of the Week [Recordings
of Indeterminate Origin]
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We continue our series of Lost Albums with The Band.
one lasts forever
The Band played their last waltz together in 1978 with an all-star concert that one would have thought used up all their desire for the big time. They went their separate ways with Levon Helm forming the RCO Allstars, Rick Danko pursuing a short-lived solo career while Garth Hudson and Richard Manuel did the sensible thing of touring together to play those old favorites. Robbie Robertson, of course couldnt get enough of the spotlight and followed Martin Scorsese into the movies to make soundtracks. By the mid-80s The Band had regrouped minus Robertson, to start touring again. Then they decided to get back into the studios to record an album.
Since Robertson wrote the lions share of The Bands music, they needed a producer to help them along. Weve not had the good fortune of reading The Bands bio but around 1990 or 1991, they linked up with pop writer Jules Shear, who wrote Cyndi Laupers hit All Through The Night. He was a sensitive songwriter who could write interesting material. He was also a Sony recording artist, the new label The Band had signed to.
At least 11 tracks were recorded with Jules Shear who sings and writes a fair amount but apparently the album was rejected by The Bands new label, Sony Music. As far as we can tell the title song Tombstone and Never Again Or Forever were written by Jules Shear. The outtake "Tombstone" was originally recorded in 1991 by The Band with an amazing vocal from Rick Danko.
However, this song was also considered for inclusion on the Bands finally released album Jericho, which arrived in 1993 on the indie Pyramid label. The only song that survived these 1990-91 sessions was Rick Danko's Too Soon Gone, a sweet farewell song for Richard Manuel included on Jericho. The version here is different.
Tombstone was hardly contemporary in feel except perhaps for the urban RnB of Money Whipped with its unusual spoken interludes. Mostly Rick Dankos superb vocals marked the way back to the Band of the old. Songs like All Creation, Too Soon Gone and the title track had their old sound and that rustic feeling of time stood still. But producer Jules Shears presence was also profound. It sounds like him handling vocals on at least four of the nine songs.
Finally, an album
without Robbie Robertson or Richard Manuel was probably not an album Sony
wanted to release. Tombstone remains in somebodys vault with only
Too Soon Gone released on 1993s Jericho and High Price of Love emerging
on 1996s High On The Hog. The versions here were all recorded much
Do a search for Peter
Viney on theband.hiof.no website or go here for more info:
Here are the tracks for the Bands lost album, Tombstone:
Tks 1, 3, 7 are sung
by Rick Danko.
thats holding back the clocks
Far away in Pittsburg
Theres a pump
organ that lives on air
pour into the square
Are you the jailer
or will you set me free
Not For Sale.
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