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I wanted to get into these albums but will have to try again. There are a couple of extremely well known songs. I was a bit disappointed with "Music From The Big Pink" which seems a bit loose and twiddly. "The Band" was a bit easier to listen to and the production is better. I guess I like my music to be more clear and defined.
When it came out this album was innovative, groundbreaking and like nothing else around. At a time when rock as we know it today was just starting to emerge, many bands were going down, or up, the progressive and psychedelic route. The band, however, went back to the roots to reintroduce the rhtmns tunes and instruments of an earlier american music. Their loose, rambling sound became a template for later bands and you can hear it in the music of, say, Little Feat and Wilco. They went on the become possibly the best American band ever, yet on this album the only really outstanding track is , perhaps their most famous, The Weight. Some of the others sound like hangovers from the earlier 60s, almost poppy, with some almost cring making falsetto singing. For those who want to hear what the Band wer to become, some of the compilation albums are a better bet. For Band addicts like me, you have to have this historic album despite its faults
If it did not have the extra tracks I would probably have given it 5 stars. I first bought this on vinyl when it came out and what I want is just the original album without the extra garbage. This just pisses me off because it obliges me to either pre-programme the player or leap up to turn it off before the out-takes play and spoil the listening experience. While we're on the subject I'm not crazy about all the remastering that's so popular these days, unless it is to make the CD version sound more like the original album. It is after all the original album that is so fondly remembered, not a "remastered" version of it that some prick thought might be in some way "better".