The Band - Music from Big Pink poll

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I'll admit to being one of the people who's obsessed with The Band's first two albums but rarely feels the need to explore very far into their later work. At the moment what I'm really drawn to are the slower songs on the self-titled album, especially Whispering Pines and When You Awake.

Mr Andy M, Sunday, 22 April 2012 14:20 (six years ago) Permalink

Tears of Rage

Iago Galdston, Sunday, 22 April 2012 14:22 (six years ago) Permalink

Might vote "In a Station", dunno, my other faves are "Tears", "Chest Fever", "Wheels" and "ISB Released". I really cannot bear "The Weight" (if you excuse the pun).

Charles Kennedy Jumped Up, He Called 'Oh No'. (Tom D.), Monday, 23 April 2012 09:30 (six years ago) Permalink

Prolly "Chest Fever" or "I Shall Be Released" (for the vox)

I'll admit to being one of the people who's obsessed with The Band's first two albums but rarely feels the need to explore very far into their later work.

It's incredible how much the law of diminishing returns kicks in. "Stage Fright" is pretty good, "Cahoots" has its moments. The rest are kind of erratic at best, which is pretty amazing, given the calibre of the players involved, but they all have their moments as well.

Josh in Chicago, Monday, 23 April 2012 11:13 (six years ago) Permalink

"In a Station" it is, lovely stuff

Charles Kennedy Jumped Up, He Called 'Oh No'. (Tom D.), Monday, 23 April 2012 11:49 (six years ago) Permalink

"we can talk" is underpraised but it's not the equal of "the weight"; not much is, though, it's so canonical. I love "chest fever" to bits, that chorus is just so jarring to me & the sound of the track is just gggghhhh so fuckin good. "in a station" is impossible to fuck with. "wheel's on fire" doesn't really get the treatment it deserves on big pink imo - song got a lot better live subsequently!

I don't know I want to vote for something other than "The Weight" but...it's one of the best rock songs ever written

same old song and placenta (underrated aerosmith bootlegs I have owned), Monday, 23 April 2012 12:27 (six years ago) Permalink

"Chest Fever" is such a joint

some glock (some dude), Monday, 23 April 2012 13:26 (six years ago) Permalink

I don't know I want to vote for something other than "The Weight"

why? it's ok to agree with the canon you know

my father will guide me up the stairs to bed (anagram), Monday, 23 April 2012 13:39 (six years ago) Permalink

Yeah, there isn't a song on here that I don't fuck with, The Weight included. I don't really understand the dog transaction in that song though.

fruitsbs (beachville), Monday, 23 April 2012 14:49 (six years ago) Permalink

the way I understand it: Danko thinks that Chester wants him to go shoot his dog, but Chester just wants Danko to take care of the dog. Is that wrong?

tylerw, Monday, 23 April 2012 14:57 (six years ago) Permalink

anyhoo, everyone otm, not really a bad song on here. at this point, "in a station" is the most *surprising* song on the album -- I've played it for people who are like "this is The Band"? Just a lovely, magical tune. But it'll be hard to vote against the Big Pink powerhouses. Man, this album is good.

tylerw, Monday, 23 April 2012 14:59 (six years ago) Permalink

if it weren't for the Weight this would be the hardest poll ever. maybe when that song dominates this poll we can have a "2nd favorite song on Big Pink" poll

caulk the wagon and float it, Monday, 23 April 2012 15:09 (six years ago) Permalink

Took me about a decade to realize "Chest Fever" was a pun on "Chest Cold"

FP Sorrow (James Redd and the Blecchs), Monday, 23 April 2012 16:06 (six years ago) Permalink

Took me about a decade to realize "Chest Fever" was a pun on "Chest Cold"

Well. Make that two for me.

pplains, Monday, 23 April 2012 16:07 (six years ago) Permalink

Hah, never occurred to me. Took me forever to get "Rubber Soul," too.

Josh in Chicago, Monday, 23 April 2012 16:09 (six years ago) Permalink

Wait, what's with that one? Rub her sole?

fruitsbs (beachville), Monday, 23 April 2012 16:21 (six years ago) Permalink

Seriously? Just literally a pun on rubber sole, like the bottom of a shoe. But of course it's Rubber Soul, which for whatever reason for the longest time I just figured was some surreal nonsense title.

