The Band's "Music From Big Pink" was released today in 1968

July 1, 2017

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          


Side one

1. "Tears of Rage"

Bob Dylan, Richard Manuel 5:23

2. "To Kingdom Come"

Robbie Robertson, Manuel, Robertson 3:22

3. "In a Station"

Manuel 3:34

4. "Caledonia Mission"

Robertson Rick Danko 2:59

5. "The Weight"

Robertson, Levon Helm, Danko 4:34


Side two

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"

Manuel 4:04

10. "This Wheel's on Fire"

Dylan, Danko 3:14

11. "I Shall Be Released"

Dylan, Manuel 3:19


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