Tag Archives: The Band

Brighter Weight and Chest Fever

Now 4 years ago, I decided to let my player run at random, and from there create a post around the first chosen track.

The first track this time was “Brighter” from Cass McCombs 2013 album “Big Wheel and Others”
Couldn’t comment on McCombs entire catalogue as I don’t know him that well, but “Big Wheel and Others” is an very interesting and pleasant journey, the 90 minutes though sometimes too much for one sitting.

The music is often soft and very well crafted, comes out adult and intense with great lyrics to match.

There is another version of “Brighter” on the album, with front vocals performed by American actress, screenwriter, singer, and songwriter Karen Black. Karen was diagnosed with cancer in 2010 and died aged 74 in 2013 some months before the album was released.

Karen Black rose to fame in 1969 playing one of the two prostitutes in the iconic road movie Easy Rider

The Soundtrack for the film features some of the biggest names of the American music industry at the time Jimi Hendrix, Bob Dylan, The Byrds, Steppenwolf, The Electric Prunes and a few lesser known Fraternity of Man, The Holy Modal Rounders and Smith.

Smith made two albums in 1969 and 1970 mostly cover songs and the first had some success spending time on US album Top 40, but the reason they were on the Easy Riders soundtrack was that The Bands version of “The Weight” that was in the movie, could not be included on the soundtrack album for contractual reasons.

The song was originally recorded and released on The Band’s “Music from Big Pink” from 1968, at the time having mediocre sales figures but today regarded as a milestone album praised by critics as well as music artists.

Chest Fever

written by Robbie Robertson, lead vocals Richard Manuel

Hidden 80′s Gems – Part 7 1987

Robbie Robertson
Who dosent like dipping into those studio album with an dream casting of artists, and that is what we got with Robbie Robertson’s self titled solo album, from 1987. I had no problems chosing this album as my 1987 gem, it’s a perfect example of late 1980’s new wave sound, its not that well know, but a true masterpiece, co-produced with Robertson by Daniel Lanois, who was also involved with U2 and Gabriel at the time.

Fresh from recording Peter Gabriels “So”, and three King Crimson albums in the early 80’s, Tony Levin drips his master bass sounds on this album, before he takes part in the Yes reunion formed as “Anderson Bruford Wakeman Howe” the following year. Levin deliver a solid rhythm section with Manu Katché, who he was also playing with on “So”, not to mention that Peter Gabriel himself, also appears as backup vocalist, and keyboard player on a few tracks. Also Jazz legend Gil Evans, Bassist Larry Klein, and members from The Band, contributed to the album.

All four members of U2, forms the backing band on two tracks, “Sweet Fire of Love” co-written by U2 and Robertson. The tracks have a nice U2 feel about them, but are still very much Robertson’s, and melt perfectly with the other tracks on the album.

At this point I guess some are thinking, that’s all fine but who is this mister Robertson able to get those big names to play on his album ?, Robertson was one of the founding members, the main songwriter, and lead guitarist of Canadian “The Band”, known for their work as Bob Dylan’s backing band, when he turned electric in the late 60’s. The Band had a track on the legendary Easy Rider soundtrack.

The Band is also knows for their legendary farewell concert The Last Waltz, featuring a list of names, Joni Mitchell, Neil Young, Eric Clapton, Van Morrison, Ringo Starr, Paul Butterfield and more. The Concert was the basis of Martin Scorsese documentary The Last Waltz released in 1978, still ranked as one of the best Rock films ever made.

The Band and Neil Young from The Last Waltz