Review #57: The Band, The Band

Karla Clifton
3 min readMar 18, 2021

#57: The Band, The Band

Okay, so I’ve always known and loved the song “The Weight.” (Which is unfortunately NOT on this album but IS on #100, Music From The Big Pink.) That’s, I think, the only The Band song I knew before this. Also they are one of these Impossible-to-Google-Bands, like The The and !!! and Of Montreal.

The Band is the first truly country-flavored album on this list so far, unless you count Bob Dylan, who really occupies a category all on his own. I’ll be the first to admit that I’m no great lover of country music. Even when it’s good, I only really ever want to listen to one song at a time before switching to something with a little more teeth.

I’m doing my best to account for my own taste here, so I tried to focus on the parts of this that I could tell were amazing, which were the harmonies and the words. It also was very relaxing to listen to this while driving through an open Colorado highway. However, I did eventually get very bored.

An EXTREMELY fun fact about The Band is that there is an Elton John song named after their drummer, Levon Helm, and it’s really great. Another fun fact is that according to the RS blurb, four-fifths of them were Canadian?! All except Levon, in tradition with the family plan.


“Rag Mama Rag” — I preferred this one to the opener, maybe because it sounds more like the blues than country.

“The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down” — Wow, this is a lovely song. I looked up the lyrics and saw that there’s some question as to whether or not this song is an endorsement of slavery. RS even has an interview with singer Early James about it.

“When You Awake” — I love all these beautiful old man harmonies!

“Up On Cripple Creek” — I love grimy love songs. That wawa guitar effect is my favorite.

“Jemima Surrender” — This opening riff rocks.

“Rockin’ Chair” — Awww. I hope Levon Helm spent his later years down in old Virginny with Ragtime Willie.

“Look Out Cleveland” — Alright, fine, The Band can be fun.

“Jawbone” — That weirdass harmony at the beginning kills me. I love songs about losers.

“King Harvest (Has Surely Come)” — This belongs on the Hair: The Musical soundtrack.


“Across The Great Divide” — Maybe I just wasn’t prepared for this level of country, but I just do not like this song. It sounds like someone is playing it on a wagon traveling across the prairie.

“Whispering Pines” — This song is veeery slooow.


Is Elton John full of it??? Of course not. Can’t wait to get to “The Weight.”

Review #56: Exile in Guyville, Liz Phair

Review #58: Led Zeppelin IV, Led Zeppelin