Friday, July 8, 2011

The Band: Philadelphia Academy Of Music (1969)

Artwork by rufy

While there may be greater fans of The Band in the world than me, I do know an historical find when I see one. While this bootleg is a little distant-sounding (let me remind you that this is live audience recording from nineteen-fricken'-sixty-nine!) it's a stunning document that derives from the absolutely sweetest period in The Band's history. That is, of course, the time following the recording of both Music from the Big Pink and the eponymous follow-up, The Band. This is the time after The Band's collaboration with Bob Dylan had rocked the world (and resulted in The Band's having three Dylan compositions - two of which were rare co-writes - in the set; "Tears of Rage", "This Wheel's on Fire" and `I Shall Be Released`. Of course The Band`s own song-writing was at its absolute peak in this time as the slew of songs branded into our consciousness from this set list like, `The Weight`, `Cripple Creek`and `The Night They Drove old Dixie Down` prove. So please accept this rarity as my belated Canada Day present to you (heck a present to myself as this was recorded four months after the date of my own birth!)

The Band
Philadelphia Academy Of Music
Philadelphia, PA
October 26, 1969

1st generation reel-to-reel > CD-R > CD-R (trade) > FLAC

1. This Wheel's On Fire (5:03)
2. We Can Talk (2:47)
3. Don't Ya Tell Henry (3:26)
4. Caledonia Mission (3:48)
5. Chest Fever (5:44)
6. I Shall Be Released (3:27)
7. Lovin' You (3:36)
8. The Weight (4:20)
9. Long Black Veil (2:51)
10. Tears Of Rage (5:27)
11. Don't Do It (4:12)
12. Unfaithful Servant (4:18)
13. Up On Cripple Creek (3:57)
14. Slippin' and Slidin' (3:35)
15. Look Out Cleveland (3:26)
16. The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down (4:02)

"This one is absolutely essential for any Band fans - recorded a month after the release of the second album, the band is in fine form. The recording itself is remarkable for a mono audience tape from the late sixties. All the instruments are well balanced and clear, and the audience is present but never overpowers the music. Spectral analysis shows that it is lossless and as far as I know it's never been shared in any form before. I got the show in a private trade over a decade ago - apparently, my source got it from the original taper who was concerned about possible bootlegging and requested that the recording keep a low profile. I've abided by that request for years, but this show is too great to keep it hidden for any longer. "

NOTE TO LISTENERS: At the explicit demand of the original uploader, mrbun2729, this show is offered here only in .flac format. If you are at all uncomfortable with this wonderful-sounding but wildly cumbersome format simply convert it 320 kbps MP3's using a FREE version of a program like Switch Sound Converter.

Support The Band!






  1. Dear Dylan fans:

    You let me down

    with the last post

    (that BBC Freewheelin`show)

    which generated a measly two comments

    for almost two hundred downloads

    So please

    Spare a word or two for this deep obscurity

    Thanking you in advance,

    Your humble blogger,




  2. Dylan I can take or leave depending on my mood, but The Band.... Now you're talking!

    Thanks very much for this!

  3. Oh holy cow, yes, thanks- not sure I've heard much live stuff from this era... I'm super-excited!

  4. I haven't heard this yet, as I'm stil downloading, but I am most impressed by the provenance of this recording (maybe that's something to do with my day job as an archivist...)

  5. Will there be more parts? 1 & 2 only gave me half the tracks...

  6. Cancel that, I thought it was going to work like other downloads split into two sections ,and pick up both together. I've now got all 16 tracks by separately opening both parts. Looking forward to checking this out!


  7. Just found this website. Amazing post, thanks!

  8. Wow! This looks like the most complete 60's era Band concert to circulate. Can't wait to download and listen. Thanks.

  9. Can you help me to figure out how to download this Band 1969 show please? I use Winamp for all my downloading but this seems to go to Windows and it won't open RAR files. Any help would be appreciated. In return if you need any Grateful Dead shows let me know. I have about 2500 discs.

  10. This is indeed an amazing show. Yes, a bit distant but very clear sound. Absolutely worth listening... Thx...

  11. Nice post!

    And how thoughful to anticipate your reader's needs regarding FLAC file conversion!

  12. Thanks for this great post! You always seem to be able to come up with some rare gems.

    As you indicated, this is a great sound for an audience bootleg from this time frame.

  13. Great recording. Thanks for this. Best bootleg I've heard. Love the site.

  14. hey buddy thanks a lot, i didn't know it meant so much to leave a comment (first time DLer from yr site)

    huge Band fan going way back. gonna love this.

    for the fellow having problems with .rar, there's a free utility for windows FreeRARExtractFrog works a charm, i've had no negative i.e. malware effects.

    i'm sure there's similar for Mac.

    also for converting from flac there's Goldwave, not free but very inexpensive, will batch convert to mp3, very reliable with tons of other audio features similar to the higher priced spreads.

    Thanks again,

  15. Thanks everybody for leaving some comments (and Dr. Dudley thanks for answering anonymous' question!)

  16. Thank you very much - a unique moment in American music history.

  17. Thank you Jeffen. This is fabulous. One of the finest rock bands of all time at their peak. And at a time when standards for popular music were incomparably higher than today.

  18. Thanks for the show, I missed it last month somehow.

    All2MP3 for Mac converts flac to MP3 and other file formats.

  19. Dear Jeffen,
    What a gift is The Band´s 1969 gig at the Philadelphia Academy of Music.
    In the mid to late 1960s, I played guitar in a south London band called the Soft Sensation.
    Now and again, the band would hand over some cash from a gig, and I´d take myself off to Charing Cross Road in central London - the centre of musical instrument shops, recording studios and record stores - to score for some new stage material.
    In one of these emporiums of vinyl, I picked out half a dozen contemporary albums and asked the staff to play tracks from each.
    This was fun because listening in the soundproof booth, you got to hear this music in stereo, a rarity at the time.
    I sampled a Move album, Jefferson Airplane, a couple more - and The Band´s Music from Big Pink.
    When the organ intro from Chest Fever swirled around my head, it was as if a big metal stake had appeared from out of the sky and skewered me to my seat.
    Here was music of a power rarely heard. These guys were fantastically accomplished players, yet the music had grit and rawness.
    I was in the presence of something BIG. It was a life changing moment.
    I bought the album and some others and got some strange looks from the record store clerks. They couldn´t figure why I would buy such an eclectic collection of music.
    To me, it was simple. Great music is great music and I was sure my band would enjoy getting behind this material.
    The Soft Sensation learned Chest Fever and We Can Talk and I always enjoyed playing the hell out of these numbers in the pubs and dancehalls of the South East.
    The Band´s gig is the same music as on the albums - but UNLEASHED.
    It´s raw power, offering something the studio recordings could never give. I love the warmth of The Band´s playing. These are real human beings, not posturing ponces.
    And don´t their audience love them?
    Thanks again, Jeffen for offering a rare facet of this music that meant so much to me and that I still love.
    You´re doing some great work.
    John Walker

  20. John Walker
    an awesome detailing of the power of great music. Glad my offering was able to bring to the fore such powerful memories.


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