On this day in 1968
The Band released their debut album 'Music From Big Pink'
The album employs a distinctive blend of country, rock, folk, classical, R&B, and soul and features their first hit single "The Weight"
The music was composed partly in a house
that became known locally as "Big Pink"
for its pink siding
shared by Rick Danko, Richard Manuel and Garth Hudson
located at 56 Parnassus Lane (formerly 2188 Stoll Road)
in West Saugerties, New York
The album itself was recorded in studios in New York and Los Angeles in 1968
and followed the band's backing of Bob Dylan on his 1966 tour (as the Hawks)
and time spent together in upstate New York recording material
that was officially released in 1975 as The Basement Tapes
also with Dylan
The Band's manager Albert Grossman
who was also Dylan 's manager approached Capitol Records
to secure a record deal for a group
still informally described as "Dylan's backing band"
Stanley Gortikov at Capitol signed The Band
initially under the name The Crackers
The Band started to record their debut album in Manhattan at A&R Studios
on the 7th floor of 799 7th Avenue at 52nd Street in the early months of 1968
The Band recorded "Tears of Rage", "Chest Fever", "We Can Talk",
"This Wheel's On Fire" and "The Weight" in two sessions
Robertson has said that when producer John Simon asked them how they wanted it to sound, they replied, "Just like it did in the basement"
Capitol was pleased with the initial recording session
and suggested that the group move to Los Angeles
to finish recording their first album at Capitol Studios
They also cut some material at Gold Star Studios on Santa Monica Boulevard
The songs on Big Pink recorded in L.A. were "In A Station", "To Kingdom Come", "Lonesome Suzie", "Long Black Veil" and "I Shall Be Released"
Dylan signified his presence
by contributing cover artwork with one of his paintings
Bob Dylan offered to sing on the album
but ultimately realized it was important for the Band
to make their own statement
1. "Tears of Rage"
Bob Dylan, Richard Manuel 5:23
2. "To Kingdom Come"
Robbie Robertson, Manuel, Robertson 3:22
3. "In a Station"
4. "Caledonia Mission"
Robertson Rick Danko 2:59
5. "The Weight"
Robertson, Levon Helm, Danko 4:34
6. "We Can Talk"
Manuel, Helm, Danko 3:06
7. "Long Black Veil"
Marijohn Wilkin, Danny Dill, Danko 3:06
8. "Chest Fever"
Robertson, Manuel 5:18
9. "Lonesome Suzie"
10. "This Wheel's on Fire"
Dylan, Danko 3:14
11. "I Shall Be Released"
Dylan, Manuel 3:19