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Re: Music From Red Robbie

Music From Big Brown
February 15, 2008 03:24PM
Not exactly TP terrain but after listening to both Music From Big Pink and The Band as of late, I still have a hard time determining which of these is the definitive Band album. More times than not I have a clear opinion on this sort of thing but not in this instance. Popular opinion seems to be split down the middle with one ranking higher than the other depending on the source you read. I seem to go back and forth on it. At times I think Big Pink is stronger due to its soulfulness and consistency and partly because a few of the songs on The Band sometimes remind me of the type of music I railed against when I first started becoming acquainted with Punk and New Wave. Then other times I think the old-timey, pastoral feel of The Band is far more unique and that it contains possibly higher peaks like Jawbone having me then believing that The Band is their landmark record. I'm still unable to come to an opinion on this and maybe the answer is that it's a tie.

So, what's the consensus here?

Re: Music From Red Robbie
February 15, 2008 03:44PM
No vote from me, on which Band album is superior ... but for my money, Robbie Robertson's solo debut is still one of the most inexplicably, unjustly ignored albums of the Eighties.
Re: Music From Red Robbie
February 15, 2008 04:22PM
I think The Band is the better one, only because it seems to illustrate the band's personality more than Big Pink, which is still a hell of an album. There's a band that never quite lived up to its potential. While I have friends who defend Stage Fright as another masterpiece, it seems to me that once Robertson took creative control, they seemed to lose something -- possibly their sense of fun. Rock of Ages is one of the great live albums, but I don't think anything else they did got close to their first two. Islands is the best of the latter stuff, to me. "Great bands that lost their way" thread, anyone?
Re: Music From Red Robbie
February 15, 2008 05:09PM
I like Northern Lights-Southern Cross the best out of the later stuff, but that's just me.

I used to really like Robbie Robertson's s/t album, but after a while the 80s arena rock production started to grate. I still love "Somewhere Down the Lazy River," though.

I think if forced at gunpoint to choose, I'd choose The Band, but since nobody's brandishing weaponry, I'd say both albums are part of the well-rounded classic rock collection.

I love the Band and actually think them a candidate for inclusion in TP. There's nobody that really sounds like them around now.

As far as the "great bands that lost their way" thread - Blasmo, what are you waiting for? Start it!
Re: Music From Big Brown
February 16, 2008 01:22PM
The second album is a masterpiece, a more fully formed and profound contemplation, and a crucial piece (ironically enough withal) of Americana. With Dylan's direct influence receding, the Band flowered on The Band with songs that sound as old and wise as the hills.
Re: Music From Big Brown
February 16, 2008 09:48PM
I agree, THE BAND is the definitive album.

I don't even think BIG PINK is a necessary purchase.

Their essential output is on THE BAND, ROCK OF AGES, and THE BASEMENT TAPES. Sure, you'd be missing "The Weight," and "Tears Of Rage," but so what?

But what do I know? I prefer CAHOOTS to STAGE FRIGHT fer chrissakes!

Re: Classic Alternative
February 28, 2008 02:44AM

I love the Band and actually think them a candidate for inclusion in TP. There's nobody that really sounds like them around now.
The notion expressed above got me thinking about certain bands that would generally or definitely be classified as "classic rock" but might have just enough "alternative" attributes to be considered for TP. This is an extension of the Deserving Subjects thread posted recently. In that thread artists like Van Morrision, T. Rex, Love, The Byrds, Warren Zevon, The Move, 13th Floor Elevators, Pretty Things and a host of Nuggets bands like the Chocolate Watch Band were mentioned as possible candidates.

You can obviously bend or stretch any artist's qualities in the direction you want them to go or use the, "if that artist has an entry why doesn't this artist have one" formula all day. This is merely an exercise in the possibility that sometimes perception may be greater than reality and maybe an artist generally deemed as anything but Alternative can theoretically have more Alternative credentials than initially thought when you really break it down and analyze it.

So, what about some of the artists listed below that could conceivably fit into a category I might call "Classic Alternative" especially when taking entries by Neil Young, Pink Floyd, Mott The Hoople and others into account? Some or most of these artists proposed for inclusion may be dismissed out of hand and maybe rightly so as I'm not sure I agree with some of them either. One thing I am sure about though is that an artist's commercial success or popularity should play little or no role in determining "Alternative" credibility.

Alice Cooper - Eighteen and School's Out sure sound like Punk anthems to me and it would be hard to deny that Mr. Furnier's garage-rock/hard-rock approach on his early records didn't have an ample impact on Punk Rock.
The Who - Threads posted here in the past have discussed Alternative albums made my non-Alternative artists, etc. Conversely, The Who are a case of a band whose music has influenced scores of Punk rockers who've appropriated their crunching rock chords and style from the MC5 to Generation X even if they are commonly classified as a Classic Rock artist. This begs the question, is it possible to be a fairly major influence on a particular movement in both sound and image and still be excluded as an actual component of that genre?
Small Faces - Maybe I'm strtetching things a bit more here but if you listen to Ogden's Nut Gone Flake with your average music listener they're going to think it sounds pretty weird. That's probably because it's a genuine Alternative Rock album and a great one at that.
Joan Jett - Why not, The Runaways have an entry and she has to be at least partially responsible for many of the rrriot girl Alternative acts that have come down the pike.
Kinks - Following their initial burst of staggering great singles concept albums like Arthur and Village Green don't really sound like Classic Rock to me at all. Pretty unique and anything but ordinary. Extraordinary actually.
Blue Oyster Cult - What do you think? Like Motorhead, a square-pegged metal band that doesn't quite fit into a round hole.
Jimi Hendrix - Devotees could make a plausible argument I suppose although he's so closely tied with the Classic Rock format it seems next to impossible to separate the two.

Maybe it's just me but for some reason I always think I'm going to find entries in TP for all of the classic Glam Rock artists. This is probably because in many ways I think the gigantic guitar riffs and over-the-top screaming vocals featured in a lot of your classic Glam is the antithesis of bloated and stodgy which means it should be in TP, right? I don't know, maybe it's also because I think Glam is somewhat analogous to many of the power-pop artists that have found their way into TP. In any event:

Slade - They still sound quite jarring listening to them these days.
Sweet - Bubblegum, Glam Rock and Hard Rock sounds like an Alternative recipe to me.
Suzi Quatro - The original rrriot girl and she even did a cover of Born To Run. Now, that's Alternative.
Gary Glitter - I think he also thought about using Terry Tinsel or Horace Hydrogen instead.
Jobriath - Anyone?

Donovan - I think one could make a solid case for Donovan as many of his records still sound quite strange and eerie. One of those artists whose general reputation doesn't really equate to his actual output.
The Doors - Yes, Morrison could be an insufferable bore sometimes but if you try to look at this objectively a decent amount of Doors material wasn't exactly your standard fare and I think their commercial success kind of distorted reality. Like him or not, enough prominent Alternative artists either idolized Morrison or drew inspiration from The Doors' music.
Jefferson Airplane - From a psychedelic perspective? Maybe?

Yes - Amon Duul, Can and King Crimson are some of the Progressive Rock artists that have gained entry and if there's a classic band from the genre that could weasel their way in, perhaps it's Yes. Wouldn't want to open up the floodgates though.

Re: Classic Alternative
February 28, 2008 02:59AM


Jobriath - Anyone?

we know morrissey approves, but i'm voting NO.
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