Music from Big Pink by The Band | 724352539024 | CD | Barnes & Noble
Music from Big Pink

Music from Big Pink

4.4 7
by The Band

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The four Canadians (Robbie Robertson, Richard Manuel, Garth Hudson, and Rick Danko) and one Arkansan (Levon Helm) who made up the Band created some of the most quintessentially American music of the 1960s and '70s. They cut their hallmark album, Music from Big Pink, in


The four Canadians (Robbie Robertson, Richard Manuel, Garth Hudson, and Rick Danko) and one Arkansan (Levon Helm) who made up the Band created some of the most quintessentially American music of the 1960s and '70s. They cut their hallmark album, Music from Big Pink, in 1966 after a lengthy and legendary tour as Bob Dylan's backing band. Holing up in an old house in West Saugerties, New York (the same locale that birthed Dylan's The Basement Tapes), the Band ignored the current musical mania for psychedelia and took a more historic approach, looking back at the roots of American popular music, exploring blues, country, folk, even Civil War ballads. Three decades later, the original tunes on Music from Big Pink ("The Weight," "This Wheel's on Fire," "Tears of Rage," as well as the first recorded appearance of Dylan's "I Shall Be Released") still retain the sound of classic Americana. More than 30 years after its release, Robbie Robertson and company decided to tinker with the classic album -- and actually managed to better it through the addition of nine rarities and outtakes long thought to have slipped between the cracks. Fans and novices alike will appreciate the appearance of tracks such as a Robertson rarity called "Ferdinand the Impostor" and a demo rendition of "Orange Juice Blues" that spotlights the piano and vocals of Richard Manuel. Devotees will likewise feast on alternate versions of such Basement Tapes favorites as "Yazoo Street Scandal" and "Tears of Rage."

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - William Ruhlmann
None of the Band's previous work gave much of a clue about how they would sound when they released their first album in July 1968. As it was, Music from Big Pink came as a surprise. At first blush, the group seemed to affect the sound of a loose jam session, alternating emphasis on different instruments, while the lead and harmony vocals passed back and forth as if the singers were making up their blend on the spot. In retrospect, especially as the lyrics sank in, the arrangements seemed far more considered and crafted to support a group of songs that took family, faith, and rural life as their subjects and proceeded to imbue their values with uncertainty. Some songs took on the theme of declining institutions less clearly than others, but the points were made musically as much as lyrically. Tenor Richard Manuel's haunting, lonely voice gave the album much of its frightening aspect, while Rick Danko's and Levon Helm's rough-hewn styles reinforced the songs' rustic fervor. The dominant instrument was Garth Hudson's often icy and majestic organ, while Robbie Robertson's unusual guitar work further destabilized the sound. The result was an album that reflected the turmoil of the late '60s in a way that emphasized the tragedy inherent in the conflicts. Music from Big Pink came off as a shockingly divergent musical statement only a year after the ornate productions of Sgt. Pepper, and initially attracted attention because of the three songs Bob Dylan had either written or co-written. However, as soon as "The Weight" became a minor singles chart entry, the album and the group made their own impact, influencing a movement toward roots styles and country elements in rock. Over time, Music from Big Pink came to be regarded as a watershed work in the history of rock, one that introduced new tones and approaches to the constantly evolving genre.
Entertainment Weekly - Tony Scherman
Big Pink ('68) and The Band ('69) are two of the best albums in rock history. These remasterings sound incredibly rich, and each has an alternate take.

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Music from Big Pink [Bonus Tracks] 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 7 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Feeling a bit blue? Stick on Music from Big Pink. This album has got the remedy and then some. Now I've never heard the vinyl version, or the CD version that was initially released. I've only got the most recent version that has all the bonus tracks. I don't know if they've done any real tinkering with the sound here, but this version of Big Pink sounds really cosy, really warm and simultaneously sounds like music that should be played in the great outdoors, or in a house by a warm fire on a cold winter's night. Absolute top marks for opener 'Tears of Rage', which is one of the most chilled, slow and mellow songs that have ever opened an album. It's really lovely. In fact, all the way, The Band make playing music sound so easy: they just sound so relaxed, so in tune with each other, so effortlessly on top form. Take 'The Weight', which I've noticed being used in a few films now and then, which just strolls gorgeously, boasting a lovely harmony break at the end of each chorus. Or 'Chest Fever', which has a great organ intro before settling into a cool beat. Or 'In a Station', which just feels so good to listen to, thanks to the amazing vocals. Or 'Lonesome Suzie', a beautiful bittersweet thing of wonder. 'I Shall Be Released' is an incredible closer. Slow, catchy, brilliant, Music from Big Pink is essential listening.
JohnQ More than 1 year ago
The album itself is very good and is enjoyable even without knowing the history behind it. This album has songs that were first worked on in the so-called Basement Tapes and recorded in the studio long before those tapes were released (although the boots were beginning to surface). This album had two songs co-written by Bob Dylan and so, in a time when Dylan was in exile, it was exciting to have those songs come out. People may have originally bought this album out of curiosity about what Dylan was up to but they ended up appreciating just how good Dylan's Band was, so much so that The Band ended up with its own following, and rightly so. A classic album.
glauver More than 1 year ago
This is one of very few albums that can be called landmark. The Band's influence can be found in almost any group that plays in an ensemble style, and yet bands like Little Feat or the country era Grateful Dead could not duplicate their style. It is worth noting that on this record Robbie Robertson and Levon Helm were not the dominant forces they came to be. Richard Manuel and Garth Hudson seem to be more prominent than they were later.This collection features bonus tracks that help us understand the musical processes at work here. Some of them (Ferdinand the Impostor especially) have sub par sound and the country tracks like Long Black Veil and If I Lose were a direction they never fully explored.. I also think the Rock of Ages version of This Wheel's On Fire is superior. But those are quibbles. This is still a 5 star collection
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