May 25, 2001 at 04:00 AM EDT

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-

Islands: B

Rock of Ages: A

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