I feel like “The Band,” may be one of the most underrated rock groups of all time. They are forgotten. So many people know their songs, but if you were tell them The Band sung them, you would say, Really? Maybe it’s because they don’t have a high profile front man or maybe its because they didn’t reunite a million times.
In fact, the last time the original lineup performed together was Thanksgiving Day 1976, in what was known as The Last Waltz. A film was made of the concert, directed by Martin Scorsese. You need to see this movie, it’s truly amazing. But if you don’t have the time, I included a few live performances in the “Five Songs From The Band You Should Hear Right Now.”
1. The Band- The Weight
This has to be there most famous song. The Band was an interesting group because their lead singer was actually Levon Helm, the drummer. An unmistakable classic, “The Weight,” has been covered tons of times and featured in many commercials. When I went to Bonnaroo in 2006, the highlight was actually seeing The Decemberists cover this song with Mavis Staples.
2. The Band- Cripple Creek
This song is just super fun. Closing your eyes listening to these songs make you feel like your on the river or in a saloon down south with a whiskey drink. I feel like we are seeing this type of music rebooted. There is no way Mumford & Sons and The Lummineers aren’t influenced by The Band.
3. The Band- The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down
It’s funny that The Band has such ties to the South, when they actually a band from Canada. On “The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down,” Robbie Robertson sings about the last days of the Civil War seen through the eyes of a fictional soldier named Virgil Cain.
4. The Band- Atlantic City
So after I told you that The Band never reunited, they actually did in 1983, without the original lineup however. Most bands would try something new and infuse a new sound when recording new music. Or other bands wouldn’t even record new music, but The Band did. They tried something new and it was magical.
5. The Band- Helpless (feat. Neil Young)
Ok, so this song isn’t by The Band, but I am so obsessed with The Last Waltz I needed to share it with you anyway.