The Band "Stage Fright" 180gm Audiophile LP
Format: Numbered limited edition reissue, remastered 180gm LP, gatefold cover
Label: Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab
GAIN 2™ Ultra Analog LP 180g Series – Original Master Recording
This 1970 LP set an organic, iconic rock landmark — in special textured finish gatefold jacket
A sharp stylistic and thematic detour away from its first two albums, The Band's Stage Fright is a compelling snapshot of a group coping with massive success and internal changes. Recorded in 1970 at the Woodstock Playhouse, the set shivers with raw emotions, dark confessionals, and intense singing. Largely devoid of the quintet's trademark all-for-one harmony vocals, Stage Fright is an utterly distinctive piece of The Band's catalog – and a historic landmark that's a necessary part of any music collection.
Such splintered camaraderie and personal demons appear in now-famous songs such as the title track, “The Shape I'm In,” and “The W.S. Walcott Medicine Show.” The music is rife with palpable tension, and as a credit to The Band's unique sound, absolutely singular. It's impossible to think of any other group playing these tunes. Robertson's balladic ode to his daughter, “All La Glory,” featuring a gorgeous vocal turn from Levon Helm, provides a sunny contrast to the darker compositions.
Circumstances behind the recording sessions also reflected the mood. While The Band had intended to capture the album in one take in front of a small crowd at the theater, the town residents vetoed the idea due to concerns over being inundated by too many visitors. Consequently, The Band played to an audience of no one, sometimes with the curtains closed and other times, with them open. Todd Rundgren, who engineered the album, couldn't even see what was going on — he was sitting in a canvas prop tent that became the control room, behind the theater.
As always, Mobile Fidelity half-speed mastered this numbered limited-edition 180g LP from the original master tapes for a superior sonic experience. This analog edition of Stage Fright bursts with supreme tonal clarity and an airiness that brings the genius of Rundgren's preservation of high frequencies to complete realization. Even the fine textures of the hand drums on the stunning “Daniel and the Sacred Harp” come to light with microscopic detail. Perfectly blended, MoFi’s Stage Fright takes its place as the most balanced and punchy record in the Band's oeuvre.
- Strawberry Wine
- Time To Kill
- Just Another Whistle Stop
- All La Glory
- The Shape I'm In
- The W.S. Walcott Medicine Show
- Daniel And The Sacred Harp
- Stage Fright
- The Rumor