The Band - Northern Lights - Southern Cross (1975)

The Band were an influential and highly acclaimed rock band formed in the 1960s.

The Band reunited with Bob Dylan in late 1973, and backed him on his Planet Waves album. They then joined him for a US tour in 1974, which resulted in the live album Before The Flood. They had by then relocated to California, and started building their own studio, which they dubbed Shangri-La.
The first product from Shangri-La was the studio album Northern Lights - Southern Cross, which was their first album of entirely new material sing 1971's Cahoots, something their fans had been awaiting for a long time. Though the sales figures were perhaps disappointing, it turned out to be an absolutely fantastic album, one of their best, and has since been highly praised by fans, critics, and the band themselves. The eight songs were all written solely by Robbie Robertson, who was by now truly in charge of the group's creative direction. It is also notable for the contributions from Garth Hudson, who had recently expanded his arsenal of keyboards to feature lots of new synthesizers and gadgets, which combined with the studio's 24-track console enabled him to build up rich tapestries of unique keyboard sounds.
The most important song on the album was "Acadian Driftwood", with a lyrical narrative that portrayed the Expulsion of the Acadians of 1755-1763. It's often considered both one of Robertson's finest compositions and one of The Band's best performances, with the lead vocals traded between Rick Danko, Richard Manuel and Levon Helm. It's also notable for being one of the few Band songs featuring a guest musician, with fiddle from Byron Berline.
It turned out to be The Band's last great album, as behind the scenes things were starting to deteriorate, and it wouldn't be long before they were bidding farewell at The Last Waltz.

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