Music from Big Pink

Music from Big Pink is the 1968 debut album by rock band The Band. It features one of their best-known songs, "The Weight."


With a rough sound, seemingly chaotic arrangements, and a distinctive blend of country, rock, folk, classical, R&B, and soul, Music From Big Pink is generally considered one of the best albums by the Band, along with their 1969 second album The Band. The album follows the band's backing of Bob Dylan on his 1966 tour (as The Hawks) and time spent at a shared house in upstate New York recording what would become The Basement Tapes, also with Dylan. The shared house, in Saugerties near Woodstock, was painted pink, providing the title for the album.

The initial critical reception of the album was generally positive, though sales were slim; Al Kooper's rave review of the LP in Rolling Stone helped draw public attention to it. The fact that Bob Dylan had composed three of the songs also helped to increase sales.

At the time, "The Weight" peaked at #63 on Billboard's Hot 100 singles chart (North America). The album peaked at #30 on Billboard's Pop Albums chart in 1968, and then recharted as a #8 hit on the Top Internet Albums chart in 2000 (see 2000 in music). The song "The Weight" has gained widespread popularity, in spite of its dismal chart ranking, due partially to its inclusion in the cult favorite film Easy Rider, though it was left off of the soundtrack due to a licensing issue (a cover version by the band Smith was included on the soundtrack album instead).

The laid-back feel of the album drew the attention of many other artists. For example, Eric Clapton cites the album's roots rock style as what convinced him to quit Cream, and pursue the styles of Blind Faith, Delaney and Bonnie and his debut album. George Harrison also took note of this style as well as the down-home camaraderie as he was becoming more disgruntled with the constant rifts between The Beatles at the time.

Inspiration for the title

Big Pink is a nickname given to a house in West Saugerties, New York located at 56 Parnassus Lane (formerly 2188 Stoll Road). In 1967, the house was purchased by Rick Danko of The Band. Danko, along with bandmates, Richard Manuel and Garth Hudson, moved into the house and dubbed it "Big Pink", due to its pink color. The album became the site of the recording of The Band's debut album Music from Big Pink. The house was also the headquarters of Parnassus Records a label specializing in classical music. It is currently the home of Max Video, a video production company.

Track listing

  1. "Tears of Rage" (Bob Dylan, Richard Manuel) – 5:23
  2. "To Kingdom Come" (Robbie Robertson) – 3:22
  3. "In a Station" (Manuel) – 3:34
  4. "Caledonia Mission" (Robertson) – 2:59
  5. "The Weight" (Robertson) – 4:38
  6. "We Can Talk" (Manuel) – 3:06
  7. "Long Black Veil" (Marijohn Wilkin, Danny Dill) – 3:06
  8. "Chest Fever" (Robertson) – 5:18
  9. "Lonesome Suzie" (Manuel) – 4:04
  10. "This Wheel's on Fire" (Dylan, Rick Danko) – 3:14
  11. "I Shall Be Released" (Dylan) – 3:19

A remastered version of this album was released on February 11, 2003 (although the album art says 2000). In addition to the above, the following alternative and outtakes appeared:

  1. "Yazoo Street Scandal" (Robertson) – 4:01
  2. "Tears of Rage" (Dylan, Manuel) – 5:32
  3. "Katie's Been Gone" (Manuel, Robertson) – 2:46
  4. "If I Lose" (Ralph Stanley) – 2:29
  5. "Long Distance Operator" (Dylan) – 3:58
  6. "Lonesome Suzie" (Manuel) – 3:00
  7. "Orange Juice Blues (Blues for Breakfast)" (Manuel) – 3:40
  8. "Key to the Highway" (Big Bill Broonzy) – 2:28
  9. "Ferdinand the Imposter" (Robertson) – 3:59



Album - Billboard (North America)
Year Chart Position
1968 Pop Albums 30
2000 Top Internet Albums 8

Singles - Billboard (North America)

Year Single Chart Position
1968 "The Weight" Pop Singles 63


External links

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