Josh in Chicago, Monday, 23 April 2012 16:24 (six years ago) Permalink

so close.

http://1.imimg.com/data/C/V/MY-704883/Rubber_Sole_Sheets_2_250x250.jpg

pplains, Monday, 23 April 2012 16:25 (six years ago) Permalink

I bet it's a secret foot massage thing. When you think about the Kinky Boot Beasts in Yellow Submarine, it all starts to add up.

fruitsbs (beachville), Monday, 23 April 2012 16:29 (six years ago) Permalink

kinda hard for me not to be boring and vote the Weight tbh. never liked this version of Long Black Veil, pales next to Lefty's.

heavy is the head that eats the crayons (Shakey Mo Collier), Monday, 23 April 2012 16:32 (six years ago) Permalink

wait how is Chest Fever a pun exactly? idgi

heavy is the head that eats the crayons (Shakey Mo Collier), Monday, 23 April 2012 16:34 (six years ago) Permalink

Maybe pun is not the right word.

FP Sorrow (James Redd and the Blecchs), Monday, 23 April 2012 16:37 (six years ago) Permalink

I'm obviously some sort of crazy person because "The Weight" is probably my least favourite song on this album

Charles Kennedy Jumped Up, He Called 'Oh No'. (Tom D.), Monday, 23 April 2012 16:39 (six years ago) Permalink

It is a song about uncontrollable enthusiasm for chests.

fruitsbs (beachville), Monday, 23 April 2012 16:41 (six years ago) Permalink

I like "The Weight", but it wouldn't even come close to being the best song imo on this album. It does sorta just keep plodding along with a verse too many or so.

Didn't like it in "Easy Rider" either.

pplains, Monday, 23 April 2012 16:41 (six years ago) Permalink

My man!

Charles Kennedy Jumped Up, He Called 'Oh No'. (Tom D.), Monday, 23 April 2012 16:41 (six years ago) Permalink

Glad you two found each other.

Not a pun, but another form of wordplay

FP Sorrow (James Redd and the Blecchs), Monday, 23 April 2012 16:45 (six years ago) Permalink

i just listened to this album for the first time last week, it's pretty amazing.

congratulations (n/a), Monday, 23 April 2012 17:28 (six years ago) Permalink

Maybe it's an "Only Nixon Could've Gone to China" type deal.

But one thing that's really stuck out in listening to The Band for the past week has been that coming from four Canadians, the American Gothic rings true. And Levon Helm, an American by birth and Southerner by the Grace of God, never sounds too maudlin about his roots.

What am I trying to say. --- I finally listened to Southern Rock Opera recently on Grooveshark. I've heard so much about this record and how awesome it is, that I decided to give it a shot while I was uploading cocktail photos to our online society magazine. Don't get me wrong, there's some strong ass guitar licks in there, but I get so tired of Southerners trying to be Southern. By the time, George Wallace was being welcomed into Hell by Satan, who offers him a glass of sweet tea, I realized that this was just another one of those items of culture from the South that plays too hard on being from the South. The Oxford American dances around this all the time. It's all former beauty pageant winners sitting in their ivy-colored antebellum mansions, sipping sweet tea and calling everyone "hon".

So the fact that Robbie Robertson is credited with writing "The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down", barely 100 years after that war finished, is a landmark achievement. You want to talk about a song that could've "gone South" so easily? And it never does, not once.

Creedence Clearwater Revivial is another out-of-area band that accurately reclaims Southern soil. But even while Fogarty rarely gets a little transparent (you "hoid" it through the grapevine, eh?), I can't think of any instances where the Band steps out of line at all.

pplains, Monday, 23 April 2012 17:41 (six years ago) Permalink

Southern Rock Opera is awesome. It's not just about the south, which it is partly about, by way of guys as southern as Helm, but about the history of rock and roll by way of the south, the way the mythology of music and location converge. "SRO" is about the south without being about the south. It's both southern rock opera and southern rock opera, about both Skynyrd and a band like Skynyrd, paralleling the misunderstanding of that group against the social complexities of the south with the misunderstanding of the south in general. Which is to say, it's complicated, a whole lot more complicated as an album than "Big Pink," which like you said, could have gone too far into the hokum but somehow gets it just right. "SRO" starts from a different hokey point of departure - the saving graces of butt rock - but goes a lot deeper than that.

By the way, here's Patterson Hood, but mostly his dad David, talking about Helm: http://www.timesdaily.com/stories/Local-musicians-Levon-Helm-was-coolest-man-alive,189731

Josh in Chicago, Monday, 23 April 2012 17:55 (six years ago) Permalink

so many classic jawns but only one vote :(

l0u1s j0rdan (upper mississippi sh@kedown), Monday, 23 April 2012 17:55 (six years ago) Permalink

as a fanboy scum i want to vote for something other than "the weight" but that song will last for 1,000 years if humans are still here

l0u1s j0rdan (upper mississippi sh@kedown), Monday, 23 April 2012 17:56 (six years ago) Permalink

Sorry to veer, but here's some clips of the Truckers and Megafaun doing a mini-set of the Band a few nights ago:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=DuwObzg0GIw

This is a beyond respectable version of "The Weight."

