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26 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a magical journey
A fantastic introduction to the Band and their music. From the first 4 songs building up a raw feel until the classic interruption of the Weight, the music flows and keeps the listener on edge. As a sharp contrast to 'the Weight' and its slow progression, 'We can Talk' bursts in, in classic Band feel-good style - a rollercoaster of sounds and rhythms that makes classic...
Published on 15 Nov 2000

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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A seminal album but the best was yet to come
When it came out this album was innovative, groundbreaking and like nothing else around. At a time when rock as we know it today was just starting to emerge, many bands were going down, or up, the progressive and psychedelic route. The band, however, went back to the roots to reintroduce the rhtmns tunes and instruments of an earlier american music. Their loose, rambling...
Published on 21 Jan 2012 by Captain Kirk


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26 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a magical journey, 15 Nov 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: Music from Big Pink (Audio CD)
A fantastic introduction to the Band and their music. From the first 4 songs building up a raw feel until the classic interruption of the Weight, the music flows and keeps the listener on edge. As a sharp contrast to 'the Weight' and its slow progression, 'We can Talk' bursts in, in classic Band feel-good style - a rollercoaster of sounds and rhythms that makes classic driving music!! The middle part of this album culminates in one of the Bands best songs 'Chest Fever' which pulsates along with unbelievable energy. To end off, the music again slows down until the finale of 'I shall Be Released' wonderfully, emotively sung by Richard Manuel at his best. A classic album that shows the three vocal talents of Danko, Helm & Manuel at their most raw and naive yet posessing an unbelievable power and setting the mood of the next album - The Band. Musically inspiring and filled with the most vivd sounds and atmospheres. The extra tracks add some variety but the listener should appreciate the first 11 songs of the original album as a complete story in their own right.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Patchy, with signs of greatness, 28 Sep 2012
By 
Sebastian Palmer "sebuteo" (Cambridge, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Music from Big Pink (Audio CD)
With their down-home gritsy lo-fi sound, and near legendary mystique, when 'The Band' finally dropped their debut it continued the genesis of a story that is still evolving to this day, even as the original members pass away (Levon Helm have only fairly recently passed on at the time of writing this). Having worked closely with Dylan for several years, some of his mystique had rubbed off on the band, so to speak.

Many people (Helm included, according to his testimony on the excellent Classic Albums DVD about their second album) see Music From Big Pink and The Band as two parts of the same pie. Personally I think The Band only recorded one out and out masterpiece, and that's their next one, simply called The Band. Whereas that album has numerous classics, such as 'Across the Great Divide', 'The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down', 'Up on Cripple Creek', the devastating 'Whispering Pines' and 'King Harvest (Has Surely Come)', with all the other tracks (even 'Jemima Surrender', the closest thing to filler on the album stands up pretty well) making a very strong showing.

Big Pink is, by comparison, much patchier and uneven. 'Chest fever' includes a short blast of Garth Hudson's famous keys intro, and the song itself was a live favourite, but in the studio it lacks something of the live energy, and sounds a little ponderous (to me at any rate). 'This Wheel's On Fire' (a title Helm used for his autobiography) is an oddity, which sounds the most dated of all the tracks on their first two albums, and I can't disassociate it from it's use as the theme to TV's Ab Fab!

The original album ends (some versions available now add numerous additional bonus tracks, out-takes and the like) with the tortured emotional falsetto of the tragic Richard Manuel, singing Dylan's 'I Shall Be Released' which, especially with hindsight, makes for a very sad and moving version of an excellent song. But it's only this and The Weight that are essential, in my opinion. For hardcore fans, this might seem like heresy, but most of this album finds me skipping to those two tracks, whereas The Band compels throughout. It is a bit of grower, so if you're unsure, start with The Band, and then try this.

So, a good album, in places brilliant. The Weight and I Shall Be Released deserve five or more stars, but the remainder of the material is neither brilliant, nor essential. The Band should be in every decent collection, but this is optional, and more for hardcore fans.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Band buyers begin here, 17 Aug 2005
By 
Lozarithm (Wilts, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Music from Big Pink (Audio CD)
Largely influential on the currently voguish Americana and alt. country scene, this first album grew out of the music the Band were creating with Bob Dylan at the house Big Pink, near Woodstock NY in 1967, and includes several new Bob Dylan songs - I Shall Be Released, This Wheel's On Fire and Tears Of Rage, the latter two co-written with the members of the Band who sing them. Probably the best known song was the single The Weight, which also appeared in the film Easy Rider (but was not licensed for the soundtrack album). There is one cover, Long Black Veil, which was influential on Robbie Robertson's writing style, and which he learned from Lefty Frizell's version.
If you need to own one Band album, this is the one to go for. It was hugely influential, an album unlike any other, and caused huge ripples across the music fraternity, changing the way people like Eric Clapton experienced and created music.

