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The Weight: The Band's Anthology

Dave Marsh, Boston Phoenix, The, 1978

IT'S NOT HARD to understand the release of Anthology, the second repackaging of Band material in two years. The group made only eight albums (one an oldies collection, another a live rehash) and has pretty much stopped recording; but Capitol needed a new set for the Christmas trade. The group is involved only because this way it can ensure a little quality control. But Anthology has another purpose: Like Neil Young's Decade, it's meant to sanctify an artist's sense of self-importance. So was Martin Scorcese's film of the final Band concert, The Last Waltz ; as in the movie, where Robbie Robertson demonstrated that he is one of the few people capable of making Bob Dylan seem humble, the effect of this conservatively chosen, elegantly (if inconsequentially) annotated presentation is to raise more questions than it answers.

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