Josh in Chicago, Monday, 23 April 2012 17:59 (six years ago) Permalink

Megafaun encored w/that at the Songs of the South deal a couple years back, they kill it. Brad (bearded guitarist) has a tattoo of the Band with all figures in solid ink except Robertson, who's an outline lol

same old song and placenta (underrated aerosmith bootlegs I have owned), Monday, 23 April 2012 18:05 (six years ago) Permalink

Great video

Number None, Monday, 23 April 2012 18:06 (six years ago) Permalink

Southern Rock Opera really runs the gamut from rocking and beautiful to embarassing and forgettable.

fruitsbs (beachville), Monday, 23 April 2012 19:10 (six years ago) Permalink

All part of the same portrait, in proud double album tradition.

Josh in Chicago, Monday, 23 April 2012 19:18 (six years ago) Permalink

Would you say, perhaps, that it's part of its duality?

pplains, Monday, 23 April 2012 19:21 (six years ago) Permalink

the duality of the double-album thaaaang

fruitsbs (beachville), Monday, 23 April 2012 19:24 (six years ago) Permalink

Tried to listen to that just now, almost got as far as pplains, then put on Rock of Ages instead.

FP Sorrow (James Redd and the Blecchs), Monday, 23 April 2012 20:47 (six years ago) Permalink

Not a fair fight, really, but give it another shot when you get the Band out of your system. Best stuff is on the second disc, though.

Josh in Chicago, Monday, 23 April 2012 21:36 (six years ago) Permalink

I'm also getting hit with a bunch of invitations to crawfish boils, and dammit, those things are disgusting.

pplains, Monday, 23 April 2012 21:45 (six years ago) Permalink

Best stuff is on the second disc, though.

Seconded. If anything Shut Up and Get On the Plane > Greenville to Baton Rouge > Angels and Fuselage.

fruitsbs (beachville), Monday, 23 April 2012 22:25 (six years ago) Permalink

"Let There Be Rock,' "Women WIthout Whiskey," "Life in the Factory," "Plastic Flowers on the Highway" ... wow.

Josh in Chicago, Monday, 23 April 2012 22:36 (six years ago) Permalink

First song here is more of a Rick number, I think, but that doesn't detract from this Levon tribute at all
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xSHDjGgGGXU&feature=youtube_gdata_player

Stars on 45 Fell on Alabama (James Redd and the Blecchs), Tuesday, 24 April 2012 10:51 (six years ago) Permalink

While we're here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=42WnZxLYWrM

Josh in Chicago, Tuesday, 24 April 2012 11:51 (six years ago) Permalink

Sorry, fellow Mekons fans, here's a more palatable, er, palate cleanser:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v6lhX08hz8A

Josh in Chicago, Tuesday, 24 April 2012 11:54 (six years ago) Permalink

Can I just take this opportunity to say what a great bass player Rick Danko was

Charles Kennedy Jumped Up, He Called 'Oh No'. (Tom D.), Tuesday, 24 April 2012 11:56 (six years ago) Permalink

Dude was incredible. Here he is, being all around ... festive:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c_dkavLVcN0

Josh in Chicago, Tuesday, 24 April 2012 12:45 (six years ago) Permalink

He had a unique sound and style, played like he wanted you to think his bass was a tuba

Stars on 45 Fell on Alabama (James Redd and the Blecchs), Tuesday, 24 April 2012 13:31 (six years ago) Permalink

The fuck? Whose incredibly bad idea was this?

I can't think of a single engineer more ill-suited to a Big Pink remix. But while he's at it, White Light/White Heat could surely use some massive stadium-sounding reverb.

Montgomery Burns' Jazz (Tarfumes The Escape Goat), Friday, 24 August 2018 23:33 (one month ago) Permalink

Lol

The Vermilion Sand Reckoner (James Redd and the Blecchs), Saturday, 25 August 2018 00:56 (four weeks ago) Permalink

Damn, and my copy is arriving today. I'm not nearly as excited now.

Jazzbo, Friday, 31 August 2018 14:04 (three weeks ago) Permalink

I'm sure that remaster thing is horrible if you all think so, but personally could never get into The Band's studio album, production is so muted and dry, clumsy (unlike that golden 70s dry style found on something like FM's "Dreams", one of the best sounding songs of all time) whereas I love The Last Waltz

I can't really enjoy the studio version of the amazing The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down (love it on Before the Flood though, hell I even like Joan Baez' cover, it's a great song)

niels, Friday, 31 August 2018 14:10 (three weeks ago) Permalink

studio albums* that's supposed to say

niels, Friday, 31 August 2018 14:10 (three weeks ago) Permalink

I did think the Sgt. Pepper remix was a revelation, however.

