Q - 5/01, p.1294 stars out of 5
- "...A fine compilation drawn from the 7 studio albums they recorded between 1968 and '77....Listen to it while polishing Grandpa's pocket-watch."
The Band: Robbie Robertson, Levon Helm, Garth Hudson, Richard Manuel, Rick Danko (vocals, various instruments).
Additional personnel includes: Byron Berline (fiddle); John Simon (tuba, piano); Billy Mundi (drums).
Includes liner notes by Rob Bowman.
Digitally remastered by Ron McMaster & Andrew Sandoval (May 2000, Capitol Mastering).
Personnel: Robbie Robertson (vocals, guitar); Garth Hudson (vocals, keyboards); Levon Helm (vocals, drums); Rick Danko (vocals).
Liner Note Author: Rob Bowman.
Though they were predominantly Canadian, the Band wrote the proverbial book on what would come to be known as Americana roots-rock. After years of backing everyone from rockabilly singer Ronnie Hawkins to Bob Dylan, they emerged as a creative force in their own right at the end of the 1960s. They were just in time to spearhead a movement away from the acid-rock excesses of the '60s, toward a simpler, more down-home musical mindset heavily informed by folk, country, and blues. GREATEST HITS offers a definitive look at the Rushmore-like legacy they left behind through their classic recordings.
Garth Hudson's quirky Lowery organ sound (quite distinct from the Hammond most rock organists favored) wheezed and ground; Robbie Robertson's terse, blues-influenced guitar licks snapped at the singers' heels; and Levon Helm's syncopated, hillbilly-funky drumming turned the time ever so slightly askew. Atop it all, the rough-hewn harmonies of Helm, bassist Rick Danko, and pianist Richard Manuel carried Robertson's masterfully crafted tales of an America more imagined than remembered, coming off like preachers tossed off the pulpit for carousing and general rowdiness, but still obviously close to God's heart.