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Frequently Bought Together
Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought
|1. Life Is A Carnival|
|2. When I Paint My Masterpiece|
|3. Last Of The Blacksmiths|
|4. Where Do We Go From Here?|
|5. 4% Pantomime|
|6. Shoot Out In China Town|
|7. The Moon Struck One|
|8. Thinkin' Out Loud|
|9. Smoke Signal|
|11. The River Hymn|
Limited Edition U.S. distributed edition at lower price! Japanese pressing of this album comes housed in a miniature LP sleeve. 2008.
Here's where the Band stumbled. This 1971 lapse followed two consensus classics (Music from Big Pink and The Band) and the dicier but still worthy Stage Fright. Consequently, expectations were high. But, despite moments of excellence ("Life Is a Carnival," "When I Paint My Masterpiece," their first Dylan cover since their debut), primary songwriter Robbie Robertson repeatedly comes up short. "Last of the Blacksmiths," "Where Do We Go from Here," and "River Hymn" are overwrought attempts to recapture the unaffected longing for the past that marked the first two albums, while the likes of "Smoke Signal" and "Volcano" are merely forgettable. Still, Van Morrison's rambunctious duet with Richard Manual on "4% Pantomime" and the weird "Moon Struck One" help make Cahoots a worthwhile curio for those interested in digging deep into the Band songbook. --Steven Stolder
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Top Customer Reviews
The album's like a journey through the world. "Life Is A Carnival" is the fourth straight brilliant opener that evokes New Orleans (down to the Allen Toussaint-arranged horns). "When I Paint My Masterpiece" is a brilliant Dylan-penned second track that evokes Europe (dig Manuel's drumming). "4% Pantomime", with Belfast's own George Ivan Morrison on second vocal, really evokes the musician lifestyle, frantic, manic and drunken. "Thinkin' Out Loud" has a great piano part and a nice metallic (upright?) bass part. "Volcano" features a strong vocal by Rick Danko and great horns by Garth Hudson. They all get five out of five stars.
"The Moon Struck One", to contrast those first five, blows. The lyrics are the worst ever. It's the only Band track I truly dislike. I give it one out of five stars. "Last of the Blacksmiths" and "Where Do We Go From Here?" sound uninspired. Out of five stars, they get 2.5 stars.
"Shoot Out In Chinatown", "Smoke Signal" and "The River Hymn" are decent enough, but are a step down from "Carnival", "Masterpiece", "Pantomime", "Thinkin" and "Volcano". Out of five stars, they probably all get 3.5 stars.
Averaging that out, you get an average of 4.15 out of 5 stars. A step down from the previous three, but worth a listen.
On first listen the album one can get frustrated on how unmemorable the songs seem to be. Well actually the album opens right up to par with a dynamite "Life is a Carnival," a catchy tune right up there with the Band's best work. "Masterpiece" is another famous classic with a fine arrangement, but it obviously was written by some other songwriter. That leaves us with the rest of the album, and I confess that it took me a while to get used to some/any of the songs. There is definitely a problem with the songwriting. However, there are hidden gems worth seeking out that make the album worthwhile. "Smoke Signal" and "Shootout in China Town" are songs they actually played live early on, and you can hear that the studio versions are evidence that they have potential for development on stage. They are actually catchy songs and hummable if you give them a chance.
The Band's playing is first rate which helps, and Levon Helm's singing always gives the tune its distinctive sound.
The Robertson/Morrison collaboration "4% Pantomime" is delightful too.Read more ›
Which is not to say... if this album were released today, it might be rock album of the year. Any band recording today that put out an album with these songs would be at the top of the heap: "Life is a Carnival," "Smoke Signal," "Moon Struck One," "
4% Pantomime," "When I Paint My Masterpiece," and "The River Hymn" all have something wonderful to offer. But unfortunately, the group diluted the impact of these performances with not one, but three of their worst songs and worst performances ever -- "Last of the Blacksmiths," "Where Do We Go From Here" and "Shootout in Chinatown." These are cringeworthy -- almost parodies of what was great about the Band on its first three albums.
Luckily, the followed this with the indispensable "Rock of Ages," the musically dazzling "Northern Lights, Southern Cross," and the disconnected but modestly enjoyable "Islands."
Look, these guys were brilliant. Richard Manuel is one of the greatest singers of the 20th Century, Robertson was one of the most innovative guitarists, Hudson could do no wrong on the keyboards, and Helm and Danko formed a wonderful duet pair. All of those attributes are on display here. But, the bad stuff is really bad.
Most recent customer reviews
Any time you can get The Band albums with bonus material is a great time to update scratchy vinyl.Published 10 months ago by Grant Fines
I should have sent this back, but I was busy and did not have time. The copy that I received was flawed and it skipped several times on my platter. Read morePublished on Feb. 4 2014 by Jogart43
This record was a major let down after the Band's first three records. The song writing is just not up to par. Read morePublished on June 2 2012 by Stephen Bieth
If your a band fan already read on. If not I recommend starting with 'The Band' or 'Rock of Ages' albums first. Read morePublished on Dec 11 2003 by Justin
Remove the awful Smoke Signal and Volcano, and Cahoots would hold up well with The Band's prior albums. Read morePublished on Feb. 4 2003 by EJA
This record does suffer from weak songs, poor production (even on vinyl it sounds somewhat cold and distant), and rather uninspired arrangements, but it is a testament to The Band... Read morePublished on Jan. 20 2003