The Band - Music from Big Pink poll

Message Bookmarked
Bookmark Removed
Not all messages are displayed: show all messages (134 of them)

It's one of those cases of "you have your whole life to make your first album and six months to make your second," I think. The Band had a huge backlog, and once they caught up with it it was a struggle to come up with new stuff on par with their peak (see also; Cheap Trick, Van Halen). If anything, the key to the evolution of, say, the Stones and Beatles is that they started with a bunch of covers and worked their way up from there. Plus, the Band stopped living together, in Big Pink or on the road, and according to Levon they had trouble recapturing that vibe when they tried to recreate it in L.A.

It's amazing, by way, how much of an impression the Band made on the Brits, with group after group trying to glom onto their shambling Americana vibe vibe. I mean, the Beatles and Eric Clapton are two of the last acts I think of what I think of the Band. but they were both uber-besoted.

Josh in Chicago, Tuesday, 24 April 2012 21:09 (six years ago) Permalink

(sorry for the typos)

Josh in Chicago, Tuesday, 24 April 2012 21:10 (six years ago) Permalink

otm about "ferdinand" -- always loved that little fragment and wish there was a better version!

tylerw, Tuesday, 24 April 2012 21:22 (six years ago) Permalink

Automatic thread bump. This poll is closing tomorrow.

System, Wednesday, 25 April 2012 00:01 (six years ago) Permalink

this thread took off, i thought it was going to be like The Band poll and get no love.

Bee OK, Wednesday, 25 April 2012 02:48 (six years ago) Permalink

well, not no love but really there was not a lot of discussion like this thread has produced.

Bee OK, Wednesday, 25 April 2012 02:49 (six years ago) Permalink

ok finally voted. "in a station." there are obviously plenty of towering songs on this record, but right now, in a station is the one i want to hear on repeat. karen dalton's version is nice too.

tylerw, Wednesday, 25 April 2012 20:58 (six years ago) Permalink

just heard Dalton's version for the first time last week. It's lovely

Number None, Wednesday, 25 April 2012 21:40 (six years ago) Permalink

yeah, pretty different interpretation, but gets to the heart of the song. I dunno, I think that song (and "whispering pines" too) gets to a kind of dreamlike americana thing that robbie robertson couldn't quite nail on his own. robertson's more of a novelist, whereas manuel is like an impressionistic painter. or something!

tylerw, Wednesday, 25 April 2012 21:42 (six years ago) Permalink

I like that take

Number None, Wednesday, 25 April 2012 21:43 (six years ago) Permalink

listening to this album again this week, i was struck by one thing -- what did these songs sound like when Robertson presented them to the rest of the Band? Seems like there's never been, like, a solo demo of "The Weight" that's come out on bootleg or otherwise. Maybe that sort of thing doesn't exist.

tylerw, Wednesday, 25 April 2012 21:45 (six years ago) Permalink

Automatic thread bump. This poll's results are now in.

System, Thursday, 26 April 2012 00:01 (six years ago) Permalink

Voted for "Caledonia Mission" but almost voted for "To Kingdom Come"

Stars on 45 Fell on Alabama (James Redd and the Blecchs), Thursday, 26 April 2012 01:09 (six years ago) Permalink

one month passes...

"To Kingdom Come" wuz robbed, Rick Danko's bass playing on it is fantastic

Too Busy Thinking About Mr. Abie (Tom D.), Friday, 22 June 2012 14:37 (six years ago) Permalink

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.

Same here, pretty much, even though "Stage Fright" itself is possibly my favourite song by them. There are some great songs on the other albums and they always play and sing immaculately and I can never think of an occasion when they embarrass themselves but, I don't know, the tunes just aren't there

Too Busy Thinking About Mr. Abie (Tom D.), Friday, 22 June 2012 14:42 (six years ago) Permalink

stage fright is pretty solid through and through, tho it doesn't have as many classics. moondog matinee is a fun record, too. cahoots has always bored me.

tylerw, Friday, 22 June 2012 15:00 (six years ago) Permalink

Yeah, Moondog Matinee is fun, and with a lot of great singing by Richard at his best. Also the extra lyrics to "Mystery Train"!

Stumpy Joe's Cafe (James Redd and the Blecchs), Friday, 22 June 2012 16:22 (six years ago) Permalink

The bonus tracks on the Moondog cd are quite something--mostly Levon numbers plus a runthrough of "Endless Highway" w/Manuel singing and playing a great piano lead.

Electro-Shock Rory (C. Grisso/McCain), Friday, 22 June 2012 16:48 (six years ago) Permalink

Wait, I'm tripping: the Manuel "Endless Highway" is on the Cahoots reissue. Danko sings the Moondog version, which originally was on the Watkins Glen album with dubbed-in audience noise.

Electro-Shock Rory (C. Grisso/McCain), Friday, 22 June 2012 17:01 (six years ago) Permalink

The Weight would be my favorite song ever if I had a goddamn clue what the lyrics were about.

Everything You Like Sucks, Friday, 22 June 2012 18:47 (six years ago) Permalink

lyrics to the weight are like steinbeck's cannery row reproduced in miniature imo

carly rae (flopson), Friday, 22 June 2012 19:45 (six years ago) Permalink

Thought they were a picture of a dreamscape inspired by Luis Buñuel's Exterminating Angel

Stumpy Joe's Cafe (James Redd and the Blecchs), Friday, 22 June 2012 19:47 (six years ago) Permalink

it's just imo; i've read that but i've never seen the film but i have read cannery row

carly rae (flopson), Friday, 22 June 2012 20:34 (six years ago) Permalink

six years pass...

Interesting negative review of new Bob Clearmountain remix: https://variety.com/2018/music/reviews/album-review-the-bands-music-from-big-pink-50th-anniversary-edition-1202915160/

stan in the place where you work (morrisp), Friday, 24 August 2018 22:04 (three months ago) Permalink

Yeah fuck that shit

brimstead, Friday, 24 August 2018 22:56 (three months ago) Permalink

The murkiness is essential to this album's brilliance

brimstead, Friday, 24 August 2018 22:57 (three months 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 (three months ago) Permalink

Lol

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

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

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

studio albums* that's supposed to say

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

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

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


You must be logged in to post. Please either login here, or if you are not registered, you may register here.