Tag Archives: Music From Big Pink

Rocks In The Attic #623: The Band – ‘Music From Big Pink’ (1968)

RITA#623I recently saw The Last Waltz, Martin Scorsese’s film of the final Band performance in 1976. I don’t know why I had avoided this for so long; perhaps it was the feeling that when you’ve seen one classic rock superstar concert line-up, you’ve seen them all. “Get Eric Clapton on the phone, we’re having a get-together.” Or perhaps it was the suspicion that Scorsese’s presence might taint the Band, just like his sycophancy for the Rolling Stones has left that band a little less dangerous.

Watching the film – which I enjoyed immensely – I was struck by the feeling of how inadequate my collection of Band records is. I have this, their classic debut, and I also have their self-titled follow-up, but that’s it. No more. Zilch.

Of course, I’ve been operating under the illusion that that’s all I needed, and that if I made the effort to check out their later recordings then I’d be disappointed. But watching the 1976 version of the group perform in The Last Waltz, it seems like the Band couldn’t write a bad song if they tried.

My favourite guest star in The Waltz was Joni Mitchell – another artist seriously under-represented in my record collection. I have Ladies Of The Canyon, Blue and The Hissing Of Summer Lawns, but I need more, so much more. I might grow my hair and start wearing flares this summer.

Hit: The Weight

Hidden Gem: Chest Fever

Rocks In The Attic #19: The Band – ‘The Band’ (1969)

 

Who can’t love this album? Surely it’s impossible. To me, this and its predecessor Music From Big Pink (1968) are like Rubber Soul and Revolver – two back-to-back classics with mostly interchangeable songs. Or Toys In The Attic and Rocks for Aerosmith fans.

I think I prefer Music From Big Pink as it sounds ever so slightly rougher around the edges. That album sounds like a bunch of guys who had a great idea of making an album, this one sounds much more like they’re hitting their stride.

Levon Helm, the band’s drummer, died not too long ago and it was nice to see a wealth of respect paid to him from the music world. There was a documentary about him playing at the Auckland film festival last year which I couldn’t get to see, but I’ll hopefully get to see it one day.

Hit: Rag Mama Rag

Hidden Gem: Jawbone