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3.6 out of 5 stars
Cahoots (Remastered / Expanded)
Format: Audio CDChange
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on April 18, 2002
It is eery listening to this record in light of their better work--the voices are the same, the instrumental virtuosity evident if not on full display. It starts off well (Carnival, Masterpiece), then doesn't go anywhere. I guess the problem is the pretentious songwriting, which seems to have dampened everyone's enthusiasm for the project. The bonus tracks just highlight this: the Motown chestnut "Don't Do It", despite inferior sound quality, is now one of the best tracks. The cover painting says it all--5 wizened men standing somberly behind a crypt. Perfect depiction of the dreary music inside. Back photo is also on track, the five with their eyes closed--Levon's furrowed brow the tipoff. Is it only a rumor that one of the outtakes from the photo session has them holding their noses? Tip: their second lp, The Band, is a must have. Their first, Big Pink, plus one of the many best ofs, is all you need to round it out.
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on December 11, 2003
If your a band fan already read on. If not I recommend starting with 'The Band' or 'Rock of Ages' albums first. It has been well documented that 'Cahoots' is supposedly a poor album compared with the others. While most of the tracks aren't exceptional, such as on 'The Band', this album contains two of the best Rick Danko sung Band songs of their collection. 'Where Do We Go From Here' is a well crafted song that is beautifully sung. The liner notes suggest that Robbie Robertson wishes The Band had taken this song further. If they had, it would have been phenomenal. The other song is 'Thinkin' Out Loud'. This track features Garth on piano and Richard on Drums. The arrangement is superb. The vocal blend on both tracks is reminiscent of their 'classic'sound. If you're a Band fan and haven't already got this album then I recommend you get it for these tracks alone. The rest of the album is o.k. but nothing to spectacular.
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on May 1, 2001
Many critics consider Cahoots a disappointment as it doesn't live up to their first three albums. It is true that it isn't in the league of the first three, but that's all relative. Cahoots is a solid, sometimes spectacular album that shows off the group's musical prowess by playing over 40 different instruments and Robbie Robertson's supreme wordsmanship. "Life Is A Carnival" is an apply named song as it has a carnival like sound with the cacophony of horns. "4% Pantomime" is an excellent song that features Van Morrison in duet with Richard Manuel. "Shootout In Chinatown" has sharp imagery and "Thinkin' Out Loud" is an underrated track. "When I Paint My Masterpiece" is an all right cover of a Bob Dylan song, but somewhat disappointing considering their track record with his songs. All in all, Cahoots is worth a listen.
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on May 26, 2001
Maybe it didn't sell as well as earlier albums, and maybe some critics didn't like it, but as a musician I'm here to tell you it's terrific. I'd give it 5*s but that has to be reserved for the truly great Rock of Ages set. Face it, The Band never appealed to the masses -- they just went over the average person's head, I think. This disc has some truly remarkable performances, and belongs in every Band fan's collection, as does the entire reissue series. All are uniformly well produced -- the clarity is amazing -- and taken all together, the liner notes form a detailed and well written history of the group's output. Shoot Out in Chinatown, Volcano, and Thinkin' Out Loud are standout songs, and Life is a Carnival is still a masterpiece.
Stumbled? No, they just veered off in a direction no one predicted, when the critics wanted another "brown album."
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on December 11, 2000
This reissue is worth it for the extra tracks, especially the early studio take of "Endless Highway" sung by the great Richard Manuel. "Bessie Smith" is another excellent extra track, featuring a rare vocal from Robbie Robertson. As far as the original tracks, "Last of the the Blacksmiths", "The Moon Struck One", and "4% Pantomine" all allow Manuel to showcase his tremendous voice once again. On "4%" he duets with Van Morrison on a song , interestingly enough, about the difference between Johnnie Walker Red and Johnnie Walker Black scotch. (hint...it's the proof). If you're just getting into The Band, and you think they stopped making great make music after the first two albums, buy this album. With the extra tracks, it is probably a more solid album than "Stage Fright".
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on September 7, 2000
To call this album the worst Band album is accurate to a degree, but also a bit misleading. The thing is this: it's not by any stretch of the imagaination a "bad" album. The songs are a bit weak in spots, sure, but the way these guys *PLAY*!!... they could make a brittney spears song sound good!
It does have a couple of classics: "4% Pantomine" s utterly great, and "Moon Struck one" is one of Robertson's most bizarre compositions. The cover of "When I Paint my masterpiece" is absolutely great.
Even when these guys were "off" they were great!
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This record was a major let down after the Band's first three records. The song writing is just not up to par. You can also hear how drugs were starting to effect Rick, Richard and Levon's voices. This record is not crap (As Rolling Stone once said "This Band has so much talent it should be illegal") but it's not another Big Pink. The SACD remaster is wonderful. Nice warm bass sound and clear vocals but if you are going to buy just one Band album start with "Music From Big Pink" or "The Band" (the brown album) hopefully "The Band" will eventually rear it's head on SACD.
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on February 4, 2003
Remove the awful Smoke Signal and Volcano, and Cahoots would hold up well with The Band's prior albums. Cahoots has a wide variety of styles and experimentation, so it's not surprising that it draws a mixed reaction. I think the two tunes mentioned above, which run in succession and are the first truly bad songs appearing on a Band album, are a serious drawback. The rest of the album is excellent.
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on February 3, 2002
A not too bad CD with a couple of real gems like Carnival and Masterepiece. Van Morrison adds a nice touch too. The Band had very much reached a creative cul de sac by the time of Cahoots, thankfully they turned it all around for the superb Northern Lights-Southern Cross. Still, even a burnt out weary effort by the truest of bands provides for interesting listening.
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on September 3, 2000
Be aware that many copies of the Cahoots cd are filled with "Stage Fright" and not Cahoots. I went to several retailers after buying and returning it. I don't know if that is the case with Amazon or not, but don't be surprised if it isn't what you wanted.
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