Jazzbo, Friday, 31 August 2018 14:17 (three weeks ago) Permalink

muted and dry

Isn't that a really good description of what The Band were all about, though?

the word dog doesn't bark (anagram), Friday, 31 August 2018 14:18 (three weeks ago) Permalink

that's entirely possible - I guess my introduction to them was the (relative) grandeur of TLW and so that's kinda what I go for

but I like the Basement Tapes, and they're understated, chaotic

niels, Friday, 31 August 2018 14:29 (three weeks ago) Permalink

(xp) I think that's exactly what blew everyone's minds back in the day.

Scottish Country Twerking (Tom D.), Friday, 31 August 2018 14:42 (three weeks ago) Permalink

I remember reading Joe Boyd saying Fairport drove him mad trying to get their drum sound as close to the Band s/t as humanly possible.

Scottish Country Twerking (Tom D.), Friday, 31 August 2018 14:43 (three weeks ago) Permalink

niels, rumors was made like 10 years after MFBP wtf dude, unfair studio wizardry fight

brimstead, Friday, 31 August 2018 22:14 (three weeks ago) Permalink

hehe, I would def enjoy a thread on studio wizardry through the ages, here's a 1960 cut that's unbelievably clear:

https://open.spotify.com/track/73m8WuJlhzVusTVzJCGaDZ

some 60s album with (to my taste) impeccable production off the top of my head: Abbey Road, Ziggy Stardust, The Doors, Everybody Knows This is Nowhere, In a Silent Way

but my taste is perhaps a bit weird, like the production on Forever Changes, for instance, does nothing for me

niels, Saturday, 1 September 2018 07:49 (three weeks ago) Permalink

Ziggy Stardust is 1972 and the rest are 1969 - apart from the Doors. Seems like you don't 60s production much.

Scottish Country Twerking (Tom D.), Saturday, 1 September 2018 10:56 (three weeks ago) Permalink

oops, I always get Ziggy date wrong

hmm I like a lot of 60s music

niels, Saturday, 1 September 2018 12:16 (three weeks ago) Permalink

Doing the Pepsi challenge with the remix against the original and it's ... not bad. The biggest thing is Levon's drums and Rick's bass given much more prominence. (Some may say too much in Levon's case — he sounds like a timpani on "The Weight.") Some of the instruments (like the piano and organ on "We Can Talk") are moved more to center in parts — stuff like that. It doesn't really sound much "brighter" to these ears. But I've never really had hi-fi ears. Anyway, I'm digging it so far. The a capella version of "I Shall Be Released" is gorgeous.

Jazzbo, Saturday, 1 September 2018 12:50 (three weeks ago) Permalink

It does have a little more "presence," like they're playing in the same room as you. But as others have pointed out, the fact that Big Pink souded so muted was part of the appeal.

Jazzbo, Saturday, 1 September 2018 12:53 (three weeks ago) Permalink

OK, "Wheels on Fire" sounds horrible in this version. And the studio chatter added to the start of a couple of tracks is pretty pointless.

Jazzbo, Saturday, 1 September 2018 13:26 (three weeks ago) Permalink

Is the remix an additional version on this new release? Or is it now the only version available?

Duke, Saturday, 1 September 2018 15:00 (three weeks ago) Permalink

Erlewine turns in a long review but only spends an paragraph discussing the “bright, discordant new remix”: https://pitchfork.com/reviews/albums/the-band-music-from-big-pink/

Music From Big Pink may be rooted in the earth but it exists entirely within the head. The way it makes roots music sound as impressionistic and idiosyncratic as any other kind of rock’n’roll is revolutionary. It casts a very distinct spell, which is why it’s so unsettling that the new Bob Clearmountain mix breaks this moody magic. Clearmountain takes pains to separate the elements that were previously inextricably intertwined, shattering the specific otherworldliness that has been retained in every reissue of the album over the past fifty years. Sometimes, certain parts are pushed to the forefront—the call and response on “We Can Talk” by Helm and Danko are isolated from each other—and sometimes, everything piles on to of each other, as on the cacophonic “This Wheel’s on Fire.” Worse, extraneous studio chatter has been added to “The Weight” and “Lonesome Suzie,” a move that punctures the illusion that Music From Big Pink materialized out of thin air from a cheap rental house in the woods of New York.

stan in the place where you work (morrisp), Saturday, 1 September 2018 16:49 (three weeks ago) Permalink

