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Band buyers begin here,
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