When it comes to defining debut albums, there’s no question that the first one from the band, known as the Band, is a masterpiece. But what makes it, or the group in question, so special, anyway? Simply put, there wasn’t anything conventional about either the band or the album they’d released in the summer of ’68. First of all, their look: five guys that looked nothing like the psychedelic stars of the era from which they came. Apparent country gentlemen, whose approach to making music wasn’t flashy either. That’s one of the reasons they decided that the first song listeners would hear when the needle dropped on side one of their debut would be a slow and soulful song called “Tears of Rage,” co-written with Bob Dylan. According to drummer Levon Helm, it was the Band’s way of rebelling against the psychedelic rock of the era. It was a decision they would not only eventually prompt Rolling Stone Magazine to rank their debut, the “34th greatest album of all-time,” it was also the album that moved Eric Clapton so much, it prompted him to fold Cream and opt for an ensemble approach to making music. The classic album by four Canadians and that drummer from Arkansas, known as Music from Big Pink.
– Jeff Woods, “Legends of Classic Rock” Q107 Toronto