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AllMusic Review: The Band’s first album, Music from Big Pink, seemed to come out of nowhere, with its ramshackle musical blend and songs of rural tragedy. The Band, the group’s second album, was a more deliberate and even more accomplished effort, partially because the players had become a more cohesive unit, and partially because guitarist Robbie Robertson had taken over the songwriting, writing or co-writing all 12 songs. Though a Canadian, Robertson focused on a series of American archetypes from the union worker in “King Harvest (Has Surely Come)” and the retired sailor in “Rockin’ Chair” to, most famously, the Confederate Civil War observer Virgil Cane in “The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down.” The album effectively mixed the kind of mournful songs that had dominated Music from Big Pink, here including “Whispering Pines” and “When You Awake” (both co-written by Richard Manuel), with rollicking up-tempo numbers like “Rag Mama Rag” and “Up on Cripple Creek” (both sung by Levon Helm and released as singles, with “Up on Cripple Creek” making the Top 40). As had been true of the first album, it was The Band’s sound that stood out the most, from Helm’s (and occasionally Manuel’s) propulsive drumming to Robertson’s distinctive guitar fills and the endlessly inventive keyboard textures of Garth Hudson, all topped by the rough, expressive singing of Manuel, Helm, and Rick Danko that mixed leads with harmonies. The arrangements were simultaneously loose and assured, giving the songs a timeless appeal, while the lyrics continued to paint portraits of 19th century rural life (especially Southern life, as references to Tennessee and Virginia made clear), its sometimes less savory aspects treated with warmth and humor. — captain jack casino no deposit bonus codes 2019

Track Listing:

All tracks written by Robbie Robertson unless noted.

Side one

No. Title Writer(s) Lead vocals Length
1. “Across the Great Divide” Manuel 2:53
2. “Rag Mama Rag” Helm 3:04
3. “The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down” Helm 3:33
4. “When You Awake”
  • Robertson
  • Richard Manuel
Danko 3:13
5. “Up on Cripple Creek” Helm 4:34
6. “Whispering Pines”
  • Robertson
  • Manuel
Manuel 3:58

Side two

No. Title Writer(s) Lead vocals Length
1. “Jemima Surrender”
  • Robertson
  • Levon Helm
Helm 3:31
2. “Rockin’ Chair” Manuel 3:43
3. “Look Out Cleveland” Danko 3:09
4. “Jawbone”
  • Robertson
  • Manuel
Manuel 4:20
5. “The Unfaithful Servant” Danko 4:17
6. “King Harvest (Has Surely Come)” Manuel 3:39

 

Schill Score: 10/10

 

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The Band – Music From Big Pink (1968)

AllMusic Review: None of the Band’s previous work gave much of a clue about how they would sound when they released their first album in July 1968. As it was, Music from Big Pink came as a surprise. At first blush, the group seemed to affect the sound of a loose jam session, alternating emphasis on different instruments, while the lead and harmony vocals passed back and forth as if the singers were making up their blend on the spot. In retrospect, especially as the lyrics sank in, the arrangements seemed far more considered and crafted to support a group of songs that took family, faith, and rural life as their subjects and proceeded to imbue their values with uncertainty. Some songs took on the theme of declining institutions less clearly than others, but the points were made musically as much as lyrically. Tenor Richard Manuel’s haunting, lonely voice gave the album much of its frightening aspect, while Rick Danko’s and Levon Helm’s rough-hewn styles reinforced the songs’ rustic fervor. The dominant instrument was Garth Hudson’s often icy and majestic organ, while Robbie Robertson’s unusual guitar work further destabilized the sound. The result was an album that reflected the turmoil of the late ’60s in a way that emphasized the tragedy inherent in the conflicts. Music from Big Pink came off as a shockingly divergent musical statement only a year after the ornate productions of Sgt. Pepper, and initially attracted attention because of the three songs Bob Dylan had either written or co-written. However, as soon as “The Weight” became a minor singles chart entry, the album and the group made their own impact, influencing a movement toward roots styles and country elements in rock. Over time, Music from Big Pink came to be regarded as a watershed work in the history of rock, one that introduced new tones and approaches to the constantly evolving genre. — William Ruhlmann

Track Listing:

Side one
No. Title Writer(s) Lead vocal Length
1. “Tears of Rage”
  • Bob Dylan
  • Richard Manuel
Manuel 5:23
2. “To Kingdom Come” Robbie Robertson
  • Manuel
  • Robertson
3:22
3. “In a Station” Manuel Manuel 3:34
4. “Caledonia Mission” Robertson Rick Danko 2:59
5. “The Weight” Robertson Helm with Danko 4:34
Side two
No. Title Writer(s) Lead vocal Length
1. “We Can Talk” Manuel
  • Manuel
  • Helm
  • Danko
3:06
2. “Long Black Veil”
  • Marijohn Wilkin
  • Danny Dill
Danko 3:06
3. “Chest Fever” Robertson Manuel 5:18
4. “Lonesome Suzie” Manuel Manuel 4:04
5. “This Wheel’s on Fire”
  • Dylan
  • Danko
Danko 3:14
6. “I Shall Be Released” Dylan Manuel 3:19

 

Schill Score: 9.5/10

 

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