Tuesday, September 6, 2011

The Band--The Weight (1968)

     Luis Bunuel was a Spanish born movie director. Many of his movies were full of surrealism and religious imagery. Although for most of his life, he considered himself an atheist, much of the subject matter of his movies dealt with issues of morality.  It was some of the moral dilemmas explored in Bunuel's work that caught the attention of Robbie Robertson.

     The group that he was a member of had been backing Bob Dylan on his previous tour which saw a transition from an acoustic folk sound, to an electric, harsher rock sound. In 1966 he was in a motorcycle accident and went into semi-seclusion. During this time, he called his band to move up to Woodstock NY where he was staying. The time spent working on music eventually became known as "The Basement Tapes". They also began writing for themselves as well and this was released in 1968 as, "Music From Big Pink".

     "The Weight" was the first single, and reached #63. Over the next two years, three versions were recorded that actually did better in the states. Jackie DeShannon, The Supremes with The Temptations, and Aretha Franklin covered with better success. However, time has elevated the original version to classic status.



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