Musical palate cleanser, long time ago edition

Raise your hand if you thought The Band’s Music From Big Pink was destined to become one of rock’s most influential albums when it was released fifty years ago (assuming you were listening to rock music then).

Many rock veterans regard Big Pink as a sacred text. Eric Clapton, said to have been haunted by it, confessed to listening daily. Roger Waters placed it right behind The Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band as the most influential record in rock history. “Sonically, the way the record’s constructed, I think Music From Big Pink is fundamental to everything that happened after it.”

I bought it at the time and liked it, but I don’t think I really appreciated it until after I listened to Columbia’s half-assed release of Dylan’s Basement Tapes in the mid-70s.  That’s when it clicked for me, although I didn’t learn about Clapton’s worship of the album and how it changed his approach to recording — evidently, Layla wouldn’t have been Layla without Big Pink — until later.

Anyway, here’s my favorite tune from the album, “Chest Fever”.



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10 responses to “Musical palate cleanser, long time ago edition

  1. RandallPinkFloyd

    Chest Fever is one of those songs that just seems to define what rock and roll is. Garth Hudson was a man ahead of his time and it really shows on Chest Fever.

    It’s a shame that Robbie Robertson destroyed The Band, those guys called it quits way too soon. Levon Helm’s voice is what dreams are made of.


  2. illini84

    I have a copy of the book “This Wheel’s on Fire” signed by Levon!


  3. illini84

    Layla wouldn’t be Layla without Duane either!


  4. illini84

    If you have’t seen Tom Dowd and the Language of Music treat yourself.


  5. Athens Dog



  6. Russ

    Never was a huge fan of The Band, but recognize their influence. I first heard this song here:


  7. Ed Kilgore

    “Big Pink” was part of the musical lingua franca of my small hippie peer group at R.L. Osborne High School in Marietta, GA, fifty (yikes!) years ago, and I still listen to it. “To Kingdom Come” (featuring the rare Robertson vocal) was actually my favorite song on the album for a long time, though probably “Tears of Rage” is my fave right now. The whole thing is amazingly evergreen. And yeah, Garth Hudson’s a marvel.