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Stage Fright

The Band

℗ 1970 Capitol Records SW 425

The Band • 1970 • Stage Fright

Stage Fright is the third album by Canadian group The Band released in 1970. Much more of a rock album than its predecessors, it was a departure from their previous two efforts in that its tone was darker and featured less of the harmony vocal blend that had been a centerpiece of those two albums. It also included the last two recordings by The Band of new songs credited to pianist Richard Manuel; both were co-written with guitarist Robbie Robertson, who would continue to be the group's dominant lyricist until the group disbanded in 1976. Nonetheless, the tradition of switching instruments that had begun on the previous album continued here, with each musician contributing instrumental parts on at least two different instruments. The booklet alludes to the fact that Levon Helm was high on heroin while recording "Strawberry Wine".

Engineered by an up-and-coming Todd Rundgren, and produced by the group themselves for the first time, the album was recorded in their homebase of Woodstock, New York. The album featured an insert which became popular as a fold-out poster. The insert image was shot by photographer Norman Seeff. Two different mixes of the album were prepared, one in the US by Rundgren and one in the UK by Glyn Johns. The Johns mix was selected for the original LP release and all subsequent reissues on Capitol (included the expanded 2000 remaster), while Rundgren's mix was eventually released on a 24k gold CD reissue of the album by the DCC Compact Classics label in 2004.

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