Stage Fright (Expanded Edition)
Following two albums that absolutely floored anyone who heard them, The Band were suddenly placed under the pressure of some of the highest expectations in music history. By naming their third album Stage Fright, the group couldn't have been more candid about their own sense of insecurity. In a bid for commercial success, the group replaced "fifth member" John Simon and brought in stars Glyn Johns and Todd Rundgren to engineer the album. While the lived-in atmosphere Simon brought to The Band is missing on Stage Fright, the group still delivered some of their best, and certainly most underrated work. "Strawberry Wine," "The W.S. Walcott Medicine Show," "And "The Shape I'm In" gave the group uptempo rockers that would flesh out set lists for years to come. However, it's the resigned moods of "Sleeping," "Time To Kill," and"The Rumor" that cut to the heart of The Band's emotional state at the time. The self-doubt is explicitly stated in the title track but a song like "All LaGlory"— a lullaby to Robbie Robertson's daughter that feels fraught with the band's own fears - proves that the soul of Stage Fright is written in between the lines.