Beautifully re-mastered this new edition has copious notes and is almost doubled in length with bonus tracks, mostly appearing for the first time. It is fascinating to hear alternative arrangements of some of the songs, such as Lonesome Suzie which turns up with a big band horn arrangement. Musically, it sounds great, but was discarded, rightly, for being inappropriate for the song. A couple of covers recorded for fun, never intended for release on the album, are included - the Stanley Brothers' bluegrass If I Lose, and a less successful stab at the Jazz Allum and Big Bill Broonzy blues standard, Key To The Highway.
Some of the songs were included on The Basement Tapes, the Bob Dylan and the Band album of demos and home-recordings made at Big Pink. Orange Juice Blues and Yazoo Street Scandal are alternative versions, but of especial interest are Katie's Been Gone and Dylan's song Long Distance Operator. These are presented here as full stereo studio recordings, but are clearly the same takes that appeared on The Basement Tapes, demonstrating that the eight tracks by the Band on that album had not been recorded at Big Pink at all but had been muddied up to sound as if they had. Long Distance Operator now spawns an extra verse, but unfortunately there is a mistake in the editing so that the first line of the last verse is missing. Clearly these and other Band tracks from that album and any others from the same period need to be rounded up and given a proper release in restored sound quality
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars SACD lives on!, 13 Dec 2009
By 
Good to see someone still pushing SACD.If you already have the DVDA version of this album this probably is a luxury purchase as it lacks the 5.1 mix of that release or the bonus tracks of the standard CD. The SACD version however is excellent and lacks the pops and crackles of the DVDA stereo (and the packaging is beautiful).
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Timeless, 16 April 2013
By 
Dr. J. Crawford "jc" (Ely, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Music From Big Pink (MP3 Download)
It really is 48 years since its release. The music is superlative. There has never been anyone quite like the Band and there brand of rural sounding rock and roll seeming to be rooted in a non specific past. The musicianship is wonderful.
This, their first album contains three of Dylan's basement tape songs. All of them great. Otherwise the album mostly showcases the emerging songwriting talent of Robbie Robertson. The cover of Long Black Veil is perhaps the weakest song but like the rest of the album is beautifully performed .
In the past I've owned this on vinyl and also have the non- remastered CD. I bought the download of the remastered album and I do think it worth the modest price even apart from the extra tracks which actually are pretty limited in what they add although do have curiosity value.
If was advising anyone who is tuning in to the Band for the first time I would advise them not to buy any of the compilations but start here to collect all their albums ( which are precious few) . At the very least buy this, The Band, Stagefright and Cahoots and maybe The Last Waltz. But by then you'll want the rest which are more patchy but sill contain rewards.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Music From The Big Pink: The Band - This disc's on fire!, 20 April 2011
By 
Victor (Hull, England) - See all my reviews
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Hats off to the brilliantly named Band. There are not many groups who could make themselves seen and heard from behind the bright light of Bob Dylan, but these guys managed it.

Having first come across them on `Planet Waves',and the `Before the Flood' concerts, two of my favourite Dylan albums, I decided to listen to their output sans Dylan. And I was really glad I did.

The band had a distinctive sound all of their own. They took a mixture of a variety of sounds, blues, folk, country, rock, soul, anything else they liked the sound of, and blended it into a sound uniquely their own. Utilising the three very distinct voices of Levon Helm (my personal favourite of their lead singers), Manuel and Danko, and the multi instrumental talents of all the band, they painted rich pictures from a wide musical palette.

This debut album, named after the house in which the album was created, is a stunner. The Band had been playing live together for a few years, and were a pretty tight outfit. The songwriting is excellent, and the album just brims over with creativity.

Difficult to pigeonhole, they were a unique outfit and this album is an essential part of any American music lover's collection. An excellent debut from an excellent band. Five stars.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Music From The Big Pink: The Band - This disc's on fire!, 20 April 2011
By 
Victor (Hull, England) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (TOP 50 REVIEWER)   
Hats off to the brilliantly named Band. There are not many groups who could make themselves seen and heard from behind the bright light of Bob Dylan, but these guys managed it.

