These reissues trace the great creative trajectory and pallid denouement of this seminal group. Moondog is The Band’s sweet homage to vintage soul; Northern was their last great album before their 1976 breakup, and features some of Robbie Robertson’s most tender love songs; Islands was less a final album than a collection of loose ends, though it does contain patches of heartbreaking melancholy. Among the extras for diehards to gorge on: a CD’s worth of unreleased live outtakes from 1972’s Rock of Ages, including four songs with Bob Dylan.
Moondog Matinee: B+
Northern Lights, Southern Cross: A-
Rock of Ages: A