Album of the Day: Robbie Robertson, "Robbie Robertson"

Album of the Day: Robbie Robertson, “Robbie Robertson”

Robbie Robertson
Robbie Robertson (Cd Geffen 924160-2)

The historic concert “The Last Waltz”, with which in 1978 the musicians of the group The Band greeted the scenes gathering thousands of people inside the Winterland Theater in San Francisco, immortalized by Martin Scorsese's camera, was an exceptional event at which it was impossible to follow up with something equally great.
It is therefore not surprising the nine-year silence in which the group's leader and main composer, Robbie Robertson, locked himself away before making the album that began his solo career.

All this time Robertson certainly didn't sit idle; he wrote soundtracks, played guitar as a guest
in several records, above all he listened well to the changes that were occurring within the musical world.
Receptive to every musical stimulus, Robertson was a composer of exceptional quality, author of well-received pieces
in the history of American song. His ear was now listening to the new sounds that came from the albums of Peter Gabriel, U2, Daniel Lanois, and it is no coincidence that all of them find themselves in this album, paying homage to this great author who dialogues with them while keeping his personality intact musical.

Lanois also holds the reins of the production and brings with him extraordinary musicians such as Manu Katchè, Larry Klein, Tony Levin, Ivan Neville, to which are also added the appearances of two old compañeros, Garth Hudson and Rick Danko.
The opening of the album itself, the beautiful “Fallen Angel”, is dedicated to the memory of the Band's keyboardist Richard Manuel, who hanged himself a few months earlier.

Robertson does not forget his roots but opens up to sounds less linked to American rock, as in the song “Sweet Fire of love” composed and performed together with U2 or in the spoken version of “Somewhere down the
Crazy River”, memorably punctuated by Katchè's drums. Robertson's lyrics are as always full of evocative, almost cinematic images, where men move within vast landscapes, between rivers and places not marked on maps. at the same time he retains all his qualities as a hitmaker capable of churning out hit songs; the choruses of “Showdown at Big Sky” and “Broken Arrow” are there to prove it.

Carlo Boccadoro, composer and conductor, was born in Macerata in 1963. He lives and works in Milan. He collaborates with soloists and orchestras in different parts of the world. He is the author of numerous books on musical topics.

This text is taken from “Lunario della musica: A record for every day of the year” published by Einaudi, courtesy of the author and the publisher.