The Band released Stage Fright, their third album, 50 years today (Monday) — August 17th, 1970.

Containing 10 songs, including the title track, “The Shape I’m In,” “The W.S. Walcott Medicine Show” and “Daniel and the Sacred Harp,” it was recorded at the Woodstock Playhouse in Woodstock, New York where the group was based.

The Band’s guitarist and songwriter Robbie Robertson says the album was a “reaction to a level of adulation that The Band members were unprepared for. It was conceived as a lighter, less serious, more rock and roll type of album.

“The album explored themes such as peace, escape and frivolity that revealed darker shades of melancholy, anxiety and fatigue.”

Robbie Robertson talks about the song “Stage Fright”

“If you’re in a situation where your job is to stand up in front of everybody and do something, it’s just kind of an interesting study of human nature. People can be so sure of themselves and confident and everything and all of a sudden you put the spotlight on them and they just kind of melt on the floor. There was something that I was personally expressing in this, but I wasn’t talking about me, me, me, me, I was talking about that experience.”

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