The Band Stage Fright on Numbered-Edition 180g LP from Mobile Fidelity
1970 Set an Organic, Iconic Rock Landmark: Packaged in Special Textured-Finish Gatefold Jacket
Record Shivers With Raw Emotions, Dark Confessionals, and Intense Singing
Mastered from the Original Analog Tapes: Transcendent Sound
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.
“When Stage Fright came about, all I was doing was feeling my way along. But, where everybody was in a huddle on both Big Pink and The Band, with Stage Fright
it didn’t feel like we were all connected in the same kind of way. In
this period of experimentation in life, in music, in drugs, people kept
wanting to stretch and reach and go somewhere and try things and, in the
course of that, some real alienation can take place as well. When these
things are chemically induced, you can feel an incredible shutdown of
–guitarist Robbie Robertson, as told to Rob Bowman
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
Mobile Fidelity mastered this numbered-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.
Stage Fright is part of Mobile Fidelity’s effort to present the Band’s timeless music in the highest fidelity possible. Get your copy of the 1970 record from Music Direct today!
The Band Stage Fright Track Listing:
1. "Strawberry Wine"
3. "Time to Kill"
4. "Just Another Whistle Stop"
5. "All La Glory"
6. "The Shape I'm In"
7. "The W.S. Walcott Medicine Show"
8. "Daniel and the Sacred Harp"
9. "Stage Fright"
10. "The Rumor"