As first tipped here last September, the Band will be the subject of a comprehensive boxed set this fall that will feature 37 previously unreleased tracks. Due Sept. 27 via Capitol/EMI Music Catalog Marketing, “A Musical History” will include five audio discs and a DVD featuring a wealth of rare live performance footage.
The 111-song box begins with formative tracks the Band crafted with Ronnie Hawkins and Bob Dylan in the early and mid-1960s, including previously unreleased “song sketches” of “Words and Numbers,” “Beautiful Thing,” “Caledonia Mission” and “The Stones I Throw.”
Beyond such classics as “The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down,” “Up on Cripple Creek” and “The Weight,” the late ’60s/early ’70s are represented with previously unreleased live versions of “Strawberry Wine,” “Rockin’ Chair” and “Look Out Cleveland,” taped June 2, 1971, at London’s Royal Albert Hall.
The latter portion of the group’s career is augmented with a previously unreleased live collaboration with Dylan on “Highway 61 Revisited” (taped Jan. 31, 1974, in New York) and such rarities as a “song sketch” of “Twilight” and a live take on “Forbidden Fruit.”
The DVD contains a bounty of gems from the vault, including the Band’s three-song, Oct. 30, 1976, performance on “Saturday Night Live,” which has never been released in its entirety. Other performances were captured at Robbie Robertson’s studio (“Jam”/”King Harvest (Has Surely Come)”), on the famed Festival Express tour of Canada (“Long Black Veil,” “Rockin’ Chair”) and at London’s Wembley Stadium (“The Genetic Method”/”Chest Fever”).
“A Musical History,” which was overseen by Robertson with producers Cheryl Pawelski and Andrew Sandoval, will be packaged with a 108-page hardbound book.