Rock's Backpages Library Rock's Backpages
the online library of pop writing

The Weight: The Band's Anthology

Dave Marsh, The Boston Phoenix, 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.

Total word count of piece: 975


Becoming a member is easy. Membership gives you access to all the thousands of articles in the library.

Click here to go to Subscribe page.

Click here for academic and other group subscriptions.