The Band

Northern Lights - Southern Cross - Mobile Fidelity UDSACD 2047 (SACD)

Because their first two albums were so spectacular, nothing the Band released after them seemed to possess quite the same level of musical magic. But this, their seventh release, following a lengthy gap after the so-so Moondog Matinee, was a genuine return to form. Two tracks in particular, ‘Ophelia’ and ‘Acadian Driftwood’, were so purely Band-ish that they could have nestled comfortably with the masterpieces that made up their eponymous sophomore release. Sonically, it’s slicker-sounding than its predecessors, the Band recording for the first time with 24 tracks. But that’s close to heresy for a group of musicians so rootsy that one might argue they should have only recorded on 78s, in mono.

Sound Quality: 89%