Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Endless highway (The Band) (LP 32-33)

The Band Music From Big Pink ****/ The Band **** (CD Twofer pack - Capitol Records, 2000) 

Genre: Canadian pop/rock

Places I remember: Big Pink and I have a chequered past. Initially I bought it on vinyl but somehow it was let go in a move. Instead I opted for Greatest Hits sets until grabbing this Twofer on CD from the Warehouse. I'm not proud of it.

Fab, and all the other pimply hyperboles: The Weight. The Night They Drove Old
 Dixie Down. Two classic songs sung by the incomparable Levon Helm.

Gear costume: Chest Fever. Rag Mama Rag.

Active compensatory factors: All the hoopla about Dylan/Band/Basement Tapes/Big Pink is a slight mystery to me, still.

When Dylan reconvened to the West Saugerties area of New York with The Band and workshopped the chunes that would eventually end up as The Basement Tapes they essentially created Americana and influenced everyone.

Not bad considering nothing was officially released at the time.

Big Pink followed on from that experience and has the same feel as The Basement Tapes.

For me, the first example of 'getting it together in the country' (Traffic followed suit by moving to the Sheepcott farm cottage around the same time). Although there are some terrific stand out songs, as a whole I fail to see what the fuss about these works in progress is all about. 

The brown album feels like it mines the same areas but in a slightly more sophisticated way. More confident, they look directly at us from the cover, rather than behind a piece of Bob's art (Big Pink).

What is beyond dispute is the individual brilliance of some of the songs on these two albums. For me, just not albums that contain wall to wall genius. The bonus tracks don't help either - I don't need all those alternative takes thanks very much.

Where do they all belong? The Complete Basement Tapes is what it says on the tin.

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