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21 Reviews
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4.0 out of 5 stars Just two clunkers
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...
Published on Feb. 4 2003 by EJA

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3.0 out of 5 stars Got a bad copy..
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. I cleaned it, but it still skips. My turntable and stylus are correctly balanced.
Published 5 months ago by Jogart43


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4.0 out of 5 stars if this is The Band's worst....., Jan. 20 2003
By A Customer
This review is from: Cahoots (Remastered / Expanded) (Audio CD)
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 that this album still turned out so well. Richard Manuel turns a weak song like 'The Moon Struck One' into a moving performance, 'Life Is A Carnival' features a great horn arrangement by Allen Toussaint, 'Volcano' has one of Garth's best saxophone solos on record, and '4% Pantomime' is one of the all-time great rock duets. Even the insipid material has its moments. The best thing about 'When I Paint My Masterpiece' is Richard's inimitable drumming, and Rick does some great singing on 'Thinking Out Loud', and 'Smoke Signal' would really end up shining when it was performed live, especially at the Rock of Ages show. All in all, this is a highly listenable album, and with the bonus tracks (esp. the studio version of 'Don't Do It'). But maybe I'm just a little partial because The Band has always been my favorite rock group, since I first heard them at fourteen. If this is The Band's worst album, it is only a tribute to their impeccable musicianship and their inherent soul.
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2.0 out of 5 stars Apt cover art, April 18 2002
By 
Henry Sturcke - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Cahoots (Remastered / Expanded) (Audio CD)
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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3.0 out of 5 stars Cahoots! A mixed Bunch!!, Feb. 3 2002
By 
Chris Xegas (Sydney, 2066 Australia) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Cahoots (Remastered / Expanded) (Audio CD)
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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4.0 out of 5 stars In Cahoots, May 1 2001
This review is from: Cahoots (Remastered / Expanded) (Audio CD)
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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4.0 out of 5 stars A worthy successor to "The Band.", Dec 18 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: Cahoots (Remastered / Expanded) (Audio CD)
I take exception to the view that The Band "slipped" in making "Cahoots." In many ways, the music is more sophisticated in "Cahoots" than in any of other their prior albums, even though the recording lacks the emotional involvement, passion and lyrical elegance of "Big Pink" or "the Band." Allan Toussaint's horn arrangements are outstanding and invocactive of New Orleans jazz dating back to Jell Roll Morton. Robertson's overall theme in "Cahoots" is of loss, whether it be of innocence or of the environment, and these themes are not dissimilar to territory he travels in general in his writing. Garth Hudson's keyboards are as inventive as usual throughout. Further, the recorded sound is exceptionally clear, as it was on the original LP.
While I am not suggesting "Cahoots" deserves the acclaim of "Big Pink" or "The Band," I find I return to this CD in a way that I do with the above recordings and not to "Stage Fright."
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4.0 out of 5 stars A "bad" Band album is still a Great album., Dec 11 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: Cahoots (Remastered / Expanded) (Audio CD)
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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4.0 out of 5 stars the songwriting may have slipped, but what does it matter?, Nov. 27 2000
This review is from: Cahoots (Remastered / Expanded) (Audio CD)
It's true, most of The Band's best music is not found on this album. The brilliant songwriting of Robbie and Richard, which reached its zenith on "Music From Big Pink" and "The Band," and to a lesser extent on "Stagefright," had begun to dry up by the time "Cahoots" was released. Fortunately, The Band were more than songwriters; they were also astounding musicians. Between the five of them, Robbie, Rick, Richard, Garth, and Levon played something like 42 instruments -- expertly -- and by 1971 (when this album was released) they had been an ensemble for a decade. So forget the mostly less-than-stellar compositions, and listen to them PLAY! Musically, The Band is one of the most accomplished groups in history, up there with Cream and the Yardbirds, plus The Band had three of the most visceral singers I've ever heard. Levon's vocal on "When I Paint My Masterpiece" (a Dylan cover and one of the best songs on any Band album) is EXACTLY right...I can't think of another studio-recorded song where he sounds this good. And of course, "4% Pantomime" is spine-tingling. What else could possibly happen when you combine two of the greatest vocalists in rock (Richard Manuel and Van Morrison) on one song? No wonder they did it again at The Last Waltz.
I suppose my basic point is that The Band are musicians first and songwriters second. Chances are, if The Band record a song, it's the definitive version of that song (for example, Van Morrison's "Caravan" or Neil Young's "Helpless" at The Last Waltz). It doesn't matter WHAT they're playing, because listen to what they do with it! So while "Cahoots" isn't even in the same building with "Music From Big Pink" and "The Band," it's still a remarkable feat of musicianship and worth picking up.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Not The Band's Best, but Excellent Nonetheless, Nov. 20 2000
By 
mscheinin (Santa Cruz, California United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Cahoots (Remastered / Expanded) (Audio CD)
Alright, let's get it out of the way, here and now: "Cahoots" is not the equal of either of The Band's two debut albums, "Music From Big Pink" or "The Band." What it is is a frequently excellent and very underrated work perfectly worthy of the group's talents. If the songs do not dip into the American past as deeply as some from the forementioned albums, they still show the group pushing their music in a new direction. "Cahoots" at least emerges superior to their third album "Stage Fright."
A few of my favorite tracks include "Last of the Blacksmiths," an exhilarating-but-thoughtful piece that recalls the same yearning for a lost time as the classic song "The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down"; "Where Do We Go From Here?," a beautiful ballad in which Robbe Robertson plunders the same vein Richard Manuel did in "In a Station" and "Lonesome Suzie"; "Shoot Out in Chinatown," a casually brilliant composition whose upbeat music belies the odd subject matter (a police raid of an opium den); "The Moon Struck One," a haunting and daringly slow solo for Manuel; and "Bessie Smith," hands down the best track on the album. An outtake, previously heard on "The Basement Tapes," this is a wonderful rendition of one of The Band's very greatest songs (in the same class as "Tears of Rage," "I Shall Be Released," "Rockin' Chair" and "Whispering Pines") and a reason to buy the album in itself.
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4.0 out of 5 stars The Band's worst is still pretty damn good, Sept. 7 2000
This review is from: Cahoots (Remastered / Expanded) (Audio CD)
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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1.0 out of 5 stars not what you ordered, Sept. 3 2000
By 
Stephen E. Serber (Tarzana, Ca United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Cahoots (Remastered / Expanded) (Audio CD)
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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Cahoots (Remastered / Expanded)
Cahoots (Remastered / Expanded) by Band (Audio CD - 2000)
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