The Band – Music from Big Pink (1968)
New Year’s Resolution #2: Take Centre Stage
Cue the quote from the 2000 Ballet film, Centre Stage, “…Then I would be spending my best dancing years in the back of a corps waving a rose back and forth, and I’m better than that.”
Being Bob Dylan’s backup band isn’t exactly akin to waving a rose back and forth. Good for Robbie Robertson and the lads for moving to the front of the stage.
This album certainly had an impact, convincing Eric Clapton to leave his group Cream and search for a new sound.
While The Weight remains a brilliant sing-a-long (testing the patience of singers to wait just long enough before, “put the load right on me”) and the songs certainly hold up nicely 45 years later, it may not inspire me to make major life changes à la Slowhand. Music from Big Pink is consistently good and to have a record featuring 11 durable tracks, if you’ll excuse the dramatic grammatical drop-off, that ain’t bad.
Of course any group with a singing drummer (Levon Helm) that also plays mandolin is going to be alright in my books.