Having first come across them on `Planet Waves',and the `Before the Flood' concerts, two of my favourite Dylan albums, I decided to listen to their output sans Dylan. And I was really glad I did.

The band had a distinctive sound all of their own. They took a mixture of a variety of sounds, blues, folk, country, rock, soul, anything else they liked the sound of, and blended it into a sound uniquely their own. Utilising the three very distinct voices of Levon Helm (my personal favourite of their lead singers), Manuel and Danko, and the multi instrumental talents of all the band, they painted rich pictures from a wide musical palette.

This debut album, named after the house in which the album was created, is a stunner. The Band had been playing live together for a few years, and were a pretty tight outfit. The songwriting is excellent, and the album just brims over with creativity.

Difficult to pigeonhole, they were a unique outfit and this album is an essential part of any American music lover's collection. An excellent debut from an excellent band. Five stars.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Music From The Big Pink: The Band - This disc's on fire!, 20 April 2011
By 
Victor (Hull, England) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (TOP 50 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Music from Big Pink (Audio CD)
Hats off to the brilliantly named Band. There are not many groups who could make themselves seen and heard from behind the bright light of Bob Dylan, but these guys managed it.

Having first come across them on `Planet Waves',and the `Before the Flood' concerts, two of my favourite Dylan albums, I decided to listen to their output sans Dylan. And I was really glad I did.

The band had a distinctive sound all of their own. They took a mixture of a variety of sounds, blues, folk, country, rock, soul, anything else they liked the sound of, and blended it into a sound uniquely their own. Utilising the three very distinct voices of Levon Helm (my personal favourite of their lead singers), Manuel and Danko, and the multi instrumental talents of all the band, they painted rich pictures from a wide musical palette.

This debut album, named after the house in which the album was created, is a stunner. The Band had been playing live together for a few years, and were a pretty tight outfit. The songwriting is excellent, and the album just brims over with creativity.

Difficult to pigeonhole, they were a unique outfit and this album is an essential part of any American music lover's collection. An excellent debut from an excellent band. Five stars.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Music From The Big Pink: The Band - This disc's on fire!, 20 April 2011
By 
Victor (Hull, England) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (TOP 50 REVIEWER)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Music from Big Pink (Audio CD)
Hats off to the brilliantly named Band. There are not many groups who could make themselves seen and heard from behind the bright light of Bob Dylan, but these guys managed it.

Having first come across them on `Planet Waves',and the `Before the Flood' concerts, two of my favourite Dylan albums, I decided to listen to their output sans Dylan. And I was really glad I did.

The band had a distinctive sound all of their own. They took a mixture of a variety of sounds, blues, folk, country, rock, soul, anything else they liked the sound of, and blended it into a sound uniquely their own. Utilising the three very distinct voices of Levon Helm (my personal favourite of their lead singers), Manuel and Danko, and the multi instrumental talents of all the band, they painted rich pictures from a wide musical palette.

This debut album, named after the house in which the album was created, is a stunner. The Band had been playing live together for a few years, and were a pretty tight outfit. The songwriting is excellent, and the album just brims over with creativity.

Difficult to pigeonhole, they were a unique outfit and this album is an essential part of any American music lover's collection. This remaster is pretty good, with a good clear sound and decent separation. The liner notes are interesting. Also included are a few other tracks recorded at the time not released as part of this album, but would surface later on Bob Dylan's `Basement Tapes' album.

An excellent debut from an excellent band. Five stars.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A seminal album but the best was yet to come, 21 Jan 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Music from Big Pink (Audio CD)
When it came out this album was innovative, groundbreaking and like nothing else around. At a time when rock as we know it today was just starting to emerge, many bands were going down, or up, the progressive and psychedelic route. The band, however, went back to the roots to reintroduce the rhtmns tunes and instruments of an earlier american music. Their loose, rambling sound became a template for later bands and you can hear it in the music of, say, Little Feat and Wilco. They went on the become possibly the best American band ever, yet on this album the only really outstanding track is , perhaps their most famous, The Weight. Some of the others sound like hangovers from the earlier 60s, almost poppy, with some almost cring making falsetto singing. For those who want to hear what the Band wer to become, some of the compilation albums are a better bet. For Band addicts like me, you have to have this historic album despite its faults
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