Music From The Big Pink Vinyl Boxset
ARTIST: The Band
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Music from Big Pink stands as one of those rare albums that turned the rock world on its axis. On this record, released at the height of the psychedelic revolution, the five members of the Band (along with producer-sideman John Simon) eschewed spacey diversions, opting for an earthier route. Soon enough, wah-wah pedals and tape loops were making way for fiddles and mandolins. The group's most democratic effort (Robbie Robertson would soon emerge as the ensemble's mouthpiece), the debut's 11 songs come from Robertson, bassist Rick Danko, and pianist Richard Manual, who contributes two songs and co-wrote the doleful opener, "Tears of Rage", with Bob Dylan. Manual's role would diminish from this point hence and the balance he brought to the quintet would be missed. Many would argue that Big Pink's sequel, The Band, represents their crowing achievement. The truth is, Big Pink is the purest distillation of the Band, and their preeminent recording. --Steven Stolder