Pop Singles 25

In 2009, the album was preserved into the National Recording Registry because the album was "culturally, historically, or aesthetically important, and/or informs or reflects life in the United States."

Track listing[edit]

All songs written by Robbie Robertson, unless otherwise noted.

Side one[edit]

No. Title Length
1. "Across the Great Divide"   2:53
2. "Rag Mama Rag"   3:04
3. "The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down"   3:33
4. "When You Awake" (Richard Manuel, Robertson) 3:13
5. "Up on Cripple Creek"   4:34
6. "Whispering Pines" (Manuel, Robertson) 3:58

Side two[edit]

No. Title Length
1. "Jemima Surrender" (Levon Helm, Robertson) 3:31
2. "Rockin' Chair"   3:43
3. "Look Out Cleveland"   3:09
4. "Jawbone" (Manuel, Robertson) 4:20
5. "The Unfaithful Servant"   4:17
6. "King Harvest (Has Surely Come)"   3:39

2000 reissue bonus tracks[edit]

No. Title Length
13. "Get Up Jake (outtake - stereo mix)"   2:17
14. "Rag Mama Rag (alternate vocal take - rough mix)"   3:05
15. "The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down (alternate mix)"   4:16
16. "Up On Cripple Creek (alternate take)"   4:51
17. "Whispering Pines (alternate take)" (Richard Manuel, Robbie Robertson) 5:09
18. "Jemima Surrender (alternate take)" (Levon Helm, Robbie Robertson) 5:09
19. "King Harvest (Has Surely Come) (alternate performance)"   4:28


Additional personnel

See also[edit]


  1. ^
  2. ^ Allmusic review
  3. ^ a b Christgau, Robert. "In Memory of the Dave Clark Five" (1969), The Village Voice
  4. ^ Graff, Gary; Durchholz, Daniel (eds) (1999). MusicHound Rock: The Essential Album Guide. Farmington Hills, MI: Visible Ink Press. p. 72. ISBN 1-57859-061-2. 
  5. ^ Brackett, Nathan, with Hoard, Christian (eds) (2004). The New Rolling Stone Album Guide (4th edn). New York, NY: Fireside. p. 42. ISBN 0-7432-0169-8.
  6. ^ Bowman, Rob. (liner notes) The Band, (remastered edition), 2000
  7. ^
  8. ^
  9. ^ Bowman, Rob (liner notes)Capitol expanded edition of "The Band", 2000
  10. ^ John Simon, quoted in This Wheel's on Fire: Levon Helm and the Story of The Band, p. 195
  11. ^ Rolling Stone 500 Greatest Songs of All Time (2010)
  12. ^ Christgau, Robert (1969). "Robert Christgau's 1969 Jazz & Pop Ballot". Jazz & Pop. Retrieved 17 April 2014.