by The Band
The Band's debut album. Sales were weak but the critical reception was huge. Rolling Stone reviewer Al Kooper labeled it the album of 1968. In places it sounds more like a jam session than a studio recording—vocals are passed around and instrumental passages seem to emerge and recede according to the artists' moods. But, half a century later, the music remains distinctive and intriguing.
The Band's greatest album, or just its most commercially successful? We'll leave it up to you to decide. A handful of tracks got considerable airplay: Rag Mama Rag, The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down, Up on Cripple Creek.
After a couple of so-so albums, The Band regained its stride. Robertson's "Acadian Driftwood" reminded fans of the story-telling magic he had displayed on The Band's first two albums.