Sunday, June 05, 2011

The 100 Greatest Bands of all time - #91 The Band

Four Canadians and a fellow from Arkansas went from being one of the great back-up bands of all time to creating some legendary hits and albums of their own. Spending the late 50s and early 60s backing rockabilly singer Ronnie Hawkins as The Hawks, they became the backing band for Bob Dylan by 1965. By the time they released their first album, Music from Big Pink, they were simply The Band. Bassist and singer Rick Danko, organist and multi-instrumentalist Garth Hudson, pianist and singer Richard Manuel, guitarist Robbie Robertson, and drummer and singer Levon Helm fused country, rock, and soul into a classic American roots music. Songs like “The Weight” and “The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down” are now essential parts of the American songbook. The Band was so well respected that their final concert was turned into a movie by none other than Martin Scorsese and everyone who was anyone came to the party. Today, The Last Waltz is arguably the best concert film ever made.

Take a load off, Annie. The Band performs The Weight with a little help from the Staple Singers. Damn, that Mavis Staples can sing.

Here's Chest Fever. Garth Hudson could do incredible things with an organ.

Notify the next of kin, this wheel shall explode.

One of the best songs ever written. This one really brings out the Southern boy in me.

A drunkard's dream, if I ever did see one. I love it when Levon sings.

The smell of the leaves,
From the magnolia trees in the meadow.
King Harvest has surely come.

Oh, you don't know the shape I'm in.

and we finish our look at the Band with Ophelia.

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