Music: Stage Fright by The Band

Stage Fright, the Band’s third album, was released in 1970. I have always had mixed feelings about it. There are four great songs:

Strawberry Wine

Sleeping

Time to Kill

The Shape I’m In

The other six are mediocre or worse. On “Just Another Whistle Stop”, the Band sounded like lots of other bands instead of the unique sound of their first two albums. I guess this happened when they left the seclusion of Woodstock and got out in the world. “The W.S. Walcott Medicine Show” just repeats the historic sounding aspect of their earlier records. It’s not new. The would do it again five years later with “Ophelia”. These aren’t bad songs., they just cover ground they covered better before.

On the other hand. “The Shape I’m In” is one of their best songs. I didn’t really understand how they did it until I saw them later in 1970. They had one organ playing lead and a clavinet playing rhythm. In the concert, everything had the bright, crisp sound of the best songs on Stage Fright.

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