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Music From Big Pink Extra tracks, Original recording reissued, Original recording remastered

4.6 out of 5 stars 223 customer reviews

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Music From Big Pink
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Audio CD, Extra tracks, Original recording reissued, August 29, 2000
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Product Description

This 1968 album was one of the most auspicious debuts in rock, here augmented by alternate takes of Tears of Rage and Lonesome Suzie , and no less than 7 unreleased outtakes!

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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 in 1968 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 Manuel, who contributes two songs and cowrote the doleful opener, "Tears of Rage," with Bob Dylan. Manuel'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 crowning achievement. The truth is, Big Pink is the purest distillation of the Band, and their preeminent recording. This remastered reissue is generously expanded to include nine bonus tracks, a bunch highlighted by a Robertson rarity ("Ferdinand the Imposter") and a cover of the Stanley Brothers's "If I Lose." --Steven Stolder
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (August 29, 2000)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Extra tracks, Original recording reissued, Original recording remastered
  • Label: Capitol
  • ASIN: B00004W50T
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (223 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,479 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
Before I bought this CD I had only heard The Weight and it was the main reason I bought this CD. To put it simply I was blown away by it. This album is the reason Eric Clapton disbanded cream and it is easy to see why. Every aspect of this album is beautiful and every song is great, not one stands out above the rest. I have since compiled a large collection of The Band, but this one will always be my favorite. The blending of the three voices is heard most on this album, with Richard Manuels standing out the most. In my opinion his voice is one of the most beautiful ever, and one listen of I shall be released should convince anyone of this. The album is a drastic departure from anything being recorded around the same time. It starts of with a slow song, Tears of Rage, very uncommon for the day. The songs all have a very old feel to them, and there is a lot of gospel flavor incoporated into them. It is basically the perfect album. Every band member was equally important to every song and each is one of the best at their respective instrument. In my opinion this is one of the best albums ever and this new remastered version is even better. The bonus tracks are pretty interesting especially if you don't already own the basement tapes. If you are looking to get into The Band start with this album and work your way through their catalog. It is the kind of album that gets better each time you listen to it and no music fan should be without it.
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Format: Audio CD
Allow me to preface this review by saying that I'm not any sort of Band scholar, more of just a casual patron of the arts...but hot damn, is this one hell of a CD. In my vast collection of albums, I can't think of one that boasts instrumentation as innovative as "Big Pink." Each song's a symphony in itself, seemingly composed by a roots-rock Phil Spector or something. There's not a single bad song on here, although they're all very different; if you're only familiar with the acoustic sound featured on "The Weight," you may be surprised to hear the lush organs, synths and strings on all of the other tracks. Believe me though, it works perfectly. The scope of this album is so vast that you wouldn't believe it was possible to achieve, but The Band really pulls it off. Truly, The Band is the superlative example of a band, where each member contributed equally to the group effort. This reissue is so clutch, too: the sound is great, and the bonus tracks add what is essentially a companion album to the original tracks. Whomever was in charge of compiling the tracks really knew his stuff. Kudos for including "Ferdinand the Imposter," a terribly recorded favorite from "The Genuine Basement Tapes," because it is such a damn fine song.
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Format: Audio CD
It's great to see such a terrific album finally get the treatment it deserves-remastered sound quality, an expanded CD booklet, and the real "gravy"-all the bonus tracks! This is the album that created a musical revolution in 1968 (no small feat for the 60's!) Influencing everybody from the Beatles to Eric Clapton (whom even went so far as to make a pilgrimage to Big Pink to hang out and jam!) This was honest, well-written (by Robbie Robertson, Bob Dylan , Richard Manuel, Rick Danko) well-played (three superb singers), just plain great music! The classics are here "The Weight", "I Shall Be Released", "This Wheel's On Fire"-but others in the original line-up are just as good: "We Can Talk", "Long Black Veil", and " Tears of Rage" also standout. The bonus tracks are reason to buy this CD alone!-These are rare songs that only collectors have been able to hear: "Ferdinand The Imposter", "If I Lose" and "Orange Juice Blues" are finally available in pristine CD quality! Can we give this album 6 stars?!!
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By Greg Tobias on September 8, 2000
Format: Audio CD
A highly respectful remix and repackaging, with great liner notes. The Band declined rather quickly once the 60s ended, but "Big Pink" and the eponymous followup album "The Band" are essential recordings that everyone should own.
A word about the bonus tracks: in my opinion, these are rarely a good idea with CD re-releases. The artists chose a song lineup and song order with a particular flow, and the bonus songs tend to feel rather jarring. Surely a lovely silence should follow the majestic "I Shall Be Released"!
In addition, about half the outtakes here are songs that appear in very similar versions on the seminal Band/Dylan collaboration, "The Basement Tapes". In all, I would have preferred a simple repackaging of the original lineup of songs.
Having said that, this is a record everyone should have.
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Format: Audio CD
Largely influential on the currently voguish Americana and alt. country scene, this first album grew out of the music the Band were creating with Bob Dylan at the house Big Pink, near Woodstock NY in 1967, and includes several new Bob Dylan songs - I Shall Be Released, This Wheel's On Fire and Tears Of Rage, the latter two co-written with the members of the Band who sing them. Probably the best known song was the single The Weight, which also appeared in the film Easy Rider (but was not licensed for the soundtrack album). There is one cover, Long Black Veil, which was influential on Robbie Robertson's writing style, and which he learned from Lefty Frizell's version.

If you need to own one Band album, this is the one to go for. It was hugely influential, an album unlike any other, and caused huge ripples across the music fraternity, changing the way people like Eric Clapton experienced and created music.

Beautifully re-mastered this new edition has copious notes and is almost doubled in length with bonus tracks, mostly appearing for the first time. It is fascinating to hear alternative arrangements of some of the songs, such as Lonesome Suzie which turns up with a big band horn arrangement. Musically, it sounds great, but was discarded, rightly, for being inappropriate for the song. A couple of covers recorded for fun, never intended for release on the album, are included - the Stanley Brothers' bluegrass If I Lose, and a less successful stab at the Jazz Allum and Big Bill Broonzy blues standard, Key To The Highway.

Some of the songs were included on The Basement Tapes, the Bob Dylan and the Band album of demos and home-recordings made at Big Pink.
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