I'm sure that remaster thing is horrible if you all think so, but personally could never get into The Band's studio album, production is so muted and dry, clumsy (unlike that golden 70s dry style found on something like FM's "Dreams", one of the best sounding songs of all time) whereas I love The Last Waltz

If you haven't heard Northern Lights Southern Cross give it a listen, its production is cleaner than the first two albums and it contains two of their finest songs in "Acadian Driftwood" and "It Makes No Difference".

the word dog doesn't bark (anagram), Saturday, 1 September 2018 20:33 (three weeks ago) Permalink

The latter song is sooooooo beautiful. I love the Mekons cover and its ridiculous video:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=42WnZxLYWrM

Josh in Chicago, Saturday, 1 September 2018 20:40 (three weeks ago) Permalink

And check out this vintage gem!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_uUFMumwXkk

Josh in Chicago, Saturday, 1 September 2018 20:42 (three weeks ago) Permalink

xp thanks will do! It Makes No Difference is certainly one of the highlights of The Last Waltz, fantastic song (and some great shredding, too)

niels, Sunday, 2 September 2018 09:48 (three weeks ago) Permalink

wow had never heard Acadian Driftwood before but that is indeed very good songwriting

so weird how Robertson tapped into these themes

niels, Sunday, 2 September 2018 09:51 (three weeks ago) Permalink

wait a minute you guys never polled The Last Waltz???

niels, Sunday, 2 September 2018 10:04 (three weeks ago) Permalink

hmm to poll the original triple LP or the 2002 4-CD version...

niels, Sunday, 2 September 2018 10:05 (three weeks ago) Permalink

Two great songs in their last 6 or 7 seven years - they didn't exactly maintain their batting average tbh.

Scottish Country Twerking (Tom D.), Sunday, 2 September 2018 10:17 (three weeks ago) Permalink

Yeah the first two albums, NLSC and The Last Waltz are all you need really.

the word dog doesn't bark (anagram), Sunday, 2 September 2018 18:30 (three weeks ago) Permalink

What about Rock of Ages?

The Great Atomic Power Ballad (James Redd and the Blecchs), Sunday, 2 September 2018 19:09 (three weeks ago) Permalink

stage fright is really great

The Desus & Mero Chain (upper mississippi sh@kedown), Sunday, 2 September 2018 19:34 (three weeks ago) Permalink

way better than northern lights

The Desus & Mero Chain (upper mississippi sh@kedown), Sunday, 2 September 2018 19:34 (three weeks ago) Permalink

"Stage Fright" is pretty good - but still a step down from the first two.

Scottish Country Twerking (Tom D.), Sunday, 2 September 2018 19:49 (three weeks ago) Permalink

What about /Rock of Ages/?


One of their best. For me, it’s up there with the first two records, and vastly superior to The Last Waltz.

Also, fun fact: apart from trumpeter Snooky Young, everyone in the Rock Of Ages horn section played with Cecil Taylor and/or Bill Dixon at one time or another.

Montgomery Burns' Jazz (Tarfumes The Escape Goat), Sunday, 2 September 2018 20:21 (three weeks ago) Permalink

"It Makes No Difference" is one of the greatest recordings.

The Silky Veils of Alfred (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Sunday, 2 September 2018 20:27 (three weeks ago) Permalink

The last waltz is kind of lame

brimstead, Sunday, 2 September 2018 20:43 (three weeks ago) Permalink

moondog matinee kinda rules. i mean, i'd take a whole album of levon helm disco rockabilly.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rQFE113iDx4

worst one is probably cahoots, but even that has some good stuff on it.

tylerw, Sunday, 2 September 2018 21:58 (three weeks ago) Permalink

Great example of what happens when a band that plays and stays together almost 24/7 get their own places and lives and can never quite capture what they once had, good and great as they often still were.

Josh in Chicago, Sunday, 2 September 2018 22:09 (three weeks ago) Permalink

Islands is probably worse than Cahoots, but then again it's an outtakes set and contractual obligation album (as pointed out by an extremely defensive Robertson in the reissue liners).

Ubering With The King (C. Grisso/McCain), Sunday, 2 September 2018 22:18 (three weeks ago) Permalink

I always thought "Northern Lights/Southern Cross" was a pretty good listen for the later LPs. The keyboards on the album are so lush, it's really well recorded.

earlnash, Sunday, 2 September 2018 22:25 (three weeks ago) Permalink

NL/SC also has Ophelia which has an awesome New Orleans groove and an A+ Helm vocal

guardians of the gums: i am tooth (voodoo chili), Monday, 3 September 2018 21:13 (three weeks ago) Permalink


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