The Band’s “Music From the Big Pink” gets 50th anniversary re-release

On July 1, 1968, The Band’s landmark debut album ‘Music from Big Pink’ seemed to spring from nowhere and everywhere. Drawing from the American roots music panoply of country, blues, R&B, gospel, soul, rockabilly, the honking tenor sax tradition, hymns, funeral dirges, brass band music, folk, and rock ‘n’ roll, The Band forged a new style that some argued changed the course of popular music. Fifty years later, the mythology surrounding Music from Big Pink lives on through the evocative storytelling of its songs including “The Weight,” “This Wheel’s On Fire,” “Tears of Rage,” and “To Kingdom Come,” its enigmatic cover art painted by Bob Dylan, the salmon-colored upstate New York house – ‘Big Pink’ – where The Band wrote the songs, and in myriad descendant legends carried forth since the album’s arrival.

On August 31, Capitol/UMG will release ‘Music from Big Pink’ in newly remixed and expanded 50th Anniversary Edition packages, including a Super Deluxe CD/Blu-ray/2LP/7-inch vinyl box set with a hardbound book; 1CD, digital, 180-gram 2LP black vinyl, and limited edition 180-gram 2LP pink vinyl packages. All the Anniversary Edition configurations feature a new stereo mix for the album, produced by Bob Clearmountain from the original four-track analog masters, incorporating some previously unreleased chatter from the studio sessions. The box set configurations also include five outtakes and alternate recordings from the ‘Big Pink’ sessions and a previously unreleased a cappella version of “I Shall Be Released.”

Exclusively for the box set, Clearmountain has also produced a new 5.1 surround mix for the album and the bonus tracks, presented on Blu-ray with the new stereo mix in high-resolution audio (96kHz/24bit). All the new audio mixes have been mastered by Bob Ludwig at Gateway Mastering. The box set also includes an exclusive reproduction of The Band’s 1968 7-inch vinyl single for “The Weight” / “I Shall Be Released” in their new stereo mixes and a hardbound book with a new essay by noted music journalist David Fricke and classic photos by Elliott Landy. For the album’s new vinyl editions, Chris Bellman cut the vinyl lacquers for the album’s new stereo mix at 45rpm at Bernie Grundman Mastering, expanding the album’s vinyl footprint from one LP to two. The black and pink vinyl LPs were pressed at GZ Vinyl / Precision.

THE BAND: Music from Big Pink (50th Anniversary Edition)

CD; Digital

2018 stereo mix (included in the box set and available individually)

1. Tears Of Rage
2. To Kingdom Come
3. In A Station
4. Caledonia Mission
5. The Weight
6. We Can Talk
7. Long Black Veil
8. Chest Fever
9. Lonesome Suzie
10. This Wheel’s On Fire
11. I Shall Be Released

Bonus Tracks:

12. Yazoo Street Scandal (Outtake)
13. Tears Of Rage (Alternate Take)
14. Long Distance Operator (Outtake)
15. Lonesome Suzie (Alternate Take)
16. Key To The Highway (Outtake)
17. I Shall Be Released (A Cappella)

BLU-RAY

Tracklist above in new 5.1 surround mix + 96kHz/24bit high resolution stereo (exclusive to the box set)

2LP VINYL

180g black vinyl (included in the box set and available individually); ltd. edition 180g pink vinyl (available individually)

SIDE ONE

1. Tears Of Rage
2. To Kingdom Come
3. Chest Fever

SIDE TWO

1. In A Station
2. Caledonia Mission
3. The Weight
3. I Shall Be Released

SIDE THREE

1. We Can Talk
2. Long Black Veil

SIDE FOUR

1. Lonesome Suzie
2. This Wheel’s On Fire

“The Weight”

Reproduced 1968 7-inch single (exclusive to the box set)

A. The Weight
B. I Shall Be Released

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Author: Mark Whitfield

Mark Whitfield has been the Editor of Americana UK for the last 17 years and still feels like this is his pretend job, mainly because it is.

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